The restaurant industry bore the brunt of the pandemic when it started around a year ago. Many restaurants closed while others started offering take-out and delivery orders. And with the end of the pandemic drawing near, restaurant owners are working to ensure they are ready to provide a safe dining experience for their patrons.
If you own a restaurant, providing a safe dining experience should mean ensuring the place is well-ventilated and disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of the virus. You should also make sure the place is free of pests that can hurt your restaurant’s reputation.
Kitchens of restaurants are typically filled with food. It also has a lot of heat and moisture, which is an environment that can attract a lot of pests, including ants, rats, and cockroaches. Debris and clutter in the alley outside the kitchen can also attract pests that may set up a nest.
Even with this, you can still prevent these pests from entering the kitchen. Here are the things you should do to keep pests from infesting your restaurant.
Check for the Presence of Pests
The first thing you should do as a restaurant owner is to check if the restaurant has any pests residing in it. The places you should check are the sinks, dishwashers, pipes, and drains. Among the signs you should look for are rodent droppings, holes in the walls, and nesting material like shredded paper or fabric. If the infestation is really bad, you’ll likely see pests running around the place. This is particularly true if you haven’t opened the place since the shelter-in-place orders were given last year.
You should also check areas close to freezers and stoves. Pests normally stay in these secluded areas, especially in areas close to holes and cracks in the wall. You should also watch out for mice and rats since they are commensal pests or live at your expense and eat food they can find in the kitchen. Their presence in your kitchen is among the biggest problems you should deal with since they can spread germs and bacteria.
Mice and rats can contaminate your inventory of ingredients and render them unfit for human consumption. These pests normally forage for food at night and leave a trail of urine and fecal matter in your kitchen. So, you should make sure to deal with these pests as soon as possible.
Deal with Infestations Immediately
If you find any traces of infestation, you should deal with it immediately. You should hire professional contractors to repair or cover any holes or cracks in the kitchen and the restaurant’s storage areas. Hiring a reputable pest control and extermination company can also take care of any pests residing in the restaurant. These companies normally know the guidelines set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the reopening of retail food establishments during a pandemic.
You can also discuss ways to stop pests from entering the restaurant once they get rid of them. You should make sure to deal with the pest infestation issue early to avoid issues in the future once the restaurant is in full operation. Investing in removing these pests is a good idea rather than waiting for your reputation to be tarnished when a patron finds a pest scurrying on the floor of the restaurant.
These pest control companies can also provide tips and suggestions on how you can ensure the place remains free of pests.
Pest-proof the Restaurant
As a restaurant owner, you should set a policy that deals with food scraps, packaging, and waste materials. The policy should encompass the procedures in the segregation and disposal of waste away from the premises. You can also purchase airtight containers for the ingredients of the dishes you serve.
You can also implement a waste assessment process to identify areas where you can reduce, reuse, or recycle materials depending on the type of waste they are. You can use the process suggested by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the assessment of waste materials by restaurants and other food establishments.
If your restaurant has an alfresco area that you keep open well into the evening, you might want to consider setting up mosquito traps around the area to deal with these flying insects. You can use these traps together with lures to catch as many of these insects as possible. Look for online stores with “shop mosquito attractant” promotions to get good deals on these products that you can use for your mosquito trap.
Pests in a restaurant are a big no-no to avoid getting a bad reputation that is not easy to shed off. So, you should make sure to implement measures to eliminate and prevent pests from infesting any part of the restaurant.