Spot Signs of Mice In Your Restaurant (Before Your Customers Do)
No restaurant, not even the best in the world, can escape from reports of a mouse infestation unscratched, and once the cat (or mouse) is out of the bag, the damage seems to only snowball as news spreads through the press and through word of mouth. These days, it only takes one quick flash of a cellphone camera to confirm a mouse problem, and eatery owners need to be more vigilant than ever.
Here’s a look at how you can protect your restaurant from rodent invaders so that you, your staff, and (most importantly) your customers never miss a step while enjoying the best of what your kitchen has to offer.
First Off: Why Your Kitchen May Be Attracting Mice
Whether your kitchen is in the heart of the city or the buried in the country, you’re likely to have mice nearby and looking for an easy bite to eat. But while almost every restaurant has the potential to attract mice, the best and most conscious kitchens know how to keep the temptation to a minimum to keep mice from finding any reason to stick around.
Mice come to a restaurant kitchen looking for one thing: food. Whether they’re picking food out of the garbage or sneaking it right from the storeroom, mice will wait as long as it takes until the coast is clear and they can seize the opportunity to grab what they can. If your kitchen leaves food out and easily accessible in off hours, or if you’re more than a little lax about cleaning and storing food properly, you only make it easier for mice to find something to snack on when the staff is off duty.
Spot a Mouse? Take Care Of It Quick
In most cases, mice will make themselves apparent just by their presence - and the signs they leave behind can actually be some of the most dangerous.
Droppings, for example, can be a dead giveaway that mice are setting up shop in a place where they can find food - and those same droppings can be a major source of sickness. Mice droppings can spread disease to food they come in contact with, and this can spread beyond your kitchen and right to your customers’ plates.
Scratches and bite marks around food storage areas - like bags of flour, wooden crates of vegetables, or cardboard boxes - can also be a sign that mice are trying to get their paws where they don’t belong. If you notice these attempts to scavenge, consider finding more secure storage spaces for your food immediately, and possible disposing of any food that may have become contaminated.
How To Handle Your Mouse Problem (Quietly)
While signs of a rodent problem in a restaurant are never good, if caught quickly the problem can be solved with little fanfare. The first step is to physically remove any mice hanging around your kitchen, preferably as humanely as possible to prevent the spreads of disease from dead or injured mice.
Since many chefs and owners lack the time or resources to humanely catch and remove rodents, it may be in your best interest to contact a pest control professional who can identify, catch, and remove rodents on your behalf. A pest control professional can offer a detailed and discreet solution to prevent the problem from reaching - or endangering - your customers.
What To Do If The Word Gets Out
Even despite your best efforts, it only takes one bad moment - a brief appearance during the dinner rush - for your customers to catch wind of a rodent problem in your restaurant. In the event that your customers notice a mouse before you do, the absolute worst thing you can do is to deny it or try and sweep it under the rug.
A smart restaurant will immediately take steps to ensure customer safety - possibly including a temporary shutdown of the kitchen for thorough removal of any rodent problem. Making a public press release and being as up-front as possible can seriously prevent damage to your reputation and get you back to serving food safely rather than shutting your doors for good.
Why Worry? Prevent Rodents with Professional Pest Management
A restaurant is, by nature, an ideal place for rodents to set up shop - it’s full of food, and busy enough for a small scavenger to find a hiding spot that won’t be easily found. But because most restaurant workers don’t have the resources to be their own pest control monitors, many turn to professional pest specialists.
At JP Pest Services, our service technicians work with you and your staff to quickly identify the unique areas of concern and possible threats for your business. The more proactive (versus reactive) our control is, the better for your team, your restaurant, and your customers.
Your reputation is among the most valuable assets your restaurant has, and it’s foolish to let it all slip away due to one measly mouse that decides to rear its head at dinnertime. Get in touch with JP Pest Services and we can make sure your restaurant stays rodent-free through the dinner rush and well into the future, so you can continue doing what you do best.