The Importance of Sanitation in the Restaurant Industry

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 April 8th, 2011 |  Author: Jason Rahm

According to a recent survey by, 99% of the consumers said that cleanliness was important in a restaurant. (Download survey results here) However, there is a disconnect between what respondents say and what they do. The same survey showed that 54% of the participants avoid looking into the food prep area, for fear of what they might see. So, restaurant patrons care about cleanliness but are afraid the restaurants they do choose are dirty and avoid looking for confirmation.Dishwashing Gloves

Sure, people are still dining out, but they implicitly mistrust the food-handling practices in restaurants. Maybe it’s because of recent food poisoning outbreaks or online videos of employees bathing in three-compartment sinks, either way, it is ever more important for restaurant owners and managers to stress safe food handling and sanitary practices in the commercial kitchen.

Why is Sanitation Important?

There are several reasons why sanitation and safe food handling practices are important in the commercial kitchen.

  • Sanitation is a legal requirement. The simplest argument for maintaining a safe, sanitary commercial kitchen is because you are legally required to do so. Health inspectors are supposed to inspect restaurants every six months or so just to make sure you are following local safety regulations.
  • Sanitation helps prevent food poisoning outbreaks. Most of the food-related illnesses that are caused by restaurants are the result of unsanitary food handling practices. Having just one case of food poisoning linked to your restaurant is enough to destroy your business, so training employees to follow safe food handling practices is a necessity.
  • Sanitation helps maintain food quality. Even if customers don’t get sick, storing, preparing or serving food in unsanitary conditions will adversely affect the food quality and taste. Once quality starts to slip, food poisoning isn’t far behind.
  • Sanitation protects your brand. As the aforementioned study showed, pretty much everybody in the survey said cleanliness was an important for restaurants. You don’t want your restaurant to be known as “the grease pit” or any other unflattering moniker. Keeping things clean and sanitary will gain the trusty of your patrons so much so that they will no longer be afraid to look into your food preparation area.

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