3 Impressive Reasons to Choose the Best Toilet Paper for Your Business

When deciding to run your own business, you have to think about many details. Those details can often be crucial when dealing with customers.

Not only that your customers will grade your services or products, but they will certainly notice the way your office is decorated, whether the lobby is pleasant and comfortable or not, even the condition of your washrooms.

Now, you have a choice – to invest just in some bigger areas and the most visible ones, or to spend a bit more and pay attention to all the details, especially the washroom? The second option is definitely more advisable.

You may wonder why the washroom is of particular importance. Well, it is just because you show your customers way more than you think. When the washroom area is clean, sanitised and well-equipped, the customers become aware how much you really invest in your business.

That will prove them you take seriously every detail which is in any way related to your business and dealing with customers.

Although it looks like a very simple and easy job to do, cleaning and keeping the washroom in a perfect condition can be surprisingly challenging. If you do not have enough time, or you want to dedicate that time to another business area, you should consider hiring a professional service to keep the washroom spotless. Whatever you decide, do NOT neglect your washroom!

After you take care of maintaining the washroom, you can then pay attention to all the details which are used there. Believe it or not, these details can ruin or enhance your business. So, choosing the best soap dispensers, hand sanitisers, and even toilet paper can make a huge difference.

Yes, the choice of toilet paper says a lot more about your business than you could ever imagine! It can give your customers some crucial additional information about the way you are running your business.

If you are still not convinced, here are three great reasons to be more careful when choosing the type of toilet paper you will put in your washroom.

1. You Care about Your Customers

Many people think there is just one type of toilet paper. However, there are many varieties of paper both for home and commercial use. Depending on the number of layers, softness and the material, you can choose which one suits your needs best. Of course, there are also those which are produced in many different colours and patterns. You can print even your company’s logo on it!

Photo courtesy from Pixabay by Free-Photos

When you invest in details such as toilet paper, it reflects on your business brand image. After using the washroom, your customers will be amazed by the care and attention they get. This indicates how much you value them. Finally, the level of comfortability you offer will become part of the overall picture of how you treat your customers.

2. You Pay Attention to Details

When running a business, it is somehow natural that you think of the best possible ways to make all the areas of your business space welcoming, pleasant and comfortable. Thinking about the best ceramics for your washrooms is great, but thinking about providing the best quality and luxurious toilet paper for your customers is outstanding!

A person who is so thorough in running a business, that even thinks about the toilet paper customers use in the washroom, is someone you can trust. Someone who is reliable. If you carefully choose such details and spend time and money on them, it shows you are very detailed also in any other area of your business. Great benefits, wouldn’t you agree?

3. You Are a Great Manager

When your customers see that you are ready to invest in a good quality toilet paper, they realise you unquestionably take care of your business at all possible levels. Yes, this shows you are a great manager!

You may wonder how the choice of toilet paper can tell people anything about you as a manager?

Firstly, your customers use your washrooms for free and keeping it spotless and well-equipped shows that you even pay attention to details which you don’t charge. Also, when they see that the washroom is in a perfect condition, it can be clear that you choose the best people to be your employees and that you’re delegating and organisational skills are remarkable.

After reading this, it really seems that investing in the washroom maintenance and details actually pays off. Sometimes you spend a bit more than you planned, but get much more benefits than you could ever imagine!

If you have decided you want the best possible service and supplies for your washroom, call Alsco now! Our friendly and helpful representatives will willingly answer all your questions and find the best possible offer for your business!

Photo courtesy from Wikimedia by Elya

5 Marketing Tips For New Restaurants

Kitchen open signage

Opening a new restaurant in today’s economy can be a difficult task. More often than not, new restaurants fail within their first few years.

However, with the right location, impeccable restaurant hygiene, hardworking staff and intelligent strategy, your restaurant can not only survive but thrive.

Here is our list of marketing tips for new restaurants to consider when opening.


1. Build a Website

One of the first things that every new restaurant needs to do is to build their online presence. The web is the number one place that people look for a place to eat.

A recent study by OpenTable found that 86% of consumers research a restaurant’s menu online before dining out.

Having a strong online presence is more crucial to the success of every new restaurant than ever before. The best way to do this is to build a website for your restaurant.

Your website is the online home of your restaurant. Without a website, people won’t be able to find your restaurant online or the key information that they need to make a decision to dine there. It should be a part of every aspect of your restaurant from pre-launch to ongoing marketing campaigns.

2. Start a Loyalty Program

It’s always easier to keep an existing customer coming back than it is to find a new customer. Treat your existing customers like gold.

Starting a loyalty program is an efficient way to make your customers feel respected, receive value and be convinced to come back time and time again. Besides a nice ambient and excellent, high-quality food, this is one of the reasons why customers choose to come back to a restaurant.

You don’t need to use an expensive system with special cards to track points. Get your office printer to print some loyalty cards than can be stamped. For example, every time a customer purchases a meal from you – their card is stamped. 10 stamps and they receive a free appetiser, drink or dessert.

Photo courtesy from Pixabay by RitaE

Do some research and see which restaurants already offer a loyalty program. If they’ve been running it for more than a few months then chances are it’s been successful for them.

Replicate some ideas while tailoring them to your restaurant. You can even survey existing customers to see what type of loyalty program or rewards they would be interested in.

3. Plan Your SEO Strategy

Every Italian restaurant wants to show up on Google first when people search for Italian restaurants in their area. The first option listed in Google search receives 30% of the click-throughs.

However, search engine optimisation (SEO) can take a very long time to start showing results. Which is why you should start planning your SEO strategy right from the beginning,

Here are a few things that you can do today to help boost your SEO results:

  • Claim your Google+ pages
  • List your restaurant on Google Maps
  • Optimize your website for specific keywords (ie. “Jacksonville Italian Restaurant”)
  • Claim every business listing possible (more on that below)
  • Publish your menu on your website with text, not just images
  • Make sure your website is mobile friendly
  • Increase your website speed and get better hosting
  • Get a lot of reviews, especially on Google+

Be consistent and patient. It may take a while for new restaurants to get good search results on Google and other search engines.

4. Claim Every Listing

One of the most important things for every restaurant to do, not just the new ones, is to claim every online listing.

Two business woman working in office with computer.
Photo courtesy from Freepik Image by Nensuria

The reason for this is to make sure that your restaurant is listed everywhere, to maintain control over your information, and to make sure that your restaurant’s information is accurate across the web.

Here is a starting list of places that you should claim your listing:

  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Google+
  • Foursquare
  • Bing Places
  • Facebook
  • Zomato
  • YellowPages
  • OpenTable
  • SuperPages
  • Yahoo
  • Sidewalk
  • Allmenus
  • Citysearch
  • MapQuest
  • MenuPages
  • Local
  • And many more

5. Organise Some Fun Events

Lastly, as a new restaurant, you need to create some buzz. Simply saying you’re now open for business isn’t going to generate a lot of interest if people don’t know who you are.

Organise some interesting and fun events at your restaurant that will get people through the door for the first time. People are often looking for something fun to do on a night out. They want more than just a nice dinner, and by offering that, you can convince those people to choose your establishment.

The same old events week after week (happy hours, karaoke etc.) may not cut it for a new restaurant as everyone else is already doing the same things.

Think outside the box and do something that no one else is doing. It doesn’t need to be time consuming for your staff, or expensive, just be unique and you’ll be surprised at how many customers show up.

These are just a few marketing tips that you should consider for your restaurant. Some ideas will work, some won’t. You need to constantly test and adjust to see what works for your restaurant, location and target customer.

The Restaurantden official logo

Alsco would like to thank Stephen, the founder of Restaurant Den for this article. Restaurant Den is an all-in-one website design solution for restaurants, caterers, food trucks and more. They provide services to build and maintain your restaurant’s online presence.

Photo courtesy from Unsplash Images by Patrick Tomasso

6 Benefits of Proper Hand Washing

As simple as it may seem, proper handwashing remains the most effective way of removing germs and harmful bacteria from our hands.

This prevents the spread of diseases and keeps your environment safe, fresh, and clean.

There are many easy ways to keep the hands clean. The common methods used in many workplaces include the use of sufficient soap and water or good alcohol-based sanitizers when water is not easily accessible.

It will be easier to take hand washing more seriously when we know the benefits of keeping the hands clean as much as possible and also keeping the environments properly sanitised.

The Danger Zones

Bacteria is everywhere! We have them inside our bodies too! Some of them are good and we need them to function properly, but the others can create havoc. If they take over the immune system, you may become ill.

The most common place in our home or workplace where bacteria are most likely to have spread is the bathroom. For obvious reasons, bathrooms are thriving places for bacteria to fester until they can be carried and transferred to other objects by contact.

The bacteria eventually gets on your mobile phones, clothes, door knobs and into your body. This is why it is important to properly wash the hands since that is the first line of defense against the bacterial contagion.

There are troubling statistics that indicate a large percentage of credit cards and mobile phones have tested positive for traces of faecal waste on them.

A study conducted by the Harvard Medical School gives the expression ‘dirty money’ and entirely new twist. Namely, it showed that 94% of the dollar bills currently in circulation also tested positive for having traces of faecal waste on them.

For a healthy person with strong immunity, these facts are not a cause for much worry. Unfortunately, not everybody has a strong immune system.

What about the children who are just building up their immune systems and the more susceptible elderly citizens; not to mention those who are managing diseases like HIV and Hepatitis. These people have weakened immune systems and are always at risk of contracting harmful bacteria if they live in dirty environments.

So, in addition to advocating for the regular washing of hands, it is also important to note that for our hands to be actually free from germs, they have to be washed the right way.

Do You Wash Your Hands the Right Way?

The Harvard Medical School’s regular health publications indicate that the hands must be rubbed together for at least 15 seconds after applying soap. After this is done, the hands can be rinsed under a tap.

Good hand washing requires focusing on the palms, back of the hands and also the fingertips. Here, we have highlighted the proper steps to washing your hands to keep them free from harmful bacteria.

  • Get your hands wet by holding them under the tap for a few seconds
  • Rub the soap all over your palms and the back of your hands.
  • When there is enough lather, keep rubbing your palms together.
  • Rub the palm of one hand over the back of the other hand running the fingers through each other at the same time; repeat this for the other hand.
  • Rub your palms together, running your fingers through each other as well.
  • With the fingers of one hand, run the back of the finger on the other hand and vice versa.
  • Rub the thumbs on the palms of each hand one after the other in circular motions.
  • Take the fingers of one hand in the palms of the other and rub in circular motion, do this for both hands.
  • Rinse both hands with water.
  • Dry your hands preferably with a paper towel.
  • Use this towel to turn the tap off.

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How Often Should You Wash Your Hands?

It’s obvious that you need to wash your hands regularly, but what does that mean? Can you wash your hands too much? Well, washing your hands too much can hurt your skin, but a that can be remedied with hand lotion.

There is no daily quota of hand washing that you have to hit in order to stay healthy. It all depends on your environment and what are you doing throughout the day.

You should wash your hands:

  • After using the toilet
  • Before touching or eating food
  • When they are dirty
  • After a prolonged use of objects known to harbour bacteria e.g. mobile phones, steering wheel on public use cars, visibly dirty door knobs etc
  • Wash your hands if you sneeze or cough into your hands

It is actually easier for children who are closely monitored to keep their hands clean with constant reminders. On the other hand, adults who are usually caught up with the daily activities have a higher tendency to overlook hand washing.

Knowing the positive impact of handwashing on your life and family generally is a good motivating factor to keep up with good hygienic habits. Below are the most important benefits of handwashing you should take note of:

1. Creating a safer working environment for medical staff and the patients

The nature of many kinds of medical procedures is very delicate. It usually deals with exposed internal organs or passing drugs into the body. So in these particular cases hand washing has to be taken seriously because harmful bacteria can easily get into our bodies to cause more harm.

Good medical facilities have the basic facilities for hand washing easily accessible. These facilities should be used regularly by the doctors, patients, and visitors.

Additionally, those facilities need to be absolutely sanitary and the soap dispensers, sanitizers and other items need to be replenished regularly. Also, special waste disposal units need to be in the washroom, as well.

The efforts for creating a safer working environment also include a more thorough and more detailed hand scrubbing than it is expected from other employees. There is a certain way medical personal prepares for the surgeries and interventions and it requires a lot of high-quality soap.

2. Prevention of diarrhoea and uncomfortable intestinal diseases

Contact with faecal matter laden with the causative bacteria can lead to diarrhoea and intestinal illnesses. Regular washing of the hands will remove this faecal matter and bacteria from our hands even when we have contacted them from other people or objects.

If this contamination happens over and over again, it is possible that your employees develop chronic issues with the intestinal bacteria. The new bacteria that a person introduces to their intestinal system by dirty hands destroys the balance which is difficult to restore. This is called SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

While there are many treatments of such diseases, they are very stubborn and best prevented. You know what the prevention includes? Of course – regular and diligent hand washing.

3. Avoidance of common eye infections

Eye infections are commonly caused by the bacteria that get into the eyes from our hands. It would be great if you could refrain from touching your eyes with your bare hands. However, it usually happens involuntary.

Therefore, it is best to handle this in another way. Control what you can – wash your hands. Keeping the hands clean by regular washing will prevent common infections.

However, the common eye infections that happen as a result of direct contact with different germs are:

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Keratitis
  • Stye
  • Blepharitis

All these infections start with similar symptoms: redness of the eye, mild pain, itching sensation, blurry vision and the like. Again, while these issues are not very difficult to treat, prevention is a much wiser course of action. You should never touch your eyes with unwashed hands and your hand washing needs to be thorough.

Here are free hand washing posters that you can download and post in your office washrooms to constantly remind your employees to practice good hand hygiene in the workplace.

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Don’t let them divide & conquer
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Germs are big commuters
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It only takes 30 seconds

4. Obstruction of respiratory tract infections

In the same way, the germs that cause these infections are usually found on dirty hands. Regular washing of the hands will remove these germs easily, keeping you safe.

Germs that cause respiratory infections include bacteria, viruses and even some fungi. The symptoms can be quite common for all of them:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal discharge
  • Nasal congestion

However, the flu might be the most annoying and the most common respiratory infection. While the virus that causes it is airborne, transmission through air is not that efficient. The truth is, the most cases of flu are caused by viruses being transmitted to the wet patches of the face by dirty hands.

5. Reduction of the bacteria content on your hands

Bacteria have been known to linger on the hands and other objects for days! This means that if you do not wash your hands expecting the bacteria to die, you might be in for a surprise. They will stay on your hands, or even worse – make their way to your eyes or mouth, causing infections.

Don’t forget to pay extra care to washing underneath your nails. Those that are prone to nail biting may suffer from many unpleasant consequences.

Bacteria have been known to thrive on paper bills for as long as two entire weeks. This is scary, but regular hand washing can keep you protected.

6. Keeping your workplace free from bacteria

Regular cleaning of commonly used office equipment with an alcohol-based cleaning product can reduce the number of bacteria on them.
Still, this doesn’t save you from their presence. You should also wash your hand regularly to prevent your hands from being the medium through which the bacteria is carried all around the office.

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Generally, proper handwashing keeps you healthy.

We are almost constantly surrounded by people. There will be people sneezing and coughing all around you. If bacteria lands on your hands, it can get into your body if you don’t wash those hands.

Hand sanitizers can also be used to reduce the bacteria when there is no soap or water. The use of hand sanitizers will not give the same protection as an actual hand washing but you will end up with fewer bacteria on your hands.

The best practice is to wash the hands properly and thoroughly dry them. After that, finish off with a drop of sanitizer. In that way, your hands will be perfectly clean.

This all sounds reasonable and it seems like a no-brainer. Still, a lot of people don’t do it enough. It’s not that people don’t want to be clean. It’s mostly that they forget to wash their hands when they should. That’s why they need to be reminded, especially in the workplace where they can do the most harm.

Ensure the safe and healthy workplace by partnering up with Fresh & Clean. Fresh and Clean offers a variety of hygiene solutions for businesses – big or small, and from any industry.

Call us today to find out how we can help.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Images by Arlington County

5 Unique Employee Benefits to Help You Attract High-Quality Talent

Men shaking their hands

Every business owner knows that keeping employees healthy, safe and happy is one of the best ways to encourage loyalty, productivity and engagement. This is why it is so important for your company to offer employee benefits that will help you attract and retain top talent.

Businesses are starting to get creative when it comes to employee benefits, and if you don’t follow suit, it’s likely that your dream candidates may choose to work for your competitors instead of you.

If your company wants to keep your current pool of talented professionals and attract new ones, you need to be able to offer similar benefits or even raise the stakes.

In this article, we go over 5 unique benefits your company should have if you want to attract high- quality candidates.

1. Flexible Work Hours and Environment

Working in the office Monday-Friday from 9-5 is no longer necessary for many companies, as more and more businesses move online. By simply offering flexible work hours and environment, you can attract quality candidates.

According to a recent study, over a half of workers chose work flexibility as their top perk. Because of this, a lot of companies have started changing their company structure to keep up with this new trend.

For example, Netflix has removed normal work hours from their methods. Instead of tracking how many vacations, working days or breaks their employees take, they measure everything in terms of productivity.

Photo courtesy from Freepik Image

You can work for as long or as little as you like, provided you do everything you’re supposed to do for the day. And if you finish what you need to do for the week early, then go ahead and take the rest of the week off.

2. Social Responsibility Support

Workers, especially millennials, are big on social responsibility. They have causes they believe in and want to connect their work to those causes.

Believe it or not, as much as people still care about the pay and benefits they’re getting at work, they also care about how socially responsible a company is. They want a company that is willing to support their cause without dipping into their paychecks and also has their own socially responsible initiatives.

A company like Salesforce offers a socially responsible benefit. The company gives their employees an allowance of $1,000 per year, which they can donate to their charity or foundation of choice. Employees also get 6 paid days off per year for volunteer work.

3. Financial Assistance on Student Loan Repayments

Employees work to earn money for both short-term and long-term financial goals. Short term financial needs include food, rent and other necessities. Long-term goals include purchasing a house, a car, paying off student loans and other big life goals.

Applicants are often drawn to companies that will not only indirectly help them with their financial goals via wages, but also directly through student loan financial assistance programs.

Group of students making construction sketch in college
Photo courtesy from Freepik Image by Pressfoto

Take, for example, PwC, a company that provides its employees with $1,200 a year to pay off student loans. 76% of millennial applicants surveyed said they would consider accepting a job if an employer offered student loan repayment as one of its benefits.

It’s important to note that you should never confuse paying off an employee’s debt with their salary.

4. Freebies or Discounts On Company Services

It’s probably not surprising that employees want to work for a company whose services or products they want discounts or freebies for.

This type of perk used to be reserved for products or services that were unsold or defective, such as bakeries giving away some day old bagels. However, things have changed for the better. Standards for employee perks have gotten higher, with companies giving their employees royal treatment for their loyalty.

Disneyland’s employees can take their friends and family on rides and exhibits using their free admissions perks, as well as get discounts on merchandise and hotel bookings.

Airbnb employees are given an allowance of $2,000, which they can use when staying in any of Airbnb’s establishments when they travel.

Airline employees like those that work for Southwest get free flights for themselves, as well as friends and family, plus discounts at hotels, car rental services and theme parks.

5. Family-Friendly Benefits

Employees want to know that their company will be understanding if they need to take some time off for maternity or paternity leave. Therefore, if you want to attract top talent, it’s important to have a clear policy in place that allows new parents to spend an adequate amount of time with their new baby.

Pinterest provides new mothers with 3 months of paid time off. Mothers may then work part-time during their first month back, complete with counselling sessions to help them adjust.

Netflix has the longest maternity and paternity leaves, which last up to a whole year. Parents may return to work earlier on a part-time basis if needed and can take time off throughout that year to attend to the needs of their baby.

The Final Word

Of course, there are other perks and benefits that didn’t make the list but still have value. This includes more paid time off, concierge services, on-site gyms or supplemental gym memberships, in-office massages, free lunches and on-site medical clinics for employee use.

The goal of employee benefits is to provide employee services and perks so that they are able to enjoy life while they work.

This might seem like a lot to invest in and set up just to attract employees, but with the cost involved in recruiting, training and lost productivity, it’s well worth it to get the best employees for your business.

Alsco would like to thank David Waring, the co-founder of Fit Small Business for this article. Fit Small Business is an informational website that reaches out to over 800,000 small business owners, sharing tips and information to help them succeed.

Photo courtesy from Freepik Image by Pressfoto