Running a pub or restaurant is no easy feat. There’s a lot of responsibility involved, and unfortunately, a lot that can go wrong. From missed food deliveries to blocked drains, it can feel like there’s always a new challenge around the corner. With this in mind, it’s important to take steps to prevent all potential disruptions - especially drainage-related issues.
Drainage problems can wreak havoc within a pub or restaurant, so making sure you’re doing all you can to avoid them is essential. Below, we’ve listed our top plumbing and drainage tips for pubs and restaurants to follow.
Train your employees on what can and can’t be drained
There’s no denying that pub and restaurant kitchens are hectic and fast-paced environments. This can make it difficult for your staff to do things by the book, but when it comes to drainage, this is key to preventing drainage problems. Over time, improperly flushed items will block your drains and cause lots of issues, so make sure your employees know what and can’t be flushed.
If your commercial kitchen relies on kitchen porters, make sure they follow a system for dealing with grease. Once grease and oil have dried on pans and cooking utensils, this should be binned instead of being washed down the sink.
Put posters in the kitchen with helpful drainage advice
Make life easier for your employees by putting up helpful posters around the kitchen. When they’re in a rush, they’ll be able to look at the posters for guidance. The posters should display the items that mustn’t be poured down the sink and offer advice for what to do with them instead. Some of the key items to include are fats, oils and greases; pasta, rice and other grains; fruit and vegetable peelings; small pieces of food, and coffee grounds.
Making sure your employees are disposing of food items properly isn’t just about drain maintenance. Putting up posters with helpful advice will also help your employees stay compliant. Under the Water Industry Act 1991, it is a criminal offence to drain any matter which might prevent the free flow of a public sewer’s contents. This includes grease and fat, which can build up in drains and cause myriad problems.
Install a grease trap in your commercial kitchen
With so many pots and pans needing to be rinsed and washed throughout the day, grease and other food items will inevitably end up in your sink at some point. To separate the hot water from grease and fat as it’s poured down the sink, consider fitting a grease trap. Installing a grease trap is an effective way to prevent oils, fats and greases from building up in your drains and causing blockages.
Make bins easily accessible for your kitchen staff
If your kitchen staff can reach the bin quickly and easily, they will be much less likely to pour food items down the drain. Make sure you have enough bins in your kitchen for your employees to use, and ensure there’s a dedicated food waste disposal bin for recycling vegetable peelings and other types of organic matter.
Put helpful posters in your customer toilets
Drainage problems may not stem from your pub or restaurant kitchen - your customer toilets may also contribute to the issue. When using your bathroom facilities, your customers may not think twice about flushing a paper towel or sanitary product down the toilet. If you have baby changing facilities, customers may also try to flush baby wipes or even nappies.
To prevent drains from blocking as a result of customer misuse, stick posters and signs to the backs of cubicle doors and above the sink. Ask your customers to avoid putting anything down the toilet that isn’t toilet paper (including wipes and hand towels) and conduct frequent bathroom inspections to make sure blocked drains don’t go unnoticed.
Conduct frequent bathroom inspections
As we’ve just mentioned, inspecting your customer bathrooms regularly is vital. You can’t rely on your customers to alert you to blocked sinks and toilets, and over time, problems that are left unattended could get much worse. Set up a rota between your staff to ensure the toilets are checked multiple times a day and make sure you deal with any issues immediately.
Have your drains cleaned regularly by professional drainage experts
Even if you haven’t spotted a problem with your drains, remember that preventative maintenance is always the best measure. This includes taking steps to prevent your drains from blocking. One effective way to prevent your drains from blocking over time is to have them cleaned regularly, so this is certainly something all pubs and restaurants should do.
With so many different types of organic matter being poured down the sink - often accidentally - nasty build-ups and blockages can develop. With tried and tested drain cleaning methods, including fat removal solutions, you can prevent blockages and keep your drains in great condition.
Learn how to identify blocked drains
Although prevention is always best, there will be times where you’ll need to deal with drain-related issues. A key part of drainage maintenance is learning how to identify problems before they develop. This is especially important for pubs and restaurants, as one blocked drain could put you out of business for a couple of days at least.
Learning how to spot the telltale signs of a blocked drain will let you react quickly and prevent the issue from getting worse. Some of the key signs include:
- Unpleasant odours coming from sinks and toilet basins
- Rising water levels or waste backing up
- Unfamiliar gurgling sounds coming from sinks and toilets
- The slow drainage of water from sinks and toilets.
If you spot any of these signs, it’s time to act quickly. Make sure you have a drain maintenance plan in place for if this situation does arise. That way, you’ll be able to react as quickly as possible.
React quickly if you think your drains are blocked
Unfortunately, there will be cases where you need to deal with blocked drains in your pub or restaurant. Here, the most important thing to do is react immediately. Once you’ve identified the telltale signs of a blocked drain, make sure you call a trusted drainage company as soon as possible. They’ll be able to provide the assistance needed to get your drains functioning soundly again, whether you’re in need of high-pressure cleaning services or drain relining.
Don’t try to take care of blocked drains yourself
When you’re under pressure, it can be tempting to try and unblock the drains yourself. If you have lots of restaurant bookings or a pub full of thirsty customers, it’s understandable that you’ll want to get your business back up and running as soon as possible. However, this is likely to make the problem even worse. No matter how confident you are in your plumbing skills, you should always hire a drainage company to take care of the issue at hand.
A professional drainage company will have the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to unblock the drain quickly and efficiently. Most importantly, they’ll be able to unblock the drain safely. This ensures you can get back to serving pints or delicious meals without having to worry.
Drainage Consultants: Offering drainage maintenance, emergency drain clearance and much more
Whether your pub is struggling with blocked drains or you’d like preventative drain maintenance services for your restaurant, you needn’t look further than Drainage Consultants. Based in Manchester, we’re proud to be one-stop-shop for drainage services across the UK. We serve domestic and commercial customers nationwide, offering an efficient service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We combine quality workmanship with only the latest tools and technologies to identify and repair drainage problems of all types. From conducting CCTV surveys within residential properties to assisting with public sewer connections, we at Drainage Consultants are experts in all aspects of drainage.
For more information about how our team of experts could help you, get in touch with us at Drainage Consultants today. We’re always happy to help.