Mall Food Court Cleaning: Food Counters, Dining Areas, and Floors

By Anne Baley

Mall Food Court Cleaning: Food Counters, Dining Areas, and Floors

A high-traffic mall food court can be a breeding ground for bacteria. In order to provide the best eating conditions for patrons, you have to set a plan in place for cleaning the food establishments as well as the surrounding dining area, as the cleanliness of these two sections are interrelated. Since each food vendor is generally run with its own management system, a coordinated effort is crucial. Here are some tips on food court cleaning.

Food Establishments

It's important for you to work with all of the different food establishment managers to create a consistent cleaning schedule. If one establishment does not comply with health and safety standards, that vendor is putting all food court patrons at risk, as these customers all sit in the same area. Furthermore, the close proximity of different establishments allows bacteria to transfer easily from one vendor to the next. As such, it's important for you to establish a standardized set of cleaning techniques for food preparation areas and serving counters.

Dining Areas

An essential part of food court cleaning is tackling the dining tables, which make contact with various trays and types of food throughout the day. But using traditional cleaning tools like rags and buckets to wipe down these surfaces may actually spread bacteria over the entire area. This cross-contamination occurs because the germs your custodians wipe up are rinsed back into the cleaning solution and can be picked up again and spread over the next table.

In an effort to prevent this bacteria transfer, your team should use a squeegee cleaning system instead. When using this more advanced system, custodians can spray an environmentally safe cleaning solution onto a microfiber trowel and wipe each table. Then, they can use a professional-grade squeegee to remove moisture, soil, and germs from the surface. These advanced squeegee systems are easy to use frequently throughout the day, as they allow your team to clean tables in half the time it would take them if they were using traditional tools.


Food court floors are among the most difficult to clean, because it can be challenging to remove food and other soil from the ground periodically without disturbing customers. As these areas receive a high volume of traffic, soil can be stepped on and pushed into hard-to-clean surfaces, like tile cracks and grout lines, throughout the day.

In an effort to prevent cross-contamination when tackling food court floor cleaning, your team should use a dispense-and-vac. These advanced systems are portable, so custodians can easily pull them in between tables. When using a dispense-and-vac, your cleaning crew should start by applying the cleaning solution to the floor. Then, they should use the powerful vacuum to remove the soil from the surface. This will leave the floor clean, dry, and ready for customers to walk on safely. When compared to traditional mops and buckets, these advanced systems allow your team to clean more efficiently and effectively.

Click here for more information on foodservice cleaning.

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