Cleaning is one of the essential tasks when you are working in a commercial kitchen. After all, cooks and chefs love to focus all their attention on the preparation of the food, so a lot of times it’s tempting to avoid certain cleaning responsibilities and only deal with the creative side of preparing delicious meals.

Keeping a commercial restaurant kitchen clean is not an easy task. Apart from having to maintain standards for the health inspector to keep your restaurant’s doors open, keeping your commercial kitchen clean means preventing mice infestations, restaurant fires outbreaks, and chances of food borne illnesses.

A chief element in keeping your kitchen clean is to follow the manufacturer’s manual for the cleaning of each equipment, keep a record of their warranties, and understand what aspects of the maintenance need to be left for the experts.  Even a restaurant manager passionate about hygiene can be overwhelmed by the number of cleaning duties that their kitchen crew needs to stay on top of. It’s essential to understand when these cleaning tasks need to be done and with what frequency in order to properly include them into the core of your business.

Here is our ultimate checklist for the restaurant cleaning.

Annual Checklist

There are tasks that only need to be done on a yearly basis. These include cleaning stuff like the pilot lights on all equipment that is run on gas, like ovens and grills, so that they continue to function right. Be careful while cleaning as you need to follow certain cleaning instructions from the equipment’s manufacturer since cleaning instructions vary by model and brand. If you have any reservations over the decision of safely cleaning it yourself, you might want to hire the commercial kitchen cleaning experts to clean it for you instead.  It’s also crucial to have your fire suppression system and your fire extinguisher carefully inspected at least annually to make sure they’re both ready to use in case of an emergency.

Half-Yearly Checklist

The exhaust hoods in your restaurant’s kitchen need to be cleaned professionally at least every six months (although it could be more frequent – we recommend following the schedule recommended by your manufacturer for the particular hoods you have) to prevent the greasy hoods becoming a fire risk. While many of these cleaning duties can be performed by your staff, cleaning exhaust hoods become a very messy job over a period of a few months.

Performing this cleaning chore yourself or leaving this for your restaurant crew will not only be time-consuming, but it could also allow the grease to spread in the rest of your kitchen while you try to remove it from the hoods. It is quite frankly a messy job. Hiring professional restaurant kitchen cleaning

Services (particularly ones who specialize in commercial kitchen cleaning) can save a great deal of time and effort.

Monthly Checklist

You can dedicate a day or week on your calendar each month to check the deposits of grease behind the ovens, fryers, or other kitchen equipment. Grease build-up is considered a fire risk, and the longer it is allowed to build-up, the more difficult it becomes to remove. Ice machines and freezers both need to be emptied and washed every month to avoid heavy frosting and bacterial contamination. Washing the ceiling and walls of the kitchen is a necessary step, as is ensuring that your dry storage is wiped down (crumbs, flour, and sugar left behind can help the pests thrive). Apart from cleaning, general maintenance needs to be done on a monthly basis. Calibrate your oven, free-standing, and freezer thermometers to make sure food safety standards are appropriately met. Sharpening the slicers on a monthly basis will not only allow quality presentation of the meals prepared in your kitchen but also help maintain portion control and decrease waste potential. You need to make sure to double-check that your first aid kit is updated. The wrong time to realize you don’t have enough bandages or supplies to mitigate severe allergic reactions is when an emergency actually strikes in your restaurant premises. Be prepared with a first-aid kit at all times.

Weekly Cleaning

As far as weekly cleaning is concerned, empty, wash, and clean your walk-in coolers, delime your sinks and faucets, and clean your ovens a thorough cleaning from the inside and the outside (while following the oven manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to prevent any damage during the cleaning process). Keeping your ovens clean is essential to ensure weird flavors (or some burnt residue) from previous cookings don’t get into your meals for today! If your commercial kitchen has any cast iron skillets, you also need to set up a weekly schedule for oiling them to make sure they are appropriately maintained. Keep in mind that iron skillets can never be washed like regular pans since they are vulnerable to rusting.