THE HEROES OF HYGIENE

  3 min

INTERVIEW

Up until a few months ago, the custodial staff was not counted among the most valuable in many restaurants. Who was actually cleaning the place was less important than the place being clean. The current crisis is highlighting the critical importance of good hygiene. And it’s showing that good foodservice needs good cleaners. Three custodians share their personal story.

Maaike de Reuver    Nina Slagmolen Xiao Er Kong

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.

The heroes of hygiene

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.
Anet Verwijs

“I used to work in the poultry industry. When I had children I quit to take care of them full time. When the children got a little older I started looking for a job for when the kids were at school, and the evenings. A friend of mine worked as a cleaner, and that seemed like a good idea. I can combine it with childcare and love what I do. I get a lot of satisfaction from a job well done.”

“I think the industry will change because of COVID-19. Before we cleaned things to make everything look fresh and free of clutter. Now we clean to rigorously disinfect and make things safe. Cleaners have always operated in the margins. I think this whole situation will lead to a greater appreciation for what we do.”

Age: 37

Active in the industry: 2 years

Anet works as a custodian around 17,5 hours a week. Among other places she works in the office of Food Inspiration. 

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.
Hamid El Hafian

“I used to work for a larger company, but that company suffered from poor communication. I always wanted to start my own business, and one thing kind of lead to another. I run the business with my wife. We employ six people. We do what we’re best at so the people in the kitchen and the front of house can do what they’re best at.”

“A clean restaurant is a calling card. Guests expect a restaurant to be spotless, and the toilets to be equally fresh and clean. We’ve always taken our job very seriously. In these COVID-19 times we have been given another task: fighting the virus. It’s something we all have to do together, of course, but the custodial staff has an important role to play. Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting messages from clients saying they have gained a new appreciation for our work and how important it is for their business.”

Age: 39

Active in the industry: 11 years

Hamid started his own company in 2009, specializing in foodservice in and around the city of Utrecht.

VIDEO INTERVIEW

Jolanda van Rooijen

“I worked as an administrator before my son was born. When he was old enough to go to school I started working small jobs here and there. As he got older I wanted to go back into administration, but that proved very difficult. I had been out of the industry for ten years, and I was behind on training and experience. And I think my age wasn’t helping. There was a lot of work in the cleaning industry, so I chose to pursue that. I don’t mind doing it, I like the way things are now. My son has turned eighteen now and is interested in facility management himself.”

“When I started this job people told me that everyone could do it. I disagree. You need to have commitment. Anyone can wipe down a surface, but that doesn’t mean it’s clean. It’s much more involved than that.”

Age: 42

Active in the industry: 5 years

Works 32 hours a week in the custodial staff of Hotel Van der Valk in Arnhem.

 

  3 min

Up until a few months ago, the custodial staff was not counted among the most valuable in many restaurants. Who was actually cleaning the place was less important than the place being clean. The current crisis is highlighting the critical importance of good hygiene. And it’s showing that good foodservice needs good cleaners. Three custodians share their personal story.

Maaike de Reuver    Nina Slagmolen Xiao Er Kong

The heroes of hygiene

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.
Anet Verwijs

“Ik heb vroeger in de pluimveesector gewerkt. Toen ik kinderen kreeg ben ik gestopt. Vanaf het moment dat de kinderen wat ouder waren ben ik op zoek gegaan naar een baantje voor overdag als de kinderen naar school zijn en in de avonduren. Een vriendin van mij zat in de schoonmaak. Dat leek me wel wat. Het is goed te combineren met de kinderen en ik heb plezier in het werk. Het werk geeft voldoening, het gevoel dat je iets nuttigs gedaan hebt.

Ik denk dat de schoonmaak wel gaat veranderen door corona. Voor deze tijd maakten we schoon omdat alles dan weer lekker fris was. Nu is dat omdat alles hygiënisch moet zijn. Schoonmaken was een weggedrukt beroep. Ik denk dat wij door deze hele situatie meer waardering krijgen.” 

Age: 37

Active in the industry: 2 years

Anet works as a custodian around 17,5 hours a week. Among other places she works in the office of Food Inspiration. 

Hamid El Hafian

“I used to work for a larger company, but that company suffered from poor communication. I always wanted to start my own business, and one thing kind of lead to another. I run the business with my wife. We employ six people. We do what we’re best at so the people in the kitchen and the front of house can do what they’re best at.”

“A clean restaurant is a calling card. Guests expect a restaurant to be spotless, and the toilets to be equally fresh and clean. We’ve always taken our job very seriously. In these COVID-19 times we have been given another task: fighting the virus. It’s something we all have to do together, of course, but the custodial staff has an important role to play. Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting messages from clients saying they have gained a new appreciation for our work and how important it is for their business.”

Age: 39

Active in the industry: 11 years

Hamid started his own company in 2009, specializing in foodservice in and around the city of Utrecht.

Jolanda van Rooijen

“I worked as an administrator before my son was born. When he was old enough to go to school I started working small jobs here and there. As he got older I wanted to go back into administration, but that proved very difficult. I had been out of the industry for ten years, and I was behind on training and experience. And I think my age wasn’t helping. There was a lot of work in the cleaning industry, so I chose to pursue that. I don’t mind doing it, I like the way things are now. My son has turned eighteen now and is interested in facility management himself.”

“When I started this job people told me that everyone could do it. I disagree. You need to have commitment. Anyone can wipe down a surface, but that doesn’t mean it’s clean. It’s much more involved than that.”

Age: 42

Active in the industry: 5 years

Works 32 hours a week in the custodial staff of Hotel Van der Valk in Arnhem.

 

Contact

More Food Inspiration? Follow us at www.foodinspiration.com! Questions or feedback? Get in contact with the editors of Food Inspiration Magazine.
Please enter your name
Please enter a correct e-mail address
Please enter a comment
Thank you! Your message has been sent.
Something went wrong while submitting the form. Try again.

Share this article

Forward this page by e-mail or share it directly on social media.

Search

Search here
Minimal length to search is 3 characters

Overview magazines

Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Fullscreen