Selecting the Right Surface Sanitizer for Your Restaurant

In 2012, Technomic asked 38,000 quick serve restaurant customers what were the most important factors they consider when visiting a restaurant. While food ranked at the top of the list, 88 percent of those surveyed said cleanliness was most important to them.

We know that many factors go into ensuring your restaurant is clean. However, did you know that using the right surface sanitizing products play an important role in not only the cleanliness of your restaurant, but the health of your employees and guests as well?

Selecting the Right Products
With so many surface sanitizing options out there, how do you select the right one for your restaurant? The following are key questions to ask when determining what product is right for your employees and guests.


  • Does it kill pathogens prevalent in foodborne illness outbreaks, such as Norovirus, Salmonella and E.coli?
  • How quickly does this product kill these pathogens (e.g. 30 seconds vs. 5 minutes)?
  • Will the surface remain wet long enough to meet the required kill times (e.g. 30 seconds)? Or, will you need to re-wet the surface in order to achieve the required kill times (e.g. 5 to 10 minutes)?
  • Is the product also an effective surface cleaner?
  • Is the product effective on both hard and soft surfaces?


  • Are there any precautionary statements on the product label – like must wash hands after use or hazard to humans and domestic animals?
  • Is the product approved for use on food-contact surfaces? Or, are you required to rinse food-contact surfaces with potable water after using the product?
  • Does the product contain harsh fumes that might irritate employees and guests?
  • Is the product compatible with the surfaces and equipment you plan to use it on?
  • Is it easy to use?


  • Is the product certified by a third party, such as EPA Design for the Environment (DfE)?

While these may seem like many questions to consider, key thought leaders in sanitization encourage you to walk through all of them to make sure you are selecting the ideal surface sanitizer for your needs. In the end, you want to make sure your products have a strong combination of efficacy, safety and sustainability.