Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

Posted on June 14, 2024

Maintaining an immaculate environment is more than an operational task – it’s the cornerstone of your establishment’s success.

As a restaurateur, your commitment to cleanliness directly influences the dining experience and shapes the guests’ perception of your business. A spotless and hygienic setting assures diners they’re in an establishment prioritizing their health and comfort, ultimately promoting customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Beyond customer perception, regular cleaning regimens eliminate potential hazards, reduce the risk of accidents, and ensure a healthy workplace for your staff. By diligently adhering to a comprehensive restaurant and kitchen cleaning checklist, you fortify the safety protocols that protect your employees and your business from the repercussions of neglect.

That said, staying proactive in managing your restaurant’s cleanliness can be overwhelming and confusing. This comprehensive restaurant cleaning checklist guide shares some essential daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks that must be included in your priorities to cover all bases.

Daily Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

Creating or refining daily cleaning routines requires a systematic approach. Integrating these checklists into your routine will establish the foundation for an efficient cleaning program.

Front-of-House Cleaning

The front-of-house (FOH) is where customers spend their time, so it requires your meticulous attention. Your restaurant’s image is judged the moment patrons walk in, and covering these daily cleaning tasks can help you keep a spotless environment and make a positive impression.

  • Entrance and Exit Doors: Wipe down door handles, glass, and frames for fingerprints and smudges.
  • Host Stand: Sanitize the stand and tidy up menus to ensure a neat presentation.
  • Tables and Seating: Clean and sanitize all surfaces between each visit, including chairs and booth seating.
  • Floors: Vacuum carpets and sweep and mop floors to remove food particles. Wipe away spills immediately.
  • Bar Countertops: Regularly clean and disinfect bar tops, especially after guests leave.
  • Bar Stools and Chairs: Sanitize all seating areas as necessary.
  • Glassware and Equipment: Clean and polish glasses and bar equipment throughout the day.

Back-of-House Cleaning

A rigorous back-of-house (BOH) cleaning routine is vital for food safety and quality. Ensure your kitchen adheres to strict cleanliness and prevents cross-contamination and foodborne illnesses by performing these daily tasks:

  • Food Prep Areas: Clean and sanitize all cutting boards, countertops, and prep station surfaces.
  • Cooking Equipment: Clean grills, stovetops, and ovens daily to prevent grease buildup and ensure even cooking.
  • Refrigeration Units: Wipe external surfaces and handles frequently.
  • Dishwashing Stations: Clean and sanitize dish areas, and thoroughly wash all cookware and utensils.
  • Knife Storage: Clean and store knives properly to maintain sharpness and prevent accidents.
  • Disposal Areas: Regularly empty trash bins to prevent odors and overflow.
  • Floors: Sweep and mop kitchen floors after each shift to remove food waste and spills and prevent slips and falls.

Restroom Maintenance

The condition of your restrooms can also reflect the overall hygiene standards of your restaurant, making their maintenance non-negotiable.

Stay on top of your restroom maintenance by taking care of these areas every day:

  • Toilets and Urinal Areas: Clean and disinfect all surfaces, including handles, seats, and flush valves.
  • Sinks and Countertops: Wipe these surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner, and ensure soap dispensers are filled and functional.
  • Mirrors and Fixtures: Polish mirrors and clean metal fixtures to prevent streaks and water spots.
  • Paper Towels and Toilet Tissue: Restock these essentials as needed throughout the day.
  • Waste Baskets: Empty and disinfect waste baskets regularly and replace liners as needed.
  • Floors: Mop restroom floors throughout the day to maintain a hygienic appearance.
  • Air Fresheners: Check and refill air fresheners or deodorizers to ensure a pleasant restroom environment.

Weekly Cleaning Tasks

Besides the daily upkeep, scheduling these weekly cleaning tasks is crucial to keep your restaurant spotless and appealing.

Deep Cleaning the Restaurant Kitchen

Keeping your kitchen clean is crucial for food safety. Here’s a weekly kitchen cleaning checklist you can use to keep your it a place for whipping up safe and tasty meals:

Degrease Grills and Griddles: Use a specialized degreaser to remove built-up grease from surfaces.
Clean Ovens and Ranges: Clean interiors, including racks and walls, and check for maintenance needs.
Clean Fryers Thoroughly: Drain the oil, scrub the fryer with a degreaser, and rinse thoroughly. Allow to dry completely before refilling with fresh oil.
Disinfect Cutting Boards: Use a food-safe disinfectant to prevent cross-contamination.
Sanitize Countertops and Surfaces: Wipe down all workstations with a proper sanitizing solution.
Clean Beverage Dispensers: Detach and clean all components thoroughly.
Empty and Clean Refrigerators: Remove all items, clean shelves and interior, and check expiration dates before restocking.
Wipe Down Walls and Ceilings: Address splatters and buildup that can lead to mold growth.

Detailed Dining Area Maintenance

The dining area is where your customers form their first impression of your restaurant. Keep it pristine with these weekly tasks:

Clean Tables and Chairs: Wipe down surfaces and pay special attention to sticky residues and stains.
Dust Light Fixtures and Decor: Remove dust to prevent it from falling onto diners or creating an uncomfortable indoor atmosphere.
Wipe Down Windows and Glass Surfaces: Ensure a streak-free shine for a better view and ambiance.
Clean Carpets: Vacuum them thoroughly and use a carpet cleaner to remove stubborn stains.
Mop and Buff Hardwood Floors: Maintain a polished look to enhance the overall appeal of your dining area.

Inventory and Storage Areas

Here’s a quick checklist to help you maintain a well-organized storage area, improve work efficiency among your staff, and prevent unnecessary waste.

Rotate Stock: Practice first-in, first-out (FIFO) to use older inventory before newer items.
Inspect Shelves: Look for signs of pests or contamination.
Check Cleaning Products: Ensure you have sufficient cleaning agents and tools.
Inspect Cleaning Supplies: Ensure mops, buckets, and brushes are clean and in good condition.

Monthly Cleaning Tasks

Keeping your restaurant in top condition goes beyond the daily wipe-downs and dishwashings. A monthly cleaning routine is crucial for ensuring appliance efficiency, providing a pleasant dining experience, and creating a safe, functional workspace for your staff.

Front-of-House Upkeep

Furniture and Fixtures: Examine and clean all seating arrangements, including booths, chairs, and bar stools. Make any necessary repairs.
Decor Items: Dust and clean all wall art, decorative pieces, and window treatments to keep them free from dust or grime buildup.
Lighting Fixtures: Check and clean chandeliers, sconces, and lamps. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
Carpeted Areas: Schedule professional deep cleaning for carpets to remove stains and built-up dirt.
Hard Floors: Mop all non-carpeted floors with a heavy-duty cleaner. For tile floors, pay special attention to the grout and use a specialized cleaning solution if necessary.
Windows and Glass: Clean all interior and exterior glass surfaces, including entry doors and display cases.

Back-of-House Deep Clean

Kitchen Appliances: Deep clean all ovens, grills, fryers, and other cooking equipment. Check and clean exhaust hoods and replace filters if needed.
Refrigeration Units: Empty, clean, and sanitize walk-in refrigerators and freezers. Inspect and clean the condenser coils to ensure proper functioning.
Dishwashing Areas: Deep clean dishwashers and consider descaling with a commercial-grade cleaner. Inspect and clean drains to prevent clogs.
Prep Areas: Sanitize all preparation tables, cutting boards, and counters. Thoroughly clean all shelves and storage bins.
Dry Storage: Organize and clean dry storage areas. Check for expired items and sanitize the shelves.
Pest Control: Clean behind equipment and in hard-to-reach areas where pests might hide.
Waste Disposal Areas: Clean and disinfect trash cans and recycling bins to prevent pests and odor buildup.
Sanitizing Supplies: Restock sanitizing stations and ensure cleaning supplies are well-organized and within easy reach for staff.

Quarterly and Yearly Cleaning Tasks

Cleans on a more extended schedule are also essential to your establishment’s overall hygiene and longevity. Deep cleaning the restaurant kitchen and performing maintenance tasks ensure every inch of your business is in the best shape possible.

Quarterly Cleaning Tasks

Oven and Grill Overhaul: Dismantle and deep clean grills, ovens, and fryers to remove grease buildup that can affect flavor and become a fire hazard.
Refrigerator Refresh: Clear out and deep clean walk-in refrigerators and freezers to prevent mold and maintain proper food hygiene.
Exhaust System Cleanup: Clean the exhaust hoods and ducts to improve air quality and reduce the risk of fires.
Upholstery and Carpet Care: Steam clean carpets and upholstered furniture to remove stubborn stains and built-up grime.
Scrub Walls: Remove accumulated smoke, vapor, and other residues that make the restaurant look dingy.
Restroom Revival: Deep clean all restroom fixtures, floors, walls, and partitions in both the staff and public restrooms to ensure a germ-free environment.

Yearly Cleaning and Maintenance

HVAC System Overhaul: Have your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems cleaned and serviced to maintain a comfortable atmosphere for customers.
Paint and Touch-Ups: Apply a fresh coat of paint where necessary or touch-up areas to keep the restaurant looking fresh and clean.
Furniture and Fixture Assessment: Repair or replace worn-out furniture and fixtures to maintain a high-quality dining experience.
Equipment Servicing: Have all kitchen appliances serviced and repaired if necessary to extend their durability and efficiency.
Pest Control Inspection: Engage a professional pest control service for a thorough inspection and treatment to preempt infestations.

Cleaning Supplies and Equipment Checklist

Besides having a restaurant cleaning checklist, it’s also crucial that you track all the products, supplies, and equipment you need to maintain your establishment’s cleanliness and hygiene.

Essential Cleaning Products

Food-Safe Sanitizer: Crucial for kitchen surfaces that come into contact with food.
All-Purpose Disinfectant: Ideal for dining areas, doors, and restroom surfaces.
Heavy-Duty Degreaser: Use for kitchen hoods, grills, and other areas where grease accumulates.
Dishwashing Detergent: For manual and machine dishwashing.
Hand Soap: Provide in both kitchen and restrooms for staff and customer use.

Specialty Cleaners

Glass Cleaner: For mirrors, windows, and glass surfaces
Stainless Steel Cleaner: For maintaining stainless steel equipment and fixtures
Oven and Grill Cleaner: Formulated to tackle tough, baked-on grease.

Cleaning Supplies

Color-coded Microfiber Cloths: Reusable and ideal for cleaning and polishing surfaces.
Disposable Wipes: These are convenient for quick cleanups and sanitizing.
Heavy-Duty Scrubbers: Best for tough grime on pots and kitchen equipment.
Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges: Useful for delicate surfaces that require a gentle touch.
Mop Heads and Buckets: Necessary for regular floor cleaning and maintenance.
Garbage Bins and Recycling Containers: Separate bins for waste and recyclables.
Garbage Bags: Stock various sizes for all bins.

Cleaning Equipment

Floor Scrubber: This is for deep cleaning of tile and other hard flooring.
Vacuum Cleaner: Best for carpeted areas and rugs in the dining area.

Besides having a restaurant cleaning checklist, it’s also crucial that you track all the products, supplies, and equipment you need to maintain your establishment’s cleanliness and hygiene.

Best Practices for Restaurant Cleaning

Adopting efficient cleaning practices is essential to maintaining or improving your establishment’s hygiene standards. Below, we discuss six best practices for a systematic and effective cleaning routine.

Develop a Cleaning Schedule

Creating a comprehensive cleaning schedule is crucial for maintaining a spotless environment. This should include daily tasks, such as vacuuming carpets, cleaning tables between each guest, and sanitizing food prep areas. Break down these tasks by time of day (before opening, during service, and after closing) to ensure consistency and thoroughness.

It also helps factor in weekly and monthly deep-cleaning activities. These may include deep cleaning your appliances, dusting light fixtures and decor, and inspecting your storage areas for signs of pests.

Creating and keeping up with these cleaning tasks can help you maintain your restaurant’s cleanliness more effortlessly.

Implement Cross-Contamination Prevention Strategies

Segregate your restaurant into cleaning zones (kitchen, dining, and restrooms) to prevent cross-contamination. Use different sets of equipment and supplies for each area to avoid spreading germs from one room to another.

It’s also crucial to train your staff on proper hand hygiene and cleaning procedures. They should know how to handle raw and cooked foods separately and how to clean surfaces effectively after potential contamination.

Ultimately, ensure all food is stored at proper temperatures and in designated areas. This will preserve food quality and prevent the spread of bacteria throughout your kitchen.

Use Safe Cleaning Supplies and Store Them Properly

The cleaning products you choose will come into contact with surfaces where food is prepared and eaten. As such, you must select those that are powerful against germs yet safe for food contact and do not leave harmful residues.

Green cleaning products are worth considering. Many of these are just as effective as traditional cleaners in ensuring the safety of your restaurant without harsh chemicals. Best of all, they also reduce your restaurant’s environmental impact.

Clearly label all cleaning chemicals and store them away from food items. All staff should be trained on what the labels mean and how to use the products safely.

Encourage Team Responsibility

A cleaner environment starts with a shared responsibility among all team members. That’s why it’s crucial that you foster a culture where cleanliness is everyone’s business – from the back-of-house to the front-of-house.

Implement systems to track completed tasks, such as check-off lists and quality assurance questionnaires. This enhances accountability and ensures transparency in the cleaning process.

Run Self-Conducted Health Inspections

Regular self-conducted health inspections are a proactive measure to ensure you’re ready for official health inspections.

Create comprehensive checklists that mirror the criteria used by health inspectors and use them to assess your establishment’s cleanliness. This not only prepares your team for official inspections but also helps you proactively identify areas that may need improvement.

Hire Professional Cleaning Services

While daily cleaning can be managed in-house, there are times when hiring professional cleaning services can be beneficial and even strategic.

Restaurant cleaning professionals come with specialized expertise and the appropriate supplies to perform deep cleaning tasks or sanitation protocols beyond daily cleaning routines. They can efficiently handle complex cleaning tasks such as carpet deep cleaning and hood vent cleaning, leaving you with nothing else to worry about.

Maintaining cleanliness inside your establishment can also prolong the life of your assets by preventing the buildup of grime and debris. Best of all, having your restaurant professionally cleaned gives both your patrons and staff peace of mind.

Make Your Restaurant Shine With JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting

Maintaining a pristine restaurant environment is an ongoing commitment that requires diligence, attention to detail, and a structured approach. By adhering to a comprehensive restaurant cleaning checklist, you ensure every corner of your establishment reflects your high standards for quality and hygiene.

While integrating daily, weekly, and monthly tasks into your routine is essential, the demands of running a restaurant can make it challenging to keep up with a rigorous cleaning schedule. This is where the expertise of professional restaurant cleaning services becomes invaluable.

Hiring trusted names like JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting ensures your restaurant is not only clean but also sanitized and prepared to meet the highest standards of cleanliness. Service providers are certified and equipped with proprietary cleaning systems and technologies, so you can rest assured that your establishment will receive meticulous cleaning on every visit.

Remember, a sparkling clean restaurant is as much a signature of your brand as your menu. Schedule your estimate with JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting today, and take the first step towards achieving the impeccable cleanliness that your restaurant deserves.

Cleaning and disinfecting services provided by independently owned and operated JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting franchisees.