If you want to survive in the restaurant business, cleanliness is a must. It is not only that subpar restaurant hygiene will turn your clients away in an instant, but dirty premises will sooner or later attract the attention of the local public health department and threaten the very existence of your business. As a business owner, learning how to clean a restaurant in order to prevent potential health disasters is one of your main responsibilities.
Coming up with a workable and efficient routine is the best way to go about it. Some surfaces need to be cleaned or sanitized more often than others, so knowing what to tackle each day, week or month will take the guessing out of the cleaning work. Here is a possible blueprint for your restaurant cleaning routine.
Items to clean after every shift
There are a several items that should be cleaned as often as possible. Cutting boards and cheese or meat slicers should be cleaned periodically throughout the day, or at least at the end of each shift. A dirty floor can cause accidents and is a sure way to spread the mess all around the restaurant, so keep it clean, even if that means giving it a partial clean at the end of a shift or whenever it’s needed. The sanitizing buckets should be emptied, and all dirty rags placed in a laundry basket.
Items to clean daily
Some kitchen items need to be cleaned daily to prevent bacterial growth and accumulation of dirt and grease. Scrub and clean the range, the grill and the fryers. Don’t forget the sink and the splashes on the wall, and every nook and cranny where dirt or grease might have gotten. Wipe clean your coffee maker, clean the microwave and the toaster thoroughly, and do the same with the beverage dispensers. All kitchen surfaces should be sanitized and left in a sparkling clean state.
Wash napkins, cloths and aprons, and round up your cooking utensils for a final wash. Don’t forget the often ignored can openers – they can easily accumulate dirt if not cleaned daily. Empty trash bins, then wash and sanitize them and the area around them. Clean your grease traps. Repeat what you usually do at the end of each shift, then sweep and mop all your floors and vacuum the carpets. Don’t forget to clean the floors of the walk-in cooler – even if out of sight, it gets lots of traffic every day.
Items to clean weekly
Some kitchen items do not require daily cleaning, but should be given your full attention once a week. A meticulous cleaning of the oven, including scrubbing the walls and racks, is necessary to keep your appliance in good shape. Maintenance work should be done on the sinks, faucets and drains, such as cleaning the floor drain or removing lime deposits every week.
Sanitize the storage areas, including the walk-in refrigerator, so that it remains uncontaminated for best food preservation. A more detailed cleaning around the restaurant includes washing your windows or light fixtures, and ensures your space remains appealing and inviting.
Items to clean monthly
At least once a month, you should empty out your freezers and give them a detailed cleaning. You should also sanitize your ice machine and check your water filtration system.
It’s also time to check behind your appliances. If you did a good job every day, this task is going to be easier, but make sure that you clean behind the stove, oven and fryers, dust the refrigerator coils and take care of your vent hoods.
Dust your ceilings and walls, and get rid of any cobwebs you may find. Pay attention to any wall art that may become a dirt magnet if not cleaned periodically.
What to clean during the shift
Preventing the spread of germs during a health crisis is another layer or responsibility added to the many that restaurant owners already have, but it’ important to keep your customers safe and your business reputation intact. It is not only about how to clean a restaurant anymore, but how to raise your hygiene standards in such a way that visitors enter your place with complete confidence. Items that used to be cleaned on a daily basis, should now be cleaned as often as possible during operation hours, such as the beverage dispenser heads, condiment containers, door handles or the menus handed to customers.
Clean and disinfect the tabletops and seats after each client and don’t forget to constantly wipe and disinfect the countertops that are constantly touched by your patrons. Restaurant washrooms should also be cleaned regularly during operational hours.
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