Transferred to a new kitchen - FLOOR & MAT QUESTION

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by mfjoves, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. mfjoves

    mfjoves

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    Hello all! I just transferred as a kitchen manager for a restaurant that has been around for over 25 years.  I've noticed that the build of the kitchen back then is not the greatest-- from the floor type, layout, etc.  I wanted to ask if anyone here has any advice on the best approach to clean the floor and mats.

    Here is how the staff currently cleans the kitchen floor (prior to my hire):

    - move mats, sweep food/debris, mops with degreaser, does not drain water/wetness, and leaves it overnight. Then the people in the morning come in and finish the floor utilizing the mop and squeegee.

    Here is how I would like to approach it:

    - move mats, sweet food/debris, use hot water/degrease and scrub with deck brush, squeegee to drain hole, initial mop with mop/hot water with a splash of bleach.  

    THE PROBLEM: While the kitchen is tiny, there is ONE drain hole, something I have never seen before in a kitchen.  What makes it worse is that the floor drain hole is in the very back of the kitchen where the prep area is.  There isn't even one under the dish pit.  This makes it insane to squeegee all the water/wetness towards the back floor drain.  What's even worse is that since this kitchen was built years ago, the floor is tile and grout.  

    THE OTHER PROBLEM:  The restaurant does not have the luxury of dragging the heavily soiled/greased up mats to an area outside to be sprayed down, therefore I noticed the guys will leave the dirty mats on the kitchen floor overnight and the morning guys will hand wash then run the heavily greased mats through the dish pit.  Won't this lead to clogged pipes due to the grease draining daily through the dish pit? 

    Again, this kitchen is extremely tiny and I am only familiar with working in much larger kitchens.  If I could have my way, I would have the floor completely remodeled.  

    Space is a huge issue in this restaurant.  The entire restaurant is about 1,200 sq. ft. so the kitchen alone is only about 1/3 of that.  Seating is around 50, however the turnover is extremely fast so the size of the kitchen is becoming difficult to deal with for the amount of food that comes out all day.

    ANY ADVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!! THANK YOU.
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a grease trap right after the sink right?  Tell me there is a grease trap.
     
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    From your post, I gather you are located in Europe where floor drains and squeeging the floor are the norm.  N. America, where floor drains are very un-common, the mop and  bucket rule.  Having worked in both continents, I prefer the squeegee method, but if you only have one floor drain, the choice is obvious.

    I actually learned how to mop a floor at my first job waaaay back when at Mc D's.  Think of mopping as a sponge bath, the floor shouldn't have a 1/4" of water on it when you done.

    Regarding rubber mats-- I hate them. 

    Actually I have more choice words than hate, but this being a family website and all, I'd best not get side tracked.  Toss them out, they do more damage than good, and they stink.  If you insist on some kind of mat, consider duck boards.  All this is is a series of wood boards nailed to two or three sleepers, and only about 2" (50 mm) high. Make them about 6 ft (2 mters) long and maybe 3 ft (1 meter) wide)  Spacing between the boards is around 3/4" (18 mm).  You place these around the stove and dish pit.  Crud, liquids, oils, etc. drops though the gaps leaving you with a clean dry surface to stand on.  At the end of the service, you prop these boards up along the wall--this is the main virtue of duckboards, they are rigid and don't flop around--, sweep and/or mop, and plop the boards down again. You can also scrub the duckbords with a brush-on-a-stick and mop them as well when they are in place.

    Anyone with a hammer and saw can make duckboards, and you have the option of making custom sized ones to fit around equipment etc.

    Hope this helps, and welcome to the site.
     
  4. mfjoves

    mfjoves

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    Would you believe that I am actually located in Los Angeles? Unfortunately because this restaurant was built over 25 years ago, whoever the designer/planner was built a poorly designed floor plan.  The main issue is that there is so much GREASE on the floor.  Again, spacing is such a huge issue as there is absolutely no leeway to move/rearrange any equipment.  The fryer is used for about 70% of all food production, however the area where we hold the fried food is not beside the fryer, but in front of it (so think if you were standing inf ront of the fryer, you would have to lift the basket out, let drain for a few seconds then turn around an dump the product into a tray behind you).  In this case you can imagine all the grease that lands on the floor/mats in that general area and then gets spread EVERYWHERE from walking.  The kitchen itself is probably only 400 sq. ft.   At the time they opened this restaurant, they did not think that it would serve as many people as it does today so the size of the kitchen is surely not accommodating for the amount of people that dine in, take out, grub hub it. There really isn't much time time to allow the fried products to drain for more than a few seconds to allow more oil to drain as the production and demand of food is very high.  Again, space is a HUGE problem in this kitchen.

     
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  5. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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         Put in a duckboard in front of the fryer as recommended. You can get oil absorbent mats for the space around the fryer to be placed under the duckboard. An automotive shop supply place would be able to help find them. Or spread newspaper, kitty litter or something else oil absorbent under the duckboard. Whatever you can do to trap and contain the oil in the space near the fryer. 
    By the way, bleach is a germ killer and very potent, deadly chemical. Very little is needed for effective bacteria control. About 1 oz for a five gallon bucket if I remember correctly. It does nothing for cleaning. It simply removes the color from things so they look better. You need strong degreaser and surfactants to break down the oil and suspend it in the water. Bleach will not do any of that. 

         For cleaning, a wet dry vac is a big help in your circumstances for sucking up the water after the scrubbing is done. be sure to buy one with a drain plug on the side of the bottom so you can roll it over to the drain and release the water down the floor drain. 

    A pressure washer once in a while is good for getting crap out from under immoveable equipment. 
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Why turn around to dump? Facing fryer, hotel pan in one hand, fryer basket handle in other. Dump, then turn around.
     
  7. mfjoves

    mfjoves

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    Literally a VERY TIGHT space with absolutely no more room to spare.  No where to hold the hotel pan during service, the space is that ridiculous... Even one of our rice cookers needs to be beside the hot range because there is nowhere else to put it so from time to time it gets heat damage from the intensity of the range.  
     
  8. mfjoves

    mfjoves

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    Will consider the duckboards. Thanks again!
     
  9. mfjoves

    mfjoves

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    Also the kitchen floor material was a poor choice back then. It is very smooth, very slick tile... probably not the most ideal for a kitchen. Also, there has been no kitchen manager for about a year so not only the kitchen, but the crew as well has been neglected.  When I stepped foot into this kitchen about 2 weeks ago, I realized what a huge project this will be to turn around but am determined to bring it to its fullest potential.
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    At the end of the night  Run them thru the dishwasher, many places do.
     
  11. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you put a cart by the fryer?
     
  12. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    You can try acid etching the floor if it's quarry tile or something.