Did you know that restaurants can be one of the riskiest places to contract COVID-19?

It’s true; restaurants can be a breeding ground for germs, placing your employees and customers at risk of certain diseases, viruses, bacteria, and contaminants.

The last thing you want is customers or employees becoming sick. Plus, a failed health inspection could place you at risk of legal battles, and you could lose a lot of money.

Restaurant cleaning checklists always prioritize customer and staff health and food safety. You must have proper restaurant cleaning facilities. Whether you hire professional cleaners or assign a cleaning schedule to your team, you must follow a restaurant cleaning checklist like the thorough one we have prepared for you.

Why keeping your restaurant clean is a top priority?

Nobody wants to dine in an unhygienic restaurant and consume contaminated food. Compliance with food safety and restaurant cleaning checklists has become stricter due to COVID-19. A restaurant owner must prioritize hygiene and cleanliness.

But a cleaning schedule is not simply wiping down the tables. You need a comprehensive restaurant cleaning checklist for your staff to follow. A proper cleaning schedule must include sanitizing, disinfecting, sweep, and much more to help maintain a clean restaurant.

Customers won’t want to dine at your place if it’s unclean!

Plus, depending on where your restaurant is, it’s more than likely it will have to abide by the rules of governing bodies and departments. If your restaurant is unclean, you will receive a low rating, and it will damage your company’s reputation. 

Having a restaurant cleaning checklist that is adhered to will stop the presence of mice, bugs, and other pests from lingering on your premises and leading to food contamination. Also, having an immaculate dining establishment gives you an extra edge over your competition.

What does commercial kitchen cleaning involve?

Sometimes restaurant owners forget that cleaning commercial kitchens involves all the behind-the-scenes or back-of-house areas that must be scrubbed thoroughly. To help you, here’s what you should cover in your commercial kitchen cleaning checklist to keep the back-of-house areas in tip-top shape:

  • Countertops and Hard Surfaces: Any food contact surfaces such as cutting boards, countertops, and other food prep area surfaces accumulate bacteria. These food prep areas are frequently in contact with food and your hands, meaning they can spread bacteria. You must clean these surfaces several times a day with sanitizing solution to prevent cross-contamination. 
  • Appliances and Equipment: In the kitchen, you should clean your cooking equipment regularly. This includes ovens, grills, microwaves, fridges, refrigerators, burners, cooktops, and other appliances. Do a daily wipe down of all kitchen appliances to prevent any grease from building up. Also, a monthly cleaning schedule should target hard-to-reach areas. For example, clean behind the grill area and be sure to clean refrigerator coils.
  • Hoods and Vents: Never forget the important stuff around you up above! For effective restaurant cleaning, you must also clean everything above head height. Hoods and vents get pretty dirty very quickly. Wipe down the hood, grease traps, and ventilation ducts regularly to stop grease buildup. Also, clean the filters according to the instruction manual. Inspect the condition of each piece of equipment, so you can get it repaired quickly if necessary. These areas are the first that local health inspectors will check on their restaurant cleaning checklists.
  • Floors: Restaurant flooring accumulates all sorts of dust, dirt, and other debris daily. While food scraps and waste are inevitable, the biggest culprit is foot traffic. Customers and employees can bring in a range of contaminants from many places. Clean all floors using a machine or mop them thoroughly at the end of each day using sanitizing chemicals. 
  • Walls and Ceiling: Hidden germs can linger inside the kitchen or in the main dining area on the walls and ceiling. You must keep walls clean. However, weekly or monthly cleaning should be done to deep clean them.
  • Sinks: Even though you use soap and warm water for cleaning utensils, sinks quickly become dirty from all the excess waste. Disinfect sinks daily and use a sink or drain cleaner in pipes every week to ensure they do not clog.
  • Storage areas: Do a monthly cleaning of all storage areas used for restaurant supplies to avoid the buildup of dust and crumbs. 
  • Front of house: Do regular deep cleaning to ensure cleanliness and keep it appealing for customers.
  • Restrooms/Bathrooms: Clean and restock restrooms multiple times to ensure they remain inviting for visitors and do not become a breeding ground for germs. There are specialist cleaning checklists for these areas. They detail exactly what needs to be cleaned and how to clean it. Your customers must always see spotless facilities!
  • Entryways: Clean all the walkways leading to your front-of-house, kitchen, restrooms, and other areas. These areas must remain uncluttered to stop people from tripping or falling over something.
  • Loading docks: Always clean the areas at the back of your restaurant where your suppliers unload goods. You never know what dirt could be brought in from the outside. 

Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

For efficient restaurant cleaning, there are back-of-house cleaning tasks you must do consistently. It’s wise to use a restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist and split your restaurant cleaning into daily, weekly, and monthly jobs. To help you stay on top of them, here is a breakdown of the essential restaurant cleaning tasks to cover:

Daily Tasks

  • Wipe Down Walls: At the end of each day, wipe them down with a cloth and make sure you get rid of any splashes or stains in back-of-house/kitchen areas. 
  • Clean Equipment: Clean all the equipment such as the grill, fryer, oven, griddles, and flattop. Wipe them clean every day but don’t just clean the surfaces – clean underneath them too. Replace any foil lining used on grills and flattops, wipe down the grill drain line and make sure it has no blockage. 
  • Sanitize: Sanitize all countertops, sinks, tables, prep equipment, flatware, pans, etc., in the dishwasher. Wipe down other equipment like meat slicers, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, etc.
  • Trash: Empty the trash cans and recycling bins and clean the interiors with hot soapy water, sanitize the trash and recycling bins, sweep and mop the waste disposal areas, and leave to air-dry overnight.
  • Beverage Dispensers: Clean all the heads of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverage dispensers.
  • Uniforms and Cleaning Rags: Put any towels, cleaning rags, uniforms, aprons, tablecloths, or cloths in the washing machine to clean them.
  • Floors: Clean floors are a must! Vacuum, sweep or mop all flooring. And don’t forget to sweep walk-in storage areas.
  • Walk-In Refrigerator: Remove the mats, sweep and mop the floor.

Weekly Tasks

  • Oven: Read the instructions in the oven’s manual and do the cleaning processes recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Refrigerator and Freezer: Remove all the contents and then deep clean the inside and outside.
  • Deep Fryers: Drain the deep fryer oil, clean each fryer and the filter with boiling water and detergent to remove any grease or stains, and finally rinse each fryer with clean hot water, and allow the fryer to air-dry.
  • Drains: Wash and scrub them using a drain brush. Following this, use a sanitizing solution, rinse it with boiling water to stop it from getting blocked.
  • Walls and Doors: Degrease these areas using a cloth and a commercial degreasing solution.
  • Sinks and Dishwashers: De-lime all sinks and faucets using water and a de-lime solution to prevent hard deposits. Use a de-liming solution in the dishwasher and let it run for a few cycles. 
  • Gas Pipes and Water Hoses: Remove any buildup of dust/debris and wipe down using a damp cloth. 
  • Flooring: Use a sanitizing cleaner on the floors.
  • Anti-Fatigue Mats: Clean and sanitize all.

Monthly Tasks

Every month do deep cleaning of all the commercial kitchen areas that are difficult to reach. Monthly restaurant cleaning will take a lot longer to do than daily and weekly cleaning tasks. 

  • Equipment: Wipe down and clean all equipment, especially behind it if installed against a wall. 
  • Walls: Use hot water and a cleaning solution to thoroughly scrub all walls. Don’t leave the walls wet either; use a separate cloth to dry them.
  • Remove Grease: a commercial kitchen becomes greasy quickly! Scrape away any excess grease from ranges, apply degreaser to grease traps, wait, and then use hot water to rinse the grease trap.
  • Refrigerators and Freezers: Empty the contents, wipe down the interior and exterior, and clean the coils behind the refrigerators and freezers.
  • Ice machines: Clean and make sure every ice machine is sanitized.
  • Ceilings: Remove any tiles from ceilings and clean them using soap, water, and a degreaser. Make sure to clean the tile grid. 
  • Floors: Sweep and mop the floors and use a commercial kitchen floor cleaner.
  • Pest Control & Rodent Droppings: Always inspect the kitchen and remove any, clean the area, and contact pest control if required. Also, check and replace any pest traps installed. 
  • Chemicals: Run sanitizing chemicals through your coffee and drinks machines.

Front of house cleaning checklist 

Of course, every restaurant cleaning checklist must include a front-of-house cleaning checklist too. After all, these are the areas where your customers see how you manage hygiene and cleanliness in your restaurant.

Dining room

Below are the specific tasks related to cleaning restaurant dining room areas:

Daily Tasks

  • Seats, counters, and benches: Vacuum seats if they have cushions. Make sure you remove any food residue or spills. Use a cloth and disinfectant solution to clean and sanitize benches and seating.
  • Floor: Vacuum the carpets, sweep and mop the floors.
  • Walls and Windows: Clean and sanitize using a cleaning spray.
  • Tablecloths and Napkins: Put in the washing machine.
  • Utensils: Put in the dishwasher and sanitize the salt and pepper shakers.
  • Menus: Sanitize all menus. 

Weekly Tasks

  • Lights and Fixtures: Use a duster on light bulbs and fixtures, then wipe them with a damp cloth and sanitizer.
  • Windows and Doors: Wash all of them with a disinfectant spray. Make sure you cover all minor areas and door handles when doing so.
  • Cushions: Put cushions in the washing machine.

Monthly Tasks

  • Decorations: Use a soft cloth to clean any decorations or wall art that you might have.
  • Ceiling: Clean and check if there are any cobwebs.
  • Walls: Wash the walls thoroughly using a strong cleaner.

Bar

Below are the specific tasks related to cleaning restaurant bars and related areas:

Daily Tasks

  • Ice: Melt any leftover ice at the end of the day and remove the remaining liquid.
  • Kegs: Check kegs and restock if the supply is low.
  • Glassware, Cups, and Mugs: Wipe down unused glasses, cups, mugs, plates, etc. This also applies to any other glassware, shakers, and other glass surfaces. 
  • Bar Counter: Wipe down the bar counter with a microfiber cloth and disinfectant spray.
  • Trash: Take out the trash cans, especially if there are food scraps.
  • Soda Fountains/Soda Guns/Beer Taps: Clean beverage dispenser heads. If you have beer taps, use a keg line brush to clean them. 
  • Drains: Clean and rinse them, and the drain covers too.
  • Drinks Bottles: Spend a few minutes cleaning any liquor or beverage bottles.
  • Floor: Sweep and mop floors behind the bar to stop grease buildup.

Weekly Tasks

  • Storage: Clean all storage equipment.
  • Floor and Beer Mats: Place all floor mats in the washing machine or use a power wash to clean them thoroughly.
  • Shelves: Use a damp cloth to remove any dust.
  • Drawers and Cabinets: Declutter all drawers and cabinets so that they stay organized.
  • Floor: Sweep, scrub and polish the bar floor. 

Monthly Tasks

  • Beer Lines: Change beer lines.
  • Refrigerators: Remove the contents and clean the interiors and exteriors.
  • Coffee Machines: Descale coffee machines.
  • Entire Bar: Conduct a deep clean; you may wish to hire a company to do this.
  • Light Fixtures and Decor: Clean, scrub, or dust light fixtures and decor.

Restrooms & Bathrooms

Below are the specific tasks related to cleaning restrooms:

Daily Tasks

  • Toilets: Disinfect the toilets and bleach them.
  • Trash: Empty all trash bins.
  • Bathroom Sinks: Wipe down the sinks.
  • Doors and Handles: Disinfect all door handles.
  • Floor: Sweep, mop, or vacuum the floor.
  • Restock: Restock the restroom with toilet rolls, soap, and anything else needed.

Weekly Tasks

  • Mirrors: Polish the mirrors.
  • Towels: Wash towels and hang new ones up.
  • Soap Dispenser: Wash and disinfect the area around the soap dispenser.
  • Tiles and Grout: Clean and sanitize tiles and grout thoroughly.

Monthly Tasks

  • Drains: Clean them and remove any hair to stop them from getting clogged.
  • Ceiling and Light Fixtures: Wash ceilings and light fixtures.
  • Trash: Wash and disinfect the trash can.
  • Air conditioning and vents: Vacuum any air conditioning vents you may have to stop dust and debris building up.

Bottom Line

Use our restaurant cleaning checklist so that regular patrons and new customers will have nothing to complain about. Always remember that as an owner the overall health and safety of everybody in your restaurant should be one of your top priorities and main concerns!

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