Restaurant Cleaning Procedures Checklist

A comprehensive restaurant cleaning checklist is critical if you own or manage any hospitality establishment. Not only do you owe it to your customers to keep your kitchen clean, but FDA food codes require a certain standard of cleanliness in commercial kitchens for health inspections.

To reduce your exposure to contamination, food poisoning, and legal penalties, it’s essential to develop a restaurant cleaning checklist and procedures that covers all the bases. Different chores require different frequency levels. Below, we’ll divide the tasks into different sections based on frequency and severity.

Daily Restaurant Cleaning Tasks

Whether you’re a pro or are opening a new restaurant, if you want to avoid cleanliness issues in your business, it’s critical to stay on top of things as they happen. Requiring scheduled cleaning procedures from your staff members can help you keep your kitchen clean at all times. Below, let’s take a look at some restaurant cleaning checklist items that can be performed daily:

  • Empty garbage and recycling cans
  • Send all fabrics (including linens, aprons, towels, etc.) to the laundry
  • Thoroughly clean all cutting boards and countertops — prevent cross-contamination
  • Wash and sanitize all additional preparation areas
  • Wash all knives, grinders, slicers, and other cutting equipment
  • Clean microwaves, griddles, grills, and other critical cooking equipment
  • Clean drink and food spills as soon as they happen
  • Constantly disinfect and sanitize all cooking surfaces
  • Clear and wash all drip trays in the kitchen
  • Sweep floors, vacuum any dirty surfaces
  • Mop your kitchen floors — degreaser is also necessary
  • Clean all washing areas and dish-washing stations
  • Wash deep fryers
  • Clean and brush all floor mats
  • Update foil linings on grills and ovens
  • Clean any display refrigerators

Weekly Restaurant Cleaning Tasks

While daily tasks are critical for your kitchen, it’s also essential to undertake a few ‘major’ weekly cleaning procedures. Let’s check out the necessities below:

  • Deep-clean interior and exterior of steamers and ovens
  • Extensively clean coffee equipment and internal components of coffee machines
  • Clean your drains using a heavy-duty drain cleaner
  • Wash all additional cooking and kitchen appliances (both interior and exterior)
  • Deep-clean fryers by boiling them out

Monthly Restaurant Cleaning Tasks

In addition to weekly and daily tasks, restaurant owners must stay vigilant about performing critical monthly cleaning chores in a commercial kitchen. Let’s explore the monthly cleaning procedures below:

  • Inspect and clean your refrigeration condenser coils
  • Inspect and clean other refrigeration components, such as tubes, pans, and air filters
  • Clean surfaces within commercial fridges, including walk-in refrigerators
  • Clean walls and other non-cooking surfaces within the kitchen
  • Ensure that all pest control methods are continuing to work
  • Empty and wash your grease traps utilizing best green practices
  • Clean and inspect exhaust hoods (if applicable)

 Annual Restaurant Cleaning Tasks

While most of your cleaning procedures will be taken care of on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, there are a few big jobs that require even less frequency. Every six months, it’s critical to descale your ice machines to prevent the buildup of slime. You should also ‘delime’ and clean your commercial dishwashers (if you have any).

In addition to these cleaning requirements, it’s also a good idea to perform annual maintenance on any industrial equipment in your kitchen. Heaters, AC units, refrigerators, and other core appliances are prone to breakdowns, which can cost a significant amount of money. Performing annual maintenance on your equipment before your busiest months will ensure you don’t miss out on valuable revenue.

Keeping Your Floor Clean (And Safe)

While cleaning cooking materials, utensils, equipment, and appliances is a no-brainer for many restaurant owners, cleaning floors is something that is continually overlooked. Not only is a clean floor necessary for a sterile working environment, but it’s also an essential subject in terms of employee safety.

When you pour water, cleaning liquid, and other substances on your floor to wash it, you’re creating a hazardous working environment. A high-paced kitchen needs to be as safe as possible — having slippery floors is a nightmare when your establishment is busy. For this reason, it’s critical to treat your floor with an anti-slip product from a company like Slip Stop USA that will prevent staff from slipping on your wet floor.

You should also consider treating the other floors in your establishment. If a staff member mops your floor and a customer slips, you might be liable for damages.

Create a Culture of Cleanliness in Your Business

If you want to maintain a clean kitchen, it’s critical to create a culture that fosters responsible behavior. All staff members should be adequately informed of standards to ensure they understand the level of cleanliness that is expected in your kitchen and around your cooking equipment. Routine checks and robust benchmarks can go a long way in promoting consistent behavior.

Additionally, signage that reminds staff of their responsibilities can also help promote a culture of cleanliness.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Cleanliness!

Your kitchen’s cleanliness can make or break your business. The United States has strict food and kitchen sanitation laws that require restaurants to maintain specific standards for your kitchen and equipment. The standards that you must adhere to will vary depending on the location of your business.

If you want to avoid food quality issues and negative reviews from health inspectors, make sure to follow these procedures and implement a comprehensive restaurant cleaning checklist.  To help you find restaurant cleaning supplies, we’ve put together a list of the best online stores for restaurants.