If you own a supermarket, then you have specialised cleaning needs. While your staff handle basic jobs, like mopping up spills and checking that your toilets are clean, your store needs to maintain a high level of cleanliness.
Given that you have to meet health and safety targets that protect both your staff and your customers, you might have decided to bring in a cleaning company with food retail experience. What kinds of questions should you ask companies before you decide which one to hire?
1. Do they understand your hygiene needs?
Supermarkets should be hygienic, as you store and sell all kinds of fresh and frozen foods. As such, you should keep all your products in appropriate conditions. Dirt and dust on shelves and units can affect the quality of your products.
Also, you must factor in high traffic levels in your store. As well as your staff, you have a lot of customers who browse and shop every day. Multiple people touch different areas of your floor, walls, shelving, storage units, fridges and freezers all the time. These surfaces might look clean, but that doesn't mean that they are hygienic.
An experienced cleaning company understands your specialised cleaning needs. They don't just clean, they also sanitise. So, ask companies to explain what their cleaners will do, both on an everyday and periodic basis, to keep your store hygienic.
This isn't just about making sure that obvious places are clean. Other items in your store, like trolleys and baskets, can become a source of bacteria that transfers from person to person. Professional cleaners will talk to you about these kinds of items and how you can keep them in a hygienic state.
2. Do they have safe cleaning practices?
Your supermarket should be a safe place for your workers and your customers. It is, however, a potentially dangerous environment at times.
For example, if someone slips on a wet, greasy or slippery floor, then they could seriously injure themselves. If they touch harsh cleaning chemicals left on surfaces, then they could have an adverse reaction.
Professional cleaners use safe products and equipment. If they polish a floor, they don't use products that make the floor slippery. They don't typically use chemicals that could cause harm; if they have to use harsher products to maintain hygiene levels, they ensure that they don't leave residual traces behind.
So, ask companies how they juggle effective cleaning with safe working practices. They should understand how their work might impact on safety in your store and take appropriate measures to avoid problems.
3. Do they offer extra services?
While your primary aim is to find a cleaning partner to keep the retail part of your store clean and hygienic, some companies offer additional services. For example, companies that can do the following jobs are worth a closer look:
- Periodic deep cleans: Areas like toilets, fruit and vegetable storage units and food service counters need a deep clean every now and then. If your cleaning company can do this, then that’s another job you can tick off your list.
- Perimeter cleaning: Your customers notice how clean and tidy the outside of your store is. Hiring a company that can also clean external areas, say by pressure washing paths and car parks, makes your supermarket look better.
- Floor sealing: High levels of foot traffic put supermarket floors under a lot of stress. Eventually, their protective sealants wear off. This makes the floors harder to clean and less hygienic. If your cleaning company can reseal floors for you, then they stay in better shape.
- Specialist equipment cleaning: Some of the equipment you use needs specialist cleaning. For example, the internal parts of fridges and freezers need periodic cleans to keep them hygienic and in good working order. Conveyor belts and deli slicers harbour bacteria that won't shift with just a regular wipe down. A cleaning company with this kind of expertise is a good option.
To find out more about how to keep your store clean, safe and hygienic, contact Comclean. Our cleaning teams have the training, skills and experience to make your supermarket sparkle.