Antimicrobial Technology in Quick Service Restaurants: When Hand-Washing Isn’t Enough

Customers_ordering_at_QSR_counterOne of the most impressive features of a quick service restaurant (QSR) is the unrivalled customer turnover in a day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2013 to 2016 roughly one third of adults consumed fast food on a given day. Coupled with the fact that 95 percent of people fail to wash their hands well enough to kill harmful bacteria, many surfaces and frequently handled items such as tables and payment terminals are subject to hundreds of fingers, sneezes and other potential sources for germs.

In the restaurant industry, keeping things sanitary is just as important as providing quality service and delicious food. While you’re already following guidelines set in place by the CDC, such as consistently wiping down surfaces and requiring that employees wash their hands, that’s only part of the puzzle. At every high-contact service, there’s an opportunity to protect your valued customers with careful consideration and innovation. An evolving strategy that QSRs are catching onto is the incorporation of antimicrobial technology in their restaurants.

What is Antimicrobial Technology?

Antimicrobial technology uses an agent that inhibits growth of contagious bacteria, which can help prevent the spread of microbes that cause disease. Antimicrobial properties can be incorporated either during manufacture or as a coating applied before purchasing.

How Can This Benefit My Restaurant?

These microbes are found on all kinds of high-contact surfaces – this includes doorknobs, booster seats, soda fountains, menus, trash cans, payment terminals and more. By utilizing antimicrobial-treated products, you can:

  • Continue putting your customer first. Throughout your restaurant, you’re already prioritizing the safety of your customer through things like signage to prevent slipping and EMV chip cards to protect payment transactions. Using technology treated with antimicrobial additives is another way you can provide customers with a safer and cleaner space.
  • Eliminate surface odor and stains. Aside from inhibiting bacteria growth, antimicrobial technology can eliminate surface odors and stains caused by microbes, improving the customer experience and perception of cleanliness from the get-go.
  • Replace frequent use of overly abrasive cleaners. It can also replace the need for strong, overly abrasive cleaners on a regular basis, therefore protecting restaurant staff from harmful chemicals and protecting certain products which can be degraded by cleaners over time.

Overall, antimicrobial technology can do a lot for your customers – and your business. If you’re interested in learning more about antimicrobial technology for your restaurant, drop us a line!

Kyle Utterback is Senior Account Manager at Ingenico Group, North America

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