Quick-service operators have always had stringent cleaning standards and food safety procedures in place, but the pandemic has necessitated a commitment to creating a clean restaurant like never before. With Datassential reporting that the majority of consumers have been concerned about the COVID-19 virus since the onset of the pandemic, part of the challenge for operators is not just keeping a clean house, but communicating to guests just how clean it is.
In the midst of the pandemic, this ongoing battle to elevate consumer confidence can be the key to creating repeat business and brand loyalty.
“Quick-serve brands will need to ensure they are using the right cleaning products in the right places at the right times,” says Dr. Andrew Cooper, senior vice president of research and development for Ecolab’s global institutional and specialty sector. “They will need to rethink space layouts and guest traffic flow, and build in additional employee training programs focused on public health and hygiene.”
But how can operators accomplish all of this when they have so many other things to worry about throughout the day?
Cooper says that they should partner with Ecolab and implement Ecolab Science Certified™, a program that combines hospital disinfectants and food-contact sanitizers, comprehensive public health and food safety training procedures, and periodic validation conducted by EcoSure. The program helps restaurants show guests their commitment to a higher level of cleanliness and it builds on many things restaurants are already doing to advance cleaner, safer practices, requiring little to no extra effort from the restaurant brand and its operators.
“Our research showed that 66 percent of guests feel ‘very safe’ or ‘extremely safe’ knowing that hospital disinfectants were being used in a restaurant,” Cooper says. “And restaurant guests also feel safer knowing that an independent third party with cleaning expertise has audited the restaurant.”
One of the aspects of the Ecolab Science Certified program that operators value is that Ecolab has independently launched a multi-channel consumer marketing campaign that helps build awareness and confidence in the Ecolab brand and the program itself. It is part of Ecolab’s ongoing commitment: operators and consumers can count on the brand to deliver, even in the midst of a pandemic.
“Ecolab Science Certified leverages Ecolab’s unique combination of science-based solutions and insights from a global team of 1,200 scientists with validation performed by highly trained specialists focused exclusively on public health and food safety,” Cooper says. “During and after COVID-19, hygiene will be an increasingly important point of differentiation for quick-service brands. As a result, Ecolab Science Certified is a natural extension of Ecolab’s partnership with customers to build consumer confidence and improve quick-service operator’s bottom line.”
To learn more about advancing cleaner, safer practices at your restaurant, visit sciencecertified.com.