Restaurant Floor Cleaning Guide
Posted by CHERIE THOMPSON
It may seem like a no-brainer. After all, you won't find any restaurant or foodservice venue that doesn't use a commercial broom, sweeper, or squeegee, so why focus on this inevitable investment? The quick answer is because the more you know, the better prepared you'll be to make the right purchase.
Like all tools you buy for your operation, there are thousands of products, price ranges and reasons why one might be a better choice than another for your needs. That's why we've put together this buyer's guide to help you make the right choice.
You might also want to refer to our Commercial Mops, Wringers, and Buckets Buying Guide.
Why clean floors are important
Floorcare can be a challenging job in any restaurant. From cleaning up a quick spill that could cause a trip and fall, to daily scrubbing, floors always need attention.
Brooms, squeegees, and commercial floor sweepers will be part of regular daily cleaning and a regular deep cleaning plan, especially in food prep areas, including corners and behind and around appliances.
We all know food prep areas need to be safe without grease or other residue that can cause slips and falls. But your dining room floors need to sparkle when customers enter the door. If the first thing they see is dirt they may wonder what's happening behind the scenes, e.g., is your kitchen clean and sanitized? And just like back of house, you also need to ensure that areas your patrons access are safe, too. That includes the bathroom and outdoor patio (if you have one).
Not all floors are created equal so if you don't know how to clean tiles, hardwood, and other floorings you could end up with stains, damaged finishes, and eventually need to invest more money to replace them.
Sealed concrete is a popular trend in restaurant kitchens because you can install it near tight drains and it's easy to clean without finish damage worries.
Grouted ceramic tile offers good traction, is durable, easy to maintain, and lasts long under high performance and is popular for front door entryways, dining rooms, washrooms, and kitchen prep areas. Though easy to clean, you need to ensure the grout is also cleaned properly so it doesn't discolour. The tiles can be porous so need to be well cleaned so they don't cause slippery floors.
If your place boasts hardwood or laminate wood flooring, you'll need to ensure you follow the manufacturer's suggestions for keeping them scuff-free. There will be special cleaning instructions for these materials - find out the best way to keep your footing on these planks. If you didn’t install this flooring contact someone who sells wood or laminate wood floors to find out the best way to keep them spotless without damage.
Commercial brooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from narrow to small width, push brooms or sweepers, with or without handles (can be purchased separately).
Some broom heads have two handle holes – one upright for general purpose sweeping and an angle hole for reaching into corners, along walls, or hard-to-reach corners.
Handles come in a variety of products from wood to metal.
The commercial broom head material varies, too. The stronger the filament (for heavier sweeping) the longer they last.
Angled broom heads make it easier to get into tight corners. Consider the width of the broom head when purchasing, a wider broom head sweeps a larger area in less time, but also decreases manoeuverability.
Rack holders to store your brooms are a great investment. They can prevent damage to bristles, handles, walls, and counters, promote fast-drying, and can be used for mops, too.
Remember the dust pan. Upright dust pans means dirt piles can be picked up without bending over. Some upright dust pans have a cover, containing the mess and away from the eyes of your guests if you need to move through the dining room during service to deal with a spill.
Commercial Floor Sweepers
Indoor commercial sweepers can be electric or mechanical. The best choice is light duty with a low profile that easily moves around customers and furniture allowing you to use it without distracting guests during operating hours. These small marvels eliminate the need to bend down and sweep little bits of dust, dirt, and other debris into a dustpan.
Easy to use, you push the commercial sweeper as it effortlessly glides on wheels and empty it when it's full, or after use. They work well on low-pile carpets, hardwood, tile, and vinyl, but won't take the place of a vacuum cleaner, used once your patrons are gone.
Types of Floor Squeegees
If you're looking for a way to effectively remove water, a foam or rubber floor squeegee may be the answer.
Commercial foam squeegees come in single and double blades and are designed for removing water and dirt. They resist fats and oils making them perfect for ensuring clean restaurant kitchen floors to prevent grease buildup. They work on smooth surfaces, grouted, and uneven floors and are more absorbent than rubber blades.
Commercial rubber squeegees are more durable and long-lasting than foam. They come in straight or curved configurations and sizes. The larger the blade, the quicker the job gets done. Smaller blades are great for cleaning tight floor areas, e.g., in and around toilets. Straight commercial floor squeegees work well for removing large volumes of water. Curved blades are perfect for pushing water towards floor drains.
Single blade rubber squeegees are the ticket for water removal and other debris on uneven surfaces, concrete, tile, and linoleum. They eliminate bacteria growth and are easy to sanitize after use.
Commercial squeegee frames are separate and come in plastic, metal, and aluminum.
Plastic frames are long-lasting because they don't rust, corrode, or bend and are flexible for those hard-to-reach areas. Metal frames are perfect for standard to heavy-duty jobs and less likely than aluminum frames to warp or bend. Aluminum frames are the least expensive and good for light-duty jobs. They're lightweight and rust and resist corrosion.
Floorcare is important so don't forget that even a broom is a must-have for any foodservice venue. Feel free to refer to this restaurant floor cleaning guide when you're ready to pick up those brooms, squeegees, and commercial floor sweepers to ensure you're getting the best bang for your buck and the right commercial floor cleaner for your needs.
Written by Suzanne Boles