Owning your own café or tea rooms is a really lovely idea and it’s something that definitely captures people’s imaginations from time to time. Wouldn’t it be great to have your own little spot, decorated in the way you love, to contribute to a community in a positive way?
Of course, when you actually take the next step and start this kind of business, there are loads of practical things to plan for and you can’t afford to ignore the less glamorous side of the job! Public spaces like these only survive if they have a great record when it comes to hygiene. This is obviously because you’ll have the inspectors in, but it’s hard to retain a decent customer base if your standards start to slip.
The best advice out there is to take a really keen approach to hygiene in your café business and prioritise cleaning. Some businesses get external cleaning companies in to do all their cleaning while others take care of things themselves. It all depends on the time and budget you can devote to cleaning, but remember this is one of the most crucial parts of running this type of outfit.
In all likelihood, it’ll be up to you invest in the right cleaning products to make sure you can always keep your café spotless. This doesn’t just mean wiping the tables down and mopping the floors – it means getting to grips with the dirt hot spots – the kitchen and customer toilets.
There are a few categories of cleaning gear that are relevant here and that you’ll have to draft into your budget. Some are consumables you’ll have to stock up on from time to time and others are one-off expenses.
The basic equipment
First of all, you’ll need some of the fundamentals. Vacuum cleaners, mops, brooms, mop buckets, dustpans, proper waste receptacles and a large supply of cloths and pads are essential because you need the means to actually apply all the cleaning products you’ll need to keep hygiene standards high. Paper products and washroom products for use by your customers and patrons also need to be kept in stock because you can’t afford to run out.
The cleaning products
Cleaning products themselves vary enormously for the environment they are meant to be used in and the surfaces they are designed for. You’ll need products for floors, table tops, kitchen surfaces, toilets, windows and so on – all of which should be specially engineered for those exact purposes.
The protective gear
Whoever is doing the cleaning will need to protect themselves from some of the chemicals they are likely to come into contact with as well as the dirty environments they are working in. As such, things like disposable gloves, masks and aprons are really important. You have to look after the welfare of your staff as well as the welfare of the people who use your business.
The most important thing after the initial investment in all these things is to keep stock properly. Never allow yourself to run out of these crucial elements and always replace things when lost or damaged, otherwise standards will inevitably slip.
Tammy Burton got all the cleaning products and hygiene essentials she needed for her vintage tea rooms at Gloves 4 Less.