It's not just a cliché, spring really is a great time to get down and dirty with a mop in your pub, according to the experts.
1. Schedule your deep clean for spring mornings
Commercial pub cleaners recommend deep cleaning at this time of year, to take advantage of the quiet period before the summer rush (another great time is the period before the Christmas madness begins). Setting aside the morning hours before you open your doors is also recommended, for obvious reasons (who wants their morning coffee or lunchtime pint disturbed by a cleaning frenzy?)
2. Deep clean your pub at least three times a year
Some experts recommend you do it quarterly. Certainly, any less than three times in 12 months could put you at risk of breaching health and safety regulations, particularly if you serve food in your pub. Build-up in grease traps and ventilation ducts for example, can harbour mould and germs, which would contravene regulations under The Food Safety Act 1990.
3. Focus on areas above eye-level
Day-to-day cleaning in most venues will concentrate on those places most visible to customers, so if you are doing a deep clean then you also need to think about high-up areas and objects. The tops and backs of TVs; ledges and picture rails; picture frames; curtain rods; window and door frames, and so on.
4. In the kitchen concentrate on grease traps...
A build-up of dirt in a grease trap can become very difficult to remove and will render a trap ineffective and smelly. Routine cleaning alone will not suffice, so it is important these get properly dealt with during a deep clean – especially as a build-up will have a negative knock-on effect to ventilation systems (see below).
5. ...and vents
A deep clean of vents will remove any residual carbon and oil which can be responsible for causing fires in pubs. It will also improve the lifespan of equipment, according to experts. They say vent blockages can reduce output, increase costs through greater power usage and damage expensive equipment.
6. Don't use bleach
Typically, licensees should try to use alternative products to bleach, as punters do not like the lingering smell. Acidic limescale remover will be handy in the loos as an alternative, while for tables you could use a pH-neutral multi-purpose hard surface cleaner, and for floors a neutral floor gel cleaner is recommended.
7. Be environmentally friendly
Demand is rising for more environmentally friendly cleaning products, although they are currently more expensive. For businesses that make a big deal of their environmental credentials, however, they will be worth the extra investment, not least as people become more aware of the environmental damage strong cleaning chemicals can wreak. For those pubs where the extra cost is prohibitive, there are still measures you can take to make your cleaning regime greener, such as buying larger sizes then decanting into smaller bottles to use, and buying concentrates and diluting before use. Both these measures will cut down on the plastic packaging, at least.
8. Keep cleaning products close to hand
A recent study by health and hygiene specialist Essity found that in premises where cleaning and hygiene products were not situated in logical, easy-to-find places, staff were typically spending 20 to 30 per cent of their time looking for products and then cleaning their hands and surfaces. In premises where products are better placed this time can be drastically cut, improving efficiency – in one kitchen where this was done Essity estimated a saving of 16 person-hours a day.
9. If you are using a specialist, make sure you have communicated what you need
For many licensees using a professional cleaning company, particularly for deep cleaning, makes financial sense. In order to make the partnership work ensure you are both clear about who is responsible for what areas – cleaning tables, for example, often remains a job for bar staff, as might behind the bar. Also make sure the company has allocated enough time to get the job done properly – questioning a cheap quote might reveal that the company in question has only allowed for a fraction of the hours that others have.
With thanks to:
- Kush Patel, operations director, Logicare Complete Solutions
- Paul Casson, technical manager, Rentokil Specialist Hygiene
- Jeremy Bennett,sales manager, Essity UK