Issue Winter 12
When visiting any type of foodservice establishment, most customers expect quality in every as¬pect of the experience. At a restaurant, for example, patrons expect the waitstaff to be perfectly attentive, hope the food will delight the taste buds and assume every square inch of the establishment will be clean and sanitary. If any part of the operation seems dirty or unsanitary, it’s most likely that customers will go away with a negative opinion.
Kaivac Inc. puts itself in the place of business owners and their employees to help with the clean part of a quality business – whether it is a restaurant or something else – allowing owners to focus on quality elsewhere.
Kaivac’s focus is the development of “science-based hygienic cleaning systems that protect the health and safety of building occupants while raising the value of cleaning operations.” Its equipment and technology is designed to remove the maximum amount of potentially harmful soils and bio-pollution in the most cost-efficient manner.
“We are a little different than a typical cleaning equipment manufacturer,” Vice President of Marketing Tom Mor¬rison says. “We’re very hands-on in our approach to developing systems. We put ourselves in the shoes of the people doing the cleaning and develop systems that are very worker-focused. They also are science-based in that our main focus is validating the soil removal through advanced hygiene measurement technologies. Our solutions differ across different marketplaces, but we’re always looking for the best results – what removes the most soil in the quickest time in the friendliest manner to the worker?”
Bob Robinson Sr. founded Kaivac in 1997 after he decided there had to be a better way of cleaning restrooms than swabbing floors on one’s hands and knees. The company got its start when he combined pressure washing, chemical injection, wet vacuuming and other tools on a single platform to create the KaiVac No-Touch Cleaning System, Morrison says.
The company now offers a variety of no-touch cleaning systems, and each integrated system offers automatic chemical metering and injection, an indoor pressure washer and a powerful wet vacuum. These systems, Mor¬rison explains, enable workers to deep-clean and sanitize without having to touch soiled or contaminated surfaces, which results in cleaner buildings, more productive employees, happier customers and reduced costs spent on unnecessary equipment and excess chemicals.
Kaivac’s research shows that its no-touch cleaning systems are 60 times more effective at reducing bacterial contamination than mops, Morrison says. Traditional mops and wipes, he explains, do more to move soils and contaminants around instead of removing them. By removing the pollutants, Kaivac’s systems eliminate odors and reduce the risk of disease. In addition, greater soil removal increases slip resistance, so that floors are much safer and slips and falls are reduced.
“Our newest product is the OmniFlex Crossover Cleaning System,” he says. “From the beginning, we’ve had a lot of interest from foodservice establishments and departments because of the amount and type of soil they generate. When soils, grease, detergents and other contaminants are is not completely removed during the cleaning process, they build up on surfaces, making them unsafe, unsanitary and unsightly. Unfor¬tunately, mops, the most frequently used cleaning tool in restaurants, don’t cut it. In fact, they make matters worse.
“They liked our original No-Touch Cleaning System because it was so effective at removing soil,” he continues. “The problem, however, was that for certain smaller facilities it was a little expensive and a little complicated to operate, especially for an unskilled, high-turnover workforce. We wanted to find a way to help people progress from ineffective and unproductive manual processes and evolve their cleaning programs in a cost-effective way.”
With OmniFlex, Kaivac decided to take a modular approach to solving this. The company started with a mop bucket and created motorized attachments with no-touch capabilities. As a result, businesses can configure a system for cleaning their floors that is high-performance, simple to operate and costs much less than the full KaiVac system. But, like the original KaiVac, it is 60 times more effective than a mop and significantly faster.
“With this system, our primary focus was on how to best clean a floor,” Morrison says. “Our mission was to eliminate the mop by creating solutions that do a much better job but have the same economics as a mop. The OmniFlex starts with a basic trolley-bucket, which you could use with a regular mop. From there, a customer can create a simple but high-performing automated package by just adding our wet/dry vacuum.”
Under its “remove it prove it” promise, Kaivac not only provides the systems to remove soil in buildings, it also offers technology that will measure the level of hygiene on a given surface.
Morrison explains Kaivac’s System¬Sure Plus measures adenosine tri¬phosphate (ATP), which is an energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacterial, yeast and mold cells, all of which should be significantly reduced after cleaning. When ATP comes into contact with the liquid-stable lucifer-ase/luciferin reagent in the System¬Sure’s testing swap, light is emitted in direct proportion to the amount of ATP present. The higher the reading, the more contamination present.
“There is definitely a greater acceptance of hygiene measurement,” Mor¬rison says. “The foodservice industry has standard measurement programs, and other industries are beginning to develop clean standards, as well.”
Due to the nature of its systems and technology, Kaivac always has been attractive to the foodservice industry, but the company is making a big push into that market now. Morrison says he believes Kaivac is equipped to sustain its business in the maintenance and janitorial industry, while expanding farther into foodservice.
“There are more than 900,000 commercial kitchens in the United States alone, and we have something to fit virtually every one,” Morrison says.