By the time flies have infested a restaurant, damage has already been done. Flies present health risks for diners when they land on food, which is why health code inspectors can even close restaurants when a problem is severe. Therefore, the best approach to pest control is working to ensure bugs never come around in the first place. Here is a guide for how to prevent flies from plaguing your restaurant.
Produce and Trash Control
The smell of food attracts flies, so managers should focus on eliminating odors inside and outside the restaurant. Start with areas where the kitchen staff stores and preps produce. Make sure fruit and vegetables are checked daily so rotting food is disposed of properly. When food starts to decay, it creates the smell flies hone in on as they search for sustenance. Make sure peels, rinds, seeds, etc. are stored in lined containers. Restaurants that have organic food disposal (composting) should set containers by the curb promptly to ensure nightly pickup.
Once the garbage situation is under control, look at the cleaning procedures custodians use for food preparation areas. Juicing machines and blenders should go through the dishwasher promptly after use. Between shifts, cleaning teams should use a dispense-and-vac system to remove any fruit and vegetable debris from the floor. Without a food source, flies have little reason to visit your kitchen.
Bar and Service Area Concerns
While flies in back-of-house areas will get you in trouble with local health inspectors, flies in front-of-house areas can end your relationship with customers and attract fines just as easily. It's vital to understand how to prevent flies in the bar and dining room. Bartenders who juice citrus fruits have to prepare, store, and serve them without letting pulp and drops of juice fall into areas they cannot clean. Setting aside a clear area for juicing is one trick for keeping fruit flies away.
Fruit garnishes must remain in closed containers. It may be inconvenient to have to open the case to finish off a margarita with a lime wedge during a busy service, but bartenders and servers should follow these guidelines. In the dining room and outdoor patio areas, staff should promptly remove plates and full bus bins. Avoid placing trash cans outside for patio diners, unless your casual service style demands it. In these cases, remove trash frequently throughout shifts.
Better Cleaning Systems
If your team has been on top of cleaning in the kitchen, bar, and dining areas, you may need to look into the systems you're using. The bucket-and-mop technique leaves behind plenty of soils for flies and other pests to enjoy.
Systems that use always-fresh cleaning solution and incorporate a wet/dry vac to remove anything left on the floors are much more successful. A squeegee should be used on tables, counters, bars and kitchen lines to make sure no food residue remains at the end of a busy day.
Don't let flies and other pests enter the scene at your restaurant. Click here to learn about advanced cleaning systems to keep diners safe and restaurants in good standing.