Essential restaurant cleaning checklist for a spotless service

Essential restaurant cleaning checklist for a spotless service

Alliance Cleaning Advice

Given the high volume of customers that visit a restaurant daily, maintaining a clean and sanitised environment can be challenging and time-consuming for staff. However, adhering to Health & Safety regulations is legally required to ensure the safety of customers and employees alike, and failing to create a safe environment can have severe consequences for a business, ranging from fines issued by Health & Safety inspectors to business closure and even prison sentences.

Emphasising to staff the importance of thorough cleaning is as important for your restaurant’s success as urging them to provide excellent customer service. If setting an efficient and coherent cleaning tasks programme is challenging for your employees, a great way to start is by creating daily, weekly, and monthly checklists for the restaurant, clearly outlining tasks, and assigning them to specific team members.

In this article, we will explore the significance of regularly cleaning and maintaining both the front and back-of-house areas of a restaurant, and provide comprehensive checklists to ensure that your employees are working in a safe environment, and your customers are enjoying the best dining experience.

Why cleaning is a top priority in a restaurant

Maintaining a clean environment is everyone’s responsibility, and both kitchen and front-of-house staff are equally accountable for meeting Health & Safety standards. The regulations and guidelines establishments in the hospitality industry must follow are clear and stringent, and non-compliance can severely impact businesses, leading to fines and potential imprisonment for up to two years.

But it is also not ideal for business. Cleanliness significantly affects a business’s reputation. Most people would avoid dining in a restaurant with poor cleanliness standards or negative reviews regarding unsanitary conditions.

The reasons, however, extend beyond aesthetics; cleaning and sanitising kitchen areas and front-of-house equipment prevent the spread of harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses. Customers constantly share cutlery, seats, and restrooms, making regular cleaning necessary.

Help your business thrive, and provide the great customer service your customers deserve, by creating checklists to guide staff in keeping track of cleaning tasks and assigning responsibilities.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Chefs and kitchen staff should ensure the kitchen is always spotless, as handling food in an unclean environment is hazardous. We have created a combination of daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning checklists to help you maintain a safe and sparkling kitchen.

Daily Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Before the beginning of a shift, kitchen staff should:

  • Wipe down countertops and cutting boards with a sanitising solution
  • Clean and sanitise the preparation tools and sinks
  • Check for expired or spoiled food and discard it
  • Check refrigerator temperatures
  • Ensure the dishwashing machine is empty and ready to use

During the service, kitchen staff should regularly take the time to carry out some cleaning tasks as needed:

  • Wipe down and sanitise cutting boards and countertops to prevent cross-contamination
  • Clean and sanitise kitchen utensils and equipment after use, especially when handling raw meat
  • Frequently wipe down and clean touchpoints
  • Regularly sweep the floor
  • Ensure rubbish bags and bins are not overflowing, but are disposed of timely

At the end of a long shift, cleaning the kitchen might not sound appealing, but it is essential to maintain a safe food-preparation environment. After the kitchen stops serving food, kitchen staff should:

  • Thoroughly clean and sanitise countertops, cutting boards, and preparation sinks
  • Clean equipment and degrease the fryer
  • Sanitise the microwave’s interior and exterior
  • Empty, clean, and sanitise dishwashing equipment and drying areas
  • Wash and store utensils in an organised manner
  • Wipe down and sanitise touch surfaces, door, oven, and refrigerator handles
  • Thoroughly sweep and mop the floor
  • Restock food items, and label dates

Weekly Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

If daily tasks are completed in a timely and efficient manner, the weekly checklist should be short and easy to complete:

  • Deep clean oven, microwave, and fryer
  • Deep clean any display, regular or walk-in refrigerators
  • Clean filters and vents
  • Deep clean rubbish bins
  • Deep clean preparation areas
  • Thoroughly clean storage areas
  • Clean and disinfect walls and hard-to-reach areas

Monthly Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

At least once a month, kitchen staff should ensure the following:

  • Inspect and replace any damaged or faulty equipment
  • Degrease and deep clean hoods and vents
  • Conduct complete inventory and thoroughly clean all storage areas
  • Deep clean and sanitise all furniture and fixtures
  • Inspect ceiling tiles and light fixtures for any signs of damage
  • Conduct thorough pest control checks and address potential issues

Implementing a cleaning schedule can help maintain a sanitary kitchen, but commercial kitchen cleaning might be a challenge for staff, as removing stubborn dirt and grease build-up requires specialised cleaning solutions and equipment that may not be readily available to your chefs. Eliminate any concerns about unsanitary conditions, by partnering with a professional cleaning service for your commercial kitchen cleaning needs.

Front-of-House Cleaning Checklist

The first impression that customers form when walking into a restaurant significantly impacts their dining experience and so, front-of-house staff should be equally prepared to carry out cleaning tasks and ensure a welcoming environment for guests.

Daily Front-of-House Cleaning Checklist

Before the restaurant opens to customers, front-of-house staff should:

  • Wipe down all tables, chairs, and menus with sanitising solution
  • Clean and sanitise door handles and other touchopints
  • Sweep and mop the floors
  • Clean and restock the bar area
  • Clean and sanitise restrooms, and fully stock them with supplies
  • Inspect windows and doors for smudge marks and fingerprints

During the service:

  • Wipe down and sanitise tables after each use
  • Frequently clean touchpoints (door handles, railings, etc.)
  • Sweep floors as needed
  • Maintain a clean and tidy drinks-serving area
  • Empty rubbish bins and prevent overflow
  • Ensure restrooms remain clean and stocked throughout the service

At the end of their shift, closing staff needs to ensure the following:

  • Tables, chairs, and touchpoints are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised
  • The floors have been swept and mopped
  • The restrooms are clean and restocked
  • Bins are emptied and liners are replaced
  • Windows and doors are clean from stains, smudges and fingerprints

Weekly Front-of-House Cleaning Checklist

The main challenge front-of-house staff face is that bigger cleaning tasks must be completed when the restaurant is closed or not busy. Therefore, staff should allocate specific times during the week to:

  • Deep clean windows and glass doors
  • Polish all metal surfaces
  • Vacuum and clean any carpets or rugs
  • Wipe down all light fixtures, ceiling fans, displays and decorations
  • Deep clean furniture
  • Deep clean the bar area and drinks refrigerator
  • Inspect and clean air vents and filters
  • Deep clean, sanitise and polish all cutlery

Regular deep cleaning of washrooms is essential to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that thrive in toilets. Our team of experts can handle your washroom and toilet deep cleaning, reducing your workload and ensuring your guests can use the restaurant facilities safely.

Monthly Front-of-House Cleaning Checklist

At least once a month, front-of-house staff should:

  • Deep clean and sanitise walls
  • Inspect and clean ceiling tiles and replace any that are damaged
  • Conduct a thorough pest control check and address any issues
  • Conduct a thorough inventory of all front-of-house supplies and restock as necessary
  • Inspect and clean the exterior of the restaurant, including signs and entryways

Is in-house cleaning enough?

While regular and thorough cleaning by staff is essential, partnering with professional hospitality cleaning services can elevate your restaurant to the next level of cleanliness. Professionals can reach areas that staff may miss during a busy service day. They also use specialised equipment to clean even the hardest-to-reach areas and remove stubborn dirt, ensuring your restaurant remains impeccably clean.

At Alliance Cleaning, we understand the importance of a bespoke cleaning solution tailored to your business’s operational needs. Our professional services can help provide a pleasant environment for your employees and a dining experience that will make the best impression on your guests.

Get in touch today to discuss the ideal cleaning plan that fits your schedule and ensure a spotless service.