Restaurant Cleaning Checklist: Tips for Food Business Hygiene

Following a cleaning checklist can improve the cleanliness of any food business and help maintain a consistent process and schedule.
January 7, 2021

Having a high standard of cleanliness at restaurants (or any other food business) is key to ensuring food safety and preventing food-borne illnesses. Food businesses in Canada are required to follow federal and provincial food safety laws, which include operating a safe and clean establishment. A clean restaurant will also satisfy customers and keep them coming back which means growing revenue and success.

Restaurant owners and managers can maintain a clean and hygienic restaurant by following a detailed restaurant cleaning checklist. A restaurant deep cleaning checklist should include a kitchen cleaning checklist (back-of-house cleaning) as well as a dining room cleaning checklist (front-of-house cleaning). Use the following restaurant cleaning schedule for ensuring a clean and compliant restaurant.

Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

The kitchen of a food business is where the greatest food safety risks occur, so following a kitchen cleaning schedule is essential for food safety. Keeping the kitchen clean is not only necessary for preventing food contamination and food-borne illnesses, it’s the law. Food businesses can be inspected by local Health Inspectors at any time. Food businesses found not in compliance with food safety laws, such as not maintaining the cleaning and sanitizing of the kitchen, can face fines or even closure.

Use the following checklist as a guide for what should be cleaned daily, weekly and monthly in the kitchen.

Daily

Surfaces

  • wipe down walls where food has splattered
  • clean and sanitize surfaces in preparation areas
  • clean the sinks
  • sweep and mop the floors
  • sweep walk-in refrigerators
  • sweep storage areas
  • clean garbage cans
  • disinfect waste disposal area

Equipment

  • clean cooking surfaces such as grills, ranges and fryers (be sure to clean underneath)
  • change the foil lining on top of grills and ranges
  • wipe down equipment (beverage machines, coffee makers, espresso machines, microwaves, toasters, etc.)
  • clean beverage dispenser heads and tips of soda dispenser guns
  • wash utensils, flatware and glassware

Other items

  • wash rags, towels, aprons and uniforms in washing machine
  • refill soap dispensers
  • replace empty paper towel rolls
  • take out the recycling
  • take out the garbage

Weekly

Surfaces

  • clean lime from the sinks and faucets
  • clean and sanitize walk-in refrigerators and freezers
  • clean floor drains with drain cleaner

Equipment

  • clean ovens (be sure to clean the walls, door and racks)
  • clean the deep fryer (boil it out)

Other items

  • clean floor mats

Monthly

Surfaces

  • wash walls and the ceiling
  • wash behind the hot line
  • wash vent hoods (this can be done every couple of months)

Equipment

  • clean and sanitize the coffee machine and espresso machine
  • empty, clean and sanitize the ice machine (every 6 months)
  • clean and sanitize the freezer
  • clean refrigerator coils
  • empty grease traps

Other items

  • Replace pest traps

Front-of-house Cleaning Checklist

It is important that the front-of-house is clean in order to provide a safe and healthy dining experience for customers. When customers come to a restaurant to eat, they expect to dine in an environment that is tidy, clean and inviting. The experience of dining in a food business that is unclean is enough to turn away customers and hurt a business’s bottom line. This is why using a cleaning checklist for a restaurant dining room (and other front-of-house areas) is so important.

Use the following checklist as a guide for what should be cleaned daily, weekly and monthly in the front-of-house.

Daily

Surfaces

  • wipe down walls as necessary
  • clean and wipe down counters
  • vacuum carpets
  • sweep and mop floors
  • clean and sanitize door handles and railings
  • clean and sanitize access buttons / elevator buttons

Furniture

  • clean and sanitize dining tables
  • clean and wipe down seats and benches

Restrooms

  • clean and sanitize restroom surfaces
  • disinfect toilets
  • clean restroom sinks
  • empty out feminine hygiene containers / garbages
  • take out the bathroom garbage
  • sweep and mop restroom floors
  • clean and sanitize door handles and railings

Other items

  • clean and wipe down condiments / salt and pepper shakers
  • clean cloth napkins, tablecloths, and aprons in washing machine
  • take out the garbage and recycling
  • clean garbage and recycling bins
  • clean and sanitize credit card machines
  • clean and sanitize menus

Weekly

Surfaces

  • clean and wipe down the light fixtures
  • wash glass windows and doors

Monthly

Surfaces

  • dust items on walls (e.g. art or decorations)
  • wash the walls

Running a food business is a big endeavour, with many important tasks to do and regulations to follow. Having a clean and safe business is the top priority. Breaking down the cleaning tasks into daily, weekly and monthly lists makes them easy to implement and keep on top of. By using a cleaning checklist for both the kitchen and front-of-house, food business owners and managers can ensure they are running a hygienic and food safety compliant business.

Download and print off the CIFS Restaurant Cleaning Checklist for an even easier way to implement their restaurant cleaning schedule.