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Stepping up Floor Cleanliness at Jason’s Deli

“Since the rollout of our Cintas floor maintenance program, we haven’t experienced a single slip-and-fall accident at that location,” said Nic McLaughlin, Director of Facilities, Jason’s Deli. “We’ve found that with good tools, training and follow-up, we can significantly improve floor safety and cleanliness.”

Founded in 1976, Jason’s Deli has built its business around three primary concepts: people, food and choice. Throughout its more than 230 stores nationwide, its management team works hard to ensure employees have the best possible working environment and career growth opportunities. They serve food of the highest quality, using only fresh and natural ingredients, and they aim to give customers an extensive choice when they walk through the front door.

These best-in-class principles carry over to its facility maintenance and management program. Nic McLaughlin, Director of Facilities at Jason’s Deli, continuously looks for ways to improve its cleaning processes. Recognizing the potential risks of a slip-and-fall injury on Jason’s Deli staff, guests and overall business, McLaughlin wanted to maximize the safety of its floor maintenance program.

In the most recent data available on the subject, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that restaurant industry employees experienced more than 12,500 cases of disabling injuries due to same-level slips, trips and falls—and this is just staff. By standardizing its current floor care program and updating some of the technology used, McLaughlin hoped to reduce the risk of an incident from happening at their stores, while also improving the overall appearance of the floors.

“We used a pretty basic [floor cleaning] program, which involved daily maintenance of dining room, restroom, kitchen and back of the house floors,” said McLaughlin. “There weren’t any issues with it, but when we worked with Cintas and started to see how their tile cleaning service could improve our floor safety, we immediately realized the opportunity. We got the risk department involved and started conducting some testing to identify the best program for our operations.”

Testing the Best Method

McLaughlin looked to Cintas to help test different floor maintenance strategies. As Jason’s Deli’s mat provider, Cintas always ensures the proper mats are clean, available and in good condition, so McLaughlin hoped to further streamline vendors and engage Cintas to drive its floor maintenance program.

“We tested several of their patent pending programs,” said McLaughlin. “Each included a different type of technology, including an auto scrubber to remove soil from floor surfaces and a microfiber flat mop system that dispensed chemical with the floor mopping process. Cintas stressed that agitation is an extremely important part of the daily maintenance process. Each of our test locations used a different method of agitation as we wanted to understand the difference between machines and manual agitation methods. We then identified cleaning zones within our restaurants with each zone having color-coded cleaning tools and a specific daily cleaning program. Zone cleaning gives us an easy way to ensure the correct process is being done as well as eliminate soil transfer between zones. With Cintas we then developed a zone-based, comprehensive floor care program that included a less frequent deep cleaning strategy and an ongoing daily cleaning program that standardized processes and floor mats. The goal was to not only find a program that improved cleanliness and safety, but also simplified the operational process and was easy to train employees to execute and follow up on.”

Before the pilot began, McLaughlin facilitated meetings and updates with the risk management and training departments so all steps were clearly communicated and coordinated. Representatives from Cintas helped develop the execution strategy by defining each component for the programs and then conducted benchmark testing before the start of pilot.

“It took a lot of upfront coordination,” said McLaughlin. “We were constantly soliciting input from the different departments and making tweaks to the program. In addition to defining the program, we had to make sure that training materials were available in both English and Spanish so all of our staff members could understand their roles and responsibilities.”

For benchmark data on floor traction levels, Cintas experts conducted audits at several locations, including areas around the drink station and at the cash register. Testing was conducted with a BOT-3000 tribometer, as recommended by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). The measurements provided the Wet Static Coefficient of Friction (WSCOF) levels on wet surfaces—or in simple terms, how far someone’s foot would slide once it hit the surface. The goal was to provide a comprehensive floor care program that achieved the performance required to be certified “High Traction” according the ANSI B101 standard. Each element of the program (deep clean, mats, daily maintenance) as well as the complete program was developed to achieve the certification. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) was engaged to do before and after auditing of the program at each location.

Once the benchmark data was gathered, the team then deployed floor maintenance programs in each of the locations to conduct the pilot tests. Using the Cintas three-step approach of deep cleaning, protecting and maintaining floor surfaces, they then rolled out a customized floor care management program at each location, conducting ongoing measurements each week to track the effectiveness of the program.

The Results

At the conclusion of the pilot, McLaughlin met with the team to analyze the results and determine next steps for the program.

“After the NFSI told us that all tests passed the High Traction certification we picked a manual method of agitation. Our new daily cleaning process was an improvement over the tools we used and incorporated an extensive follow-up and training program,” he said. “We found that good technique, training and managerial engagement are key to making a program work. With the new tools, such as a dual-chamber mop bucket, we are able to accomplish floor cleaning tasks more quickly but with better results.”

Since the rollout of the program, Jason’s Deli has experienced zero slips and falls in the store where the program was implemented. In addition, the store has realized several additional benefits from the program, including:

  • Increased SCOF values by over 20%
  • Positive feedback from employees and management staff
  • Extensive customer feedback acknowledging improved cleanliness
  • Expected lower insurance premium costs

“We’re very pleased with the results we’ve experienced so far, and appreciate all Cintas has done to help facilitate the process,” added McLaughlin. “We look forward to growing our partnership in an effort to protect all of our staff and guests.”