Don’t fail your next inspection: Keeping it clean is easier than you think Cleanliness is one of the most important aspects of running a success restaurant or foodservice business. We all know about washing dishes, wiping down counters, and cooking with food safety in mind, but restaurants are held to a higher standard than in-home kitchens and for a good reason. One mistake, and patrons can get violently ill. That means every surface, every crevice, every inch of your interior must be spotless at all times. However, don’t just look to the kitchen when you’re cleaning.
With all those bodies and all those germs in and out of your restaurant, gunk and debris can quickly be swept aside and lost in the dark spaces nobody looks at. Well, nobody but the inspectors, that is. Be sure your restaurant or food service passes inspection every time by following our restaurant cleaning checklist.
Start where the germs live
The dirtiest part of any restaurant will be the kitchen. This is because of the wide variety of ingredients that go through there every day. We’re talking about different meats, vegetables, fruits, and grains. Cutting boards, counters, utensils, and cooking surfaces all need to be wiped down and sanitized to prevent cross-contamination. That’s pretty standard. However, you need to look up and look down to be sure you’ve cleaned everything. Splatter from meat juices or batters can easily hit the ceiling or walls, and it is good practice to sweep and mop several times during open hours to be sure nothing is being tracked from the kitchen out onto the dining room floor.
Don’t forget about the spaces under and behind large equipment, counters, and cabinets. That includes inside walk-ins (freezers, pantries, etc.), and even inside the maintenance closet. Food debris spreads quickly and easily, so stay on top of cleaning to prevent buildup and huge messes.
Everyday Restaurant Cleaning Checklist:
- Change liners on grills and ranges
- Wipe down the grill, fryers, range, and any other cooking surfaces
- Wash and sanitize meat slicers and can openers—these are often overlooked
- Walls, floors, and ceilings need a good wipe down, even if you don’t see any splashes
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning beverage dispensers
- Many pieces of equipment have dishwasher-safe parts—check the manuals and use the dishwasher to disinfect these parts whenever possible
- Keep trash and disposal areas clean, organized, and swept to prevent rodents and insect infestations
- Sanitize bathrooms—patrons will judge a restaurant on the bathrooms as much as the food and service, so don’t skip this part *Sanitize tables, clean seats, chairs, and benches
- Sweep, mop, vacuum where appropriate
- Keep condiment caddies clean and shiny
Weekly and Monthly Restaurant Cleaning Checklist:
- Wash, sanitize, and organize walk-ins, such as freezers and pantries
- Scrub, de-lime, and sanitize sinks and faucets in the kitchen, bar, and bathrooms—you may be shocked how quickly these build up lime
- Clean ovens and range hoods
- Clean and clear floor drains
- Clean and disinfect all door handles—this is often overlooked
- Wash windows and glass doors—this is a first-impression moment, so don’t skimp on this small detail
- Vacuum air ducts and vents
- Clean and de-scale coffee machines, filters, and interior water reservoirs—be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for your particular machine
- Empty and clean grease traps per local ordinances—be sure to dispose of old grease and oil properly and responsibly, as doing this wrong can damage the environment and come back to haunt you in fines and shutdowns
- Ice machines need cleaning and maintenance Empty and clean refrigerators and freezers inside and out, including coils
- If you haven’t been doing daily wall and ceiling wipe down, clean and degrease them at least once a month. Buildup can damage paint over time
- If you do not have pest control services, you’ll need to change pest traps at least monthly
- Dust and wash light fixtures, shades, hoods, etc.
- Stationary objects, wall art, and statuary need to be dusted and cleaned
This list should cover most of the things you’ll need to keep cleaned and sanitized for your restaurant, but feel free to add anything that’s specific to your establishment. If you have toys and books set out for kids, keep those clean and sanitized, and if there are a lobby and waiting area, be sure to check through magazines or entertainment options to keep them fresh.
There’s a lot to keep track of, and if you tried to remember it all, you’d make yourself crazy. Not to mention trying to make staff remember it all could be impossible. Keep and update checklists to be sure every aspect is taken care of. But don’t start writing just yet. We’ve got a tool that will streamline this process and make your restaurant management a lot easier.
Never miss another task. Keep it all organized with this powerful software.
Writing and re-writing restaurant cleaning lists is a pain. It’s a waste of time and effort, and the lists inevitably get dirty, damaged, and thrown out. There’s a better way to list and delegate tasks to your employees, and it is a major time saver and money saver.
ZipChecklists was made with restaurants and food service in mind. Here are some details
In short, ZipChecklist lets you easily create task lists and have your staff check off tasks as they’re completed. Not only will ZipChecklist keep everyone on track, but you will have a log of who does what, and who’s slacking off, too.
ZipChecklist is more than a simple task management app; it’s a powerful business tool that can track, log, list, assign, and even provide five kinds of audit trails to show trends and performance. Set up notifications and reminders for yourself and your staff, and never miss a task again. It’s easy to setup, very simple to learn, and you can try it out for 30 days, risk-free.