Opening your eclectic little corner coffee shop might have been your lifelong dream. You’ve spent a fortune on décor, marketing and perfecting your specialty dishes. While customers enjoy your quirky vibe and delicious food, there’s one common deal-breaker – pests on the premises.
Not only are pests in food establishments considered unsanitary but their presence also violates stringent health standards. Keeping restaurants pest-free is a common service offered by the experts in pest control Albury and other Australian cities depend on.
Pointers to Keep Your Coffee Shop Pest-free
While finding a certified pest control expert is vital, this is an instance where prevention is better than cure. All it takes is for one customer to see one tiny cockroach or ant scurrying across the floor, to create endless drama for your business.
The good news is, there are a few basic protocols you can put in place in your coffee shop to minimise the risk of pests. The most prominent of these are listed below.
1. Food Prep Areas and Dining Section
The two areas that need to be spotless at all times have to be the kitchen area as well as the dining area where your patrons sit. Some expert tips for keeping these sections spotless are:
- Tables and seats should always be wiped down once a party leaves. If there are crumbs on the table, wipe them into your hand, a tray or a napkin. Avoid wiping crumbs onto the floor. The smallest crumb will attract hungry bugs.
- If possible, wipe the floor with a damp mop to clean up any food or juice spills. This might not always be possible in a full shop but be sure to do it after closing.
- The kitchen area, despite being the busiest place in the entire shop, needs to be spotless at all times. Employ a cleaner whose primary purpose is to keep counters, dishes and food prep areas as clean as possible.
2. Food Storage Area
Whether you have a small grocery cupboard in the back of your coffee shop kitchen or a full-on pantry, the rule remains the same. Keep all dry products and foods in tightly sealed food-grade containers.
Open bags or boxes are a delicious invitation for a pest infestation. While it might seem convenient to place bigger bags on the floor, this is never a good idea. Ensure food products are always stored at least 6” off the ground.
3. Trash Cans
Pro tip: Always use a bin liner in trash cans and garbage bins inside your coffee shop. This makes it easier to remove bags without creating inviting messes inside the bins.
All dustbins should always have lids and be emptied daily. If your bin sees a lot of liquids or discarded food materials, it’s a good idea to wash them daily. Investing in steel bins will reduce the materials absorbing odours.
4. Sinks and Drains
Whether your drains and sinks are inside or outside, they can easily be breeding grounds for pests. Flies and cockroaches are the first to head straight for smelly drains and full sinks. Ensure that cleaning your indoor drains and sinks with vinegar and baking soda is a daily discipline.
Outdoor drains might need to be cleaned with something stronger. Check with your plumber for products that are food-grade (safe to use around food) and won’t damage your specific plumbing systems.
5. Outdoor Garbage Bins
Dumpsters and outdoor garbage bins are among the top pest attractions in the food industry. If you’re purchasing your own dumpster, be sure to invest in a model that’s big enough for your needs.
Add ‘cleaning the dumpster’ to your cleaner’s list of responsibilities. Wash the dumpster with a hose and an environmentally friendly deodoriser. Where possible, move the dumpster away from the main building to prevent pests living in the bin from running into the kitchen.
6. Entrances and Exits
To prevent pesky critters from sneaking in through the front door, keep doors closed whenever possible. Ensure that entrances and exits are swept at least twice a day to rid these spaces of loose crumbs or food spills.
If your entrance or exit points have any cracks in the paving, it’s crucial to seal up these cracks and crevices. These are often common entrances for pests who may have moved into the surrounding foundation.
7. Clean, Clean, Clean
There’s no denying it. Whether you own a buzzing restaurant with a huge lunch and dinner rush or a simple little coffee shop with your daily regulars, the most important key discipline is cleaning. Cleaning should happen in the morning before opening, at night before closing and as often as possible in between. Ensure you’re using cleaning products that will repel insects but won’t be harmful to staff or customers.
Cleaning should be part of your establishment’s value system and all employees must understand this.
Owning or managing a coffee shop shouldn’t be ruined by chasing after pesky pests hell-bent on moving in. A few simple daily disciplines will keep your premises hygienic and customer-safe. Make your coffee shop the most popular in town by focusing on the vibe rather than the pests!
Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.