How to Get Better Online Reviews for Your Small Business

Getting positive online reviews is crucial to their growth and success of many small businesses today. In fact, about 57% of people visit a business’ website after reading a positive online review. Here’s how to get better online reviews for your small business.

1. Create different places to leave reviews

One of the first things you should do to get better online reviews for your small business is to create accounts on major review sites. If you’re based in Australia, customers will typically leave reviews on Google or Facebook, so make sure you have a Google Business account and a Facebook page set up for your business.
If you’re a restaurant that services patrons from overseas, also consider setting up a business page on Yelp and TripAdvisor, which tend to be the preferred review sites for tourists and international guests.

2. Ask your customers to leave you a review

Being proactive with asking for positive feedback is another way to get better online reviews.
Once your review pages are up and running, the next step to getting better online reviews is asking your customers to write them. There are many ways to do this, such as having your social handles and review sites present in your premises, or printing “Review us on Google!” on the bottom of the customer’s bill. If your customer has ordered online, be sure to include a link to your Google reviews on their online receipt.

Ask Customers for Review

Integrating this ask into your customer service is also key. For example, if you run a restaurant or café, the servers will usually ask customers if they’ve enjoyed their meal as they are clearing plates. If the customers respond positively, your wait staff should respond with “Glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed your meal. It’d be great if you could also leave us a positive Google review!”

3. Up your customer service game

If you’re going to get in the habit of asking for positive online reviews, make sure your customer service is up to scratch.

 Commercial Pest Control Sydney

As well as making sure your staff interact with clients in a positive manner, the presentation of your business is also important. Making sure your business’ premises are clean and tidy is key.

Booking regular commercial pest control is key in keeping your premises tidy. PestOz pest control Sydney can help set up your business’ pest control system. Contact our friendly team today to see how we might be able to help your business.

4. Monitor your review spaces

As much as your online reviews are about customers being able to find you, they’ll also give you honest feedback about your business. Be sure to regularly monitor your review spaces to see how you can improve your business.
Monitor Reviews

Engage with customers who have left reviews, thanking them for their positive feedback and offering solutions to those who have had a sub-optimal experience.

As a continuation of your customer service, this type of re-engagement with your clients will also ensure you continue to get better online reviews for your small business moving forward.

Four Things The Best Hotels in The World have in Common

Travelers today have many options when it comes to choosing accommodation. With the emergence of online hotel booking sites and alternative accommodation through Airbnb, competition in the hotel industry is fiercer than ever. However, the best hotels in the world are still able to attract guests and build brand loyalty.

While it might seem like that’s due to all the added luxuries that affordable accommodation can’t budget, surprisingly, it’s often attributed to the basic services performed extremely well. Here are four things the best hotels in the world have in common.

1. Cleanliness

Whether you’re a luxury boutique hotel or an affordable inn, cleanliness is an absolute must when it comes to hospitality. One of the things the best hotels in the world have in common is their dedication to cleanliness and hygiene. From having spotless rooms to ensuring that kitchens maintain top OHS standards, cleanliness and hygiene are a top priority for the best hotels in the world.

pest control schedule

One of the worst things that can happen to a hotel is that guests experience issues with bed bugs, cockroaches or other vermin. Not only do these pose serious health issues, they’re also hugely detrimental to your establishment’s reputation. The best way to avoid these issues is ensuring that you abide by a strict hotel pest control schedule.

2. Safety and security

One of the most important things the best hotels in the world have in common is that they prioritize the safety of their guests. Top hotels ensure the right security measures are put in place to help guests feel safe and secure at all times. While these can include personalized safety and security measures for high-profile guests, it’s also as simple as having adequate lighting and CCTV installed, as well as having swipe-pass access to lifts and public areas.

3. Guest amenities

Often what distinguishes the best hotels in the world from the mediocre ones is the availability of guest amenities. From having an on-site gym, pool and food outlets to having high-speed internet and great water pressure in bathrooms, top hotels have a great range of guest amenities available. However, perhaps what’s more important is that they ensure their guests’ amenities all function to the highest standard.

4. Customer service

One of the most distinctive traits of top hotels is their level of customer service. They ensure that their staff is friendly, diligent and responsive to the needs of guests. If there is ever an issue with cleanliness, safety or the guest amenities, these can often be rectified quickly and efficiently if the customer service team are well-trained and respond in a respectful and helpful manner.

pest control check

PestOz is a leader in commercial pest control in Sydney. From responding to emergency pest control situations in hotels to helping our clients establish proper cleanliness systems, PestOz’s commercial pest control services can help your hotel take control of its pest control. Get in touch with our expert team today!

How To Prepare For Your Restaurant’s Hygiene And Food Safety Inspection

Hygiene and food safety inspections are one of many procedures put in place by the government to ensure that food is safe for consumers. They aim to reduce poor food handling practices and protect consumers from the potential spread of food-borne illness. Businesses that fail to meet legal health and hygiene standards may be subjected to closure and hefty fines, which can cost business owners a great deal of money.

To protect your business and its reputation, here are five tips to help you prepare for your restaurant’s hygiene and food safety inspection.

1. Refer to your last hygiene and food safety inspection report

The first thing to do to prepare for your hygiene and food safety Inspection is to refer to your last inspection report. Re-read the recommendations made by the food safety inspector and ensure that you’ve taken steps to meet these recommendations, especially those that are required by law.

food safety inspection

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your staff is aware of the previous recommendations and the actions that have been taken to rectify any issues. This will enable them to accurately answer any questions the inspector may ask them.

2. Clean and sanitize the food preparation area properly

While this might sound obvious, many businesses forget to properly sanitize their food preparation area before inspection. Make sure you clean and sanitize under, behind and inside all food preparation equipment and appliances, and also clean grease traps, floors, and storage areas.

3. Check your food storage area

Another common mistake that many hospitality businesses make is not storing food properly – this is especially common when the hygiene and food safety inspection is carried out during service.

One thing inspectors will look for is that food and ingredients are wrapped and stored correctly, both during service and in food storage areas. Alert your staff to keep on top of this at all times, especially when an inspector is around. Also, ensure that fridges and storage shelves are clean and not over-stocked.

4. Install temperature gauges

An easy way to nail your hygiene and food safety inspection is to install temperature gauges in your food preparation and storage areas. This makes it easy for inspectors to see that your food is stored at the correct temperature, mitigating any contamination risks.

pest control services in restaurant

 

5. Make sure you’re up-to-date with your pest control schedule

Having clear evidence of your last restaurant pest control service is important for nailing your health and hygiene inspection. Make sure there is no evidence of infestation, especially from common pests such as rats, mice, and cockroaches. If you’re not up-to-date, book in a pest control service before your inspection.

Also, make sure you check any other pest control measures that you have in place. Ensure that your waste containers are properly covered and that food preparation areas are protected by flyscreens on windows and doors.

By following these five tips, you’ll go a long way in ensuring your business passes its hygiene and food safety inspection with flying colours.

Keeping Commercial Kitchens Clean In Six Easy Steps

Hospitality venues must abide by strict regulations when it comes to handling food. Keeping commercial kitchens clean is essential to preventing food contamination, but keeping track of everything you need to do can be tricky.

Follow our six steps for keeping commercial kitchens clean.

1. Use cleaning lists

Regular cleaning of your regular kitchen is essential for food safety. While some jobs should be done several times a day, others may only need to be performed weekly or monthly. Make cleaning checklists that clearly indicate what tasks need to be performed and how often. Have these laminated and hung around your kitchen so that they’re easily accessible to your team.

2. Sanitize regularly

Some surfaces, floors and kitchen equipment need more than just to be cleaned – they need to be sanitized. Sanitizing through specialized chemical agents or by using heat reduces bacteria, as well as inhibiting its growth and spread. Ensure you sanitize as often as necessary.

3. Store your food properly

It’s easy for food to go off if it isn’t stored properly. At the end of every service, make sure your food is safely wrapped and stored in air-tight containers. Make sure your food is stored off the ground and away from windows and doorways, so that you don’t attract an unwanted pests.

4. Don’t forget about your fridges

Lots of food needs to be chilled, so it’s important to make sure your refrigerator is set below the 5°C to prevent bacteria growth. Also, ensure that your commercial fridges are not over-flowing. There should always be enough room in the fridge for air to circulate so that the appliance functions properly. Regularly emptying and wiping down fridges is also important for keeping commercial kitchens clean.

5. Check ‘use-by’ dates

Even though most of us consider ‘use-by’ dates as guidelines in our everyday lives, it’s incredibly important to abide by them in a commercial context. At the end of every shift, check that all your open ingredients aren’t just stored properly, but that they’re still within their use-by date. When you’re doing your ordering every week, check that all your unopened inventory is also within its use-by period.

6. Have a strategy to tackle pests

Keeping commercial kitchens clean means keeping pests out of it. Having a regular commercial pest control schedule is important to protect your kitchen against pests and vermin, as well as lowering the overall risk of contamination. To help assess how often your venue requires pest control and which services best meet your needs, contact PestOz today.

Three common problems restaurants face and how to solve them

Running your own restaurant is a dream for many. If you’ve come this far, congratulations! You’ve already made it. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a few hiccups here and there, so don’t fret, there are many common problems restaurants face on the daily.

Here are three common problems restaurants face and how to solve them.

1. Discovering your ‘special sauce’

With so many cafes, pubs and places to dine these days, it can be hard for restaurants to stand out. So how do you get people to notice you in the first place?

Having something that makes your venue stand out will put you on the map – literally. Give your customers something exciting to share about your restaurant on social media. Whether that’s a signature dish, kooky and cool interiors or another experiential element that gets people hooked, consider what makes your restaurant unique and amp it up through your marketing and communications.

2. Finding the right help

Running a restaurant is a team effort. One of the most common problems restaurants face is finding and retaining the right staff. While there will always be a natural attrition rate, finding people who are passionate about what they do who are aligned with the values of your business often means they’ll stay with the business longer.

3. Keeping things hygienic

While it might seem embarrassing, one of the most common problems restaurants face is maintaining health and hygiene standards. But don’t freak out – it is quite difficult to keep on top of health and hygiene standards when it comes to running a venue, especially when food is involved.

As a restaurant operator, not only do you have to worry about preparing, handling and storing food properly, you’ll often find yourself dealing with some not-so-pleasant secondary issues – namely, rats and other vermin. Implement systems and checks to ensure your kitchen, food preparation areas and fridges are cleaned regularly and produce is safe for consumption. Also, ensure that your venue is up-to-date with its pest control schedule. This will help prevent any unwanted visitors in your food storage areas.

Preventing rats

At PestOz, we’re regularly giving advice on preventing rats. They have a nasty habit of finding their way inside!

If you’re suffering from a rat problem, your first step is to make it difficult for them to enter your home or premises. Rats look around skirting boards, behind fridges, behind cupboards and inside cupboards for holes. When preventing rats, those holes need to be closed up!

We advise using chicken mesh scrunched up and forced into holes. For an even better solution, spray the chicken mesh with foam hole sealer. This can be bought from any hardware store.

Rats love the kitchen. They are attracted to food left in bins or on countertops and will climb under even the smallest space beneath the kitchen door to find it. Try to get into the habit of emptying bins before going to bed and closing the kitchen door at night. You can also use a metal strip on the bottom of your kitchen doors to close off any space that rats might find to crawl through.

If you know of a primary location that rats enter your home or premises, we can set traps or place bait at these locations.

When in doubt, give us a ring for a free consultation! Let’s tackle this pest together!

Heat Waves and Pests

Sydney has suffered some soaring temperatures of late, and the phones at PestOz are running hot. This begs the question – is there any relationship between heat waves and pests?

While us humans do everything we can to stay cool and hydrated in the heat, heat waves and pests are a match made in heaven. Many insects including spiders, mosquitoes, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, ants and stinging insects thrive in the heat. These insects are cold blooded meaning that the increase in heat helps them to develop at a greater rate. Many of these insects hibernate during winter and use the summer months to feed and breed. And when temperatures soar to even greater heights; you guessed it – more breeding, and more pests.

Eventually these pests seek shelter from the extreme weather indoors, leading to increased sitings and increased calls to local pest controllers.

Some prime examples include:

  • Cockroaches – a prime example of the relationship between heat waves and pests. Roaches breed in the summer as the climate helps them to thrive. Despite this, they seek moisture and prefer dark shady places over the summer sun, leading them to look for moisture and shelter under sinks and basements.
  • In the case of spiders, they also venture indoors looking for dark places to hide. Once those places get too warm, for example, the attic, they’ll venture out and look for cooler spots downstairs.
  • Extreme heat can help to rapidly mature mosquito breeding. And the rain that typically comes after a heatwave is welcomed by mosquitos who use the catchments in buckets, wheel barrows and other containers as places to breed.

You can’t control the weather but there are some things you can do to avoid a pest infestation during the summer months when heat waves are common.

  • Keep your house as tidy as possible, removing any potential sources of food or shelter, such as dirty dishes in the sink, spills or crumbs on counter tops.
  • Avoid using compact fluorescent bulbs around your home – these are the ones that attract the most mozzies.
  • Use fans – mozzies aren’t strong against a current.
  • Try to keep grass and bushes at a distance from your walls.
  • Replace window screens regularly.
  • Be on top of your waste removal.
  • Make sure your food is stored in sealed containers.
  • Be on top of moisture prone and damp areas as well as places where water tends to accumulate from rain around the house.
  • Have regular preventative pest control treatments by contacting PestOz.

How frequently should I schedule pest control?

The presence of pests is horribly frightening for so many of us, yet regular pest control services are an often neglected area of property maintenance. Clients often call us after seeing an increased amount of a particular pest around, or after realising it’s been years since their last pest inspection! So how frequently should you schedule pest control?

 

Residential Pest Control
Regular pest control visits ensure that you and your loved ones are kept safe from pests – safe from the fright of encountering a rat or roach, safe from them chewing through important wires or furniture and safe from accidentally ingesting their droppings in your food. 

Our advice is to schedule pest control once a year, preferably just before the Summer months when more pests like to come out to play.  If you have a heavy infestation of pests, your applications may need to be closer together to ensure you get your problem under control and can then go back to undertaking preventative pest control measures.

 

Restaurants and cafes
The Food Standards Code requires food businesses to take all practicable measures to prevent pests entering the food premises and eradicate and prevent the harbourage of pests on the food premises. To avoid the chance of failing your food safety inspection, we recommend scheduling pest control treatments every 6-12 weeks.

 

Supermarkets and food stores
Like restaurants and cafes, supermarkets and grocery stories must comply with the food standards code. We also recommend scheduling treatments at 6-12 week intervals. It’s an extremely necessary measure against having to throw away a lot of otherwise perfect produce.

Hotels
Like restaurants and cafes, hotels must also comply with the food standards code. Our scheduling advice differs depending on the size of the hotel. For example, PestOz typically recommends 6 weekly treatments for hotels with an active food and drink premises, while smaller and quieter hotels might be advised to have 6 monthly treatments.

Strata
Individual tenants are responsible for eradicating pests if the problem occurs after they moved in. If the property was not in a safe and hygienic condition when the tenant moved in, they might be able to argue that the owner is responsible for the infestation. PestOz recommends that landlords schedule pest control services at least once a year and before the arrival of new tenants.

The body corporate is responsible for providing pest control for all public areas of a building. PestOz recommends scheduling yearly pest control treatments.

Warehouses and factories
Non food related warehouses and factories typically schedule quarterly pest control treatments.

Retail stores
Non food retail stores typically schedule their pest control treatments every 6 months. We conduct these treatments outside of retail opening hours so your customers won’t be affected.

It’s important to remember there is no hard and fast rule or law about when to schedule pest control treatments. Our advice is based on experience and is governed by whether there is an active pest problem or history of pests in your premises.

If you’re prone to forget scheduling pest control for your home or business, why not book your next pest control service when your service specialist pays you this year’s visit? You may find you need a call back sooner than this but we hope our service was effective enough for this not to be the case.