Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning List
One of the biggest challenges of running a busy restaurant is keeping the kitchen clean. With a multitude of activities happening all the time, from grease flying out of the fryolator, to parsley ground into the cutting boards, to mysterious items being found in the back of the reach-in cooler, regular cleaning can seem overwhelming if you don't have a system in place.
To help you maintain a hygienic commercial kitchen, here is a handy list that outlines how to keep your restaurant kitchen spic and span. Some jobs should be done several times a day, while others need to only be done weekly or monthly. Regular cleaning of your regular kitchen is essential for food safety and can help reduce food waste, lowering overall menu costs.
Items to Clean Each Cooking Shift
- Brush grill between cooking red meat, poultry and fish
- Wipe down the line and prep areas
- Switch cutting boards
- Change sanitizing water and cleaning rags
- Empty trash bins
After Each Shift (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- Clean the fryers
- Brush the grill
- Empty sanitizing buckets
- Put all cleaning rags in dirty laundry
- Put all aprons and chefs coats in laundry (not with cleaning rags)
- Wash and sanitize all surfaces (cutting boards, reach-in, line, prep tables)
- Empty steam table and clean
- Wash meat and cheese slicer after each use
- Cover all bins in reach-in cooler with plastic wrap
- Wash floor mats
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor
- Sweep walk-in refrigerator
- Clean out grease traps
- Change foil linings of grill, range, and flattops
- Wash the can opener
- Run hood filters through the dishwasher
Each of these duties can be rotated throughout the week so that every shift gets an equitable amount of side work.
- Empty reach-in coolers and wash and sanitize them
- Delime sinks and faucets
- Clean coffee machine
- Clean the ovens. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instruction on this particular job.
- Sharpen knives (okay, not cleaning, per se, but needs to be done)
- Oil cast iron cookware
- Use drain cleaners on floor drains
As with the weekly cleaning list, these monthly jobs should be scheduled throughout the month, on different shifts, so that staff shares the burden of side work.
- Wash behind the hotline (oven, stove, fryers) to cut down on grease build up, which is a major fire hazard
- Clean freezers
- Empty and sanitize the ice machine
- Calibrate ovens
- Calibrate thermometers
- Sharpen the meat and cheese slicer
- Wash walls and ceilings
- Wipe down the dry storage area
- Change any pest traps
- Restock your first aid kit
- Update your material safety data sheets, which outline how to safely use any chemicals in your restaurant.
There are also several important things to do each year, to make sure your kitchen is clean and safe. Most require the help of a professional. It's good to schedule them during slow seasons, or just before your busy season (if you have one) starts up. That way, if there are any issues or repairs needed, you won't lose too much business, if any.
- Check fire suppression system
- Check the fire extinguishers (this may need to be done twice a year, depending on where you live)
- Clean the hoods twice a year. Use a professional company that specializes in hood cleaning rather than doing the job yourself (very messy and time-consuming).
- Clean the pilot lights on any gas kitchen equipment (Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instruction).
Implementing each of these schedules will help your kitchen be safe for employees and customers. It will prevent possible food contamination and outbreaks (AKA PR nightmare) and help reduce food spoilage and waste, keeping profits high.