Cleanliness and sanitation must be top priority for restaurant operators. If your restaurant is not sanitary, you’re risking violations on your next health inspection, which can lead to fines and closure. In addition, a dirty restaurant is ripe for food-borne illness. When customers develop food poisoning from an eatery, reputations are damaged and profits are lost.

Bottom line: a dirty restaurant is bad for your bottom line!

It’s your responsibility as a restaurant owner to keep your place clean. And it’s really not that hard. You just need organization, scheduling, consistency, and a bit of elbow grease. This checklist will help you keep your restaurant sparkling clean from front of house to back of house.

Keeping Back of House Clean

Daily Cleaning Checklist:

  • Clean fryers
  • Sanitize all surfaces (don’t forget the cutting boards!)
  • Brush/scour grills
  • Empty sanitizing bins
  • All rags directly to laundry
  • Launder all aprons and chef’s coats
  • Sanitize meat/cheese slicers
  • All food needs to be air-tight covered and labeled before going into refrigerator
  • Sweep and mop all floors (including the walk-ins)
  • Wipe down outside surfaces of ice machine
  • Clean grease traps
  • Clean hood filters in dishwasher
  • Replace tin foil liners of grill and range
  • Empty all trash and recyclables
  • Wash floor mats
  • Empty and clean steam tables
  • Sanitize sinks, faucets, soda guns
  • Dispose of grease and oil correctly

Weekly Cleaning Checklist:

  • Clean ovens (per manufacturers instructions)
  • Empty, clean, and sanitize reach-in coolers, refrigerators
  • Clean coffee machines
  • Flush floor drains with drain cleaner
  • Wash walls

Monthly Cleaning Checklist:

  • Deal with grease build up: wash behind fryers, flat tops, stove, and oven. Remember, built up grease is not only unsanitary, but also a fire hazard.
  • Empty and clean freezers
  • Empty the ice bin, clean and sanitize
  • Wash ceilings
  • Check your equipment: are knives sharp? are oven and thermometers calibrated?
  • Check for pest/rodent droppings. If you see any, call pest control immediately!

Keeping Front of House Clean

Daily Cleaning Checklist:

  • Wash every surface with clean, sanitized rags (bar, tabletops, chairs, booths)
  • Clean and sanitize restrooms (check them multiple times per shift and clean as necessary)
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Wipe down condiment dispensers
  • Check menus for cleanliness

Weekly Cleaning Checklist:

  • Dust (blinds, ceiling fans, anything on the walls—picture frames, etc…)
  • Clean table and chair legs
  • Wipe down baseboards

So, you see, it’s not that hard to keep your restaurant clean. Divvy up the tasks and stay on schedule. If you can’t take responsibility for your restaurant’s cleanliness and make sanitation a priority, get out of the restaurant business!

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