9 Easy Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Tips for a Spotless Kitchen
You can have the greatest restaurant in the world, but if your establishment isn't clean, you're going to lose customers.
It's as simple as that.
The restaurant industry is booming, with over 15.1 million employees in the United States alone and 1.6 million new jobs expected by 2028.
With such a fierce market, it’s important to put commercial kitchen cleaning practices into place. This will keep everything safe and running smoothly.
An effective cleaning plan can also help you meet food safety standards, reduce waste, and create a more collaborative environment for both staff and patrons.
The health and safety of your customers depends on cleanliness. Here are nine easy commercial kitchen cleaning tips to keep your establishment spotless.
1. Train Staff on Effective Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Practices
Before you can implement effective cleaning practices, you have to train your employees.
Start by creating a handbook or shared document. Then schedule a mandatory meeting to make sure the kitchen staff is aware of your operating procedures.
2. Create a Checklist for Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Tasks
Supply your shift managers and supervisors with a checklist to make sure everything is completed throughout and at the end of the day.
Having a checklist will create across-the-board accountability. It will also help you to see any areas of concern so that you can make necessary changes as soon as possible.
3. Ensure Staff Has Proper Cleaning Equipment
Commercial kitchens often require industrial-size cleaning equipment or cleaners with a certain strength. Be sure to find what fits and what effectively cleans your physical space.
You’ll also want to consider the price, eco-friendliness, and sustainability of the products and cleaning supplies you select to make sure they’re the best fit for your restaurant.
4. Learn How to Effectively Clean Your Equipment
Cleaning can vary based on what type/how often you use the equipment in your kitchen. When working with fryers, grills, and ranges, it’s important to use degreasers with the right formula.
Degreasers come in concentrated and diluted forms. You’ll want to consider which is better for your commercial kitchen based upon what you’re cleaning. The dirtier the equipment is, the higher the need for a more concentrated solution.
Degreasers also vary in pH level and chemical content. It's important to think about certain health hazards that may be associated with different chemical bases. There is also the potential for residues that may be left when using certain formulas, which is something to consider as well.
5. Implement Easy, Daily Tasks First
Let's look at some of the most common hazards that are also the most easily fixed:
Remove Trip Hazards: Over 8 million slip-and-fall accidents happen every year. An easy way to prevent these types of injuries in your restaurant is to remove any and all trip hazards including brooms/mops, portable fryers, food pans, and other commercial kitchen equipment.
Toss Trash Each Day: It’s also important to pick up and remove trash daily. Not only is trash unsanitary, but it can also cause issues with FDA compliance and create unhealthy, bacteria-breeding environments in your kitchen.
Wipe Down/Sanitize All Surfaces and Floors: This is an obvious, yet essential, daily commercial kitchen cleaning practice that prevents the growth of bacteria.
Between (and during) shifts, as well as at the end of the day, make sure to wipe down and sanitize all surfaces. This includes counters, walls, floors, and prep surfaces.
Be sure to have separate cleaning rags/tools to prevent the spread of bacteria from one area to another (example: from floor to counter).
Anything that comes in contact with the floor should only be used on the floor. Prep surfaces should have separate cloths/rags to not cross-contaminate and to reduce foodborne illnesses.
6. Sanitize Your Cleaning Products and Supplies
Cleaning with dirty rags, mops, or other supplies is counterproductive.
Create and implement a system that uses daily, weekly, or bi-weekly washing of different cloth materials, including rags and towels. You can add uniforms and aprons to this list to keep the kitchen staff's wardrobe bacteria-free as well.
7. Adhere to All Industry Regulations
Using chemicals in commercial kitchens always poses potential risks. Be sure that all commercial kitchen cleaning equipment and supplies that you use follow NSF certifications.
For example, there are different kinds of degreasers (for engines, kitchens, etc.), and only certain types of degreasers are kitchen-safe. Make sure you’re using the right type and adhering to all other food and beverage industry regulations.
8. Stay Consistent and Periodically Assess and Reevaluate Procedures
As your restaurant grows, your kitchen staff shifts, and new roles develop, it’s important to periodically assess and reevaluate your cleaning procedures, too.
Hold meetings with your kitchen staff to ensure that all are doing their respective jobs. Seek ways to both change and improve monthly, as well as annually.
9. Stay Up-to-Date with Industry Changes and Trends
The food and beverage industry is always shifting, and as it does, you will need to make sure your commercial cleaning practices are shifting, too.
If something changes, your restaurant kitchen will need to reevaluate the way things have been done. If a certain regulation comes into effect, it will be your job to implement that into your cleaning procedures.
Now You're Ready to Clean
Commercial kitchen cleaning can seem overwhelming, but with these simple tips, you can have your kitchen spotless and ready for business.
To learn more about cleaning commercial kitchens and best practices, check out this complete restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist.