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3 Ways Lack of Pest Control Hurts Restaurants


Pest control in restaurants is a topic many owners don’t like to think about. Just the sight of a pest control company’s van near the front doors of an establishment can be enough to drive customers away. (People often forget that pest control pros sometimes like to eat out for lunch.) At the same time, a lack of attention regarding restaurant pest control can mean the downfall of a neighborhood eatery.

Here’s a look at some of the ways a restaurant pest control problem hurts business:

1. Tarnished Reputation and Image

A pest infestation can quickly turn a popular establishment into one that diners avoid like the plague. It only takes one cockroach in a salad or a single mouse sighting to make the evening news or prompt a surprise health inspection. Once a restaurant gets branded as “unclean,” the reputation is hard to shake.

2. Failed Inspections and Risk of a Forced Closure

The county health department doesn’t exist to make your life miserable. They want to make sure your establishment won’t (unintentionally) make the public sick. Inspectors look for:

  • Pest nesting sites or signs of pests
  • Proper drainage and plumbing
  • Weed control
  • Restaurant pest control techniques currently in use
  • Garbage handling systems and food disposal techniques
  • Wall and floor maintenance
  • Door-closing policies
  • Condensation problems
  • Problems with light fixtures
  • Proper food storage practices
  • General housekeeping, cleanliness and sanitation
  • Refrigeration storage

A violation can result in a warning, fine, poor inspection grade or a forced shutdown of the establishment until the restaurant pest control problem is resolved. Once you get shut down for a pest problem, your reputation may be ruined.

3. Health Hazards and Possible Lawsuits

Pests are notorious for harboring diseases, and it takes only one microbe to make a customer fall ill with a potentially serious ailment. If an individual does get ill and determines your restaurant caused pain or suffering, you could face a lawsuit that permanently damages your reputation as well as the restaurant’s bottom line.

[ Photo by: Jasoon, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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