There's simply no way around it - if you want to run a successful restaurant, you've got to keep your establishment squeaky clean. A poor presentation within the dining area sends the wrong signal to your customers, who will only wonder where else the restaurant isn't particularly clean.
Since no one likes to eat in a dirty place and customers maintain the freedom to vote with their feet, a less than clean dining area prevents many customers from ever coming back. However, keeping the interior of your restaurant consistently clean becomes easier with the right commercial vacuum cleaner.
But with so many commercial vacuum cleaners available, how can you know which is the best commercial vacuum for you? Let's take a closer look.
Why Use a Commercial Grade Vacuum Cleaner?
When it comes to keeping the floors of your restaurant clean, don't focus too much on keeping costs down. While a good vacuum cleaner designed for residential use can do the job in a pinch, repeated use will take its toll on the vacuum and result in a less than clean environment for your customers.
It's important to use a commercial grade vacuum in a professional setting, as the heavy repeated usage will be more tolerated while leading to better results. Additionally, a commercial vacuum comes equipped with a commercial power cord that makes the vacuum easier to use and compliant with safety standards.
Types of Vacuums
The commercial vacuum that best suits the needs of your restaurant may take one of many forms. A commercial upright vacuum cleaner comes equipped with a powered cleaning head, a bag or canister, and usually a lengthy cord that facilitates its use throughout a large surface area. Meantime, a wide area vacuum is a commercial grade vacuum that covers even wider territory, though it is best suited for areas with less furniture to work around.
A backpack vacuum is an excellent commercial vacuum for restaurant use, as it allows employees to move furniture and table settings out of the way while wearing the lightweight vacuum like a backpack, maneuvering the hose and extra-long power cord while often cleaning an entire restaurant without needing to switch electrical outlets.
More Commercial Grade Vacuum Cleaners
A canister vacuum is another viable option for restaurant use, as its light and maneuverable cleaning heads, along with its long, flexible hose, make it easy to clean under chairs and tables. This type of vacuum cleaner is also useful for vacuuming staircases and is generally quieter than most other commercial vacuums.
The portable handheld vacuum cleaner is useful for cleaning drapes and upholstery, as well as for quick cleanups - but is not designed to meet the needs of the entire restaurant floor.
Finally, Wet/Dry commercial grade vacuum cleaners are best suited for significant messes following a renovation, pipe burst or natural disaster - many consider this type of vacuum to be the best industrial vacuum cleaner.
Features of Commercial Vacuums
Hose diameter, cord length, cleaning capacity, weight, and noise level are all significant features to consider when choosing a commercial vacuum. The wider the diameter of the hose, the greater the amount of dirt and debris that the vacuum will absorb.
Hose diameters range between 1 1/4 and 2 inches, with smaller sizes suited to lighter cleanups. Regarding cord length, a standard cord length of 35-40 feet is often suitable, but consider opting for 50 feet if the additional length will allow you to clean the entire restaurant floor without shifting between electrical outlets. Meantime, cleaning capacity is important because of the convenience factor - the greater the capacity of the vacuum, the less frequently it will require emptying.
Furthermore, a low capacity bagged vacuum will compound the expense of purchasing new bags more often. Finally, lightweight vacuums, such as the backpack vacuum, are often more convenient for frequent restaurant use, and quieter vacuums with sound levels closer to 55 decibels are best suited for areas where customers may be present.
Bagged Vacuums and Bagless Vacuums
When deciding between bagged and bagless commercial grade vacuum cleaners, it's important to consider the various pros and cons of each.The primary advantage of a bagged vacuum cleaner is that dust and debris remain housed within a bag that is easily removed, thereby making the final step of any cleanup both neater and easier.
The final step of cleaning with a bagless vacuum cleaner exposes employees to dust and allergens that can aggravate those employees suffering from asthma and allergies. Though bagless vacuums eliminate the cost of bags, they also increase the cost of cleaning and replacing filters.
In either case, it's important to keep extra bags and filters in house to prevent any lapses in maintaining your restaurant's cleanliness.
Best Vacuum for Concrete Floors
If you're going to be cleaning a lot of hard floors, look into either an upright vacuum cleaner or a canister vacuum cleaner, though some canister vacuums will require a special cleaning head for hard floors. The height adjustment feature on a vacuum is also an issue when vacuuming hard floors, as some commercial vacuums will seamlessly transition from carpet to hard floor, while other vacuums will require manual height adjustment.
If you're going to be moving from carpet to floor often, consider a vacuum with an automatic height adjustment feature. Finally, look for a commercial vacuum equipped with a brushroll that can be turned on and off, as opposed to a powered brush, as the latter can scatter dirt across a hard floor.
CRI Certification and HEPA Filters
CRI Certification is handed down by the Carpet and Rug Institute, who test commercial vacuum cleaners for proper soil removal, dust containment and carpet texture protection. CRI certified vacuums have met the required standards that ensure healthier air quality and longer carpet life.
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, meantime, have been tested and certified as effective at removing harmful allergens and other microscopic particulates that can get dispersed into the air during vacuum cleaning.
Both CRI certified commercial vacuum cleaners, as well as those equipped with HEPA filtration are highly useful in maintaining clean, healthy air quality throughout your restaurant.