Mastering Restaurant Cleaning Ops With a Dedicated Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

Published on:
April 2, 2024
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Your front door guests expect a clean dining room and restrooms and the success of your restaurant depends on whether or not you meet their expectations. Your back door guests – your local health inspectors – are no different. When they walk through your back door, they expect a clean restaurant and they will be disappointed if they don’t see one.

90% of people think cleanliness is an important factor when deciding whether or not they will be a returning customer. That’s why you should consider restaurant cleaning checklists.

Furthermore, Imagine this scenario. The sun is shining and things are great. You’re knee-deep in business, with a packed restaurant. You made several key changes to lead the restaurant operation to a healthy and safe environment and now business is up, the drinks are flowing and the money is coming in. 

Of course, the good times in the restaurant business are always followed by the bad times, like when a team member gets sick during flu season. It’s almost impossible to keep a flu virus to just one person, typically the whole restaurant staff has been exposed and stands a chance of getting sick at some level. Restaurant cleaning for germs should be a top priority.

COVID-19 seems like so long ago, doesn't it? One of the things COVID-19 did was make the world do a little bit better on their everyday cleaning in public especially in the restaurant's atmosphere. That is where the restaurant cleaning checklist made its impression in the food world. This tool may seem plain, but it’s the must-have item for any operation wanting to obtain cleanliness and sanitation perfection. It shows you how to get those spotless surfaces, glistening grills, and fresh-smelling dining areas.

In this complete guide, we are going to discuss restaurant cleaning checklists from front-of-house to back-of-house, giving you the whys and hows.

We'll explore what makes them so important when it comes to remaining compliant with all kinds of regulations and engendering a safe environment for both your staff and customers. 

Let’s see what it’s all about.

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What are Restaurant Cleaning Checklists?

Imagine you own a fast-food restaurant chain. You and your team spend the day in and day out, tending to everything from making those delicious pancakes to overall great customer service as soon as people walk in your door. Nevertheless, while you are keeping busy wiping off counters, taking out the trash, and throwing a smile on each table you turn, you, unintentionally, might forget to clean completely. 

So, how do you stay on top of your restaurant’s cleaning needs every day without feeling like you are slaving away nonstop?

You get it done with a restaurant cleaning checklist.

Consider your restaurant cleaning checklist your trusty sidekick. It lets you tackle all those daily tasks with ease, without ever forgetting to scrub down the toilets or wipe down the tables. It takes all your cleaning tasks and breaks them up into manageable bits.

It's not just a day-to-day schedule, so to speak.

A good plan will also be effective for those tasks you don't do every, little thing like cleaning the fridge coils or de-scaling the coffee machine. By planning these things out ahead of time, you can prevent any unwanted surprises in the future.

Common Aspects of Front-of-House Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

The front of the house is the first thing your guests will see when they walk through your doors. It's like the cover of a book, that sets the spell for what's inside. In terms of restaurant appearance, nearly half of the survey respondents (47%) emphasized the importance of keeping the front-of-house clean, including the tables, chairs, floors, and billing counters.

 If it's dirty, messy, and unkempt, that's exactly the kind of service the guests are going to receive so why would they stay? Not only does a clean, well-organized, and well-stocked dining room set the tone for your guests, but it also shows them that you care about their experience.

Essential Cleaning supplies for FOH are 

  • Surface cleaners: perfect for cleaning tables, countertops, and other surfaces. 
  • Sanitizers: Keeping things germ-free is critical, especially in high-touch areas like doorknobs and menus. 
  • Cloths: Soft, absorbent cloths are perfect for eliminating dirt and grime while leaving no stains. 
  • Equipment: Depending on your setup, you may need a vacuum for carpets, a mop for hardwood floors, and a duster for shelves and decorations.

Daily Front-of-House Cleaning Checklist

  • To clean tables, chairs, and counters, apply a surface cleanser. Pay extra attention to locations that clients regularly touch. 
  • Set the tables with clean utensils, napkins, and condiments.
    Replace garbage bags and empty trash cans along the front of the house. 
  • Using a broom or vacuum cleaner, remove any dirt or debris. 
  •  Make sure they are clean and supplied with toilet paper, soap, and paper towels.

Weekly Front-of-House Cleaning Checklist

  • Use a duster to get the dust off shelves, decorations, and other surfaces. 
  • Clean windows and mirrors with a glass cleaner. 
  • Sanitize high-touch areas by wiping down door knobs, light switches, and menus with sanitizer. 
  • Look for damage or wear and tear on chairs, tables, and booths.

Monthly front-of-house cleaning checklist

  • Use a carpet cleaner or contact a professional to thoroughly clean carpets and rugs. 
  • To clean and polish wooden tables, chairs, and other furniture apply a wood polish. 
  • Check for burnt-out bulbs and remove any dust or dirt.

Common Aspects of Back-of-House Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

Your back-of-house might not be seen by customers, but it is vital to ensuring the safety of the food you serve, the cleanliness of your employees, and the smooth running of your operations. It’s like the engine room of a ship – out of sight but critical.

Importance of BOH Cleaning 

Preventing outbreaks of food-borne illnesses and cross-contamination is extremely important. Having a clean and organized back-of-house area can prevent and eliminate those things. Cleaning surfaces, sanitizing equipment, and keeping food properly stored can make sure every plate that leaves the kitchen is safe to eat.

Moreover, Based on Technomic's January 2021 Safety and Sanitation Reigns presentation, it was found that the presence of employees engaged in continuous cleaning and sanitization processes contributed to enhanced safety in the minds of 89% of diners. Providing your employees with a clean and hygienic environment is also important – make sure there are handwashing stations available for your staff, and that they have somewhere to get changed into their uniform for the day. Not forgetting that this will help maintain good standards of health in your workforce, something that is important as the illness is never ideal for a business – a happy employee is a healthy employee, and a healthy employee is a productive employee.

Operational efficiency also depends on the cleanliness of your back-of-house area. A disorganized, dirty kitchen is confusing and leads to frustrated kitchen staff, the misplacement of ingredients and food, and therefore, wasted time. Set a cleaning routine to get your back-of-house in line, improve workflow, and ultimately, improve your bottom line.

Essential Cleaning Supplies and Equipment

  • Sanitizers are the ideal tool for keeping surfaces clean and germ-free. 
  • Dishwashers are essential tools for cleaning and disinfecting dishes, utensils, and kitchen equipment. 
  • Proper waste disposal is necessary for maintaining a clean and sanitary environment. 
  • Having the right tools on hand, from sponges and scrub brushes to mop buckets and brooms, dramatically simplifies cleaning tasks.

Daily Back-of-House Cleaning Checklist

  • Apply a sanitizing solution to countertops, cutting boards, and food preparation areas. 
  • Run the dishwasher to make sure the dishes, utensils, and kitchen equipment are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. 
  • Remove waste bags and properly dispose of them to prevent odors and pests. 
  • Keep floors clean and free of spills to prevent slips and falls. 
  • Check the refrigerators and freezers: Remove any expired or spoiled foods and sanitize the shelves.

Weekly Back-of-House Cleaning Checklist

  • Disassemble and clean ovens, grills, fryers, and other kitchen equipment to remove oil and grease. 
  • Take an inventory of food supplies, remove expired products, and organize shelves and storage areas. 
  • Clean and sanitize locker rooms, break areas, and restrooms to maintain employee hygiene and morale.

Monthly Back-of-House Cleaning Checklist

  • Remove limescale accumulation from coffee makers, steamers, and other equipment using a descaling solution. 
  • Remove oil and debris from exhaust hoods and filters to avoid fires and improve air quality. 
  • Inspect kitchen equipment for signs of wear and tear and schedule any repairs or maintenance that are required.

Importance of Digitized Restaurant Cleaning Checklists

Now that we’ve gone over the basic restaurant cleaning checklist in both the front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house it’s time to take a look at how technology has put a spin on the diversity of cleaning a restaurant.

In the digital age, there seems to be a technological solution to everything, and now, cleaning operations are no exception to the rule. According to a source survey of 2021, 91% of restaurateurs want to invest in kitchen automation.

On that note, Xenia is making a big impact in the restaurant industry. It is a digital platform that has been developed for managing cleaning tasks and health and safety compliance. But digital cleaning solutions like Xenia are incredibly game-changing – and here’s why:

Improved Efficiency

Streamline your processes with digital restaurant checklists. No more shuffling through piles of paper checklists or trying to figure out whose chicken scratch handwriting you are reading. With your digital restaurant checklist, all of the information is right at your fingertips. All of the cleaning tasks are laid out in a user-friendly and intuitive interface that your staff will be able to understand. Know what you need to get done and when! With automated reminders, you will never have to worry about missing a cleaning ever again!

Improved Accountability

The biggest challenge in managing a cleaning operation is making sure tasks are thoroughly done and done promptly. With the restaurant's automation, you’ll have accountability built into your system. Managers can view the status of each cleaning task in real-time, therefore, no task will go unnoticed. Any missed areas can be caught quickly and addressed immediately. This kind of transparency creates accountability for employees but also promises the customer that your company takes cleanliness seriously.

Ensured Compliance

Staying in line with health and safety regulations is mandatory when it comes to the industry of food service. By using digital restaurant checklist procedures you know you comply with the standard regulations of the industry. 

Digital systems like Xenia provide built-in guidance on best practices for cleaning and sanitizing different areas of your restaurant, so you can rest assured that your cleaning protocols are in line with the industry and you're not running the risk of being fined or even worse, putting anyone in harm.

Xenia- Your Ultimate Restaurant Cleaning Checklist Solution

Exploring The 6 Best Restaurant Automation Systems For Businesses In 2024

Xenia is not a basic cleaning solution. Xenia allows restaurant owners and managers to take their cleanliness to the next level. With templates and checklists for every aspect of a restaurant in the extensive list of templates, Xenia makes it easy to make sure everything is shiny and ready to go according to code.

Operational Efficiency and Improved Customer Experience

You are the owner of a restaurant with a single location and you are busy running a million other errands to make sure your business runs smoothly. So cleaning might seem like just another thing on your TO-DO list. However, cleaning plays a very important role in the overall customer experience. Xenia’s templates and checklists streamline your cleaning operations so that you are free to concentrate on what matters most- delivering exceptional service and a memorable dining experience.

End to End Front-of-House & Back-of-House Solutions

No two restaurants are the same, so why should your cleaning program be? Xenia offers a complete suite of front-of-house and back-of-house solutions to help meet all your cleaning needs. Cleaning tables, sanitizing menus, deep cleaning of floors, kitchen equipment, and more. Xenia has the solution in stock when you need it.

Tracking opening and closing procedures, cleaning, food safety compliance, training, and equipment maintenance can be easily logged and analyzed within the platform. Identify areas of improvement, or just ensure your staff are meeting your expectations.

Key Features

  • Scheduled Work Via Work Orders: Centralized work schedules guarantee that you will never miss an opening or closing check. Automatic notifications ensure that nothing goes unnoticed, enabling you to focus on creating the business rather than planning it
  • Food Temperature Monitoring: Record data from sensors in freezers, refrigerators and food probes to not only monitor critical food temperature, but also receive instant notification if something goes beyond or below the desired temperature threshold.
  • Digital Checklists and Standard Operating Procedures: Xenia's checklist builder and template collection work together to provide everything you need to get started in minutes rather than days. Digital checks can be performed using a variety of approaches, including several step types, publicly available URLs, media attachments, and conditional logic. SOPs can be utilized as an educational tool or saved for future reference.
  • Real-time updates and collaboration: Get fast feedback and notifications for completed work, overdue tasks, or unacceptable assignments. Stay in touch with your colleagues, even if you're miles away.
    For operators that maintain their assets (e.g. fridges, freezers, fryers), it's important to keep accurate records of work done and when. Even if you outsource it, this is an excellent method to keep track of your contractors.
  • Preventive Maintenance: For operators that maintain their assets (e.g. fridges, freezers, fryers), it's important to keep accurate records of work done and when. Even if you outsource it, this is an excellent method to keep track of your contractors.
  • Corrective Actions: Digital food safety compliance checklists for HACCP and GFSI are completed from your phone or tablet and saved in the cloud for future reference - the next time you need to recertify, Xenia will make it simple.
  • Reporting: Analyze the relevant information gathered through checklists. With adjustable dashboards out of the box and the possibility to purchase customized reports created by their data science team, there is no information that Xenia cannot provide. 

Systematic Approach with Checklists

Checklists are an easy and effective way to keep organized in any fast-paced environment - especially restaurants.

With Xenia's systematic approach, you can set up and manage any aspect of your restaurant operation easily! From experienced restaurant managers to first-time restaurant owners, staying clean, safe, and ready for visitors just got a whole lot easier.

Wrapping It Up

To conclude, restaurant cleaning checklists are extremely important in the successful operation of the restaurant since they make sure that the kitchen is cleaned, in good condition, and set up before, during, and after the operation. Roughly 7.69% (or 600 million) of the world's population (7.8 billion people) come down with a foodborne illness each year.

Furthermore, they make sure that every area, from the front-of-house to the back-of-house is cleaned, ensuring that the restaurant is clean, safe, and in good condition. This helps keep the operations going smoothly.

And at last, Xenia provides a solution to all of this by offering an expansive library of templates that can be used to verify your cleaning checklist (which will bring your customers and Guests a great experience), if the Guest Floor has been cleaned thoroughly, food safety & Food hygiene Grease and oil. Digitalize the cleaning process of your Restaurant by using Xenia’s application.

So why wait? Optimize Your Cleaning Process to give our customers a fresh& clean Experience.

Book a free demo!

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