The Top Five Dirtiest Areas in a Restaurant

  The Top Five Dirtiest Areas in a Restaurant

 Encourage positive online reviews and repeat customers by focusing on these
                    commonly overlooked cleaning concerns

Business Wire

CINCINNATI -- July 1, 2013

Popular user-review websites such as Yelp have put diners in the driver’s seat
when it comes to identifying restaurant issues. Contributing more than 39
million reviews, “Yelpers” can make or break a restaurant’s reputation,
frequently identifying issues with poor service, food quality or cleanliness.
To help restaurants maintain a positive online reputation, Cintas Corporation
(NASDAQ: CTAS) today released what online reviewers have identified as five of
the top dirtiest areas in a restaurant.

“Before dining at a new restaurant, many patrons now go online to read reviews
about the restaurant, discover popular dishes or identify hours of operation,”
said Ann Nickolas, Senior Director of Foodservice, Cintas. “Reviews citing
poor cleanliness in a restaurant can be an instant turn-off for prospective
diners and lead to lost business before the patron even steps in the door.”

According to popular online review sites such as Yelp, the top five dirtiest
areas in a restaurant include:

1. Floors. One of the first things patrons see when they walk into a
restaurant is the floor. According to a recent consumer poll, a dirty floor
could lead 68 percent of customers to immediately exit the facility—never to
return^1. From dirt and debris to discolored grout lines and carpet stains,
several different factors can make a restaurant floor “dirty.”

One reviewer of a major restaurant chain located in Chicago reported: “[This
restaurant] has the appearance of being clean due to style, but is actually
pretty dirty. The floor has crumbs AND dirt all over it, for example.”

To combat dirt and stains, implement a floorcare program that focuses on deep
cleaning, protecting and maintaining floor surfaces. Whether restaurant floors
are covered by carpet or ceramic tiles, a floorcare program that involves
these three steps and uses mats to contain dirt will keep surfaces clean over
an extended period of time, ensuring that your guests think “clean” when they
look down.

2. Restrooms. Reports of dirt and debris, unflushed toilets, unstocked paper
goods and general malodors are frequent occurrences within online restaurant
reviews. In fact, some users avoid restrooms – or the restaurant – altogether
because of restroom filth. A reviewer of a Washington D.C.-based Chinese
restroom stated, “I had to use the restroom, but was too scared just from a
glimpse of one of them.”

To prevent this scenario from playing out in your restaurant, implement an
ongoing restroom care program that not only ensures that restrooms are always
properly stocked, but that they are also regularly deep cleaned. In addition
to daily maintenance, integrate a deep cleaning program to remove organic
soils that regular mops and brushes can’t remove, but can cause odors.

3. Tables. Remnants from meals, displaced napkins and general dirt left on and
around tables can make guests feel unwelcome or leave them with a negative
impression of the restaurant. This is what prevented a reviewer of a
Miami-based fast food Mexican restaurant from giving the restaurant a better
rating. He noted, “I would have given four stars, but I noticed a few tables
were dirty and the little bar at which we sat I had to clean myself prior to
sitting down.”

To avoid giving guests a “bad taste” in your restaurant, designate a porter to
handle front of the house cleaning issues, such as dirty tables or drink
spills. From removing trash to spraying down tables with a general purpose
cleaner, this individual’s primary responsibility should be to keep the dining
room clean and ready for guests.

4. Staff. Unkempt staff can be an immediate turn-off to restaurant patrons.
From uniform stains to poor personal grooming, the appearance of restaurant
employees can be an indicator of the restaurant’s overall commitment to
cleanliness. For example, a reviewer of a major upscale steak house chain in
New York City noted, “His uniform was kind of dirty and I didn't want to
imagine if the restaurant was cleaned or not.”

In addition to enforcing good personal hygiene, ensure that staff members are
dressed in an apparel program that reflects the brand standard of the
restaurant. When a new employee begins work, fit them for correct sizing and
immediately remove stained or worn uniforms from operation.

5. Kitchen. For restaurants that open the kitchen to guest viewing or those
that operate behind closed doors, kitchen cleanliness is imperative in any
foodservice operation. Reviewers will be the first to applaud kitchen
cleanliness or highlight issues. A reviewer of a Chinese restaurant in Seattle
noted, “I took off one star for this place because I sat near the entry to
their kitchen once … I saw how dirty it was.”

From prep areas to floors, keep kitchen surfaces clean and odor free by
sanitizing regularly and deep cleaning on a regular basis. In addition, a
drain line maintenance program can help reduce odors emanating from restaurant
drains and limit food sources for insects such as fruit flies, which can
indicate a lack of attention to cleanliness.

For more information on Cintas’ solutions for foodservice, please visit

About Cintas:

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized
services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas
designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and
provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet
cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products
and services and document management services for more than 1 million
businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global
Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index.



Mulberry Marketing Communications
Andi Vance, (513) 762-5549
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