Angry Crab Shack prides itself on providing a festive New Orleans-style backyard crawfish boil atmosphere. It’s part of being a hospitable franchise concept and why our guests keep coming back to enjoy seafood. Hospitality involves providing guests with a clean and attractive place to dine, another aspect of our franchise concept we’re proud of.
“Our guests are important to us,” said Mitch Bennett, director of back of the house operations for Angry Crab Shack. “It’s just like coming into our homes. We all want our restaurants to be clean and presentable. We want to give our guests the best dining experience they can have.”
Here’s how we maintain clean operations:
Angry Crab Shack is Good, Clean Fun
Part of the fun of eating seafood at Angry Crab Shack is how messy it can be. Many of our guests get into the spirit of the concept and pour their food right onto the butcher paper covering their table. Often, groups of people who want to share different foods, dump their bags of Asian Cajun flavored seafood into the middle of the table and eat with their fingers. That said, we also offer gloves for any guests who prefer to keep their hands clean. Although guests receive a beer bucket with their Cajun Seafood Boil order in which they discard the shells and other remnants, it’s inevitable that sauces, juices and shell bits will end up on the table.
It’s our job to provide a clean environment for them to feel comfortable eating this way and to make clean up efficient for restaurant staff. Using butcher paper to cover tables makes clearing guests’ messes easy, quick and effective. We remove the bucket, drink glasses and utensils, and then fold up the butcher paper, which keeps the remaining mess contained. Then we sanitize the table and seats before a new, clean sheet of butcher paper is placed on the table for the next party.
The utensils – crab crackers, kitchen scissors, forks, knives and spoons – baskets, plates and paper towel rollers are taken to the back of the house, where they are washed, sanitized and dried before it’s put back into service.
Cleanliness is Part of the Angry Crab Culture
Everyone who works at an Angry Crab Shack is trained on our cleanliness standards and responsible for maintaining them, even hosts and bartenders who do not typically serve food.
A clean restaurant extends beyond tidy and sterile eating surfaces and utensils. In addition to clearing and setting up tables, bus boys receive training on sanitizing bathrooms every 15 minutes during busy periods and every hour during down times. Buckets, utensils and glassware are cleaned and sanitized frequently throughout every shift to keep the environment safe and clean. Trash is also emptied and removed regularly, too.
“Our the training is extensive in order to provide safety to our guests and maintain the quality of our food service,” said Mitch. “But, it is well worth it.”
Clean Operations Evaluated
Anyone who has worked in the restaurant business has some familiarity with how to maintain a clean eating environment. But, any emerging concept should also develop their own best practices. You have to be flexible and audit the plan, training and procedures to ensure they stay in the best interest of the restaurant and guests.
Angry Crab Shack has been doing this for five years, and we’re set to open our 10th location soon, so we’ve got the procedures down pat. However, we have to be flexible about how they’ll be implemented because we open restaurants in second-generation spaces, not brand new spaces where cleaning efficiencies can be built in. Therefore, we run through how cleaning procedures will operate in every new restaurant location and make adjustments accordingly. We monitor each location closely to ensure our cleaning processes and best practices are implemented appropriately.
Directors do walk-throughs of restaurants with a checklist throughout the year. At the front of the house, directors might look at whether sanitizing buckets are in the right place, trash cans are emptied regularly, bathrooms are sanitized, table tops are thoroughly cleaned, butcher paper is fresh and more. They also meticulously scrutinize back of the house operations.
We audit our restaurants frequently, rather than conducting one large one once a year that won’t provide an accurate gauge. And, we inspect more than just cleanliness and presentation during these audits. We also inspect food safety, quality of food, employee and customer safety, and more.