Finding out your restaurant is making headlines in the news because of a pest problem is a one-way ticket to ruining its reputation! No one wants to log in to Facebook only to find out via their news feed that the food they ate last night has been prepared in the same place where rats or bugs were discovered. Sadly, it looks like restaurant owners keep on ignoring the need to stay pest-free as we’ve seen in the case of Tim Hortons, for example.
But did you know that there are ways to keep pests out before the problem happens? It’s also not just bugs or rats you need to worry about—wildlife and birds can also be hazardous to your customers’ overall experience as well as your reputation! If you want to keep pests away, you’re going to want to check out our solutions, which we go over below.
Why Restaurants Need Pest Control
Yes, it does sound gross but there are examples (see the Tim Hortons one above) where legitimate situations where a restaurant’s reputation being tarnished can be prevented, but are completely ignored and thus they end up make headlines in the news. This is just a rare case though (thankfully). The truth is there is a wide variety of reasons why your favourite eatery just got a whole lot more disgusting:
- Unawareness of infestation signs
- Traveler pests (i.e. rodents, fleas, silverfish, flies, etc.) that sneak in via customer’s clothes or in boxes, or that fly in right through the front doors!
- Facilities, both inside and out, that aren’t regularly cleaned
- Dining and working stations left uncleaned, with drips, splashes, and loose crumbs left alone
- Overflowing trash from garbage cans and dumpsters
Not only do some of these causes make it look bad on the employees’ parts, but also it looks really bad on the owner’s part because at first glance and assumption it looks like they allowed a pest problem to exist in the first place. Plus, it will leave customers with a rotten taste in their mouths and some major incentive to leave a bad review on Yelp!. For some of the other reasons, such as the traveling pests, that’s more of an unfortunate situation, while other reasons are perfectly preventable (more on that in a bit).
The Most Common Pests to be Aware of
While anything we’ve listed on our website’s Click-a-Pest section can apply to restaurants’ pest problems, these are actually the most common pests you need to keep a sharp eye out for:
- Rodents (meaning both mice and rats—numero uno on restaurant owners’ most wanted list)
- Cockroaches (yes, even on the Lower Mainland and in Vancouver! But they only go after the filthiest places.)
- Fruit flies
- Flour beetles
- Raccoons (a.k.a. our urban next door neighbours)
- Fleas (this is why we sadly can’t bring our dogs into most restaurants, no matter clean the puppy is. Sorry Fido.)
That’s just to name a few, and each pest will infest depending on the materials they nest in, the overall structure of the building, and the level of cleanliness (for example, a rodent or fly problem is more likely to happen to any restaurant no matter what the reason or time of year).
The Golden Rule: Be Proactive
Being proactive in keeping your restaurant pest-free will make all of the difference to your business! It will protect your bottom line and your building as well as yourself and your entire staff. Any signs of negligence or disregard to people’s health and safety that are spotted by your own customers is the perfect recipe for disaster.
You can be proactive about pest control in your restaurant by doing the following:
- Keep your restaurant clean both inside and out! It helps to go the extra mile by sweeping the street outside the restaurant, cleaning out the cupboards, mopping the floors, wiping down all counters and tabletops, vacuuming, and cleaning the bathrooms.
- Take out the trash constantly and keep any garbage can or dumpster lids firmly secure.
- Train yourself and your staff to know the signs of an infestation, the different pests, and potential signs of entry—we can help too!
- Keep all food in the kitchen covered and stored away properly.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Applying this to your restaurant will keep the pests out and keep your customers rolling in. For any scenarios where the pest problems are out of your control, such as seagull nests or raccoons hanging out, or rats coming in even after sealing potential areas up, give your local Pest Boss a call. We’ll stop those hungry varmints from becoming your restaurant’s number one customers!
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