Dirty work

It’s not fun to clean a kitchen hood, so Dereck Sirianni and Jason Manecke turned the job into a business


Pro Hood Cleaning: Dereck Sirianni, left, and Jason Manecke started the business to fill a niche for needed dirty work in the Wausau area.

When’s the last time you cleaned the hood above your stove? Been awhile, eh? That’s sometimes the case for restaurants too. It’s what Dereck Sirianni and Jason Manecke built their business on.

Started in July 2016, Pro Hood Cleaning tackles exactly that problem, because carrying all that grease and grime is both unhealthy and unsafe. Sirianni, 26, says he and Manecke, 27, got the idea after working for another company and seeing how dirty commercial kitchen hoods could get. There weren’t a lot of businesses specifically doing that work, so he and Manecke rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty.

Pro Hood Cleaning currently has about 50 local clients, Sirianni says, for whom they clean the kitchen hoods about twice per year. Dirty exhaust hoods can increase the risk of a grease fire and the risk of waste dropping into the food, they say. Especially with bars and restaurants that have changed hands, cleaning the kitchen hood isn’t something all owners think about if they’re new to the business, Manecke says.

Given the demand, creating their service appears to be a smart business move, but it’s not easy work by any means. On a recent visit to a job site, Sirianni and Manecke demonstrate how the site prep works. The kitchen hood is tarped off and sealed to create a funnel into a waste bucket. They then pressure wash the vent and hood, as the waste falls into the bucket.

One whiff of the bucket demonstrates why those hoods need cleaning: The smell could knock over a horse.

It’s dirty work, but the demand is there. Both Sirianni and Manecke work day jobs, and do the cleaning service at night or early morning (Sirianni works at Rib Mountain Glass, Manecke at Packard Sanitation and Abbyland Food). On days they don’t have jobs lined up, they focus on direct marketing to businesses. They get mixed reactions, from being hung up on to people saying “Oh my god, I’ve been looking for a service like yours!”

“I grew up in this area,” Sirianni says, “so if I can help other businesses succeed, as far as health codes, it brings the community to a better place.”

Contact them at 715-297-5998.