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Keep It Clean
  Your location’s cleanliness and sanitation may be one of the most important factors in attracting new customers – and in keeping the ones you’ve already got.
According to a recent retail consumer study performed by M/A/R/C, 14 percent of consumers said they would stop visiting a store that was not as clean as they would like. Moreover, 29 percent said they would continue visiting an unclean store only if it was absolutely necessary.
Jim Miller, a principal with the foodservice cleaning and sanitization company says “Customers are not as forgiving during these economic times. When they do actually spend the money to go out and treat themselves, they want to have a good experience. They’re much more discerning these days. If they don’t get that experience, it’s going to lead to a lost customer.”
According to a recent Procter & Gamble survey titled “Cleaning in a Down Economy,” 85 percent of surveyed cleaning professionals in industries such as foodservice and hospitality have adopted a “doing more with less” approach to the sour economic conditions.
“Owners and operators have to think about cleaning as a cycle,” Garry says. “It’s not enough for a quick-service owner to think, ‘Well, I spent X amount of money last month on a deep clean and that’s it.’ He has to constantly think about what he is doing on a regular basis to make sure his customer’s experience is a positive one.”
Another affordable – and often overlooked – approach to making sure a location is as clean as it should be is checking in on the competition. “You need to get out and you need to set a benchmark for yourself,” Garry says. “I think it’s imperative.”
Beth Cannon, a sanitization expert, says a big factor contributing to a restaurant’s waning attention to cleanliness is basic human nature.
“No one wants to clean the floor, drain the sinks, or mop the bathrooms. Those are not fun jobs. So employees will often wait until these jobs get to the point of being really big, messy problems, and that makes them want to do it even less.”
It is essential that owners and operators make sure they have established a regular, accountable cleaning schedule for their employees. “If you’re dealing with part-time employees that are paid hourly, their goal is not to ensure everything is clean and well maintained. It’s not on the top of their minds,” she says. “If they’re well trained, that will change.”
There are a few aspects of site maintenance that fall squarely on the shoulders of owners and operators, for example, uniform cleanliness.
A survey about crew uniforms showed cleanliness ranking highest among factors considered important to quick-service customers, placing it ahead of other factors including fit, style, color, and even the “age-appropriateness” of the design.
Lou Porry, vice president of operations for several quick-service concepts in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, says “The customer is not only more savvy these days. They also only have a limited amount of money they’re willing to spend. So they will pick the place they think is clean and neat, and will provide them with good service. They are going to spend their money where they don’t have to worry about health issues, clutter, and all the rest that goes into making sure a location is clean.”  
Article Source: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/food-safety/keep-it-clean
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