PestWest EDGEucational Brief
By Dr. Stuart Mitchell
“What’s on the Menu?”
Converting “pestaurants” to restaurants is a huge opportunity for pest management professionals given the favorable economic outlook for eating out (see figures 1 and 2). In 2011 the average unit sales at a full-service restaurant were $874,000 and at a quick-service restaurant $777,000.
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Restaurants Industry’s Share of Food Dollar
Figure 1. Source: 2014 Restaurant Industry Pocket Fact Book
Figure 2. Source: 2014 Restaurant Industry Pocket Fact Book
According to the National Restaurant Association, consumers consider restaurants an “essential part of life.”
- Nine in 10 consumers say they enjoy going to restaurants.
- Two in five consumers say restaurants are an essential part of their lifestyle.
- Seven in 10 consumers say their favorite restaurant foods provide flavors that can’t easily be duplicated at home.
- Three-quarters of consumers say going to a restaurant with family and friends is a better use of their leisure time than cooking and cleaning up.
Source: 2014 Restaurant Industry Pocket Fact Book
Safe cooking is dependent upon how cleaning up is conducted or good sanitation practices. For example, a recent study of what’s on the menu found that restaurant menus should be cleaned after each operational shift. In addition, menus given to customers by restaurant staff at the time of seating are cleaner than if kept on tables (Choi, Almanza, Nelson, Neal, & Sirsat, 2014).
Professional pest management is essential to food safety. A pest pressure that must be eliminated is that of House flies because of their mobility and propensity to enjoy wallowing in the dumpster or the poop-du-jour prior to landing on your menu.
Causing significant stress and mechanically vectoring many pathogens (food-poisoning and diarrhea), House flies are attracted to disease-containing materials. Adult flies move pathogens to human food, food preparation surfaces, food storages, food serving areas, and even food menus!
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