Soap Supplies Tips

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Restroom Health Inspection

During a restroom health inspection, the inspector will make sure there is both cold and hot running water. And the sinks should be stocked with hand soap and paper towels for quick refill.


Streamlining Your Cleaning Methods

When it comes to cleaning restrooms and other areas of a restaurant, managers should assess current cleaning methods, equipment options, and available workforce, then compile the information into a systematic cleaning program.

The best plan of attack is to conduct a "needs analysis" - determining the desired level of clean and the amount of cleaning necessary to reach that level. To do this, managers must take into account the building's traffic flow and outside influences such as weather and pollution. This analysis should also include any special needs that the building may have. Is the restaurant located in the basement, making it more prone to mold and bacteria? Managers must also take into account the time it takes for employees to complete cleaning tasks.


Employing People to Dispense Soap

Many upscale restaurants are now employing bathroom attendants to dispense soap. In the age of germs and infections, one person dispensing soap from one container can help eliminate the spread of disease. These individuals dispense hand soap and paper towels to guests. In addition to the attendants, restaurants are providing high-quality toiletries.


Latex Allergies and Public Soap Dispensers

Latex sensitization has become a great concern for consumers in restaurants. An increasing number of people are experiencing reactions, some severe, to natural proteins in latex that are dispensed from soap and hand-sanitizer dispensing machines in bathrooms.
One area of concern to this latex allergy are the bag-in-box soaps, which contain a latex nozzle. For restaurant managers it's important to note the latex quantity in soap boxes and bags before purchasing. Some latex nozzles offer synthetic latex (polyisoprene), it is not natural rubber latex or dry natural rubber, so it's not a high risk to consumers with a latex allergy.


Offering Moisturizer to Your Customers

Hand soaps and hand sanitizers remove moisture from the skin as well as dirt. That means skin can become dry. As part of their committment to customer service, many restaurants are adding hand moisterizers in bathrooms for patrons. As the manager of a restaurant, you should carefully review the contents of your soap before purchasing and buy a soap for your establishment that has aloe vera, vitamin E and/or essential oils in it.


Scents that Match the Soap

As the retail market for soap and toiletries has exploded with expensive, high-end soaps, some manufacturers believe that the commercial industry is experiencing a similar evolution.

Some restaurants are matching air-fresheners to the scent of soaps by buying them as a package. However, some restaurants stay away from that option over concern for guests who may be sensitive to scented rooms. Floral and citrus scents in soap and air are very popular right now in restaurants.


Popularity of Touchless Soap Dispensers

Public restrooms are becoming completely touchless. From faucets to toilets to paper dispensers, customers like this evolution because they feel they can avoid cross-contamination as much as possible in the restroom. The benefit of touchless soap dispenser is it improves the clean look of a public bathroom and also customers can avoid touching a soap dispenser lever, which could have bacterial build up on it.

Studies by the American Society of Microbiology indicate that many people do not wash their hands after using the restroom. Industry experts hope touchless soap dispensers will improve hand washing habits.


Popularity of Foam Soap

Foam soap is a hugely popular trend in commercial bathrooms right now. Foam is so popular is because it's richer, creamier and there's no need to lather it in your hands. Restaurant owners love it because they can buy less soap and use it more effectively. That's right, less soap is needed for each hand washing. And that makes both businesses and consumers happy. With traditional liquid soaps, one pull on the soap dispenser would give a gram and a half of soap; with foam soap, .7 to .8 grams of soap come out, which is plenty for a typical hand wash.


Outside the Bathroom

As the general public becomes more knowledgeable on disease and infections, restaurants are beginning to cater to the germophobics of America. One of the centerpieces of germ concentration is on the bathroom door handle or knob. After a patron washes their hands in the bathroom, the clean hands touch the dirty surface of the bathroom door, which starts the spreading of germs. To cater to this growing problems, restaurant owners are beginning to place hand sanitizer stations and additional soap dispensers on the other side of the bathroom door for patrons. Sanitizers can be placed on shelf or mounted on the wall for easy access.


"Employees Must Wash Hands" Signage

Be sure to invest in good signage reminding employees to wash their hands after using the restroom. A good sign will list the following as reasons for employees to use the soap dispenser: using the toilet, eating, smoking, chewing gum, touching soiled plates, utensils or equipment, taking out the trash, touching their nose or mouth, sneezing or coughing, or interrupting food preparation to answer a phone.

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Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.