The Ultimate Guide to Exterior Home Maintenance

Owning a home comes with many responsibilities, and maintaining it is one of them. Unfortunately, many homeowners only think of ways they can maintain the interior of their homes and forget the exterior part. You need to know that the first impression your house gives is always vital and powerful.

Here are some tips to help you keep the exterior of your home looking new:

Inspect your Homes Exterior Four Times a Year

Walk outside your home and look for places and things that might need to repair. Check the gutters for debris and damage, check the roof for leaks, and check the walls for any cracks. You might just be surprised by the many issues you will find. Inspecting your home will give you the chance to catch small problems before they turn into huge and costly issues.

Roof Maintenance

The roof is a vital part of any home; it helps keep the house dwellers dry, and in a temperature-controlled environment. If you notice a leak that might have resulted from a previous storm, consider hiring a professional for storm damage repair. By doing so, you will be saving money in the long run. To check the roof for storm damage, you will have to:

  • Consider the safety first
  • Check for hail damage
  • Check inside the home for leaks
  • Look for any sign of damage from the ground

Clean the Gutters

The main objective of having a gutter is to prevent the rainwater from soaking into the roof of the house or even into the foundation. A clogged gutter can lead to issues that will eventually affect the home exterior, including its siding. Grab a ladder and clean the rain gutter, it is recommended to do this twice a year, during the fall and springtime. However, this will depend on the foliage around your home, if you don’t have any problems with debris from hanging trees, you can check and clean the gutters once every year.

Driveway and Patio Maintenance

With time, the patio and driveways begin to decline in quality. The age might be a factor or even temperature, especially if you live in a colder region. The weather can result in a shift in the driveway materials that will need some repair. Consider repaving the driveway or buy some sealer to fill the cracks by yourself. If the driveway is full of weeds, spray some weed killer and let it do its job. Getting rid of the weeds will stop them from growing roots that will damage the cement and break up the pathway materials.

Maintain your Fences

The way your fence looks can have a significant impact on the general look of your home. The fence might be peeling, old, or even falling apart, which can be a bad impression. Go on and take it down, you can leave the space empty or make an effort to build a new fence to give the exterior of your home a new look. 


The above exterior home maintenance tips are simple and can be done in any type of home, apart from saving money in the long run, they will help you increase the curb appeal of your home. You must inspect the exterior of your home and clean up some areas. You should also make repairs to small issues you find during the inspection before they turn into big and expensive problems.

6 Tips for the Lazy Gardener

If you love having a beautiful-looking garden, but you aren’t exactly the green-fingered type and you’d rather be doing something, anything, else but gardening, I’ve got you covered with my top tips for the lazy gardener. Read on to find out how you can have the garden of your dreams without all of the hard work that comes with it.

  1. Outsource it all

Okay, so we may as well start with the laziest option of them all: outsourcing. If you really don’t want to toil away in your garden, but you do have some spare money to spend, why not hire a lawn mowing service, pay someone to pull weeds, or employ a local high school student to paint your fence? You’ll get the garden of your dreams without having to do anything at all – what’s not to love about that?

  1. Buy flower- impregnated turf

If you want your lawn to be filled with the colors, shapes, and smells that only flowers can provide, but you don’t feel like digging around in the dirt, planting bulbs and all that entails, simply by some wildflower turf that has already been impregnated with everything you need to grow a kaleidoscope of colors. Simply lay it on the soil and it will pretty soon bed in and start to grow, If you live in a dry area, you may need to water it now and again, but other than that, you can be pretty hands-off.

  1. Perennials are the best plants

If you are happy to do a little planting, choose perennials, Why? Because they will grow back year after year, which means not only will you save a lot of time in the garden, but you’ll also save a fair amount of money too. You know it makes sense.

  1. Fallen leaves feed the garden

If you’re plagued by falling leaves in the fall and winter months, you may be interested to know that they actually make a pretty good mulch for flowers, so although you may still want to rake the leaves off your lawn for a perfectly manicured look, you don’t really need to waste time removing them from the flowerbeds too, they’ll feed the worms, keep the soil moist and feed your flowers so that they look even more amazing when the spring rolls around.

  1. Invest in a drip irrigation system

Drip irrigation systems automate the process of watering plants and flowers, while also minimizing the amount of water you need to use. So, if you’re a bit lax with your watering efforts, inv esting in one of these could be a really smart move all around.

  1. Install paving or decking

Installing paving or decking in the garden will minimize the amount of lawn care you need to do. Paving and decking are far easier to keep clean and neat than wild garden, but great for sitting on – you do the math!

As you can see, you really can maintain a beautiful garden without doing too much hard work, so what are you waiting for?

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4 Garage Remodeling Tips You Can’t Ignore

Evеr wondered whу thеrе аrе ѕо many саrѕ раrkеd on the ѕtreеts even in your neighborhood? It’ѕ nоt bесause thе fаmilу has mаnу cаrѕ or your neіghbor juѕt hаve ѕоme visitorѕ. Mоst оften than nоt, thе reаѕon iѕ — they can’t pаrk it іn thе garage. Funny, іѕn’t it? While the main purpose of thе garage іѕ to houѕe cаrѕ, it usually ends up becoming a junk room. 

There are ѕеverаl ѕolutіоns рrеѕеntеd in magazines, TVѕ, webѕitеs, еtс., on how to better equip and beautify уоur garage. Unfоrtunatеly, nоt аll the tips are actionable or make sense, mаіnlу bесаuѕе the сluttеr аnd mеѕѕ іn thеir garage аrе tоо much for a normal person to handle. It’s аctuаlly a mаttеr оf prіоritіzіng what-when-how tо dо it аnd whеrе to рut it.

If done right, Garage remodeling can be done in a few simple steps. Keep reading this article to know how you can effectively redesign your garage to bring back its look and functionality!

Understand the Purpose of your Garage

Garage remodelling is аbout оrgаnіzіng, remodeling, аnd buildіng. To know your garage neеdѕ, you have to dig up the іntеѕtіnеѕ оf уоur garage by cleaning or еmрtying іt. Havе everythіng pulled out or removed from уоur garage, start at a сlean slatе. 

Thoѕе itemѕ and thіngѕ thаt have been tranѕferrеd or movеd frоm thе garage must bе ѕоrtеd аnd categorized ѕo thаt you’ll know whаt to dо wіth thеm аnd whеrе to place аnd look for them. Sоmetimеѕ, уоu might just find your long lost sроrtіng gоod in оnе оf thoѕe mеѕѕ pіleѕ.

Long story short, be liberal in spending time understanding what things you need in your garage and otherwise. It’s only when you’ve figured things out in your mind that you can start getting your hands dirty. 

Getting Your Hands dirty

This is where you get into the real stuff. Wоuld уоu wаnt thоѕe itеmѕ bасk іn thе garage or wоuld уоu рrefеr tо put your gаrdеn toоls аnd саrреntrу kit in a ѕeраrаtе ѕhеd оr ѕtоrаge arеa? Figure out answers to such questions and create a remodel plan accordingly.

Utilize the Space Properly

In garage remodeling, іt’ѕ nоt аll аbоut уоur junk and tооls. You сan think of а lot оf uѕeѕ for thе spасe, beѕidеѕ јuѕt hоuѕіng саrs. It сan bе uѕed аs аn additіоnal office, wоrk shop, ѕtudio, lаundry rооm, еtc. Lastly, уоu саn work on building an ехtrа ѕtоrеy, without adding an inch іn уоur main floor plan, уоu gеt to have an extra ѕpаce or flооr, whісh cаn bе utіlizеd as а rооm or ѕtоragе fасіlіtу. 

Therе’ѕ no nееd for you tо ѕaсrifісe thе huge ѕtоragе аrеа оf уоur garage, уоu саn stіll utilize it aѕ onе, but mаkе use оf cuрbоаrds, buіlt-іn cabinets, еtс. just to maintain thе оrderlіnesѕ аnd сleаnlіneѕѕ of the spасе.

Take Expert Help

Most of the time, remodeling your garage will feel overwhelming. You may have no idea where to start and how to arrange things to get the best out of them. Be it your home’s garage or the one from your newly opened restaurant. It’s advisable to get help from expert professionals who know the nitty-gritty of remodeling. 

These general commercial contractors are trained professionals and take care of everything related to residential and commercial property maintenance. Make sure to have your garage checked by such professionals if possible. 


Garage Remodeling can be overwhelming if your garage is cluttered with too many unnecessary things and needs an extensive makeover. When you spend time understanding your garage’s position, you’ll also figure out if you can do it yourself or need to take the expert’s help. 

Use the tips mentioned in this article to get the best out of your garage!

4 Ways to Create a Home That Reflects Your Personality

Your home is the location where you spend the majority of your time, so it should be a place where you can feel comfortable and secure. But when you move into a new property, it can take some time before you truly feel at home. A house is a reflection of its owner, and when you start living in a new place with bare walls and very little character, it’s normal to feel a little adrift and out of place.

It takes time to create a home that reflects your personality, and when you do, you will instantly feel calmer and more content in your surroundings. But how do you start bringing character to your home? Here are four great tips to get you started.

Add photos

Photographs are the best way to add your personality to any environment, as they are a visual representation of your character and memories. Pick the most memorable and cherished photos from your life, whether it’s pictures of your kids, weddings, pets, or family holidays, and put them up in prominent locations around your home. There are numerous companies and websites that allow you to print and frame photos, but make sure you pick a good-quality frame that fits the decor of the rest of your house. 

Display souvenirs

Everyone amasses souvenirs and mementos throughout their life, and they offer a fantastic insight into who you are and where you’ve been. This may include items you’ve bought on your travels, mementos from key events in your life, and cherished possessions like your children’s artwork. Rather than tucking these things away in a drawer, show pride in your souvenirs and display them on bookshelves, mantelpieces, and coffee tables.

Cultivate a bookshelf

Nothing provides a better representation of your character than a collection of the books you have amassed and read throughout your life. Therefore, your bookshelf should form a key part of your home’s design. It should be one of the first things people notice upon entering a room and instantly draw guests to peruse it further. There are so many ways to show off a book collection in a visually stimulating manner, and here are just a few examples to give you some inspiration. 

Add a splash of color

Everybody has different temperaments. Some are calm and composed, while others are fiery and emotional. And using color throughout your home is the perfect way to create a mood that reflects your character. There have been several studies showing that certain color schemes can be used to create particular atmospheres, and you must pick the right one for you. Light pastel shades such as pinks and blues are perfect for cultivating an environment of tranquility and peace, while bold vibrant hues like orange and red will give your home a more lively, upbeat feel. Once you have picked your colors of choice, paint the walls accordingly, and make sure these shades shine through in your furniture, upholstery, and artwork.

In conclusion, creating a home that reflects your personality takes time, but following these four tips will help you get off to a good start. It may be a little while until you truly feel at home but keep at it, and you will get there before you know it.

What are the Biggest Selling Points in a Property?

Are you looking to sell your home soon? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of homeowners have already put their property on the market, having decided to take the plunge with the stamp duty holiday being extended until the end of June 2021.

Whether you’re hoping to join them and make the most of the stamp duty holiday or you’ve not got a deadline in mind, it’s worth thinking about what makes your property attractive to potential buyers.

While local schools, crime rates, and what the community is like all play a role, the house itself is also a major selling point. So, are there any updates you could make that might make it sell quickly? To help you weigh up what might need to be changed before you add a ‘for sale’ sign to your front garden, take a look at these enhancements you could make.

Look at curb appeal

Prospective buyers see the outside of your house before they see anything else and first impressions count. Something as basic as an uncut lawn can be a real turn off for buyers, so take some time to tidy up the garden or invest in some plants to make your front yard pretty.

Jet wash paving slabs that might be in need of some TLC and paint any fences or gates, so they look pristine.

Outdoor space

Staying outside, think about the rear of the property. Outdoor space is a huge selling point. One survey revealed that 43% of UK adults list having a private outdoor area as their main priority.

This doesn’t rule you out if you have a smaller space. It just means that you might need to make some updates to make it attractive. For instance, you could invest in fresh outdoor furniture, add some plants, and make it a peaceful, attractive area.

Update the space

Does the kitchen need a revamp? Maybe it’s been a while since you looked at changing the bathroom.

A renovation of these areas doesn’t have to be expensive. If there are relatively small jobs that need doing, you could even attempt them yourself. For instance, you might want to re-tile the bathroom or paint the walls in the kitchen to make the space brighter.

If you think it might be worth investing in a new space, shop around to see what kitchens or bathroom suites are available and work to a budget. Or maybe you have an unexpected boiler break as you’re about to sell. This could play a huge role in whether someone wants to buy your property or not. A bad credit loan could help you fix or install a new one to avoid any major delays in the sale.

Storage solutions

Removing clutter allows buyers to visualise themselves and their belongings in the property, so use storage space to tuck away your own things. Make sure that any cupboards that are housing your belongings are clean too. Wipe away any dust and make sure they look good.

How To Make Working From Home More Pleasant

You might be someone who loves working from home and finds it much better than having to commute to an office every day. Or you might be someone who finds that working from home is a distraction and you would rather be elsewhere. 

 If you’re one of the latter and you have no choice in the matter then you have a decision to make; you can either find a new job that allows you to work from an office, or you can change your home working environment to be something more pleasant. In fact, even if you already enjoy working from home, giving yourself a better environment to work in can make you a lot more productive. Read on to find out what steps to take to do this, and you might find that giving yourself a great place to work was all you needed to start appreciating the working from home life. 

 Heating And Cooling 

If you live in an area where the summers are hot or the winters are cold – or both – then getting the right temperature level in your home office can be all but impossible. When you’re not comfortable because you’re too hot or too cold, you aren’t able to work productively. It will be difficult to concentrate. It’s a good reason why some people prefer to work outside of the home in a place that has better control of the temperature. 

 So of course, the answer to this issue must be that you need to take better control of the temperature in your own home. Doing this means that you can be more comfortable, but it has other benefits as well such as saving you money on your heating and cooling bills when you’re using your home’s thermostat in the right way. 

 If your home gets very hot then simply doing something like opening the windows won’t be enough; that might simply help to circulate warm air around, making things even warmer. Instead, you should invest in an air conditioning unit. Having good air conditioning in your home can make a huge amount of difference and help you to enjoy working from your spare bedroom, dining room, or even from your kitchen table much more enjoyable. 


Something else that can make working from him very uncomfortable is noise, especially if you’re not home alone. The more people who are in the property, the more noise they are going to make, even if everyone is working on their own projects and jobs too. Even if you are alone, the noises from around the house, from your neighbors, and from the outside world in general can all be disturbing. 

 This is where soundproofing can be very useful indeed. By soundproofing your walls, you can prevent any external noises from entering to disturb you and, just as useful, you can also prevent any noises you make from disturbing other people within the house. This will be good news if you are conscious of the fact that you have to have a lot of video call meetings or make a lot of phone calls. 

Not all soundproofing materials work in the same way. Some are designed to block out all sounds, and some are designed to limit sounds instead. Depending on what you are looking for as your end result will determine what kind of soundproofing you need. Some of it can be installed yourself, and some will need a professional, so make sure you do enough research before coming to a final decision. 


You don’t have to redecorate your entire home when you’re using it as your base of work – unless you want to, of course. However, redecorating the room you work in can be a good idea. If you are using a spare room, something like a bedroom that no one else uses, or a room specifically designed to be used as a study, then you can redecorate it to look like an office space. Make it different from the rest of your home and it will feel much more like you’re walking into a workspace every morning and going home every evening. 

 You could use wooden flooring instead of carpet (or vice versa). If your home has curtains at the windows, why not invest in some blinds for your office? Make sure you have a real desk, not just a table you’ve taken from elsewhere, and the same goes for your chair. It should be an ergonomic office chair, not an armchair or a kitchen stool. On top of this, try not to have any furniture in the room that you wouldn’t have in an office. If there is a spare bed right beside your desk, it’s never going to feel quite like a real office, and that means you’ll never feel truly comfortable working there. 

 Natural Light 

Natural light is something that can truly improve the mood, and it’s good for your overall health as well as your mental health too. That’s why it’s important to step outside at least once a day to breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your skin. It’s also why you should have as much natural light coming into your workroom as possible. The more natural light you have, the more pleasant that space will be, helping you to be more productive (and save money on your lighting bills). 

Depending on where you are working, this is not always an easy thing to accomplish, but there are certain measures you can take, and depending on your budget and your requirements, you can make almost any space more full of natural light. 

 The easiest thing to do is to ensure that your windows are as uncovered as possible – don’t have anything on windowsills that might be blocking the light, and if you have curtains you should tie them back to allow more light in. Also, position your desk so that the light is coming towards you. If it’s too bright, you can use special films on the glass to diffuse the light a little but still get the benefit from it. 

 If you work in a room that has no windows or that only allows a small amount of natural light in, don’t worry; you can still enjoy the benefits of the sunlight. The best thing you can do is to invest in a natural light lamp. This lamp sits on your desk and shines the equivalent of natural light into the room. This is almost as good as the real thing, and if you can’t get natural light any other way, it’s an ideal compromise. 

 Have Your Own Room

Something we’ve mentioned briefly above is having your own workspace, and although this is ideal it’s not something that everyone can enjoy. If you live with other people, you might only be able to work in your bedroom or in the kitchen, for example, and neither of these areas is a good workspace – the bedroom shouldn’t be used for work as it’s meant to be a place of relaxation, and the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house; you’re sure to be disturbed. Even if you live alone, having a dedicated office that you can close the door on when you’ve finished working will be better for your mental health, your stress levels, and your productivity. 

 So what can you do if you really can’t find your own space to work in? The answer is to make one. If you have a backyard, then installing a specially designed pod can be ideal. You’ll be able to design it to your specifications and, since it’s away from the house, it will make the idea of working from home much easier to deal with. Or why not use the attic in your home? If it’s currently only used for storage, you could investigate having it transformed into a usable room. If you do this, make sure you speak to a roofing company about installing some windows or perhaps a skylight up there to make it truly comfortable. 

 Change It Up

As we’ve said, working from home isn’t for everyone, and even for those who love it, sometimes there can still be days when you would rather be anywhere but in the same four walls you’ve been in for weeks on end. If this is how you feel, it’s time to change things up and make your working environment a little more diverse. 

 Having an office at home is a great start, but if changing your routine is what will make you happiest and most productive this is what you’ll need to do. One way to do this is to find somewhere else to work once in a while. Take a walk to a local café or coffee shop and spend some time working from there. Or, on a sunny day, head to the park or even the beach. What about going to a friend’s house and using their spare room when they don’t need it? You can even rent a desk in a communal office – this is especially useful if the reason you don’t like working from home is that you miss being around other people. 

 In the end, working from home is something that is clearly here to stay, and more and more companies are choosing to work in this way. Therefore, making yourself as comfortable as possible in whatever way you can when you’re working remotely has to be a priority. 

5 Ways To Make Your Front Yard More Homely

How you set things up in the front of your house is an important part of conveying the statement that you want your home to make. Your front yard is your greeting to the outside world. You can make it say all sorts of things. It can be welcoming or forbidding. The choice is yours. If you want your home to seem like the coziest on the block, here are a few tips to brighten up your front yard for a nice, homely feel.

Window Boxes

Window boxes are a great way to make your home look beautiful and feel warm and inviting. You can fill them with a nice mix of flowers and other plants that are both suited for the climate and the direction the front of your home faces. Picking flowers with colors that compliment your paint job can give the added flair that will make people stop on their way past your home to admire your style.

Make Your Front Yard a Front Garden

When you have young children cutting into a grassy space for your kids to run around in with a big garden might not seem like the most prudent move. However, if you have a nice big backyard or don’t have young children living in your home, a great big garden can be a vibrant way to liven up the front of your house.

You can have whatever sort of garden appeals to you. Whether you prefer a neat and tidy garden that is picture-perfect or a wild overgrown garden that makes visitors feel as if they are entering another realm when they walk through it, the choice is yours. Whatever kind of garden you like will appeal to most passersby in one way or another.

Of course, when planting an outdoor garden, you have to be aware of the climate you live in and the types of plants that are going to flourish versus those that will flounder. A dryer climate can leave you with trickier growing options but check out a ponytail palm care guide, and you can still make your garden shine.

Outdoor Lighting

Instead of just a simple porch light, there are a variety of ways that you can help to improve your home’s nighttime curb appeal. There are so many different lighting options available. These days, many garden lights are solar-powered, which means they won’t cost you anything in electricity. You can illuminate trees or line the walkway to your door.

A mix of different lighting types can make your house a popular evening view outside of the Christmas season.

Lawn Gnomes

Lawn gnomes are a controversial option that can give your home a whimsical touch. Some people will say that these lawn ornaments are tacky and would not want to have them in their garden. However, the decision to bring a lawn gnome into your yard is entirely up to you. Don’t let others discourage you if you love a lawn gnome. The haters speak loudly, but you will find that more people will appreciate the added touch than disparage it.

Hanging Baskets If you have a nice big front porch, hanging flower baskets can give your front yard a wonderful welcoming touch. Large flower baskets can stand out and draw people in. You can have matching baskets with matching plants if you want to portray a polished, elegant look.

You can also go with wildly different basket designs. With each basket containing flowers that make different statements, you can bring a funkier eclectic look to the front of your home.

Whatever style you choose, if it is in line with the personality of the rest of your front yard, it will compliment it perfectly and become a neighborhood favorite.

These are just a few of the ways that you can take your front yard to the next level. From walkways to gates, to mailboxes, to house numbers, there are dozens of details that can make your front yard tell the story you want. Simply think about the message you want your home to send out into the world and aim to spread that message with each added touch.

Property Value: 4 Weird Things That Can Affect The Resale Price

If you’re bothered about the value of your home, you’ll research features that make the most sense. As a result, the tried and tested methods often become played out. You know what they are. The garage conversion or the conservatory extension.

However, what real estate owners fail to recognize is that the elements that go under the radar can have as big an impact. Therefore, it’s worth figuring out what they are so that you always have an option up your sleeve. Let’s face it – not everybody wants their home to look as if it belongs in a traditional magazine. With that in mind, here are four weird things that impact property values.

Outside Obstacles

It turns out that buyers are just as interested in the tree in your back garden as they are about the size of the drive. A driveway is easy to change in many respects, which is why most people won’t worry too much about it. As long as it’s big enough for a car or two, it’ll do in the short-term. A tree is different because it blocks natural sunlight and impacts everything from the atmosphere in the home to energy bills. That’s why a tree removal service could add a huge chunk of change to your bank account should you decide to sell. It’s strange, but it’s undoubtedly true!

Addressing The Address

An address is something you can change, and research from the UK shows that you should consider tweaking the name of your home and street. According to British studies, our cousins across the Atlantic are fond of leverage, which is why the word “Hill” doubles the value of properties compared to buildings with “Street” in the name. Merely giving your home a name instead of a number adds a level of prestige that will be reflected in the price.

Supermarket Sweep

Supermarkets are commonplace, or so you think. It turns out they play a bigger part in house valuations than people assume because everyone wants the amenities on their doorstep. Again, the Brits highlight this better than anyone else, with a health store by the name of Waitrose leading the way. In neighborhoods with a Waitrose, property prices rose by around $60,000. Yes, you read that right! Of course, most supermarkets will suffice as long as they are fully stocked and within walking distance. Definitely worth adding it to the listing.

Seeing The Sights

Another feature that you should advertise is the nearby attractions. They might appear obvious, yet they are often far from self-evident since lots of homeowners are unsure what buyers want. For example, sporting venues could be high on the list for fans, but those who aren’t enthusiasts could hate the idea of the car and foot traffic. Living close enough to a city, on the other hand, is ideal as it’s far enough away that it’s within commuting distance. Plus, you can hire out your parking space to city dwellers and make a small fortune!

As you can see, the weird can be quite wonderful when you use it correctly.

What Happens When a Restaurant Worker is Sick?

When you operate or manage a restaurant, there are a lot of moving parts. There are also a lot of things to keep in mind as far as safety, health, and regulatory compliance.

One issue restaurant managers face is how to handle a sick worker. This has become even more problematic because of COVID-19.

You have a responsibility when you run a restaurant to keep your customers safe and healthy, meaning that you take every possible step to protect them from an illness, whether foodborne or otherwise. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 Americans get a foodborne illness every year. This leads to 128,000 hospitalizations because of serious illness and 3000 deaths.

At the same time, it’s difficult as a business to deal with employees who are out if you don’t have replacements.

The following are some of the main things to know about restaurant workers who get ill and how the situation should be handled.

Preparing Food When Ill

When you’re sick, or when you have an employee who is sick, pathogens can be introduced to the food.

For example, if someone goes to the bathroom because they have a stomach-related illness, then there may be fecal matter on their hands that then transfer to the food.

If someone has had any signs of illness like vomiting or diarrhea, they should not work for at least several days after their symptoms have fully ended. It’s common that foodborne illness outbreaks start because of sick employees in restaurants and food outlets.

Of course, hand hygiene is of the utmost importance too, but even nearly impeccable hand hygiene might not be enough when an employee is sick.

Developing a Sick Employee Policy

It’s reckless to have an employee work when they’re knowingly sick. Employees are often scared to tell their employer they’re sick for different reasons. For example, they might be worried that they won’t earn money when they take time off or that their employer could retaliate for their absence by firing them or cutting their hours.

As an employer, it’s up to you to create a good sick policy so that employees know what options are available to them. This will reduce their apprehension about calling out.

You can include in your policy the signs of illness to look for, what the process should be to call in, and what expectations are on your end and on the end of your employees.

Also, when developing sick policies, try to avoid requiring things like doctor’s notes. Many restaurant workers may not have health insurance, and so they may not visit the doctor for a minor illness. It could end up being very expensive for them.

However, if you start to see a pattern of absences and you think it’s becoming an issue, then you might want to have your employee bring a doctor’s note, but this should only be if you truly see red flags.

When you’re developing sick policies, put yourself in the shoes of your employees as much as you can. Be very specific in every element of the policy, including the symptoms that you expect employees to call out of work if they experience.

Providing Paid Time Off

If at all possible, it can benefit a food business to have paid time off available to employees. It can actually cost less over the long-term to offer this benefit. You’re going to reduce the risk of having an employee come to work sick and getting customers sick, which can be a legal and public relations nightmare.

It’s also a good way to attract high-quality applicants when you’re hiring for new positions.

Paid time off is controversial, but again, if it’s something that’s feasible for your restaurant, it can be valuable not just for your employees but for your business.

Know When to Report An Outbreak

As a manager or owner of a retail food establishment, you will need to know when to report a serious outbreak to your local health department. Don’t try to avoid doing this—it can mean your restaurant gets shut down.

The so-called big five as far as illnesses that are a threat to restaurants are E. coli, shigella, salmonella, norovirus, and hepatitis A.

Dealing with sick employees in a restaurant is something no manager or owner wants to face, but it’s inevitable. Protect yourself, your employees, and your customers by being proactive in the development of your policies and procedures.