Ubiquitous “employees must wash their hands before returning to work” signage in every bathroom are reminders for staff not to mention visible to customers. But tracking just how good one’s staff is complying to that health mandate can be difficult.
But in today’s marketplace, business owners recognize that they must do all they can to build up guest confidence and get people back into their stores and restaurants—and that includes stepped-up hand washing.
The Clean Hands Company, St. Louis, has developed the Clean Hands System, a compliance system that ensures employees wash their hands on a regular basis. Developed by Ray Johnson and Fred Striley and launched in 2009, the system was originally created with restaurants in mind, but the founders knew that hand washing was a necessity that encompassed so much more than just food and beverage.
The system is a motion-activated soap dispenser that emits an audible beep when a crew member places their hands underneath. They then say their name or pass phrase and are immediately identified by the system via speech recognition. The team member's name appears on the LCD display as they wash their hands. Each dispenser event is logged to a database on a server and is available for review, which ensures compliance.
Chris LaRocca says Crushed Red, his St. Louis area fast casual chain, uses the Clean Hands System.
LaRocca’s has been using it pre-COVID-19. Following an e-coli outbreak in US, the local restaurant association in St. Louis was pushing for mandatory gloves, but LaRocca and others rejected that idea because it instilled a false sense of security among restaurants employees. Johnson and Striley reached out to LaRocca, and asked him for some input about their device. LaRocca would then run a beta test in one of his restaurants. Now, every one of his locations has the Clean Hands System.
According to LaRocca, guests are now hyper sensitive to how retail establishments handle hygiene.
“It wasn’t this way 10-15 years ago,” he told Happi.
Even while his dining rooms have been closed, customers that have come into LaRocca’s restaurants for takeout orders have said they were there because of his focus on hygiene, which is driven by the Clean Hands System.
The data report that is generated by the Clean Hands System helps management teams with no standards for handwashing frequency compliance to “draw a line and start one.”
The system works with Gojo soap dispensers. Besides restaurants, other locations that could benefit from a Clean Hands System include hospitals, nursing homes and medical settings (like dentists and urgent care providers), day care centers; cafeterias, shopping malls, food processors and more. The options, in today’s environment, seem endless.
And maybe that’s why LaRocca is more than just a Clean Hands System customer; he has been so impressed with the system that he now has distribution rights to it, he said.