Hello darlings! 

Have I ever told you about the time I worked as a waitress in a restaurant while I was studying in the University? Well those were the days, I'll tell you! I enjoyed the work there so much and I had the best boss I could ask for! I made so much money working during the summer I could sustain myself for almost the whole winter! 

I still remember fondly the wife of the boss. She was the best cook and could make the best fried calamari! She was also very strict about the cleaning process! She was right!

Running a busy restaurant is no easy task- especially when it comes to keeping it clean all the time. Restaurant kitchens are usually a beehive of activities- from vegetable chopping that leaves all sorts of veggie chops all over the counter and the floor, to frying foods that cause grease to stick all over the walls, not to mention some weird items lodging themselves in the back of the reach-in cooler.

Keeping the restaurant clean and in top shape can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t created a cleaning schedule.

To help keep your food service facility clean, hygienic, and in top shape, you will need to create a comprehensive restaurant cleaning schedule that clearly outlines what needs to be done to achieve this. Furthermore, regular cleaning of the restaurant is essential in ensuring food safety and also in helping reduce food waste, thereby allowing you save more on overall menu costs.

Some restaurant cleaning tasks should be performed several times a day while others only need to be done on a weekly or monthly basis. That being said, here is a handy restaurant kitchen cleaning list according to boss' wife.

1. Kitchen Items to Clean During Every Cooking Shift

• Brush the grill between cooking red meat, fish, and chicken meat

• Switch cutting boards

• Wipe down the line and the preparation areas

• Change the sanitizing water and cleaning rags

• Empty all the trash bins

2. Restaurant Kitchen Items to Clean After Every Cooking Shift (Including Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

• Brush the grill

• Clean up the fryers

• Sweep the walk-in refrigerator

• Wash meat and cheese slicers after use

• Wash and sanitize all surfaces, including the prep tables, cutting boards, reach-in line, and line

• Empty the steam table and clean thoroughly

• Empty all sanitizing buckets

• Cover all bins in a reach in cooler with plastic wraps

• Put the aprons, chef coats, and chef hats in laundry

• Place cleaning rags in dirty laundry

• Wash all floor mats

• Wipe down walls

• Sweep, mop, and sanitize the kitchen floor.

3. Restaurant Kitchen Daily Cleaning List

• Wipe down and clean the grease trap

• Wash the can openers

• Wash the meat slicers

• Change the foil linings of the grill, flattop, and range

• Wipe down the walls

• Run the hood filters through the dishwasher

• Wash the beverage dispenser heads in soda fountains

• Mop the floors

4. Restaurant Kitchen Weekly Cleaning List

It’s important to rotate these tasks throughout the weeks to ensure that equal amounts of work are completed in each shift. Every week:

• Clean the coffee machine

• Clean the oven. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean it

• Empty the reach-in refrigerators, wash, and sanitize them

• Oil cast all cookware

• Delime the sinks and faucets

5. Restaurant Kitchen Monthly Cleaning List

Just like weekly cleaning, these tasks should be rotated throughout the month on different shifts to ensure that the employees equally share the workload. Every end month;

Clean the freezers

• Wash the walls and ceilings

• Empty and sanitize the ice machine

• Calibrate the ovens

• Wash the walls and ceilings

• Sharpen the meat and cheese slicers

• Calibrate the thermometers

• Wipe down the dry storage area

• Restock the first aid kit

• Change any set pest traps

• Update the material safety data sheets that outline clear instructions on how to safely use any chemicals in the kitchen

6. Restaurant Kitchen Yearly Cleaning List

It’s also important to schedule cleaning on a yearly basis. Since it will require deep cleaning, it’s advisable to enlist the services of a professional restaurant cleaning service. This is also the best time to fix any repairs; whether on appliances, floors or cabinets. Some of the tasks to be done on a yearly basis include;

• Cleaning the hoods at least twice a year. Cleaning hoods isn’t an easy task and your employees may have the skills to do so, so be sure to hire a restaurant cleaning service to do it for you.

• Cleaning the pilot lights on the gas equipment and follow the manufacturer’s instructions while doing so

• Checking the fire suppression system

• Checking the condition of the fire extinguishers at least twice a year

Using a cleaning list is a great way to delegate cleaning tasks to employees, keep your kitchen more organized, and most importantly, ensure that your kitchen is in top-notch condition every single day. Your customers will also appreciate your restaurant’s proper hygiene standards and the health inspectors will never find a reason to close your restaurant.

And even if you don't own a restaurant you can implement these tips for your home, just scale them down accordingly!

Lots of love