Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Checklist: The Ultimate Guide

Posted on January 31, 2024

Keeping your commercial kitchen clean and compliant is crucial to your business’s long-term success. In the busyness of owning a restaurant, essential cleaning tasks can easily become lost in the fray. But neglecting any steps in the cleaning process can lead to health code violations, business shutdowns, and even lawsuits. 

That’s why successful businesses follow commercial kitchen cleaning checklists to the letter. Use the checklist below to keep your kitchen spotless and promote your compliance with national health standards. 

Front of House Cleaning Checklist

When it comes to keeping a commercial kitchen clean, many businesses focus more on the kitchen than on the surrounding areas. But every corner of your business needs to be sanitary, especially where your customers or employees are.

Your business’s front of house — including the dining room, entryway, bathrooms, and any areas aside from the kitchen — requires daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks. Here is your comprehensive front-of-house cleaning checklist.

Daily Front of House Cleaning Tasks

Each day, you should spend time cleaning and sanitizing the most-used areas of your front of house. Performing regular cleaning tasks each day can help your business maintain a polished and sanitary appearance and prevent the build-up and spread of germs and bacteria.  

You should perform these tasks multiple times throughout the day: 

  • Sanitize tables, chairs, and booths between guests.
  • Check bathrooms every hour and clean any messes.
  • Deep-clean sinks and toilets each evening.
  • Clean and sanitize all dishes after use.
  • Sanitize high-touch surfaces like door handles, POS systems, and railings several times a day.
  • Empty wastebins when they are full, several times a day if necessary.
  • Vacuum or sweep spilled food in the dining area as needed.
  • Sweep and mop at the end of the day.

Weekly Front of House Cleaning Tasks

While daily cleaning tasks involve cleaning high-touch and high-traffic areas, you shouldn’t neglect the lesser-seen areas of your front of house. Add these items to your weekly cleaning checklist: 

  • Dust light fixtures.
  • Wipe down walls, especially near booths and tables.
  • Dust decor like fake plants, figurines, and wall decor.
  • Clean and sanitize permanent table decorations.
  • Wipe down table and chair legs.
  • Remove gum from underneath tables.
  • Clean and polish windows.
  • Wipe down doors.

Monthly Front of House Cleaning Tasks 

Each month, you should complete several deep cleaning tasks that don’t necessarily impact the day-to-day cleanliness of your restaurant but that require occasional upkeep. Neglecting these tasks will become more noticeable over time, but completing them once or twice a month will ensure that your commercial kitchen adheres to a high level of cleanliness. 

Complete these monthly cleaning tasks in your front of house:

  • Clean booth and seat upholstery with a furniture-cleaning machine.
  • Sanitize the insides of trash cans. 
  • Vacuum inside furniture, such as the cracks along the edges of booths.
  • Clean curtains and window covers.
  • Dust and disinfect all surfaces that you do not hit during daily and weekly cleans.
  • Scrub and sanitize outdoor patio area.

Keep in mind that dust and bacteria can accumulate everywhere. If there are any nooks and crannies in your business that you do not address throughout the month, add them to your monthly checklist to keep every square inch of your business sanitary. 

Back of House Cleaning Checklist

While your kitchen may only make up a fraction of your business space, it will likely take as much or even more time than you spend keeping the front of house tidy. Health inspectors will scrutinize every square inch of your kitchen space to ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines for food preparation.

Be sure to stick strictly to this commercial kitchen cleaning checklist to maintain a bacteria-free, compliant kitchen space. 

Daily Back of House Cleaning Tasks

Preventing contamination in the kitchen involves ongoing maintenance of all areas of your commercial kitchen. Each day, you should perform these tasks at a minimum to keep your kitchen clean and compliant: 

  • Sweep and mop the floors periodically throughout the day.
  • Clean and sanitize dishes after use.
  • Wipe down food prep areas as needed.
  • Sanitize the sinks and dish pit.
  • Wash all kitchen tools and appliances after each use.
  • Empty trash and food disposal bins at least once per day.
  • Change grill linings.
  • Clean all utensils after use.
  • Mop or clean any spills immediately.
  • Wipe down the dishwasher.
  • Refill paper towels and dish soap dispensers.
  • Wipe down the beverage dispenser.
  • Soak the heads from the beverage dispenser. 
  • Wipe down all kitchen equipment, including ovens, microwaves, toasters, etc. 

Weekly Back of House Cleaning Tasks

The more often you can clean every square inch of your commercial kitchen, the better. The following tasks should be completed once per week at a minimum. If you can perform them twice a week or even every five days, your kitchen will definitely benefit from it. 

Here are the weekly cleaning tasks to keep on your list:

  • Deep-clean the ovens and wash the oven racks.
  • Clean out the refrigerators, discarding old food and sanitizing the interiors.
  • Wipe down the pantry and discard expired food.
  • Clean the grease traps.
  • Empty the deep fryer and add new oil.
  • Clean drains with drain cleaner and clear the garbage disposal.
  • Clean windows in the kitchen.
  • Dust and clean light fixtures.
  • Deep-clean sink areas.

Monthly Back of House Cleaning Tasks 

Each month, you should perform deep cleaning and sanitization tasks throughout your commercial kitchen to remove any lingering dust and bacteria from the space. Spreading these tasks out throughout the month can help you stay on top of them. 

  • Empty out and sanitize ice machines.
  • Move all appliances away from walls and clean beneath and behind them.
  • Deep-clean pantry and storage areas by removing items and washing shelves and walls.
  • Wash the range hood.
  • Maintain pest traps. 
  • Wash walls and ceilings.
  • Run cleaning chemicals through the dishwasher.
  • Descale coffee machines, beer taps, and other appliances.
  • Clean and reorganize products behind the bar.
  • Clean out kitchen vents. 

Expert Tips To Keep Your Commercial Kitchen Spotless 

Following a commercial kitchen cleaning checklist is a great first step in keeping your business clean and sanitary. But there are a few ways to go above and beyond for your kitchen’s cleanliness, ensuring your compliance with food safety protocols and wowing your guests. 

commercial kitchen and restaurant cleaning

Use the Right Industrial Kitchen Cleaning Equipment

Your commercial kitchen is an industrial space, so regular household cleaning equipment won’t suffice. Using heavy-duty cleaning equipment can make the task go faster and ensure that you have enough power to adequately deep-clean your commercial space. 

Your kitchen should have access to these industrial cleaning supplies:

  • A steam cleaner to clean and sanitize stove hoods, ovens, fridges, and other difficult surfaces. Pressurized steam kills 99.9% of bacteria and mold and can easily loosen caked-on grime.
  • A carpet extractor or upholstery cleaner to deep-clean booths, carpets, window treatments, and all other plush surfaces. This tool can prevent food odors from building up in upholstery, keeping your restaurant looking and smelling fresh.
  • A pressure washer to clean your building exterior, deep-clean the patio, and scrub the sidewalks, creating an excellent curb appeal for your guests.

Conduct Internal Cleaning Audits Regularly

You probably won’t be the only one checking the cleaning tasks off this list in your business. But when you assign cleaning to your staff, you risk them not performing their cleaning duties to your standards. 

Conducting regular internal cleaning audits can ensure that your staff performs all of these essential cleaning tasks to the highest level of diligence and cleanliness.

Work With Professional Cleaners 

If the above commercial kitchen cleaning checklist overwhelms you, you’re not alone. Staying on top of commercial kitchen cleaning can be time-consuming, and not all business owners can fit these tasks into their daily schedules. That’s why numerous businesses hire professional cleaners to handle it for them. 

Professional cleaners know the best ways to clean every square inch of your commercial kitchen and restaurant. They will stay on top of your cleaning schedule and promote your compliance with food industry standards. Most importantly, they will give you peace of mind that your business is pristine, allowing you to focus on other pressing aspects of running a business. 

Master Commercial Kitchen Cleaning With JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting

Check commercial cleaning off your to-do list with the help of a certified cleaning franchisee from JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting in Atlanta. These franchisees have specialized experience cleaning commercial kitchens, meeting the highest industry standards for sanitation and overall cleanliness. 

Whether you need daily cleaning assistance, monthly deep cleans, or anything in between, the cleaning franchisees can provide the custom cleaning services necessary to support your business.

Contact JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting in Atlanta by filling out this online form today and speak with a local franchise owner about your commercial kitchen cleaning needs. 

Want to learn more about checking items off your commercial kitchen cleaning checklist? Peruse this guide for more on cleaning a kitchen range hood.