People can get used to strange or different smells if they are around them long enough. I am in the River North Area weekly, and one smell I do not get used to is that of cooking chocolate coming from the candy factory. It’s like one of those good/and terrible smells that if I worked in that factory I probably would be used to by now. The same rings true for restaurants. I have been in restaurants and been smacked in the face with moldy, old, septic smelling restaurants. When this occurs, I immediately try to recommend a service to mitigate the odor. Sometimes I’m greeted with mild interest, other times my offer is dismissed as there are more pressing facilities service matters. Where for me there is nothing more important than restaurant hygiene, the cause of restaurant odors can come from various sources: the kitchen, restrooms, and dining room.
I always get bothered when strange smells come from kitchens. It is not necessarily that the kitchens are dirty, it’s that filth is able to build in areas untouched by cleaning hands. The worse kitchen odors come from grease trap drains, grout lines, floor drains, even areas of refrigeration or underneath loose or broken tile. The odor originates from the molds and bacteria created from food waste, water and the perfect temperature that help these organisms thrive.
Restroom odor comes number two on the list for foul order generation. Again, I want to place focus on grout line cleaning. Even mopping with bleach is not an effective way to remove the smell. In this case, the grout lines must be deep cleaned to remove all the filth. We recommend weekly deep cleaning of these areas because they are easy to clean, are constantly being used by patrons, and the results will have a strong impact on your customers who dine in. Most people look at the restroom as a determination of the restaurant’s cleanliness.
When I think of strange dining room smells, I always flash back to my grandma’s basement smell. Her house was probably over 100 years old and had this old moldy smell in the basement. No matter how hard she cleaned, the smell always managed to come back eventually. Unlike my grandma, basement restaurants can control the smell emanating from their dining room. Carpeting should be cleaned monthly, and topical surface deep cleaning should be done weekly in addition to daily spot cleaning. Surfaces like walls, fixtures, and shelves should be cleaned and maintained regularly.
Getting rid of restaurant odors does not have to be expensive, but it does require effort on the part of your staff to embrace practices that if completed daily can have a huge impact on the smell of your restaurant. And the great thing about it is that with cleaning all these areas, you are sensationally cleaning the most important areas if your restaurant.