The Connection Between Hygiene, Kitchen Exhaust systems and Employee Well-Being in the Hospitality Industry

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Published on 2024-03-08

The Connection Between Hygiene, Kitchen Exhaust systems and Employee Well-Being in the Hospitality Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic was an unfortunate and difficult lesson in workplace hygiene importance for many of us. To ensure this lesson does not go to waste, it’s important to recognize that the emphasis we placed on hygiene during the pandemic remains paramount today, even now that the worst of the COVID outbreak has passed.

As we all know, prioritising hygiene in the workplace goes a long way toward preventing disease spread at work — but the problem goes deeper than that. There is also a strong link between employee morale and hygiene.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The impact of hygiene on customer satisfaction
  • The relationship between employee productivity and workplace cleanliness
  • The relationship between mental health and workplace environment
  • The relationship between air quality and employee health
  • The relationship between kitchen safety and employee performance
  • The legal consequences of poor hygiene in the workplace
  • The potential for reducing turnover with hygiene practices
  • Guidelines for kitchen exhaust cleaning
  • And more

What Is Employee Well-Being?

Employee well-being is the overall mental, physical, emotional, and economic health of the people who work at your business. Some of the factors affecting employee well-being include your employees’ relationships with coworkers, the decisions they make at work, and the tools and resources they have access to. Factors like hours, pay, and overall workplace safety also have a substantial effect on employee well-being.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility as the employer to provide your employees with the necessary support for their physical and mental health at work.The well-being of an organisation’s workers is one of the key factors that determines the organisation’s effectiveness — this is as true in the restaurant and hospitality industry as it is anywhere.

Working at a restaurant can be an extraordinarily stressful job, which means the health and safety of your employees should be one of your top priorities. When your employees are healthy (physically, mentally, and emotionally), they are more likely to remain engaged in their work and perform tasks to the best of their abilities.

Hygiene in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Workplace safety and hygiene are critical for driving productivity, and by extension, company growth. Many people spend the majority of their waking hours at work. If these hours are spent in a clean and safe work environment, they are much less likely to become ill — which translates directly to happier, more productive employees and lower employee turnover. In fact, studies show that workers are 13% more productive when they are happy.

When you’re involved in a service industry (like tourism and hospitality), you have more opportunities than usual to directly impact the well-being of customers and staff members. It’s your duty, and the duty of all your employees, to make sure your business does not put anyone else’s health at risk. Would you want to buy food from someone who looks dirty and unkempt?

What Does Cleanliness Mean?

Cleanliness in the hospitality industry is about much more than appearances. It’s defined by rigorous service industry hygiene standards for handling, preparing, and serving food, as well as stringent requirements for maintaining clean and sanitary facilities and equipment. Cleanliness standards in food service are in place to ensure the well-being of both customers and staff.

Kitchen Exhaust Systems and Employee Well-Being

There is a direct link between kitchen exhaust system maintenance and employee well-being in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Poor exhaust system maintenance leads to compromised air quality and creates hazardous working conditions, placing employees at higher risk of both physical and psychological harm. Not only do improperly maintained kitchen exhaust systems cause respiratory health problems for employees, but they also negatively impact job satisfaction due to the added stress of working in a hazardous environment.

Consequences of Neglecting Kitchen Maintenance

Let’s take a look at a few of the main consequences of neglecting your commercial kitchen’s exhaust system:

  1. Health Risks

A dirty exhaust system reduces the air quality in the kitchen by releasing grease, smoke, and other pollutants that have collected over time. This contributes to respiratory problems, headaches, and other health issues among staff members who spend hours at a time working in the kitchen.

  1. Increased Fire Hazards In Commercial Kitchens

Kitchen exhaust systems accumulate grease over time. If this highly flammable grease isn’t regularly cleaned, you could have a dire fire hazard on your hands.

  1. Legal and Financial Repercussions

Failing to maintain a clean exhaust system in your commercial kitchen (or exhibiting any kind of lack of compliance with hygiene regulations) could result in substantial fines or even closure of your business by order of your local food safety authority.

  1. Reduced Employee Morale and Productivity

Working in a poorly maintained environment is very bad for employee morale. When a kitchen staff is forced to work in unsanitary conditions, it negatively affects productivity and employee turnover.

Benefits of Cleanliness in Commercial Kitchens

On the other hand, prioritising cleanliness has the power to transform a workplace for the better. Let’s look at some examples:

  1. Reduce Infection, Boost Health & Safety

Cleanliness is key for preventing the spread of illnesses at any kind of workplace. It’s crucial to practise regular and thorough cleaning procedures, especially in high-touch areas.

  1. Creating a Safer Indoor Atmosphere

Keeping your business clean contributes to healthier indoor air quality for everyone. Regularly cleaning and properly maintaining your extraction system eliminates pollutants like oils, dust, and allergens, ensuring your business’s air remains safe for employees and customers to breathe.

  1. Creates a Better Mindset

There is a significant link between employee engagement and cleanliness. Your employees are much more likely to remain motivated and engaged in their work when their working environment reflects a business-wide commitment to cleanliness.

  1. Boost the Confidence of Your Team

Ensuring kitchen equipment cleanliness also demonstrates your business’s focus on employee safety. Knowing that their workplace is regularly sanitised and equipment is correctly maintained helps employees to feel safe and secure and work — not to mention makes them feel more valued by their employer.


Maintaining workplace hygiene is critical for employee well-being and business success in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The lessons we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic serve as a stark reminder of the importance of cleanliness in the workplace — a reminder we’d do well not to forget anytime soon.

Prioritising hygiene at your place of business not only protects your employees and customers from the spread of illness and you from potential legal repercussions, but it also directly impacts the happiness and productivity of your workers. Lotus Commercial Cleaning has over 30 years of experience serving Australia’s hospitality industry, and we’d love to serve your business, too.

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