A sparkling clean, well-maintained restaurant kitchen doesn't just happen out of nowhere. That's why the best-run establishments don't leave anything to chance. There are just too many moving parts involved — from the different equipment and surfaces found in the back of the house, to the rotating staff members on the clock on any given day.
To tackle everything that needs to get done, they use a restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist. By ticking off daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, employees know what job to do and when to do it. The result is a health-inspector-ready kitchen that is a joy to work in. Take your operations to the next level with this handy list adapted from Chef Robert Irvine of Food Network fame.
At the end of every shift, clean your fryers, all your cutting boards, and prep tables. Next, take a scouring brush to the grills. Make sure all aprons, chef coats, and rags make their way to the hamper. Next, clean out the grease traps and run the hood filters through the dishwasher. Get the fatigue mats up, and run those through the dishwasher, too. After that, clean the floors (including the walk-ins). Thoroughly wash appliances like sinks, faucets, slicers, and can openers. Wipe down the walls near your prep areas. Finally, take a pass at your employee restroom and break room, cleaning surfaces and touch points thoroughly. Of course, always be sure that you're disposing of the day's oil and grease properly.
Once a week, you should clean your ovens, following the manufacturer's instructions. Empty out all the reach-in coolers and clean them thoroughly. Delime your sinks and faucets, and run a white-vinegar cleanse through your coffee machine. Flush the floor drains with the appropriate chemicals, and wash all the walls thoroughly.
Clean behind your fryers, flat tops, stoves, and ovens — remember, grease build-up doesn't just affect flavors, it can also pose a fire hazard. Empty out and clean your freezer and ice bins. Wash your ceilings and daily storage areas, checking for pests. (If you see any droppings or other evidence, get in touch with your pest removal provider immediately.) This is also a good time to remember to perform safety and efficiency protocols like calibrating your ovens and thermometers, sharpening knives and slicers, restocking your first aid kit, and updating safety data sheets.
Following this restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist will keep facilities safe and staff on task. Click here for equipment ideas to make kitchen cleaning even easier.
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.