Convenience Store News

DEC 2016

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48 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Prepared Food + Hot, Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages FOODSERVICE It is extremely difficult to arrive at the correct ratios using discount/club store supplies, he explained, and that can lead to a dangerous situation if not properly mixed. Instead, he recommends using a system that automatically measures the proper amount of soap, cleaner, sanitizer, etc. "It takes all the guesswork out for the employees and managers," Prast continued. Of course, the biggest factor in the "pro" column for using discounted sanitation products is cost. "But even that might not save money because employees often over-pour and use more than the recommended amount," the retailer executive explained. "Most employees think the more you use, the better it will clean. But that's just not the reality." Unless you're a "jan/san chemical expert," which most c-store operators are not, How To Crew mem- ber Mathew Mandeltort, vice president of foodservice strategy at convenience distributor Eby-Brown Co. LLC, said "it would behoove you to consult with folks that know what products can and can't do, and which products you should or should not use." As with everything in the kitchen, he added, there is always a right tool for the job. PERCEPTION IS REALITY Beyond the restrooms, the overall cleanliness of the convenience store — including, of course, your food - service operation — has a direct correlation on how customers perceive your store and whether or not they will purchase food items therein. "While food has always been a 'hot-button' topic, I'm convinced that it filters into all other aspects of the c-store footprint and image," said How To Crew retailer Ryan Krebs, director of foodservice at York, Pa.-based Rutter's Farm Stores. "Cleanliness is the perception that convinces customers to buy food in the first place." That perception begins from the moment a customer quick-service restaurants, but the principles addressed apply to any venue offering food and beverages for immediate consumption.) "The results were so powerful, we called it the 'Forgotten Bathroom Zone,'" said Cook. "Women — especially mothers with children — were the most vocal" in this area. For a c-store operator to successfully entice women to enter the store, keeping the restroom facilities clean must be a top priority. "There has been extensive consumer research that indicates a direct correla- tion between clean restrooms and the perception of the food offer — women in particular," echoed Joe Bona, How To Crew expert and president of Franklin, Mass.-based consultancy MoseleyBona Retail. "Even if the food is well presented, professionally managed and executed, if the restrooms are dirty and disgust- ing, then the food is dirty and disgusting. It's how food establishments get judged." THE RIGHT STUFF To effectively keep your store clean from top to bottom — restrooms, to throughout the store, to the parking and fueling areas — it is imperative to have the right cleaning and sanitation products at hand for the various jobs that need to be done each and every day. "I would recommend against using discount clean- ing supplies," said How To Crew retailer Chad Prast, Murphy USA Inc.'s senior category manager of fresh foods and dispensed beverages. CALL TO ACTION: Foodservice 201 • Cross-contamination and hand sanitation are the two most critical areas where proper procedures need to be followed to ensure food safety. • Make all supervisors, district managers and store man- agers take a food safety course. • Since most county health tests are subpar, develop your own in-house test and post the results online. Your test should be geared to the products available in your food- service operation (subs, burgers, pizza, etc.). Tips for an Always-Clean Restroom • Establish a cleaning routine, with a checklist posted where customers can see it. • Anticipate peak restroom use times and schedule more fre- quent cleaning sessions then. • Identify problem areas and determine solutions, such as paper towels on the floor due to the lack of a waste con- tainer by the door. • Use secret "customers" to check your cleaning plan. • Select environmentally responsible, fresh-smelling cleaning products and use as directed. • Install hygienic dispensing solutions for paper towels, toilet tissue and soap that control consumption and require less frequent refills. Source: Tork USA

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