Case Study: Mops are Too Expensive for National Food Service Provider

by | Sep 15, 2022

After just a six-week trial run, leaders of one of the nation’s largest food service providers/corporate caterers learn the truth. Their supposedly inexpensive bucket and mop program costs too much and delivers too little when compared with the UniVac by Kaivac. 

“It’s a misnomer to think that mops and buckets are cheap,” says Kaivac VP of Global Sales, Marc Ferguson. “When it comes to labor management, supply costs, and overhead, mopping is very expensive. Especially when compared to the UniVac.” 

Ferguson helped run the trial at one of the company’s signature cafes. Here’s how the UniVac clearly demonstrated it saves the organization money, improves cleanliness, and boosts employee engagement. All data for this study was provided and verified by café managers. 

UniVac Process Costs Less Than Mopping

The six-week assessment reveals the UniVac will reduce the café’s annual overhead associated with end-of-day cleaning by 56%. These phenomenal savings are delivered three ways: 

Reduced Labor Costs

The streamlined UniVac floor cleaning process cut cleaning time by more than half. The improved method allows workers to finish faster and clock out sooner. Or they can redirect their energy to revenue generating activities.  

Cut Consumables Use

The café was spending over $900 a year for their mopping program buying mop heads, buckets, handles, hi-lo brushes, and squeegees. The UniVac only requires a vacuum squeegee and spreader pads, costing under $300 per year.  

Slash Chemical Needs

Floor chemical for the mopping program cost a whopping $6,048 a year. Switching to the UniVac allowed workers to use dramatically less chemical. 

UniVac Streamlines Process, Reliably Delivers Cleaner Floors

Mopping the café kitchen required sweeping, scrubbing, and squeegeeing the floor. Mats were hauled outside to clean and dry, and equipment was regularly pulled out to remove bits of fallen food. Even with all these steps, kitchen floors remained greasy with blackened grout lines. 

With its three-step process – dispense, spread, and vacuum – the UniVac eliminated the need to sweep and scrub with a hi-low brush. Mats are cleaned and dried in place. Because the UniVac easily reaches under and around tight spaces each night, kitchen equipment also stays in place, reducing the frequency of pullouts. 

Kitchen floors showed improvement immediately after switching to the UniVac. The original grout color began to come back three weeks later. Staff was amazed. “I didn’t realize the grout was ever a different color,” says the café’s lead production manager. 

Because the process is so streamlined and effective, results will be consistent and repeatable in every café location, no matter who is doing the work. 

“Mopping is tedious, time consuming, and requires a consistently conscientious worker to produce a great result. That makes it hard to keep up quality, particularly between locations,” says Ferguson. “The UniVac program removes that variability, so every location meets the same elevated standard every day.”

Ferguson also stresses that ongoing use of the UniVac can eliminate the need for expensive third-party vendors to periodically deep clean kitchens. 

“It’s better to start clean and stay clean,” he says “If your everyday cleaning tools don’t maintain that environment, you’re just throwing good money after bad. “

UniVac Delivers Happier, More Engaged Employees

Employee engagement with the UniVac was immediate, with associates clamoring to give the machine a try during the first training session. After the six-week trial, those associates report loving the UniVac. They enjoyed the easy set-up, appreciated the ergonomic design, and were proud of the results.   

“This kind of engagement from the staff about cleaning floors is something that makes you take notice,” says the café’s sous chef and kitchen manager. “With that kind of impact on morale you can’t help but like what the machine does even more.”

After the trial ended and the numbers analyzed, café management found that the UniVac pays for itself in under two months. They expect an over 500% return on investment with average annual savings of $11,675. Not bad for trading inefficient mops for a state-of-the-art machine that staff love to use. 

Want to improve your floor care process, save money, and engage your staff? Click here for more on the UniVac. 

Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines. Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.
Amy Milshtein
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