The short answer is, not very.
Even if your Food Hygiene Rating puts a “5” on your door, you’re up the creek at the slightest whisper of “food poisoning”.
Especially if it gets in the media.
Superstar Michelin performers have had to close down to address those two words.
True or not, the public never seem to accept anything except negligence on your part.
So it’s the whole witch hunt.
Plummeting PR, lost revenue, the cost of deep cleaning, grilling staff over procedures, publicity for reopening – and the slow, agonising build up to repair your reputation.
Thousands and thousands.
And not necessarily anything to do with you at all.
Not YOUR hygiene – theirs
Because, ask yourself . How many of your clientele actually wash their hands before they sit down? Or if not then, before they pick up a knife and fork?
And who knows where they’ve been, or what they’ve been doing?
If they’ve been driving, there’s a good chance they’ve picked up staphylococcus or e.coli off their own steering wheel. Especially when car INTERIORS might only get cleaned every 3 months.
And these are the people who dare to suggest your procedures gave them food poisoning!
Iffy, iffy, iffy
It gets worse.
Because, top-drawer celebrity status notwithstanding, how many customers wash their hands EVER?
Your hands might be clean, but theirs aren’t. Check the record.
- 62% of men and 40% of women NEVER wash their hands after going to the toilet.
- 95% of people don’t even wash their hands properly.
- Only 12% of people wash their hands before eating.
So that “5” Rating on your door is already under threat before you start.
Because you just know some hot-shot solicitor is going to make mincemeat of your case, no matter how meticulous you are.
Which means, “5” Rating or not, it’s worth investing in a little protection.
Protecting your interests – and reputation
OK, you can’t exactly demand they all hit the washroom before being shown to their table. They’ll never come back – and they’ll bad-mouth you to all their friends.
But you can protect hygiene levels AND offer a little courtesy – if you serve each guest with an individual hand-wipe or sachet of antimicrobial gel. Not as grand as steam-heated towels, but a lot more effective. Warm dampness in any case stimulates more bacteria than it kills.
On top of that, you also have the option to reassure clients that the whole place is sterile before opening for every session. Any germs previous guests might have left on chairs, table undersides, or condiment containers are eradicated without having to think about them.
And everywhere else as well. The drapes they might have touched. The carpets they might have tracked stuff in on. Not necessarily dog poo, but invisible germs. Plus harmful microbes lurking anywhere else. On menus, door handles, light switches, in the air itself.
One quick 40-minute session with ionised hydrogen peroxide mist will remove all viruses and bacteria. Oxidised to nothing, so the whole place is safe, secure and sterile.
And your reputation is no longer at risk.
Yes, sure – there might be the odd curmudgeon who refuses to co-operate. But how curmudgeonly do they have to be to refuse a pretty staffer personally offering an individually presented hand-wipe with your compliments?
A little insurance – and proof you’ve more than earned your “5” Rating.
Your customers are happy too.
Because how many of them will boast about the superior evening with PERSONAL hand hygiene – AND the place was specially sterilised before they got there?
A toast to you, then. May your business grow and prosper!
Picture Copyright: citalliance / 123RF Stock Photo