Yep, it happens, even to the best of us… we got fired and we don’t like it, but sometimes it is the correction that is needed, it works both ways!
A quick story, our company does about 50 percent residential service and the other half is commercial service. This is important to you whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, because it let’s you know how professional our service people are, that they are highly qualified and trained in many types of pest control, in many settings, and for every type of pest infestation. In this case, I am going to be talking about cockroaches, and specifically a severe infestation in a restaurant. I know you probably don’t want to hear about this, especially if you dine out regularly, but it is good to learn about, simply to make you aware of small things you should look for, and maybe locations you should NOT frequent. Now I’m not going to call out any restaurants by name, as that wouldn’t be very professional, but I will give you a couple pointers to consider before choosing your next diner to take your loved ones and friends out on the town.
Top Three things to look for in choosing a place to dine in.
- Cleanliness – You know if it is clean or not, just look around, if you feel like you are going to leave dirty by sitting in their chairs, booths or stools, it might not be too clean in the kitchen either. If the bathrooms are disgusting, what’s the dish-washing room look like, if the floor behind the counter has garbage, food debris or looks like it is not the normal color of the flooring, well, you guessed it – probably not too clean, how do you think the food prep counters, stove top, pots, and pans look?
- Odor – this one is the quickest measure for me, I have a strong sense of smell, and upon walking into the joint, I can smell if they mopped the floors with a moldy, musty, dirty mop, it is not a fresh smell. Because I am a professional in the pest control business, I can smell the odor of cockroaches and of rodent droppings, oh how I wish I didn’t recognize those smells!
- Maintenance – just look around, are seats in disrepair, baseboards missing or broken, ceiling tiles missing, holes in walls, all areas that should tell you that proper care is not going into this restaurant, a place that is going to prepare your next meal… just saying, it’s your stomach.
Now I didn’t mean for this story to turn into a message that might gross you out or change your mind in ever eating out again, I started out by saying we got fired from an account. So, in our defense, I will pull this whole story together and hopefully give you a little understanding about professionalism in the pest control industry.
We began service at this bar and grill, they had a serious infestation of cockroaches, the health inspector was giving them warnings and the manager did the one and only right thing, called us for service. We worked very hard, performed an excellent initial service, did a major clean out, got rid of most of the problem in a short period of time. However, based on the 3 top things to look for before you choose a place to dine, can you imagine what the manager didn’t do? That’s right, he thought he hired a miracle company, not a pest control company, he expected the problem to be solved because we “SPRAYED”. He said he cleaned, he said he was fixing all the conditions we reported needing maintenance or repair, and obviously the place still smells to this day! I will never eat there! Sometimes, it is impossible to solve a pest issue, if the manager won’t perform the necessary steps to eliminate the cause of the problem(s) and create a consistent regiment of cleaning and repair procedures, making us simply a temporary band aid to his real issue.
Then they throw you under the bus, tell you what a rotten job you have done and tell you they found a real company, who would come in and really “SPRAY” the hell out of the place. There is one more thing you can add to the list of ODOR’s you might smell when you walk into a restaurant, if you smell a strong pesticide smell, now you know why… Run, this might not be the best place to eat at.
Professional companies perform IPM integrated pest management programs designed to not only control an existing pest issue, but also guide commercial customers in creating proper cleaning protocols, install regular maintenance schedules and perform necessary repairs. When working with accounts and their management and staff it is important to work together as a team, when one leg of a stool breaks the whole stool falls. So yes, we got fired from this account, but sometimes not every customer is the right customer either. We don’t perform miracles and neither does any other pest control company and choosing another company just because they will lay down more pesticide, is not a proper way to choose a company, and probably not the company I would want to protect my establishment or home either. Great pest control companies are responsible, follow the federal labels as designed for every product they use, and don’t liberally apply just because a customer says spray more. Great companies communicate with their customer’s staff that together we need to work harder to prevent the issue in the first place, let’s not poison the place!
Pick your restaurant wisely, there are some fantastic restaurants, just remember your Top 3 things to help you choose the right one, and consider a professional pest control company that is serious about protecting you from not only pests, but also properly applies the materials it uses and trains it’s customers to be proactive and preventative in how it does it business both residential and commercially.