Open kitchen operators warned to beware

Kitchen cleaning

If you’re an operator with an open kitchen then beware — two-thirds of UK consumers only choose your restaurant to judge your kitchen cleanliness.

Six out of 10 UK respondents surveyed in a poll by SCA Hygiene said they had eaten in an open kitchen, with one third of those surveyed stating they would ‘prefer a restaurant with an open kitchen’.

However, most surprisingly, when asked why they prefer to dine out in a restaurant with an open kitchen, it wasn’t because of the sense of theatre creating a unique experience, or the importance of watching their food go from pan to plate.

Instead, 63% of those surveyed said it was because ‘they can judge how clean and hygienic the kitchen is’, calling it the most important aspect of their visit.

Meanwhile, when asked what other important benefits there are to visit a restaurant with an open kitchen, 45% of consumers said that ‘staff will perform better, since we can watch them.’

Jamie Wright, UK&I communications manager at SCA Hygiene, said: “Consumers are utterly brutal today, because they have so many dining choices amongst operators. The fact that 63% of UK consumers choose to visit a restaurant with an open kitchen, not to capitalise on the unique experience or to see the skilful journey their dish takes to the table, but to judge how clean and hygienic a restaurants operation is, goes a long way to show consumer thinking in this day and age.”

He added: “Open kitchens are now such an important part of modern dining in restaurants, pubs and indeed cafés. However, this should raise alarm bells with operators as customers are able to see inside what is traditionally a hidden area.”

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