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FOOD & DRINK


instruct employees to use a disinfectant cleaner for added assurance, but they must rinse the surface afterwards and then apply a no-rinse sanitiser.


Cleaning beyond high-touch surfaces is crucial, as coronavirus spreads easily and quickly. In addition to using approved chemicals, restaurants must be thorough in how they maintain cleaning tools. For example, while microfibre cloths can remove up to 99.9% of bacteria, they can also spread germs to surfaces if they’re reused too often without laundering.


Accountability – Confirming compliance with new policies and procedures is just as important as cleaning regularly and diligently. Methods for keeping employees on track include: creating a cleaning schedule for staff members to complete throughout the day that mangers review; have leadership conduct random FOH and BOH cleanliness checks; and set a reminder every 30 minutes to remind everyone to perform hand hygiene.


Teaching core values and processes One of the most effective ways that restaurants can make a positive cultural shift is by investing in employee training. Training both seasoned workers and new employees helps everyone learn your restaurant’s core values (such as cleanliness, health and safety), understand the expectations and access expert content along with best practices.


With many restaurant employees on furlough or working part-time until businesses can fully reopen, there’s an opportunity to roll out remote online training. A cloud- based e-learning platform can improve knowledge, skills and performance. Look for a program with digital resources like videos, training courses with content from research and development scientists and regulatory experts, in addition to reporting and product information. With a sophisticated system, managers can track progress, upload their own documents and presentations and run contests and award badges that can be exchanged for rewards.


Training topics should include infection prevention, food safety and personal hygiene. When employees understand the ‘why’ behind hand hygiene, social distancing measures and proper cleaning, it minimises the risk of lapses in cleanliness.


Reviewing problematic policies The restaurant industry is often viewed as a first step into the labour market and typically relies on many young employees and part-time students who then exit the industry in favour of other careers. Many full-time employees often leave roles to secure opportunities for growth, as upward mobility can be a challenge. Facing long hours, ergonomic strain and in many cases low pay, many employees face burnout.


To combat turnover, restaurants need to cultivate a culture that makes employees want to stay long-term. Identify policies that hinder fulfilment, growth and well- being. While the industry faces thin margins and paid sick


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leave is often not an option, there are other ways to make workers feel cared for and valued.


For example, make sure that employees do not feel pressured to come into work while ill. Often, employees fear missing a shift will hurt their ability to pay living expenses and may result in firing or punishment. If your restaurant can’t offer paid sick leave, frame sick leave as a necessary precaution rather than a penalty that supports the health and safety of employees and customers. Additionally, review employee wages and contracts to make sure you are acknowledging hard work and offering a living wage. Encourage a positive environment that energises staff using words of affirmation, an incentive program or teambuilding exercises. They’ll be more likely to follow rules around cleanliness, health and safety when they enjoy their work.


Serving up cleanliness With many restaurants still struggling to maintain momentum while facing financial hurdles, it’s important for business owners to understand where to invest their funds now to support their long-term survival. Taking the time to reassess the corporate culture and educate employees about the role of cleanliness is an important first step ahead of reopening. Training ensures that all employees understand the expectations around cleaning and know how to execute the processes and procedures correctly. This not only supports the wellbeing of workers but also the health and safety of diners who are eager to return to restaurants.


www.diversey.com TOMORROW’S FM | 43


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