Restaurant Cleaning Schedule: A Helpful 12-Step Checklist

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: February 13, 2024

When guests walk through your restaurant’s front doors, they expect a clean dining room that sparkles from floor to ceiling. When city health department inspectors walk through the back door, they’re looking for sanitized prep areas and well-maintained equipment.

Do you rely on your staff to keep everything immaculate by working on a set restaurant cleaning schedule?

Effective commercial kitchen cleaning depends on attention to detail. Add dining areas, wait stations and restrooms, and restaurant cleanup becomes a challenge.

12 Steps for Organizing Restaurant and Kitchen Cleaning

Most front and back of house cleaning gets done at the end of each shift, but your staff needs to do more than straighten up stations and sweep floors. We offer this comprehensive restaurant cleaning checklist that organizes 12 important steps into daily, weekly and monthly assignments.

restaurant cleaning checklist

Daily Duties

1. Wipe Down Cooking Equipment

Make sure ranges, flat tops and grills are free of spilled food and grease. Extend cleaning to equipment doors and sides. Drain deep fryers, check their filters, and change out oil when necessary.

2. Disinfect Kitchen Surfaces

This job should be done in between shifts with special attention to food prep areas. Sanitize sinks, disposals, pass-throughs and shelving. Use safe cleaning products appropriate for food service operations.

3. Take Care of Beverage Stations

Empty and wash coffee pots and tea brewers, run their filters through the dishwasher, and wipe up spills at beverage stations. Keep soda machines free of bacteria by sanitizing nozzles and diffusers.

4. Vacuum, Dust and Clean

Vacuum, sweep and mop front and back of house floors including wait stations and the dishwashing room. Make sure table tops and chairs are spotless. Check hostess stations, clean bathrooms, and take out all trash.

Weekly Jobs

kitchen cleaning

5. Disinfect All Floor Drains

Floor drains in the kitchen, walk-ins and bathrooms are often overlooked, but they can be a source of bacteria and foul odors. Use commercial drain cleaning brushes and products to head off unsanitary problems.

6. Organize Food Storage Areas

Make this a priority project on your weekly restaurant cleaning schedule. Inspect, organize and clean dry and refrigerated storage by moving inventory as you work. Sweep floors underneath and behind shelf units.

7. Deep Clean Cooking Equipment

Dirty buildup on cooking equipment can become a commercial kitchen fire hazard. Oven and grill cleaners help degrease doors, walls and racks, but use these products with care, and wear personal protection.

8. Polish the Windows

Make all windows shine inside and out. Customers form first impressions of a location based on its exterior appearance. Clean windows also make a visible difference inside by brightening up interiors and holding down lighting costs.

Monthly Projects

9. Clean Grease Traps to Code

This dirty job belongs on every restaurant cleaning checklist because it prevents grease from clogging your building’s plumbing system. Most health departments require regular grease trap cleaning to maintain code compliance.

10. Drain and Sanitize Ice Machines

When cleaning the ice machines, be sure to sanitize interiors and exteriors. Refer to your owner’s manual on how to disinfect removable system components. This project is best taken care of after business hours.

11. Dust More Than Tables and Chairs

Light fixtures, signage and wait station shelving are good examples of areas that don’t get weekly attention. Include hostess stands, dining room artwork and even planters and greenery in your monthly dusting duties.

12. Wash the Walls

Provide staff with sturdy ladders, appropriate cleaning products and plenty of rags and sponges. Regularly cleaned walls keep dining room interiors fresh, and they help maintain a healthier kitchen environment too.

The Advantages of Professional Cleaning Services

You might decide that in-house restaurant cleaning takes up too much staff time. There are a number of advantages to bringing in a commercial cleaning service.

Scheduling: You set the timetable for professional cleaning instead of depending on staff in between shifts.
Detailing: Additional services include carpet cleaning, upholstery stain removal and commercial air duct cleaning.
Certification: Professional cleaning technicians are highly trained and industry certified.
Emergencies: An established cleaning contractor also offers water and fire damage restoration services.

Overall, the benefits add up to real cost savings over DIY restaurant cleaning. Outsourcing also frees up your staff to focus on shift duties.

From Front to Back of House

chicago restaurant owner

Commercial kitchen cleaning is a big job, so we hope our checklist makes it easier for you and your restaurant staff. Let us know your thoughts by joining our online community. Just share your input through our Comments Section.

If you decide to go with professional restaurant cleaning services, give us a call. We handle commercial cleaning all across Chicago and the suburbs for all types of properties. You can depend on ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba for detailed restaurant cleaning from front to back of house.