COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the importance of disinfecting, observed Paul Edmondson, vice president, P&G Professional North America, but he cautioned that cleaning plays a critical role in the process.
“Disinfection is getting a lot of attention, and rightfully so, however the process of cleaning first actually helps disinfecting agents to work more effectively. So you can clean without disinfecting, and you can disinfect without cleaning, but in order to do a great job, you really need to do both.”
He noted that with some products, by following the label directions, you actually have to clean a surface first and then go back and disinfect it—two separate steps.
“That’s one of the advantage of our products, like Microban 24 Professional, Spic and Span Disinfecting Multipurpose Cleaner, and Comet Cleaner with Bleach—they do both. They are great cleaners that also disinfect,” said Edmondson.
In May 2020, P&G Professional surveyed 850 frequent business and leisure travelers and 974 diners about how COVID-19 has impacted their expectations about future travel and dining experiences. The surveys revealed that more than 70% of hotel guests and 80% of diners believe COVID-19 will have a medium to large impact on their expectations, even as nearly 50%of each group plans to return to their routines within the next three months.
Since the pandemic hit North America, it has had a tremendous impact—mostly negative, but some positive—or a variety of businesses.
“While it’s true that some facilities have been closed due to restrictions, others have been open with business booming,” noted Edmondson. “P&G Professional has been as agile as possible to respond to all of our customers’ needs and keep products stocked for those who need them. We’ve also been able to pivot in response to the pandemic and produce new products for donation, such as hand sanitizer.”
According to the survey 70% of travelers and nearly 60% (58%) of diners respectively, said they would patronize a hospitality or foodservice establishment if they knew the business was using a manufacturer or brand of cleaning products they personally knew and trusted. In addition, 55% of travelers would be willing to pay more for a hotel room and one in three diners would be willing to pay more for a meal if they knew the business was using a personally recognizable and trusted brand of cleaning products. Each survey revealed that P&G Professional is the professional-grade cleaning manufacturer with the highest awareness and trust by respondents with nearly 50% saying they have extreme trust in P&G Professional to clean a facility most effectively vs. 38% of the next leading competitor, according to P&G Professional.
“For more than 110 years, P&G Professional has offered cleaning solutions that help protect businesses and communities,” said Edmondson, “Now more than ever, it is critical that businesses achieve and maintain a high level of cleanliness and disinfection to help ensure the health and safety of employees and guests. Communicating the steps taken to achieve these new standards of clean is key to building trust with customers while rebuilding their business.”
P&G Professional has launched the CleanPlus Experience to aide businesses in their recovery by offering resources and materials to help build trust with guests. Businesses that sign up for the CleanPlus Experience will have access to co-branded digital and printed materials that showcase trusted name brands such as Dawn Professional, Microban 24 Professional, Safeguard, Spic and Span, and Comet to help give customers and guests confidence in the clean. The company has published an infection control guide, which can be downloaded here.
According to P&G Professionals, today travelers and diners demand more from hotel and restaurant operators. For example,
Travelers Expect More
• Bathroom cleanliness, odors, visible hair, and the condition of linens are top signals that a guest room is clean, or not;
• Bathroom surfaces, high-touch objects, contamination from previous guests, and presence of invisible pathogens are top concerns;
• 57% expect more transparency around what hotels are doing to keep guests safe and rooms clean, both in-person and on the company website;
• 67% expect to see more thorough and frequent cleaning and 61% expect to see more visible methods of cleaning, like pamphlets and signage; and
• Cleanliness and housekeeping procedures were ranked as most the important attributes for hotel guests, surpassing both the price of the room and location of the hotel.
Diners Raise the Bar
• Bathroom and kitchen cleanliness, spotless tables, chairs and surfaces and pleasant smells were the top signals that a restaurant is clean, or not;
• More than 70% expect more thorough and frequent cleaning, saying bathrooms, buffets, tables, chairs and counters are the most important areas to clean;
• Diners support changes to staff procedures to ensure safety, testing sick employees before they return to work, and having employees wear masks and gloves; and
• Cleanliness ranked as the second most important attribute for a diner’s experience behind only the quality and taste of food, however, 74% want to know how restaurants are cleaned and sanitized and what is being done to ensure food safety.
P&G Professional has many EPA-Approved Products on List N for use against SARS-CoV-2. These multi-purpose products are safe, simple and effective to use, and clean and disinfect in one step so owners and operators can be confident that their business is safe for employees, customers, residents and guests, said the firm.
These multi-purpose products include:
• Microban 24 Professional – The powerful disinfectant sanitizes in 10 seconds and kills 99.9% of bacteria on high-touch surfaces for up to 24 hours;
• Spic & Span Disinfecting All-Purpose Spray & Glass Cleaner – The multi-purpose cleaner combines three products in one and cleans with 50% fewer strokes than the leading competitor;
• Comet Disinfecting Cleaner with Bleach – The hospital-use disinfectant has a non-abrasive formula effective against tough kitchen and bathroom soils and cleans with 50% fewer strokes; and
• Clean Quick Sanitizers – The no-rinse sanitizer is safe for all food contact surfaces, including cutting boards, tables and chairs, and for third-sink sanitizing.
While health officials debate whether or not the first wave of COVID-19 has come and gone and whether or not it will return, P&G Professional noted that no matter what happens in the coming weeks or months, viruses are always around.
Preparation, explained Edmondson, is critical. For businesses, it’s about mitigating risk, helping employees and guests stay safe, and helping guests feel confident in a facility’s ability to keep them safe, he told Happi.
“Importantly, procedures should be in place that help prevent an outbreak. This includes policies surrounding the use of personal protective equipment, social distancing standards, and effective cleaning and disinfection,” he said. “Businesses can help their guests feel confident about their cleanliness and disinfection policies by cleaning with trusted brands, such as Microban 24 Professional, Spic and Span Disinfecting All Purpose Cleaner, Comet Disinfecting Cleaner, and Febreze Professional Sanitizing Fabric Refresher— and then using signs, or placards or stickers to communicate the clean.”
Edmondson said that preparing for the next outbreak, whichever virus it may be, is P&G Professional’s specialty.
“Along with our trusted cleaning and disinfection brands, we’ve always provided great training and other ongoing support for our customers,” he explained. “We will continue our support to help our customers deliver a superior guest experience.”
With cleaning and disinfecting top of mind for so many businesses, P&G Professional has taken steps to ensure its supply chain is strong to meet customers’ demand.
“This is a dynamic time for all manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors. We’ve seen unprecedented demand levels for many of our core products,” said Edmondson. “I’m incredibly proud of our supply chain teams, who are constantly pivoting to keep products shipping across the world.”
While issues such as supply chain management and efficacy are dominating today’s discussions about cleaning and disinfecting, Edmondson said that transparency remains critical—whether it’s how P&G Professional works with its customers and partners, or how they interact with their guests, building trust is imperative to success.
“As businesses begin to reopen and consumers make more discerning choices in where they eat, shop and stay, it will be really important for restaurants, hotels, retails shops – all those away-from-home spaces – to build trust with their guests,” observed Edmondson. “Being consistent in the things they can control – like the policies, procedures and communication surrounding COVID-19 and using those cleaning products with trusted brand names, will help reassure guests that it’s safe to return.”