The European Cleaning Journal contains an interesting article about consumer attitudes to staff hygiene in restaurants.
It generally showed that there is still, overall, a low level of consumer confidence about food hygiene in restaurants and fast food outlets. Tork washroom products manufacturer SCA commissioned a survey of 4000 Europeans and found that 59% considered that restaurant and fast food premises should look clean and tidy before they go in. An astonishing 85% of Polish have opened the door and left again straight away because the premises did not look clean.
The majority of the participants directly linked dirty toilets to a high likelihood of the kitchen being dirty too. On a positive note about 81% do believe that the chefs and food handlers wash their hands before cooking and after using the toilet (although fairly recent UK Food Standards Agency survey data sadly indicates that in practice quite the opposite is true in the UK). They are not confident however about what chefs might do with food that has fallen on the floor!
If this is the state of current consumer confidence then doesn’t this justly link food hygiene standards to commercial advantage? If a restaurant is prepared to implement, adopt and then boast of its food hygiene standards, perhaps using audit, hygiene certification and of course social media networking sites, then they may just be hitting one of the customers biggest hot buttons.