Chefs working in a kitchen
5th June 2016

How do your customers judge the hygiene standards in your business?

Below we have outlined the main ways your customers judge your premises. Effectively managing these factors, including hygiene and safety, does indeed make a difference when a customer is deciding whether to eat in your restaurant or not.

How do you think you measure up?

General Appearance Of Premises

The general appearance of premises makes the largest impression when customers assess hygiene, visual factors such as cleanliness and structure (and no doubt the condition of the loos!) create a big impact in the minds of customers.

Appearance Of Staff

More than half of customers judge your standards by looking at staff. This highlights the importance of your staff selection, having clear policies for personal hygiene and acceptable conduct. Effective training, instruction and supervision of your team in relation to personal hygiene can inspire your customers with confidence, or if neglected can reflect badly on your business overall.

Reputation & Word Of Mouth

Almost half of respondents take an organisations reputation into account when judging hygiene. This shows the importance to create and maintain a sound reputation, to generate positive word of mouth, and avoid complaints, enforcement action, bad press and publicity. National press have featured headline articles, naming and shaming restaurant groups with poor ratings, food businesses need to manage safety performance and stay ahead of the competition.


The survey also indicates the increasing importance of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme stickers -displaying them (if your results are favourable!) can help customers make a quick, positive assessment of your standards. These certificates have a similar reassuring effect, such as those awarded by STS to premises with excellent standards.

The FSA conduct this survey every 6 months. The proportion of respondents who gauge standards via reputation and hygiene stickers showed a significant increase. That’s in comparison to the previous survey 6 months ago.


Food businesses can harness the power of their website and give browsers confidence by using it to publicise favourable factors such as Ratings and promoting the fact that they have the support of an independent food safety consultant such as STS.

For help with reaching a 5 star food hygiene rating, call us today on 01252 728 300


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