Anthony Soethout, operations manager, The Gramercy Bar. Anthony Soethout, operations manager, The Gramercy Bar.

 The Gramercy Bar in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the first Dubai outlet to use all-natural cleaning products in every aspect of its cleaning and maintenance, says operations manager Anthony Soethout.

Soethout revamped the cleaning and hygiene protocols of The Gramercy Bar in an effort to increase staff and guest awareness of environmental issues as well as to increase cost-efficiency and to “reduce the ‘chemical’ budget,” he said.

All cleaning tasks, from heavy duty kitchen duties, restroom upkeep and all-day maintenance in the guest area are now performed using the all-natural products made by UltraShield, according to Soethout.

Story continues below

These anti-bacterial, laureate-free, flavanoid-based and Ecocert-certified products are now used by kitchen staff to disinfect their hands when preparing food, as well as in the washing and sanitizing of fresh food ingredients. Traditional petrochemical soap in the guest restrooms has also been replaced with products using the same technology.

“The Gramercy Bar is a true trendsetter in Dubai by the early adaption of this novelty technology,” said Soethout. “The staff have been surprised that our products can be touched and applied without using personal protection gear. Using the Ecocert certified food sanitizer also is a matter of responsibility since there are indications that hypochlorite based sanitizers increase the risk of cancer."

Soethout believes it is time for real environmental change to come from the work floor upwards, rather than just being talked about by the marketing department:

“The real issue is how to motivate people to leave their safe comfort zone behind and to enter into ‘new’ territory that requires an open mindset and a degree of trial-and-error,” he said. “Green concerns are still mainly the domain of marketing and corporate social responsibility. On the work floor it is hardly popular as people are reluctant to experiment with new things.”