Most frequent customer complaints:
- Incomplete and untimely delivery of food
- Poor service and cold meals
- Poor sanitary measures and cleanliness of the restaurant
- Impolite and inexperienced servers
- Too long of a waiting period to be seated, delivered food and bill
- Lack of cleanliness of utensils and dishes
- Unauthentic ambience
- Inaccessible location and lack of parking
Interior design, choice of equipment and sanitary products as well as staff education all play a crucial role in achieving good sanitary practice in a restaurant. Every mistake made in these areas could lead to some type of contamination.
Servers are in contact with food as much as the kitchen staff is. Therefore, it is extremely important for them to adhere to sanitary guidelines so as not to cause contamination and endanger customers’ health. Management must make sure that all the staff is educated on all sanitary procedures.
The following rules can be of help to the servers:
- Hair must be up to prevent it from falling into food.
- Uniform, apron, hands and especially nails must always be clean.
- Hands must be washed after every possible contamination: handling of money, use of the restroom, handling dirty dishes, sneezing, coughing, smoking, eating, etc.
- Hands must be washed properly and thoroughly and never dried with an apron or a dish cloth.
- Staff should not come to work if they have an open wound or if they are sick.
- Staff should not come to work if they have Hepatitis A, Escherichia Coli, Salmonella Typhi or Shigella until they receive an official confirmation from a doctor that they are cured.
- Clean dishes must be held so as not to touch areas where customers will put their mouths. Therefore, utensils are to be held by their handles, glasses by the lower end near the bottom, plates by their rims, etc.
VIII. Napkins and tablecloths must be held in a clean and dry area, far from the floor, protected from flies, dust, or other harmful conditions.
- Polishing cloths are to be used for that purpose only and must be kept in sanitary conditions as well.
- Utensils that have fallen to the floor must be replaced with clean ones.
- Dirty dishes must be completely separated from the food that is served.
- All the meals are to be served from a tray before something else is placed on it.
- If the food is held on a low temperature, the temperature must be low enough, and if the food is kept on a high temperature, it must be high enough so as to prevent harmful microorganisms from developing. Food kept on display must be stirred in a timely manner.
- When pouring from a pitcher or a bottle it is important to avoid contact with the glass, especially if the customer has already used it. This prevents cross-contamination.
- It is important to notify customers to use a clean plate every time they go to a buffet table to get food. A polite way to do this is to remove their dirty plates which will entice them to use clean ones.
Depending upon the nature of the business, objects, rooms and equipment must be designed and organized in a way to ensure restaurant food safety elements which means that:
- food contamination is on a minimal level;
- maintenance, cleaning and sanitary measures are facilitated, as well as air contamination reduced;
- surfaces and materials, especially those in contact with food, are not toxic, are long lasting and are easily cleaned and maintained;
- wherever it is necessary, the temperature is kept on an appropriate level, as well as humidity, air circulation, etc.;
- successful protection is in place against pests and rodents.