restaurant-management | 5 mins read

The Ultimate Restaurant Cleaning Checklist (Covers All Ground)

the ultimate restaurant cleaning checklist covers all ground 1649041893 1406
Sanchari Chatterjee

By Sanchari Chatterjee

What is a Restaurant Cleaning Checklist?

When running a restaurant, food safety and cleanliness are of prime importance unless, that is, you wish to be found on the wrong side of the law. Regular restaurant cleaning and kitchen cleaning are therefore integral to any food safety programme, helping prevent virus outbreaks among customers.

With numerous objects to be cleaned in a restaurant kitchen, it's easy to miss a few spots and skip a few cleaning tasks. This is where a cleaning checklist comes in.

A cleaning checklist is essentially a list of cleaning chores. It's an easy way to streamline your workflow, keep your restaurant clean, and avoid costly mistakes. If you want your restaurant shipshape, follow along as we walk you through everything you need to know about creating a restaurant cleaning checklist.

Why is it Important to have a Restaurant Cleaning Checklist?

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 48 million people get sick in the United States every year due to food-borne illnesses, while about 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from these diseases. If you are a food service business dealing with hundreds of customers daily and weekly, you need to make sure your restaurant does not become a source of contamination or virus spread, causing these illnesses.

Restaurants and commercial kitchens in the U.S. need to follow food safety guidelines as laid down by the health department and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And these guidelines are many. So in order to make sure you do not erroneously miss an important food safety measure and endanger the lives of your customers, you need to have a restaurant cleaning checklist in place.

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Cleaning Tasks for Front of the House

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A clean and pleasing front house is absolutely crucial for any restaurant, irrespective of its size and scale. If the front house looks unhygienic, you will immediately lose customers and do irreparable damage to your Business Growth. To make sure this does not happen, here's an easy front-of-the-house cleaning checklist to follow-

Daily Cleaning

  • Wipe the surfaces that are most used, such as door handles, table tops, seats, etc. Also, wipe down the walls.
  • Sanitize and clean the bathrooms, and vacuum the carpets, floor mats, etc.
  • Inspect and clean items placed on table, such as the menu, ketchup bottles, and salt and pepper shakers.
  • Wash cloth napkins, aprons, table mats, etc. in a washing machine.
  • Mop floors and take out the trash.

Weekly Cleaning

  • Clean the walls, light fixtures and other secondary surfaces.
  • Perform deep cleaning of the bathrooms.
  • Check on the plants, water them, and get rid of worms.
  • Wash the curtains, and sanitize the mirrors.
Monthly Cleaning

  • Dust and clean wall decorations, and check on the upholstery.
  • Get rid of cobwebs in your kitchen.

Cleaning Tasks for the Kitchen

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A restaurant kitchen is the other part that needs utmost care. A kitchen is where food is prepared and an unclean kitchen can easily become the breeding ground for germs, leading to contamination, disease outbreaks and other food safety hazards. Here's a kitchen cleaning checklist that can help prevent this-

Daily Cleaning

  • Wipe the walls and ceiling. Get rid of the stains and marks from splashes caused during food preparation.
  • Disinfect and sanitize food prep areas and all kitchen surfaces.
  • Clean the grills, ovens and fryers.
  • Wash the utensils, glassware, cutlery and dishes.
  • Run the kitchen rags, towels, aprons and uniforms through the washing machine.
  • Clean the refrigerators.
  • Wipe the coffee makers, microwaves, food thermometers and other appliances.
  • Disinfect the waste disposal bins.
Weekly Cleaning

  • Go for deep cleaning of the ovens, grills and fryers.
  • Use drain cleaners for the floor drains.
  • Empty the storage shelves and take out the unused, expired food products.
  • De-lime the coffee makers.
  • Empty the grease traps in your kitchen.
Monthly Cleaning

  • Get rid of the clogs in your floor drains.
  • Clean floors, ice machines and freezers.
  • Wash walls, ceilings and kitchen surfaces.
  • Perform deep cleaning of the vents, fans and hoods.

How to Create a Cleaning Schedule?

The USFDA has laid down a set of guidelines for restaurants and foodservice businesses to follow. Having a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (Haccp Plan) in place helps restaurants comply with these rules and maintain the required levels of food safety.

There are a number of free cleaning checklists for both, restaurant cleaning and kitchen cleaning available for download and use. You can download these templates, make printouts of the daily cleaning checklist, and monthly, weekly checklists, and train your staff to follow these, checking off the cleaning tasks as and when they are performed. Having a readymade checklist in place will not only make sure the job gets done, but it will also optimize Employee Time, as cleaning staff can quickly and efficiently move from one task to another without time wasted in between.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Kitchen Cleaning- Effects of Poor Sanitization

Food safety rules and governing bodies like the USFDA exist for a reason. Food safety is paramount and if you work in a kitchen or restaurant, you are legally bound to follow hygiene practices. Poor sanitization and unhygienic kitchen practices can not only cause foodborne illnesses such as food poisoning, it can also lead to severe losses in a business.

Not only do restaurants suffer a bad reputation from unhygienic food preparation and poor Restaurant Management, these can also lead to large-scale health crises when virus or bacteria outbreaks occur. From food poisoning to allergic reactions and pest proliferation, poor sanitization can have many harmful effects. A pest infestation, for example, can shut your business down until you get rid of the infestation. The disrepute this will bring you may be even more damaging in the long run.

Food Safety and Sanitization FAQs

Q. What is HACCP?
A- HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. The USFDA defines HACCP as a management system. It addresses food safety requirements through analysis and control of chemical, biological and physical hazards. These can be triggered during raw material production, procurement and handling or even manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
Q- What is a 'use by' date?
A- All food products come with a shelf life, depending on their type. Perishable food products such as milk, dairy products, bread, etc. have a food label that mentions a 'use by' date. Consuming or using these products beyond this date is illegal.

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