Five post-pandemic hygiene lessons

Clean slate: Hance McGhie offers advice on keeping your pub in mint condition
Clean slate: Hance McGhie offers advice on keeping your pub in mint condition

Related tags Health and safety Freehouse Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Tenanted + leased

The hospitality industry has been through many challenges during the pandemic but, as we all adapt to the emerging, restriction-free world with a hopeful eye on the future, some of the lessons learnt when it comes to hygiene can – and should – be built into the new normal.

1. Cleaning protocols and systems are critical

Firstly – and most importantly – cleaning and hygiene should no longer, and never be, an afterthought or something that is taken lightly. Taking a casual or slapdash approach to cleaning simply isn’t good enough, no matter how relaxed the venue.

Taking the time to craft procedures and protocols for staff members to learn and follow is critical to the success of the venue.

At a basic level, drawing up a plan and schedule to say how often different surfaces and areas are cleaned – and (importantly) what with – is a good start. Have an opening up routine, clear rules for cleaning during opening hours and a closing/night time plan too.  

Print out plans with tick boxes or room for initials, use a wipe clean board to keep abreast of your schedule, or even use an app and take the time to train staff. Every venue is different, so your schedule and your plan will be unique to you, but taking the time to think about it is key.

If you’re unsure where to start, speak to a cleaning professional for advice or – if you’re using Chemisphere’s products to ensure your venue is hygienic and sparkling – we are always on hand to answer any queries and advise as to how best to use each one to get the best results and ensure cleanliness at all times.

2. Utilising new cleaning tech can help

Pandemic restrictions resulted in tech being given centre stage in hospitality, and venues have already got to grips with apps and systems for booking, checking in and ordering. These systems all help to minimise the need for too much physical contact or tangible collateral such as old table menus, but you can also investigate tech that can help behind the scenes.

Our sister company, Beer Piper, uses a cloud-based mobile app alongside its market-leading BP4 beer line cleaning system. The app logs how often the lines are cleaned ensuring full transparency and traceability, and the system itself cleans the lines automatically to a very high standard, saving both time and money.

We have also developed new products that have become critical to venues post-pandemic, such as our BlitzAll antiviral and antibacterial fogger, which is a great solution for venues for both back of house and front of house. The foggers kill 99.999% of bacteria, yeast and enveloped viruses, including Covid-19.

3. Employee training in hygiene is a must

Investing in staff and their training has never been more important, and hygiene is absolutely part of this mix. When you have developed your cleaning procedures and schedules, take the time to individually train staff and managers to complete each task with the correct products and chemicals. Informing and teaching them why different products are used for each task is crucial, and will eliminate the possibility of mistakes and ensure that they understand the importance of your high standards.

On top of this, investing time and money in staff training can only be a good thing when it comes to employee retention, as it will educate and upskill them and make them feel like valued and integral members of the team.

4. Communication is key

When your plans and schedules are complete, ensure that you communicate them to customers. Whether it's a statement on your website or social channels or a notice on the bar, communicating your cleaning policies to punters lets them know that you’re taking hygiene seriously. For some more nervous customers, taking the time to do this can put their mind at ease and ensure they have a pleasant experience.

5. Employee health matters

The pandemic has taught us that we are nothing without our staff members, so anything that you can do to make sure staff members are healthy and happy is key. Good hygiene practices and procedures in the venue are important, as they will reduce the risk of any drop in standards that could result in employee sickness.

If your staff members are customer facing, consider the use of face coverings, and ensure handwashing is kept up at all times so it becomes second nature.

Lastly, prioritise staff wellness and wellbeing by ensuring that team members go home if they feel unwell and stay off until they are better.

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