How many of us are maneuvering around plumbing problems in order to dodge a hefty drain repair bill or a complete lack of cash flow due to a forced closure because the drains have backed up?
You haven’t felt the real stress of the business unless you have dealt with an overflowing toilet after a freshly soiled diaper has been partially flushed down the toilet in the middle of the dinner rush. It happens to everyone eventually. Yet many face worse problems than that.
The other day I receive these concerned words from a restaurant owner.
“As a restaurant owner in a past life it never ceases to amaze me how foolish owners are when it comes to back-up sewage in kitchens, bathrooms and bars. Just last week I was in a
Is there any suggestions you have for eateries with continual bathroom problems?”
The obvious answer is to call a plumber and get it fixed. But, we all hesitate to take that step. Broadcasting you have a drain problem to the public as the Rotor Rooter truck idles outside your sidewalk café is hardly the warm welcome you want new customers to experience when entering your dining room. There are a few steps to take when the problem occurs that will make it less troublesome for you customers and your staff.
1) Immediately post a computer generated “Out of Order” sign on the bathroom door. Post this sign even if you know the problem is temporary and a quick plunger procedure will clear the drain.
2) Put a note up apologizing for the inconvenience.
3) If there is a second bathroom, redirect your customers to use that facility.
4) If there isn’t a second bathroom attempt to solve the plumbing problem as quickly as possible with the use of a plunger or snake.
5) If the problem occurs in the kitchen you can bet it will only be moments before every drain is backing up. Post the “Out of Order” sign immediately on the bathroom door.
6) Don’t attempt to disguise the problem. Be honest with your customers. If it hasn’t happened before you are pretty safe. If it is an ongoing problem then you will suffer because of lost business.
7) If the problem is major, it is better to let your customers know the situation, stop cooking any more entrees and slowly shut down for the evening or until the problem can be rectified.
Some years ago I was standing at the bar in Boulevard, Nancy Oakes famous
Mop in hand the waiter was swabbing around me sopping up as much water as quickly as he could. Other customers soon began realizing they were not getting cold feet they were standing amidst a drain problem. Losing the battle of the incoming tide the manager made an announcement and closed the restaurant for the evening.
True professionalism. Even when it involves backed up drains and toilets.