Running a successful restaurant is harder than ever. A potential customer can pick up their mobile phone and read an online restaurant review within mere seconds. And then it only takes a few more seconds for them to warn friends about a restaurant. Your reputation can make or break your restaurant.
Although good service and quality food are assets that can raise the profile of your restaurant, bad plumbing can quickly flush your reputation down the toilet. The key to preventing plumbing disasters is to identify possible problem areas in advance. You can then develop strategies to keep plumbing issues at bay.
Make Your Toilets Disaster Proof
In 2014, retail consulting firm, King-Casey, conducted a survey of 100 restaurant-goers. The survey results revealed that 78 per cent of respondents judged the cleanliness of a restaurant's kitchen by the state of its toilets. In other words, toilets that stink of sewage, are often blocked and suffer flooding due to plumbing issues, will reflect poorly on your restaurant.
Fortunately, you can avoid these potential reputation-breakers by taking the following precautions:
- Eliminate paper towels. These are potential blockages. Instead, install hand-dryers.
- Placing appropriate signage around bathrooms. Ensure the text is large, clear and easily readable by the short-sighted and by young children.
- Perform regular bathroom checks. A lot can happen in an hour, so aim to have staff check your toilets at least 2-4 times per hour.
- Install waste bins. Provide small bins for disposal of feminine items and items that have no business being flushed down a toilet.
Train Your Staff Appropriately
Anyone can use a dishwashing machine. However, not everyone is aware that food debris and grease can build up inside of pipes and cause a blockage. As a result, employees may not think twice about pushing food debris into plugholes or placing plates caked with food into the dishwashing machine. Eventually, these habits cause a blockage that can bring a restaurant to a halt.
Train your waiting staff to scrape plates thoroughly before handing them over to the dishwasher. Likewise, train your porters and chefs to rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Explain what might happen to your restaurant's plumbing if they don't clean plates in this way. You'd be surprised how many people overlook these things.
Beware of Hard Water
Hard water is a common problem throughout Australia, affecting homes and businesses alike. The problem with hard water, which means mineral-rich water, is that minerals such as calcium, lime and magnesium build inside machinery and pipes over time. This means that your dishwashers, glass washing machines and plumbing are at risk.
If hard water is an issue in your area, and limescale regularly builds up around taps and in the dishwashing machinery, be aware that limescale can also block pipes and drains. To avoid blockages caused by limescale, regularly use a delimer to remove limescale from machinery. A titration kit can help you decide which strength of delimer to use.
Arrange for Regular Plumbing Inspections
Even if you carry out all the above measures, you can never be completely certain that your restaurant's plumbing is in good condition unless you arrange for regular inspections. A good drain maintenance service uses the latest in CCTV pipe inspection technology to perform detailed, digital assessments of pipelines.
These inspections, carried out monthly or bi-monthly, can help identify problem areas and keep you updated on the condition of your restaurant's plumbing. Don't wait until a problem arises to call a plumbing service. Arrange for a regular CCTV pipeline inspection, and you'll never have to worry about your reputation going down the drain.