Useful Tools in Restaurants
As any commercial kitchen manager knows, safety is the biggest priority for maintaining a smooth operation in their restaurant. Kitchen safety includes a variety of things, from proper food preparation to personal hygiene for kitchen staff. One common way restaurants implement kitchen safety is using mats for kitchen floors. Rubber mats protect kitchen staff from harm for several reasons: they are anti-fatigue, anti-slip, and provide drainage. Each of these qualities found in mats for kitchen floors are very important for keeping the kitchen and its staff safe.
Many mats for kitchens should have anti-fatigue qualities. A rubber mat is anti-fatigue when it provides cushioning on the feet, relieving pressure on joints that would usually make you tire faster and more easily. Rubber mats are great for providing cushioning, since rubber is a soft material. Though they are soft, rubber floors are also durable and thus long-lasting. Using anti-fatigue mats for kitchen floors is important for keeping staff alert throughout their shift. Drowsiness can lead to carelessness, which can lead to serious accidents. Commercial kitchens can avoid such accidents by using rubber kitchen mats.
Another quality that makes rubber mats for kitchens safe is that they are anti-slip. Again, rubber mats are a great example of this quality. Rubber naturally has a higher coefficient of friction, which means it provides better traction when walking across it, keeping feet from slipping easily. Many rubber mats for kitchen use also have textured surfaces and/or drainage holes that further increase foot traction. Having non-slip mats in a kitchen is important because it is such a fast-paced environment. It is common to be rushing around, lose your footing, and slip and fall. However, rubber mats can help prevent any fall-related accidents in a kitchen.
Another important factor in kitchen safety is kitchen sanitation. Grease, food debris, and other materials frequently pass through the floor drains, easily clogging them. As mentioned earlier, mats for kitchen use have drainage holes that allow liquids to easily pass through the mat while trapping solid debris. Red rubber mats, in particular, are grease-resistant. Rubber kitchen mats can act as a second drain, keeping the floor drain from getting clogged or backed up with grease or food debris, thus keeping the kitchen sanitary. Anything that is left on the mat can be hosed down outside at the end of the night and disposed in the trash.
Mats for kitchen floors can be placed in many different areas in the kitchen. The most obvious places are the dinner and order lines, where the cooks are making the food. Since this is the busiest part of a kitchen, protection from falls is definitely needed here. However, the dishwashing area is perhaps the most important place to have rubber mats in place. The floors are always wet near dishwashing areas, and staff may not always have time to keep the floor dry. Water passes through drainage holes in the rubber mats, making it safe and dry to walk across the dishwashing area. Another less obvious area to use mats for kitchen is the often forgotten bar area. In fast-paced environment like bars, a lot of water and alcohol can spill on the floor. Like the dish room, rubber floors can make the bar safe to move and work quickly in an otherwise slippery environment.
Another good thing about mats for kitchen floors is that they are fairly simple to clean. To clean them, take them outside to your restaurant’s outdoor hosing area. Rinse them down one at a time and clear all food debris and grease, making sure they stay in your outdoor drain area. Leave the mats outside to dry overnight before carrying them back inside. Make sure to sweep any debris from the drain and surrounding area before placing the mat down again.
Most mats for kitchen floors weigh less than 20-30 pounds, so they are easy to carry and transport in and out of the building. However, mats weighing more than ten pounds can be easily transported using a cart in the kitchen. Since the mats are not too difficult to transport, kitchen staff can easily be responsible for cleaning them. Many kitchens put their dishwashing staff in charge of this task.
Mats for kitchen use ensure a safe working environment in a restaurant. Rubber mats serve multiple purposes in multiple areas of a kitchen, which helps its staff to work smoothly, efficiently, and safely. Managers who implement these small changes in their restaurants can make a big difference in their kitchens.