No matter how good your food is, or how much you pride yourself on excellent customer service, if there is any doubt over your food hygiene customers will steer clear. A recent survey confirms that UK consumers are united in not tolerating poor food hygiene ratings and simply won't visit places that have had food safety issues, no matter what type of restaurant they are. Some 61% won't eat at a restaurant, takeaway, coffee shop or pub that has a low Food Standards Agency (FSA) Food Hygiene Rating while three quarters (75%) said they wouldn't risk dining at a restaurant that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone that they trust.
These are the headline findings of UK consumer research carried out by Checkit.net, which also found that diners would rather put up with poor service from rude and unhelpful staff than eat at dirty restaurants. A total of 66% of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as the first or second reason for not returning to a restaurant. Just 16% cited slow or poor service and 32% said rude or unhelpful staff would stop them coming back to a restaurant.
Stuart White, from Sanondaf UK, specialists in disinfection and decontamination, says the results of the survey prove that the impact of being implicated in a food hygiene incident is catastrophic for the survival of any restaurant business.
He explains: “Any food outlet, whether it is a high-class restaurant or your local takeaway, cannot afford to be associated with poor hygiene as customers simply won’t risk it. Also, once a food business is linked with poor hygiene standards it is very difficult to repair the reputational damage, no matter what steps are taken. This is not an issue restaurants can take any chances with.”
Of the 75% of consumers that wouldn't risk a visit to an eatery with a poor hygiene rating, 43% said they'd never dine there, no matter what, while 32% said they would only return if it had closed down and reopened under new ownership. A further 22% said they'd only return if the food hygiene rating improved dramatically.
White adds: “The results of this survey has to be a wake-up call to all restaurants who don’t think food safety is as important as food quality. If you ask any business most will be confident their premises are clean, tidy and free from infection. However, the majority are not, and a little investigation from disinfection experts often produces alarming results. We work with lots of restaurants and hotels all over the country ensuring they never experience a problem with hygiene. Many businesses will think their premises are clean, but the best cleaners in the world cannot reach everything and certainly cannot clean the air, whilst we know our product kills 99.99% of all hazardous viruses, bacteria, fungi or any other micro-organism.
“Lots of restaurants have been quick to invest in new, front of house technology, such as smart tablets to take orders, but are hesitant to invest in new technology to ensure food hygiene standards are kept high. This has to change – reputation is everything in the food business.”
Sanondaf are specialists in the disinfection and decontamination market using a revolutionary completely touch-less spray disinfection technology called fogging. It is 100% safe for human, animals and plants and is proven to reach very difficult to clean places such as air vents.
Sanondaf offer all UK businesses a free swab test, so business owners can see exactly what is lurking in their working environment. The swab test offer can work in two simple ways; either a member of the Sanondaf team will come to your workplace and take a few samples, or a swab test kit can be sent out for you to undertake the swab yourself. The samples are then cultured in an incubator and the findings sent back to you in the form of a report.