Pest control in restaurants absolutely cannot be ignored. Evidence of pests will significantly lower a restaurant’s sanitation rating, and a low sanitation grade will drive customers away. It’s not unusual for customers to walk out before ordering if they see a low sanitation grade posted. Some people even check the Internet for a restaurant’s rating before ever deciding to eat there.
And if customers actually see the pests or evidence of them, word-of-mouth damage to your reputation is almost sure to follow.
Then there’s the cost in food spoilage, as well as the potential of physical damage to the restaurant (e.g., termites, rats gnawing wiring).
Keeping Your Restaurant Pest-Free If you own and/or manage a restaurant, you can take the following five steps to protect yourself from the substantial harm on your business that can result from ineffective pest control in restaurants.
1. Inspect the restaurant for entry points that provide access to pests. Make sure there are no openings to the outside that allow pests inside. These entry points can range from foundational issues to simply having an outside door to the kitchen that doesn’t seal properly.
2. Inspect the restaurant and surrounding grounds for conditions that promote infestations If you frequently have standing water outside, or if you have an indoor plumbing problem that’s leading to recurring puddles, fix the problem. Also, behind the restaurant, get rid of any junk (e.g., old kitchen equipment, piles of broken pallets).
3. Focus on cleanliness. Never leave out food overnight. Keep the floors clean of food scraps. Clean up all spills. This is basic restaurant sanitation, but being lax in these areas can create conditions that attract pets.
4. Train employees on pest control. It’s essential that all employees understand the importance of pest control in restaurants and what they can do to prevent pests from becoming a problem. Of course, employees should already be trained in restaurant hygiene, but emphasizing the role of sanitation in pest control can reinforce the importance of cleanliness. For example, an employee who is diligent about sanitation while handling food in the kitchen might ignore a rotten piece of fruit that drops out of the trash by the dumpster. But with an understanding about how food-strewn dumpster areas can attract pests, that employee might be more careful and clean up any spills.
5. Use pest control services. A pest control company will inspect the inside and outside of the restaurant for existing pests and exterminate any they find. They’ll also point out problem areas that need fixing. Finally, they’ll schedule regular pest control treatments because, even with the most-diligent measures by you and your staff, effective pest control in restaurants still requires the regular use of pesticides.