Protect Your Restaurant Floors and Employees with These Steps

Restaurants are no strangers to slick floors. Water, food grease, and bustling foot traffic create a recipe for slips, trips, and falls. Not only can all of this activity do a number on your floors -- it can also result in serious injury and liability. Investing in proper commercial floor care ensures the ongoing durability of your floors and safety of your people. Let’s go over the many ways to protect your floors and employees.

Stay Aware of the Slip Potential of Your Floors

Every surface has a metric known as the coefficient of friction (COF), which measures its slip resistance. Slippery floors have lower COFs while floors that have greater traction have higher COFs. This measurement can also be divided into two main categories: static and dynamic COF. The former (static COF) refers to the amount of traction necessary to result in slippage -- the latter (dynamic COF) measures how easy or difficult it is to come to a halt after slipping on said surface. To protect your employees and customers from falling, hire a professional auditor to periodically test the static and dynamic COFs of your restaurant flooring. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) deems floors and walkways are “high traction” (and therefore safe) with a wet static COF of at least .60 and wet dynamic COF of at least .42.

Invest in Proper Footwear for Employees

A floor’s friction level isn’t the only factor at play when it comes to floor protection and safety. After all, the shoes one wears also offer some degree of traction. Some types of footwear are safer than others in this regard. Indeed, nearly ¼ of slips and falls result from poor footwear. As such, your employees should be encouraged and/or required to wear durable, slip-resistant shoes on the job.

Lay Down Mats at Key Locations

Moisture is a major contributor to slips and falls as well as floor damage. The more you do to limit the amount of water that ends up on your floors, then, the better. Placing sturdy mats at strategic parts of your restaurant can go a long way in keeping moisture at bay -- doing so also takes some pressure off your restaurant janitorial services since they’ll have fewer water-related messes to deal with. For instance, a high-traction welcome mat in your entryway will soak up a fair amount of moisture as customers come inside. You might also place mats in your kitchen area to minimize the moisture that otherwise ends up on your floors from sinks and other appliances. Read our recent blog, “How to Mitigate Moisture Intrusion in Your Restaurant This Summer,” for more on this topic.

Maintain Clear Pathways

Between food preparation, bussing, and dining activity, plenty of foot traffic can be expected inside your restaurant. If various objects are placed in the middle of your floors, it’s only a matter of time until an employee or customer takes a dive. To keep everyone safe, protect your assets, maintain your reputation, and streamline operations, your building maintenance staff (and all other workers) must make sure all paths inside your building are always free from obstacles.

Stick to a Rigid Floor Cleaning Schedule

A dirty floor is more than just an eyesore -- it’s a major safety hazard and a contributor to ongoing floor deterioration. The best way to combat these issues is to stay on top of commercial restaurant cleaning. When it comes to floor cleaning, certain tasks should be tackled each day, such as sweeping, mopping, spot cleaning, etc. More intensive tasks (i.e., deep cleaning, burnishing, waxing, etc.) should be completed periodically or as-needed by professional commercial floor cleaning services.

Coat and Mark Your Floors

Lastly, note that your restaurant flooring will eventually require some type of restoration, such as polishing or new epoxy coating application. Properly sealing your floors will extend their lifespan, increase their durability, enhance their appearance, and improve their safety rating. For additional safety, consider marking the floors in your kitchen with paint or tape to help employees better navigate their work environment and stay organized.

If you want to keep your people safe on the job, you must focus on your floors. The Budd Group can help you with your restaurant flooring needs every step of the way via our full-service commercial floor care programs. To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!

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