One of the strange silver linings of the last year and half was that many restaurants were able to open outdoor dining patios, decks, and similar facilities. In fact, many American cities updated laws regarding setting up these outdoor dining spaces to make it easier for small business owners to seat customers during the pandemic. This included shutting down some streets, opening up sidewalks, and letting some restaurants build spaces on the sides of roads. Many customers were excited last summer to enjoy eating in person and eating out doors. Restaurant owners around the country are hopeful to keep these outdoor spaces long term and are seeing a revitalization of outdoor dining in general. But of course, new spaces provide new challenges when it comes to cleaning and sanitization.
How Outdoor Dining Facilities Have Changed in Boston
Believe it or not, there was a time where there was almost no outdoor dining in Boston. As a city that spends a decent chunk of time with weather below freezing, many restaurants committed to just having indoor dining options. Over the years though, both Boston and Cambridge saw the addition of a few outdoor dining spots here or there. But with the pandemic requiring an increase in precautions, outdoor dining began to become the norm. This provides many benefits for restaurant owners especially now in the summer of 2021. Restaurants that never had outdoor dining spots now have both indoor and outdoor areas for guests which means an increase in seating options. But an increase in seating means an increase in work for your team. Now more tables need to be waited on and of course, cleaned/disinfected.
Cleaning Tips for Outdoor Dining Patios
The key to cleaning any dining area is to establish routines for after a guest leaves, between meal rushes, and between days. Having separate routines can make it easier to clean effectively for you and your team.
- After A Guest Leaves: Most restaurants have the same list of tasks after a guest leaves. Their table needs to be cleared, wiped down, and re-set with utensils. However, during the pandemic, other tasks may be necessary. Many restaurants add disinfection to this list of tasks.
- After A Meal Rush: A good piece of advice for any restaurant is that there is no downtime. Even when things get slow between lunch and dinner there are opportunities to make your operation more efficient. Cooks can start meal prepping for the dinner rush while front of house quickly vacuums or sweeps indoor and outdoor areas. This helps manage your reputation by removing any spilled food between shifts, while also making the closing tasks easier. Some restaurants have second shift workers come in an hour early so while the first shift is wrapping up, the second shift can handle cleaning activities.
- After You Close: After closing the majority of your cleaning work needs to get done. You should sweep up indoor and outdoor spaces, disinfect all countertops and surfaces, and make sure everything is organized and ready for the next day.
- Weekly/Monthly Tasks: On a weekly or bi-weekly basis it is helpful to hire professional cleaners to help with cleaning tasks. They can keep your restaurant looking good by cleaning windows, removing stains from carpets, and helping with your outdoor area. It is often impossible to reach this level of cleaning without special cleaning equipment and a team that has training on using it. As a restaurant manager or owner, hiring a commercial cleaning company works well because it allows you and your team to focus on running the restaurant.
Contact Us For A Commercial Cleaning Quote
If your business is in the Greater Boston area, we would be happy to discuss a commercial cleaning quote. We provide disinfection and sanitization services for businesses across many industries including restaurants. For more information please contact us.