Business and Operations
Health & Safety
Divvying up pest prevention
By Bill Melville
By Bill Melville
Your staff are the front line of your business in the foodservice
industry. From customer interactions to food preparation and everything
in-between, they are highly involved with protecting the reputation of
your pizzeria. As the front line, your staff are not only responsible
for ensuring a positive experience for your customers, but also for
protecting your business from unwanted guests, namely, insects and
Your staff are the front line of your business in the foodservice industry. From customer interactions to food preparation and everything in-between, they are highly involved with protecting the reputation of your pizzeria. As the front line, your staff are not only responsible for ensuring a positive experience for your customers, but also for protecting your business from unwanted guests, namely, insects and rodents.
|Utilize an organic cleaner made with naturally occurring bacteria and enzymes to help eliminate grease and grime in drains where pests breed and find food.|
Foodservice environments are naturally prone to pest pressures. Just as paying guests come to your facility to enjoy food, drinks and comfortable surroundings, so do pests. But unlike your patrons, pests don’t pay their bills and certainly don’t tip. In fact, they can be a major expense to your business. For example, rodents can cause property damage by gnawing through walls, or start an electrical fire by chewing through wires inside your facility. What’s more, pests are a health hazard and can result in health violations, illnesses and even litigation, not to mention negative word of mouth. While regular inspections help identify and treat existing pest problems, your staff should serve as the front line of defence against possible pest infestations before they occur.
Before you engage your staff, you should lead by example. If you haven’t already, work with your pest management provider to establish an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program at your establishment. Instead of relying on reactive measures to control pests, which often utilize chemical treatments, IPM focuses on proactive measures to prevent pests. It relies on a combination of common-sense practices, is the most economical means of pest management and uses chemicals only as a last resort, making it the most responsible method for people, property and our environment.
Once you have implemented an IPM program, education and training are essential first steps to engage your staff and help keep pests at bay. A reputable pest control provider can provide onsite IPM training to your staff, giving them the tools and knowledge they need to keep pests out. Your pest management professional should work with you to identify pest “hot spots” within your facility and can provide tips on making those areas less attractive to pests. Ask your provider to share additional resources on pest prevention with you and your staff, including information on seasonal pests. By managing the elements that draw specific pests to your restaurant, you can ultimately reduce pest presence. That’s the simplicity of an IPM program.
As the front line, your staff can take these steps to help keep pests out of your pizzeria.
Cleaning is key
Don’t wait until closing to start your cleaning routine. Have your staff clean their work areas throughout the day to reduce the amount of food or water sources that can attract pests. This will also reduce the amount of cleaning needed after a long day’s work. Be sure to wipe down tables and chairs after each guest. It is also important to clean up spills immediately, even if it is just water, as pests only need small amounts to survive. Organic cleaners made with naturally occurring bacteria and enzymes discourage pests by eliminating the grease and grime they feed on and breed in, especially in drains. Once the day ends, have staff mop floors with a focus on the kitchen area. Making small improvements to your cleaning routine and assigning specific duties to your staff can make a big difference.
|Keep dumpsters covered at all times and position them as far away from your building as possible to keep pests at a distance.|
Take out the trash
Pests don’t see trash as garbage; they see a gourmet meal. Empty trash receptacles within your restaurant frequently, and, if necessary, create a waste-removal schedule for your staff. Make sure that the dumpsters are covered at all times, and placed as far away from your building as possible. Clean and rotate dumpsters regularly to eliminate pests or residue that might attract them. Although taking out the trash seems like an obvious step to help reduce the pest presence, it is easy to overlook this task during the day-to-day rush. Have employees dispose of trash during slow periods of the day to make sure you aren’t unwillingly inviting pests into your business.
Your staff should be the eyes and ears of your facility. However, many pests tend to come out at night when your restaurant is quiet and they are free to roam, but that doesn’t mean they don’t leave signs of their presence. Potential evidence includes gnaw marks, droppings, exoskeletons, greasy run marks on floorboards or infested product. Ask staff to notify you immediately if they notice any of these signs so you can work with your pest control provider to take the necessary actions before the problem becomes more serious.
Educating your staff is only half of the battle. You need to make sure your staff is engaged in the plan to keep your restaurant free of pests. You can help out by creating a written sanitation program for your pizzeria that includes daily, weekly and monthly benchmarks for your staff. By educating and engaging your employees, and by partnering with your pest control provider to implement an IPM program, you can increase monitoring and decrease pest activity. As the front line, an educated and engaged staff can help protect your relationship with your customers and your restaurant’s reputation by preventing unwanted guests.
Bill Melville is quality assurance director for Orkin PCO Services who has 35 years of experience in the industry and is an acknowledged leader in the field of pest management. For more information, e-mail him at email@example.com or visit www.orkincanada.com.