When a customer walks into your business and sees a ‘roach strolling casually up the wall, they will tell the world about it. Do you know why they do that? They do that because your potential and existing customers care.
According to research done in 2022, people trust online reviews to help them make a decision about where to spend their money. Therefore a bad review may do more damage to your business’s reputation and revenue than you may expect.
Let’s look at 3 ways these unsightly pests can affect your business’s brand and bottom line.
1. Business closure due to contamination
Cockroaches are one of the top 3 pests that cause damage in many sectors, including the hospitality industry. There are a host of contamination risks associated with cockroaches, partly due to the fact that their diet is vast and versatile. They feed on decaying matter, faecal matter, mould, animal carcasses, and on occasion even get into our food.
Once they find their way into our food production facilities, they carry all of the bacteria from their previous locations with them. This is why the merest hint of cockroaches in a food production site is a huge problem. This often leads to temporary closure of your business, in order to prevent a cockroach infestation or deal with an existing one.
2. Legal and regulatory consequences
Environmental health departments and regulatory bodies have strict guidelines regarding pest control and sanitation. Failure to address a cockroach infestation quickly can have legal consequences that result in expensive fines. Such events can be widely publicised and further damage your brand’s reputation. On the 25th of June 2023, it was reported that a restaurant in Durban was fined R5000 for having cockroaches and dirty conditions. Commercial kitchens are potentially a high risk when it comes to hygiene. Read more about how you can keep your kitchen equipment clean here.
Cockroaches can make customers or employees sick. Roach droppings and shed skins can cause allergic reactions, especially if they get into air ducts. Some symptoms of allergic reactions to roaches include congestion, skin rash, watery eyes, sneezing, and asthma. If a customer or employee is harmed by the presence of cockroaches in your business, this can lead to a civil action for damages by the affected parties.
3. Loss of customer confidence
Cockroach sightings can instil fear and disgust in customers. This erodes their confidence in a brand’s ability to maintain cleanliness and professionalism. The mere association with these pests can result in customers seeking alternatives, resulting in loss of sales, negative reviews, and decreased market share.
Food businesses cannot afford to have pest sightings in their products or on their premises. A single image or video taken by a customer could go viral in hours. Brand reputation and image can be tarnished in an instant, as customers now have platforms to voice their opinions and experiences openly.
How can you prevent a cockroach infestation?
There are some practical methods of controlling and preventing cockroaches invading your business:
1.Eliminate food supplies; store dry foods in tightly sealed containers or in sealed plastics
2.Clear all waste food and liquid spillage; clean up food debris from food preparation areas
3.Declutter; remove unused cardboard boxes and all other forms of clutter from the floor
4.Seal entry points to deny access to cockroaches
But here is the thing,
In a previous blog, we looked at 10 facts about cockroaches you really should know. These facts are some of the reasons why cockroaches are a nightmare to control. Just when you think you have gotten rid of them using your own methods, a customer spots one.
Their ability to breed rapidly and their resilience means that a professional service is usually the most reliable form of control. Only expert cockroach control products and solutions are powerful enough to eliminate all stages of their lifecycle.