Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
We strongly recommend viewing Cleanzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Nearly 20,000 restaurants risk losing 61% of customers due to poor food hygiene
Restaurants with low food hygiene ratings are risking their survival, with 61% of consumers saying they'll boycott such establishments, according to research carried out by food safety technology Checkit.
The organisation warns that 18,379 restaurants, takeaways, sandwich/coffee shops, hotels and pubs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are at risk, as they currently have a Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating of two or below, meaning they require improvement to their practices and processes.
The study found that London is the city with the largest number of food businesses at risk (5,092), while Birmingham has the highest percentage (17%) of restaurants scoring two or below. It is followed by Leicester (14%), London (14%) and Manchester (11%). Overall, 7% of cafes, canteens, restaurants, mobile caterers, pubs, takeaways, sandwich shops and hotels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland fail to meet the hygiene standards that consumers demand*.
Across the UK, takeaways and sandwich shops are the sectors in most danger of being shunned by diners, with 14% of them having a food hygiene rating of two or below. This figure rises to 28% of Birmingham and Manchester takeaways, and over half (52%) of those in the London borough of Newham. Given that 64% of consumers say they'd avoid takeaways with low food hygiene ratings, this will have a major impact on the sector's revenues and individual business survival.
Also in the research, three quarters (75%) of consumers said they wouldn't risk dining at a restaurant that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone that they trust. Customers would even rather put up with poor service from rude and unhelpful staff than eat at dirty restaurants.
Some 66% of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as the first or second reason for not returning to a restaurant. Just 16% cited slow or poor service and 32% said rude or unhelpful staff would stop them coming back to a restaurant.
"The food business is incredibly competitive, with nearly 60% of restaurants failing in their first three years of operation," says David Davies, managing director, Checkit.
"Our research shows that good food hygiene is the number one factor in where diners choose to eat - and that they simply won't return to places where there has been a food hygiene incident. Yet our analysis finds that nearly 20,000 restaurants require improvement to meet basic Food Standards Agency standards. Owners of food businesses are risking their revenues and survival, as well as the health of their customers, by not taking hygiene seriously."
A full management report on the research is available at www.checkit.net
* Figures are taken from the Food Standards Agency site at http://ratings.food.gov.uk/default/en-GB on 7/6/16 and are for all restaurants, cafes, canteens, mobile caterers, other catering premises, pubs/bars, takeaways/sandwich shops and hotels/B&Bs with a Food Hygiene Rating of 2 or below, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland is not included as it is subject to a different food hygiene rating scheme.
Checkit is a leading provider of next generation, cloud-based automated monitoring and digital work management solutions across the food, hygiene, healthcare and facilities management sectors.
Checkit enables every type of business, from a single restaurant or UK-wide chain, hospital or school, to transform the way they manage food, hygiene and facilities tasks. Failure to provide comprehensive records of these activities can result in not meeting government regulations, low Food Hygiene Ratings or prosecution when food incidents occur.
Checkit removes this risk by ensuring staff complete tasks the right way, without fail, enabling regulatory compliance by securely recording the data and providing a time-stamped audit trail. Customers include the Ritz, Claridges, Abel & Cole, Ginsters, Quorn Foods, Integrated Pathology Partnerships, East Surrey Hospital, the Glasgow Academy, Wymondham College and Nanna Mexico.
30th June 2016