cleaning the kitchen

The Restaurant Owner’s Guide to the Ideal Kitchen Cleaning Routine

As a restaurant, cleanliness and hygiene should be your number one priority. This is the bedrock of your business’ success because you definitely cannot serve good food and provide great service from a dirty kitchen.

The first key to a cleaner base is knowing what to do and when to do them. You’re going to be swamped with tasks, so you have to know how to pace them. The second is to use quality commercial cleaning solutions. Here’s how your restaurant cleaning routine should look like:

After every cooking shift

These are the kitchen items you have to clean whenever a shift is finished: line and prep tables, steam table, fryers, grills and cutting boards. Dump cleaning rags, aprons and chefs’ coats in separate bins. Mop the floors of your kitchen and your walk-in cooler, and empty all the cleaning bins and sanitising buckets.

Your employees should know what to clean after each use to prevent cross-contamination. These include the most common kitchen utensils, such as spatulas, tongs and ladles, as well as devices used to prepare raw meat and ingredients like meat grinders, mixers and cheese slicers.

Daily clean

Whether you hire a night porter or assign the cleaning task to the same kitchen staff, they essentially share the same daily cleaning tasks.

This consists of washing all rags, linens, aprons and coats in separate rounds in the washing machine. Another is wiping all the splatters and random spills off the floor and walls, as well as scouring all floor mats, sinks and washing stations using degreasers.

They should also disinfect grills, griddles, burners and all cooking areas and countertops. Remind them to clean the grease traps and throw out the biodegradables.

Weekly clean

clogged drain

Weekly general cleanings tend to be more focused on cleaning the front of the house, but your back of the house should be added to the agenda, too.

To clean your customers’ space, wipe all tables and chair legs clean, and then mop the floor with a mild cleanser. Clean all the countertops, ceiling fans, window blinds and wall fixtures.

In the kitchen, soften your drains with a drain cleaner, and de-lime all sinks and faucets. Lubricate all cast-iron cookware and deep-clean ovens and other appliances according to manufacturer’s manual.

Monthly clean

The end of the month should be a good time to inspect all your electrical and ventilation systems. Empty your walk-in refrigerator, so you can clean and disinfect it thoroughly. Clean your refrigeration units’ condenser coil to remove grease or dust buildup. Make sure all tubes, drain pans and air filters are not clogged.

If applicable, calibrate your ovens and thermostats. Clean your exhaust hoods by scrubbing the filters and wiping the grease traps and soaking it in water with a liquid degreaser. Should you need to, clean out your restaurant’s air-conditioning system, as well.

Annual clean

Annual cleanings look more like mandatory maintenance checks on all your safety implements. These include examining your fire suppression systems and making sure your fire extinguishers are still functional. Ice machines should also be cleaned and de-scaled once or twice a year.

It’s also a good idea to have your plumbing system checked and your heating, cooling and ventilation system inspected by an expert annually.

Cleanliness is an indispensable quality of every diner or restaurant. It doesn’t only ensure the food you serve is safe, but the people behind the great meals are safe, as well, while preparing delicious meals for every customer.

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