You might not be familiar with that old British tradition known as the â€œgreasy spoonâ€ cafe.
Laden with dirt and only selling the most cholesterol-heightening cuisine, the greasy spoon was a rock-solid institution until chains like Starbucks and Costa muscled in on the scene. Now, people anticipate cleaner fare â€“ and the more hygienic a cafe becomes, the more profits theyâ€™ll make.
In fact, national newspaper The Telegraph reckons that the value of the coffee shop market ballooned to more than Â£5 billion in 2010, and the number of coffee shops in Britain has risen sharply year-on-year, with more than 14,000 coffee shops open today.
Even more impressive is the recent story that coffee chain Costa Coffee opens three UK outlets a week, making the rise in new places for a jolt of coffee doesnâ€™t look to be stopping.
In this world where the market is teeming with coffee chains and the general public are hyper-hygiene conscious, your establishment can no longer fall into the realms of the greasy spoon. If you want to compete with the big boys, one of the main factors youâ€™ll have to consider is your hygiene plan.
Not only this, but a spotless cafe will allow you to keep your hands clean from the Food Standards Authority (FSA), who regularly inspect all cafes, restaurants and public houses and could shut you down if your hygiene rating is too low.
So, follow some of these tips to gain a cafe that wonâ€™t reach the depths of the greasy spoon.
Bring in the professionals
The most foolproof method of making your business sparkle is to bring in professionals who really know the ins and outs of cleanliness. With deep cleaning services for your kitchen, youâ€™ll have a cafe that will pass any hygiene legislation the FSA chuck your way.
More than this, your regular staff wonâ€™t be able to clean every nook and cranny that the FSA requires while they perform the seemingly endless number of chores in their day job.
The trick is to get industrial kitchen cleaners in as often as possible, especially before a hygiene check, to keep your cafe pristine.
Make your staff know the score
Have you ever visited a cafe where the staff have been a proper nightmare? Did they yawn at your order, spill your drink then not bother to clean it up and laze around after youâ€™d left the till?
Horrible when that happens, isnâ€™t it? But why are these staff so unbearably lazy? Well, itâ€™s mainly due to a lack of training. And, the less a member of staff is trained, the more likely it is that theyâ€™ll shirk hygiene legislation and turn your cafe into a dreaded greasy spoon.
Whatâ€™s the solution? Give your employees, especially the new ones, a walkthrough on the perfect way to maintain good hygiene and constantly remind them the importance of constant and thorough cleaning.
**Stay vigilant **
The FSA operates on a three strikes and youâ€™re out rule with their inspections and can show up at any point in time without the need for an invitation or forward notice. This makes it necessary to maintain a culture of vigilance within your cafe.
Clean every table as soon as a customer leaves, scrub every work surface as soon as youâ€™re done and make sure that all meats are prepared separately from other foodstuffs to stop the FSA falling down upon you.