When a fire broke out in Zing’s Walsall site, they were dismayed to discover that there were significant levels of grease which had built up, despite the fact that their incumbent service provider was supposed to have cleaned the site in accordance with TR/19 guidelines, just 18 days earlier.
This left Zing with a possible non-compliance issue that was not of their making, but which posed a serious operational problem in that they were then refused insurance cover for the site.
The situation which Swiftclean inherited was fairly bleak for Zing Leisure. Despite having kitchen extract cleaning providers before Swiftclean and regular cleaning carried out, as per their insurance conditions, Zing was not made aware by the incumbent provider of how many of their extract systems were potentially non-compliant, or how seriously deposited they were. As a result, there was little evidence of their assiduous attempts to comply with TR/19 for Zing to present to an insurer.
Swiftclean have taken an unusually active role in helping Zing Leisure both to ensure compliance and to secure insurance while striving to comply. Service delivery Director Martin Hembling took the unprecedented step of attending meetings between Zing Leisure and their insurance broker to negotiate the cover of the 19 stores. Martin presented an overall analysis of the situation, explaining which parts of the system were able to be made compliant immediately, which parts required remedial work and which would take longer to correct. He helped to negotiate temporary cover for branches which were red in terms of compliance, by presenting plans for getting their extract systems fully compliant. Some franchise sites are fully compliant thanks to Swiftclean’s efforts and these are now insured on more favourable terms.
Much of the success of achieving the restoration of insurance cover was due to Swiftclean’s exemplary record of no fires in any ductwork cleaned by them in the catering sector over more than 35 years of operation. As a result, the insurance broker has now recommended several of their other clients and prospective client companies to contact Swiftclean.
Communication is simplified. While the on-site teams are happy to liaise with each store, they work out of hours to minimise disruption to business and post clean reports are centralised through a key contact in Swiftclean’s customer care team. Operations Director Martin Hembling remains closely involved and liaises frequently with Zing Leisure.
Although an obvious first step might have been to survey the extract systems of all 19 stores, Swiftclean felt that the immediate target should be to achieve as much compliance as possible in the shortest time possible.
Swiftclean’s technicians therefore began cleaning the extract systems immediately, with the aim of making all accessible sections compliant at their first visit. Swiftclean provided two-man teams of technicians to begin the work, discovering, as they cleaned, which parts of the system were inaccessible. Due to the comprehensive nature of Swiftclean post clean reports, this made it possible to clearly identify all areas which required remedial action, but also to achieve actual cleaning and compliance in as much of the systems as possible – putting the overall plan into action straight away.
Much work has been remedial, with additional access points being retrofitted on second and subsequent visits. Many of the problems in the systems have been identified within the extract riser systems, which tend to suffer from more heavy deposits. Swiftclean invested in new rotating brush and chemical cleaning equipment to clean the risers and put in place a dedicated programme to tackle riser compliance.
Cleaning the extract fans has beneficial effects. Clean fans consume less electricity and this has the effect of reducing fire risk, (electricity around grease is a higher risk) lowering running costs, and higher energy efficiency. Fans also need less maintenance as they don’t break as frequently. A broken fan can mean downtime for business as conditions in the restaurant rapidly become unpleasant for kitchen staff and clientele without a working extract fan. With the open kitchen setting at Burger King stores, an efficient extract fan provides good indoor air quality for all.
A clean, compliant extract system throughout also represents a lower immediate fire risk for patrons, particularly in these fast food outlets, as there is no fire wall or barrier of any kind to separate the kitchen from the public area of the restaurant.
Swiftclean’s attendance at the insurance meeting was unprecedented and cast Swiftclean in the role of business advocate for Zing Leisure. As a result, temporary insurance cover was restored, with a promise of permanent cover once full compliance had been achieved.
In order to achieve compliance within the extract ductwork risers, Swiftclean invested in new, state of the art, 25m rotating brushes which have helped to make great progress in cleaning long runs of ducting which do not have sufficient access to the riser, or hatches at each level through which the riser passes. This has speeded up the process of cleaning and kept the need to replace risers to a minimum.
In order to maintain compliance for Zing Leisure, once full compliance had been achieved, Swiftclean devised timetables for future cleaning for each of the 19 stores.
Swiftclean’s unusually thorough post clean reports provide a great deal of information, including pre and post grease micron levels, and before and after photography of each section cleaned. This in turn has provided a robust audit trail of progress towards full compliance, which Zing has been able to present to its insurance broker and insurance provider after every clean.
As a result of these measures, Zing has made great progress and currently a significant number of sites have now achieved full TR/19 compliance.
Despite Zing assiduously appointing their last cleaning specialist to provide compliance, and having a cleaning programme in place, they had been seriously let down by their incumbent provider and full compliance had not been achieved. The partnership between Swiftclean and Zing has been transformative. With Swiftclean’s help, Zing Leisure has come a long way since non-compliance caused them to have unworkable warranties in their insurance cover and is making rapid progress towards full compliance.
Swiftclean has taken this project very much to heart and a strong partnership has been formed. Swiftclean aims to get Zing up to full compliance by the end of 2019 and then maintain compliance on an ongoing basis. A future timetable of cleaning devised by Swiftclean, based on hours worked, TR/19 tables etc, will allow Zing to maintain compliance and safeguard their insurance cover. Swiftclean’s goal is to provide Zing with an outstanding track record of continuous compliance by the end of 2020.
This future planning is enabling Zing to know what their future costs will be and budget accordingly. Not only will kitchen extract running costs be lower with cleaner systems, but Zing have also received assurances that their insurance premiums will eventually be lower and warranties less demanding, with more favourable terms and conditions.
This working relationship has been a great benefit to all concerned, including the thousands of members of the general public who, unaware, have been safeguarded and protected by this excellent partnership.