You’re Holding Up The Parade!

Why Your Beer Line Cleaner Doesn't Like You.

June 23, 2017 | By: Steve Riley | Time to read: 6 min

If you don’t get a Christmas Card from your line cleaner, this may be the reason why.

Being a Draught Service Technician isn’t a glamorous job.
Compared to other trades, they are underpaid; especially for all the work they do.
Most of the time the only recognition they get is when they come in for a service call and save the day to get your draught pouring again. And usually that recognition is from your regulars cheering about how, “The Beer Guy saved the day!” That makes them feel like they are making a difference. Who doesn’t like that?
Here’s the problem – you may be the reason that your line cleaner is cutting corners. He has no choice.
Look to pay about
per line for cleaning
It should take
minutes to clean 10 lines properly
Line cleaning is like a parade. Cleanings are scheduled sequentially, so if a cleaner has 50 establishments to clean each cycle, they do them in order because logistically, that's more efficient. When the cleaner can't get in on his regular scheduled cleaning, the parade gets backed up.
Here’s how you are causing the parade to back up:
  • He shows up at 8am when your KM is usually in, but the KM is 30 (or more) minutes late.
  • The KM / Prep Cook doesn’t have the beer fridge keys.
  • The bar isn’t tidy so he has to spend a few minutes moving stuff around to make room to clean the lines properly.
  • The produce order is stacked in front of the beer fridge door, so he has to move it.
  • The mop sink is full of garbage cans, bar mats, and buckets full of dirty rags – he can’t fill his cleaning pots with water.
And here is the biggest issue of them all – you have bus tubs and boxes of food on top of the kegs.
This presents a MASSIVE challenge. What the heck is he to do with a bus tub of raw protein or lettuce or beer pitchers of BBQ sauce/salad dressing, or cases of bottled beer, or …..
  • If he puts it on the walk-in floor and the health inspector comes in, he’s in trouble.
  • If he accidentally knocks over a container of food, he’s in trouble.
  • If he knocks over a case of beer (or the bottom falls out from being wet) and the bottles break, he’s in trouble.
  • If he puts a bus tub of raw protein on a shelf above a shelf of raw vegetables and the health inspector comes in, he’s in trouble.
  • If he spills anything on the floor or the kegs, he has to clean it up.
I understand why you have to store boxes and bus tubs on top of kegs. It happens because some people who design restaurants have never worked in a restaurant. They are trying to squeeze in extra seats in the FOH and that square foot has to come from somewhere.
Also, building one large walk-in is cheaper than building two.  So they amalgamate the walk-ins – beer and food in one.  Looks good on paper.
Cutting Corners 101. So you leave your line cleaner with no choice. They have to cut corners. Here’s what they do:
  • They don’t soak and scrub the couplers – “I’ll get them next month.”
  • They don’t soak and scrub the faucets – “I’ll get them next month.”
  • They don’t let the lines soak long enough. (15 minutes minimum)
  • They don’t vent the FOBs with cleaning solution so eventually you get build up so dense that the only option is replacing the FOB.
  • They rinse with beer instead of water ($$ Ching Ching! $$), which saves 10 minutes.

So here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure there is someone there when they should be (8:00 am?) and who has the keys to the beer fridge.
  • At closing each night, make sure the bar is clean and tidy, the mop sink and walk-in is accessible.
  • Put orders away when they arrive, don’t use the kegs as temporary shelving – for ANYTHING.
  • If you can ensure someone is there with keys before 8am, let your draught service company know – they can get in as early as you can; the earlier the better for them.

Improper line cleaning isn’t always the line cleaners fault.
Do your job so they can do theirs.

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