Since cleaning an entire restaurant kitchen from top to bottom would take hours out of every day that you just can't afford, deciding how to break down cleaning chores is much like hospital triage. Some jobs are crucial and have to be done every single day, or even multiple times each day. Other cleaning jobs make more sense to relegate to weekly or monthly lists. The restaurant kitchen cleaning jobs that have to be done most often are those that affect the health and safety of your customers and staff, and the jobs that improve the general impression that potential customers have of your restaurant. Other deep-cleaning jobs can be scheduled for a later date, but the following items have to be kept clean at all times.
Windows and Other Glass
In terms of customer health, clean windows don't affect things very much, but having dirty windows is one of the surest ways to convince people you have a dirty kitchen. A lot of restaurant kitchen cleaning is tied to perception—if customers think you run a clean place, they'll trust your food. All windows should be cleaned, inside and out, every day. This can consist of a quick squirt with cleaner and a wipe with a squeegee; it doesn't have to take hours to accomplish. Also on the list of glass to clean is the important sneeze guard that covers salad bars and other food serving stations.
While it's virtually impossible to mop or clean kitchen floors during the shift, it's one of the most important daily cleaning tasks for your restaurant. It's probably the last cleaning chore your crew does at the end of the night, and that makes it vulnerable to being an overlooked job—but a good, thorough cleaning is the only way to prevent grease and food residue from building up. Train your team to clean the floors all the way to the edges and underneath the equipment, and show them how to use the proper tools in order to leave the floor soil- and germ-free.
Tables and Other Surfaces
Not only are soiled tables off-putting to customers, they can actually spread diseases from one person to another. The same goes for food-preparation and serving surfaces. The problem is with the traditional method of cleaning these areas: with a rag or sponge and a bucket of sanitizing solution. Once the sponge picks up bacteria from the table, the germs are squeezed into the cleaning water and contaminate it. Every time you dip the sponge back into that water, you're picking up germs to spread over all the other tables in the room. Kaivac's KaiFly system eliminates this problem by removing the soil and bacteria without using a tool that spreads it around. Cleaner is spread on the surfaces, and a high-quality squeegee removes 80 times more bacteria than traditional methods. Surfaces are left clean and sanitary, which helps assure customers of your dedication to having a clean environment.
These three areas are not the only places you need to clean in your restaurant every day. Restaurant kitchen cleaning is a nearly endless task, and there is a long list of areas that need wiping down and scrubbing every day. These areas, though, show the highest positive results if done right and the most negative when overlooked.
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