A clean shop and a good hygiene rating are the most important considerations when choosing where to purchase food from, above cost and customer service, according to research by P&G Professional. This is in contrast to research carried out in 2019, which saw just 55% name hygiene as a priority.
The poll of 2,000 adults found that pre-pandemic, eight in 10 customers were happy to take their chances, often buying a takeaway without looking into how clean and hygienic the shop was, with three quarters admitting the quality of the food was their main priority.
However, in the current climate, more than a quarter said they will ‘always’ check a takeaway’s hygiene rating before visiting a shop or placing an order for collection.
The research also revealed a clean and tidy takeaway makes customers feel most comfortable in the current climate, above staff wearing masks (51%), customers wearing masks (29%) and employees wearing gloves (53%).
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, 40% are likely to leave a bad online review if cleanliness and hygiene isn’t up to scratch - a 14% uplift vs pre-pandemic - and four in 10 adults are more likely to report breaches of cleanliness in their local takeaways.
The statistics also show that one in three respondents would be more likely to frequent a restaurant or takeaway if the staff used cleaning brands they knew and trusted, while another 68% would feel reassured about how hygienic a fish and chip shop or takeaway is if they see staff physically cleaning while they’re in there.
Over 70% admitted to checking a fish & chip shop’s hygiene rating before using them, and almost half would not return if they noticed the surfaces and kitchen area were unclean.
As the industry gets back on its feet post-COVID, P&G Professional is supporting fish & chip shops to prepare for a clean start with practical advice and guidance curated in partnership with the 2020 and 2019 winners of the National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year award, The Cod’s Scallops and Krispies respectively.
In addition, P&G has also created a stamp of approval window sticker and digital asset which shops can display, providing a mark of assurance for guests that an establishment has been cleaned to the highest standards
Greg Elmore, UK & Ireland Country Sales Lead at P&G Professional, comments: “These statistics show that customers want to know and see how businesses are managing cleanliness, and it is critical that this is communicated clearly to the public. Transparency surrounding cleaning processes will have a profound impact on the success of the foodservice industry over the next year.”
The survey also shows fish and chips is the top takeout, with 29% of the vote, closely followed by pizza at 26%. One in ten tucked into a fish supper weekly during lockdown between mid-March and June.