Thinking like a Customer: What They Really Think About Your Restaurant’s Cleanliness
There are plenty of things that can turn a customer away from your restaurant. A bad meal or bad service, for example, might make a customer unhappy. But few things can turn customers away and keep them away like a dirty restaurant. Even if you don’t notice the tiny things, your customers definitely will. Try thinking like a customer by paying extra attention to these details.
You might be focusing on plates, silverware, and the things your customers actually eat off of, but don’t forget about your floors. If there’s visible dirt or trash collecting in the corners, customers will wonder if your kitchen is just as dirty.
Of course you clean your silverware after every use, but is it really clean? Are there fingerprints or, worse, caked on food? This can be a huge turnoff for customers…after all, they want to focus on their meal, not what the previous customer had.
When your bussers are clearing away the dishes, they might overlook a few crumbs left behind. Your customers, however, will notice these right away.
4. Dusty décor.
When you’re doing your daily cleaning, you might not even think about paintings, plants, or any other decorative objects you have. But dust and dirt can accumulate quickly and make customers think you don’t clean regularly.
5. Your bathrooms.
Unless they’re at a dive bar, customers expect to find bathrooms in pristine condition. Anything less and they’ll just be grossed out, and the last thing you want to do is disgust your customers.
6. Ceiling fans.
If you aren’t regularly looking up, you might forget about your ceiling fans…but if your customers happen to glance up and see cobwebs and dust, they won’t be impressed. Don’t forget to dust them just because they’re out of reach.
Dishwashers don’t always take lipstick stains off of glasses and mugs…but that’s no excuse to pass them onto customers without giving them a thorough cleaning. No one wants to think about the previous customer’s lips (and germs!) touching their glass.
Do you keep mustard, ketchup, or other condiments on tables? Be sure to clean them often. A ketchup bottle caked with food or coated in grease isn’t very appetizing.
This one’s probably pretty obvious, right? But if you have a problem with pests, you can almost guarantee customers won’t be back. They don’t care if it’s just a “small” infestation…if they see a roach or ant crawling around, they won’t even want to know what’s in your food.
10. Trash areas.
Are your trash cans neat and tidy, or are they overflowing with garbage? If you can’t even be bothered to take your trash out regularly, you won’t make a great impression on your customers.
A dirty restaurant is one of the quickest ways to turn customers off, but by paying attention to these details, you can ensure that your customers will keep coming back!
33 ways to create customer loyalty
The ultimate guide for owners & managers.