Restaurants have a legal requirement to make sure their premises are safe & hygienic. By making smart interior choices, you can improve your Health & Safety Compliance to create a more sterile environment that’s safer for both your workers and patrons. In the first of our commercial premises blog posts, we’ll be looking at the floors, walls and ceiling solutions that benefit restaurants & cafes.
Restaurant kitchens are a minefield for slip and fall accidents, and most of these occur in the kitchen area. Tiles are a common floor surface for kitchens, but their smooth surface makes them a slipping hazard as soon as they become wet or greasy. Cleaning floor tiles is also notoriously difficult, as the grout lines fill with dirt and grime, and there is also a need for re-grouting in the future as it wears away due to cleaning. Lino or vinyl floors can also become dangerously slippery, and they are not very hard-wearing.
The best way to avoid slips is to install Safety Flooring in the back of house area. The shape of the aggregate in safety flooring provides substantial grip even when the floor is wet, greasy or dirty. Thus, the chance of slipping with Altro Stronghold 30 (Altro’s specialist kitchen safety floor) installed is reduced to less than 1 in a million with common commercial kitchen contaminants. With safety flooring, you’re protected against slips from cooking oils, greasy water, milk, flour, plastic wrap and more.
Not only does safety flooring prevent slips, it’s also very hygienic and easy to clean. The watertight, seamless solution can be power washed or steam cleaned without causing damage, and drains and gulleys can be built in for even easier cleaning. In addition to this, safety flooring is comfortable underfoot thanks to its 3mm thickness, which will greatly improve your staff’s well-being during long work shifts. Read The Importance of Safety Flooring on our blog for more information.
Hard Wearing Floors
As well as ensuring that your kitchen floor is fit-for-purpose, you should also choose a suitable flooring for the dining area of your establishment. A floor that is hard-wearing and easy to clean is the ideal surface for the dining area.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles are ideal for restaurants as they’re extremely resilient to scratches, stains and other damage, and their non-porous, smooth surface makes them very easy to clean. The possibilities with Luxury Vinyl Tiles are endless, and you can create a unique design floor that mimics wood, stone or marble at a fraction of the cost. The floor can be professionally sealed to further protect the surface against the high foot traffic and regular cleaning that you can expect in a restaurant.
In the catering industry, the design and construction of the premises must prevent the accumulation of dirt and the shedding of particles (such as flaking paint). Therefore, walls must be hygienic and easy to clean. Paint is a cheap way to decorate, but it’s use in a commercial kitchen is not recommended as it’s susceptible to damp, mould, and flaking. A traditional method is to apply wall tiles, but despite the ceramic surface of a tile, up to 20% of a tiled surface is grout. Grout is porous, making it more susceptible to harbouring bacteria and mould.
Hygienic Wall Cladding (such as Altro Whiterock) is the best solution for a commercial kitchen. The waterproof, seamless surface gives bacteria nowhere to hide, and the range of colours available can liven up your restaurant decor. When combined with Safety Flooring, hygienic wall cladding from Altro creates a fully sealed room that can be cleaned with ease. With a surface that’s easy to clean and maintain, cleaning is easier and the risk of food contamination is far lower. The Altro system offers the best possible protection against bacteria, bugs and vermin.
Charity Action On Hearing Loss claims that 80% of people they polled said they had left a restaurant early due to noise levels. With this in mind, it’s important to consider noise-reducing solutions for your restaurant, particularly if you have received noise complaints in the past. The hard surfaces of the tables and walls makes noise reverberate and even echo around the room, which can make the environment excessively loud. Soft furnishings can help in improving a restaurant’s acoustics, but specially designed Acoustic Panels are the best option for creating a more ambient atmosphere.
Acoustic panels are designed to absorb sound, preventing it from carrying around the room and becoming problematic for your guests. They differ from sound proofing as they are attached to the walls or ceilings as vertical or free-hanging applications, as opposed to being built into the wall or ceiling surface. They’re extremely versatile, available in a range of colours and styles so that you can create a striking art feature or a more subtle display. Read 5 Reasons to Install Acoustic Panels on our blog for more information.
Another solution would be to install sound proofing between the kitchen and eating area to prevent kitchen noise from disturbing your customers.