When your business requires you to entertain customers in person, your facility will be exposed to different types of dirt. Besides the COVID-19 virus — which we’re now slowly containing, thankfully — you should watch out for other problems your customers might cause in your establishment. Train your staff in maintaining your premises too; their cooperation is crucial for the safety of the place.
The problems your customers and staff can cause are no different from the ones you encounter at home: maintenance issues. If you own a restaurant, you may deal with more maintenance issues than other businesses. And they won’t be as simple as leaks or flickering light bulbs. Instead, they’d be some of the dirtiest problems you’ll ever experience.
Here are the worst maintenance issues to prevent in your business:
1. Mold and Mildew
Molds and mildew are typically harmless, but in large amounts, they can cause respiratory symptoms. Not to mention they’re unsightly and reflective of a neglectful attitude.
Instead of your customers, it’s your staff that can cause molds and mildew in your facility. It means they don’t maintain your premises as thoroughly as they should. However, external factors can also cause molds and mildew, like rain. During rainy weather, humidity levels run high, making walls and tight corners moist.
To prevent molds and mildew, avoid putting damp objects in places where they couldn’t dry properly. These are usually handtowels or dish rags. Spread them out on a counter to let them air dry. In the bathroom, ensure that all surfaces are dry, including the spaces between sinks and walls. If you run a resort or hotel, make sure the housekeeping staff also wipe down the puddles in the bathroom left by guests.
Use a dehumidifier with a tank capacity appropriate for the size of your establishment. It will be your ultimate mold and mildew prevention measure. The dry air it will release will also enhance the comfort of your staff and customers. Nobody likes to sit on damp chairs or at warping tables, after all.
Restaurants, hotels, or any business establishment that handles food can attract pests. Their presence will surely affect food safety and customer service. Pests may also carry diseases your staff can contract and spread.
A successful pest management program is the key to preventing pests in your establishment. The food industry has set standards for such a program, which you have to follow. It involves an inspection, pest identification, and the establishment of pest tolerance levels. The methods for keeping pests out are pretty similar to what you’d normally do at home. You close the gaps they may use as access and remove elements that they may use to survive, such as standing water. Using chemical pesticides isn’t recommended, as pest control methods should be environmentally safe and economically feasible.
3. Clogged Toilets
Unknowingly using a clogged toilet is one of the worst things you’ll experience outside your home. If a customer experiences this in your business premises, that will cause a blow to your reputation. But if your bathrooms are always crowded, like those in fast-food restaurants, your risks for the dreaded clogged toilet run high.
Though it’s your cleaning staff’s job to maintain bathroom tidiness, you should also instill some responsibility to your customers. It isn’t your staff’s fault customers like to dump non-flushable objects into your toilets. So put up signs in each cubicle, informing toilet users what they can and cannot flush. Non-flushable include facial tissues, feminine hygiene products, wipes, paper towels, dental floss, plastic, diapers, and food.
Toilet paper won’t clog a toilet, but flushing too much of it can create a blockage as well. To prevent clogs, customers should only flush as much toilet paper as necessary. Remind them to avoid flushing large mounds at once. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many customers act nastily in a business establishment.
4. Filthy Septic Tanks
Since you don’t see your septic tank, it’s probably the maintenance aspect you overlook the most. The septic tank collects water from all drains, including that from toilets, bathroom sinks, and kitchen sinks. Over time, a septic tank will develop a sludge, a heavy particulate matter that settles at the bottom of the tank. On top, scum layers form, and it’s made up of fats, oils, and proteins.
You should call professional septic tank pumpers every three to five years. Put this on your periodic maintenance checklist before you forget it. A filthy septic tank causes clogs and unpleasant odors in the drains. If your toilet is clogged for seemingly no reason, your septic tank might be the culprit.
Preventing these dirtiest maintenance problems will allow you to serve your customers faultlessly. It’ll make you provide a healthy and safe workplace for your staff, too. And no one will ever complain that your premises look unkempt.