Why Restaurants Need Both Bar Mops and Kitchen Towels

Here at Alsco, we are happy to say that our linen cleaning services extend to bars and restaurants. We provide table linens, aprons, uniforms, and two kinds of towels: bar mops for the front end and kitchen towels for the back.

Have you ever wondered why two kinds of towels are recommended? There are good reasons, some of which will be discussed in this post. Needless to say, we highly recommend having both kinds of towels on hand. Keep reading to find out why.

Differences Between the Two

There are significant differences between the two types of towels. Bar mops are thicker and more plush than kitchen towels. They are also more absorbent. Their name is derived from the fact that they were originally developed to clean up spills at the bar. Bartenders also use them to wipe down glasses and stemware.

Although kitchen towels are not thick or plush, they are extremely durable. Kitchen towels are used for a long list of duties, including cleaning work areas and sinks and even acting as potholders for busy chefs who are constantly moving pots and pans.

Bar Mops for the Front of House

We recommend that only bar mops be used for front-of-house operations, which typically means wiping down tables and functions behind the bar. Bar mops are the best option because of their high absorption capabilities. A good illustration here is cleaning tables.

A properly cleaned table is one that has been disinfected. A busser sprays down the table with a liquid disinfectant and then wipes it up with a bar mop. The bar mop’s high absorbency soaks up all the disinfectant and the dirt that comes with it. You are left with a clean, dry table.

A kitchen towel would not be as effective here because, as stated above, they are not as absorbent. Use one and you are likely to leave at least some wetness behind. At the very least, a kitchen towel would leave a streaky finish that would offend customers.

Behind the bar, your bartender wants highly absorbent towels for wiping down glasses and polishing them to a sparkling shine. The bartender also needs a highly absorbent towel to clean up spills at the bar, and kitchen towels are just not up to the task.

Kitchen Towels to Prevent Cross-Contamination

Over the years, regulators have put a variety of laws in place to prevent cross-contamination in commercial kitchens. Those laws cover everything from disinfecting work services to employee handwashing policies. The idea is to prevent food-borne illnesses by eliminating contamination.

One of the purposes of offering restaurants separate kitchen towels is to help prevent such contamination. If all bar mops are kept in the front of house, and all kitchen towels remain in the back, you eliminate the risk of cross-contamination by towel. Bar mops will never be used to clean work surfaces in the kitchen, so the contamination from those surfaces will not be transferred to dining room tables.

It may seem like a frivolous expense to order two kinds of towels from your linen service provider, but there are legitimate reasons to have both bar mops and kitchen towels on hand. We have given you just two of them in this post. If you would like to know more, feel free to contact us. We can set up your bar or restaurant with a complete linen program that includes table linens, kitchen linens, aprons, and uniforms.

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