Sukdev ‘Cook’ Gill, co-owner of Cook & Indi’s World Buffet in Motherwell, was forced to defend the restaurant’s hygiene standards after a clip of a chef wiping down the walls of an open kitchen with a mop went viral.
Said Gill, “ I received a link posted by a young woman for a bit of fun. In this video clip I saw one of my chefs wiping down the walls in an open kitchen with a mop. There is nothing wrong with this, as the mops are colour-coded for separate uses, but just seeing him perform this task looked extremely unhygienic and the clip went viral, leading to some people to express their horror.”
“My initial reaction was one of anger. I was very upset because the clip only told a part of a true story. It did not allow us to explain what the chef was doing or why he was doing it. The clip had a devastating impact on our business and could have resulted in the shut down of a perfectly good business with the loss of many jobs.
He continued, “In one respect it turned out to be a good thing because, after the initial shock, we got together all our chefs and managers, and revisited our cleaning procedures. We brought in the Environmental Health Department, who gave us excellent support, and we now aim to relaunch all our restaurants by inviting our customers to an open day where they will be given full access to back-of-house operations to see all our health and safety procedures for themselves.
“We were able to use the feedback from customers to improve our standards, but that is not always possible for all businesses; some never recover from a negative social media post or comment. Feedback, when constructive, is always welcome, as it helps us to improve on our already high standards, but malicious posts can be devastating.
“The damage done by that clip has directly affected our sales figures, which took a real tumble and we are now fighting to get our customers back to show them the high standards to which we operate. I would urge customers posting clips and comments on social media platforms to sit back and consider the outcome of their actions before posting.”