Ensuring Brand Protection through Cleaning

Ensuring Brand Protection through Cleaning Ensuring Brand Protection through Cleaning
Edwin Van Der Heijden
Vice President of Hospitality & Food Service North America
May 31, 2023

Although restaurant patrons can’t see microbiological risks, they can quickly form perceptions about a business’s cleanliness based on what they see, smell, feel, taste and hear. Visibly dirty countertops, unpleasant-smelling restrooms and sticky floors are just a few issues that can keep guests from returning to a restaurant.

Fortunately, regular cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting can protect guests and employees, keep surfaces and equipment well-maintained and preserve the quality of food being served. By adhering to a cleaning routine, restaurants can generate repeat business instead of health code violations, negative reviews or closures.

Keeping Kitchens Clean

Commercial kitchens face the following risks:

  • Contaminated food contact surfaces, including food preparation and storage areas
  • Employees with poor personal hygiene, such as dirty hands or fingernails
  • Contaminated non-food contact surfaces, such as drains
  • Presence of pests


Employees should use a food contact surface sanitizer registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is compatible with the surface. For example, although chlorine bleach is effective at killing germs, it is not ideal for use on some types of surfaces. Restaurants should also use a reliable delivery system, such as a dosing station, to ensure proper sanitizer concentration and correct dosages for sanitizing.

Sanitizing should be completed several times a day, not only as an end-of-day process. Sanitize food contact surfaces between preparation of different types of foods, such as raw chicken and vegetables. Following these protocols will help reduce the buildup of bacteria and possible cross contamination.


Righting Restroom Wrongs

Factors that can increase microbiological risks in restrooms include:

  • Incorrect or lack of disinfection, which enables cross contamination and spreads illness
  • Inadequate supply of soap or lack of drying system, which discourages hand washing
  • Improper water temperatures and low water flow, which inhibits proper hand hygiene
  • Neglected spills, which can lead to slip-and-fall accidents


Employees should clean restrooms using disinfectants that are safe for staff and guests, non-harmful to assets and surfaces, have realistic contact times and are compatible with cleaning tools. Be sure to use a top-to-bottom approach, starting with walls and mirrors, then disinfecting high-touch surfaces like door knobs and towel dispensers, then toilets and faucets and finally floors. Increase cleaning during peak times and outbreaks, such as during flu season.

Safeguarding your Brand Image

Restaurants can ensure a positive guest experience and gain loyal customers by focusing on hygiene. Although kitchens and restrooms are areas of particular importance, clean entryways and dining areas are also key.

To ensure employees follow the correct procedures, work with a knowledgeable partner to develop a comprehensive food safety program and guide, train and advise staff. With proper training, employees will understand what to clean, how to clean and when to clean, thereby preparing them for food safety and hygiene challenges.

To learn more about effective hygiene in foodservice environments, visit our Kitchen area and Restroom area.