Get Rid of Clutter in Your Restaurant

Get Rid of Clutter in Your RestauarantGet Rid of Clutter in Your RestauarantWe noted the impact of cleanliness to the success of your establishment (Restaurant Cleanliness is Critical to Success), and now it’s time to take a look at clutter. Clutter immediately suggests a lack of cleanliness, so no matter how free of dust, grease, and dirt it may be, it’s time to get rid of clutter in your restaurant.

In addition to underscoring cleanliness, a clutter-free restaurant or pub is also a more efficient one, and that contributes to your bottom line. We recently touched on the use of Lean principles behind your bar (Increase Profitability behind Your Bar) to make your bartenders more efficient by having everything they need within one step. The same thinking applies regarding de-cluttering your restaurant: Your staff can work more efficiently if they don’t have to navigate around clutter in the back of the house, and your patrons get a better impression when the front of your house is clutter free.

Back of the House Clutter

Besides creating an inefficient workplace, clutter in your kitchen and storage areas can lead to potential hazards. FoodServiceWarehouse.com suggests the following in “Slip and Fall Hazards in the Commercial Kitchen”:

  • Cluttered floors and aisles can cause falls. Ditto to slippery floors that aren’t promptly cleaned of spills. An uncluttered space is easier to clean when a spill occurs.
  • Staff carrying boxes of inventory are subject to tripping over obstructions (read: clutter) that they can’t see.
  • The same thing is true for servers and bussers carrying stacks of plates around blind corners or through cluttered aisles.

Additionally, clutter wastes time and money. Human nature is to follow the path of least resistance. A disorganized kitchen, food prep, and storage area typically leads to wasted time and effort to locate what’s needed, or an employee will choose an easier, albeit more costly, method or ingredient.

Steps to De-clutter Your Restaurant

There are certainly steps you can take to de-clutter your restaurant or pub. US Foods® Reduce Clutter and Build Traffic” provides some tips on getting rid of clutter. First, there is ongoing and daily upkeep. Thoroughly clean up after every guest and again at the close of business to ensure that everything is ready to go when you open the doors the following day.  In addition to daily cleaning, “spring cleaning” is also a must. Yes, it’s a big task, and if you haven’t done this in a while, it can be even bigger and more challenging. However, a regular “deep cleaning” of everything in your restaurant or pub gives you the opportunity to inspect for needed repairs and take inventory. The good news is that once you’ve tackled this and create the process for daily cleaning, you’ll find future “spring cleaning” events are quicker and easier.

Don’t ignore the signage in your establishment. It should grab attention, but it shouldn’t be so busy that it’s hard to read. If your signage is too cluttered, it will likely go unread. Remove dated, worn, and torn signage also. If the sign promoting your “daily special” has been up for more than a day, your regular patrons are sure to notice, and if your wait staff has to explain that signage is incorrect or outdated, it clearly shows you’re not paying attention to the details.

Conduct a walk through each day for cleanliness, up-to-date signage, and clutter. Make certain you are taking a hard look with your patrons’ perspective in mind. If it doesn’t fully meet with your approval, it’s not going to meet with theirs.

A clutter-free environment is good for your staff and your guests. With the year just beginning, resolve to get rid of clutter in your restaurant.

(But what if cleaning and de-cluttering aren’t enough? In the next blog, we’ll cover aspects of re-decorating your restaurant and mistakes to avoid.)

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