Tips from the Experts: How to Clean a Restaurant

food served in restaurant

Cleaning and maintenance are undeniably one of the most important parts of managing a business. The cleanliness of a workspace can affect productivity, employee morale, and client perception. These statements are especially true for restaurants and other food establishments. 


Unlike any other business, lapses in restaurant maintenance have immediate and dire consequences. The last thing you want as a restauranteur is your customers getting sick from your contaminated food. Not only would a single instance of food poisoning wreak havoc on your reputation, but you are likely to incur consequences from the health department. 


If you are new to the food and beverage business or are looking to improve your establishment’s standards, you have come to the right place. In this article, we explore the do’s and don’ts of restaurant cleaning. 


Tips from the Experts: How to Clean a Restaurant 

The importance of a clean restaurant is a no-brainer. However, in practice, making sure that all surfaces are wiped, and all messes are addressed can be challenging especially for such a hectic, and bustling workspace. Aside from your staff, customers come in and out of your establishment. There are plenty of moving parts that are equally crucial in ensuring the health and safety of your clientele. 


To make sure you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, here are a few tips from the experts:


Familiarize Yourself with Health Standards

The first step in ensuring your restaurant is always in tip-top shape is to familiarize yourself with the health and safety standards of your area. Each location might have different guidelines and these rules are often updated. Knowing what you are required to do not only ensures that none of your staff and customers get sick but can also save you from the hassle and expense of running afoul with the health department. Truth be told, if you are only starting out, a sanction can make or break your establishment. 


Create a Cleaning Strategy

Now that you are familiar with the basic set of rules you should abide by, the next step is crafting a cleaning and maintenance plan that suits your needs. Different establishments require different strategies. When it comes to an effective cleaning plan, there is no one-size-fits-all.

That said, generally, your strategy should include cleaning checklists and schedules, materials and cleaning products, and general guidelines that can help your maintenance crew. 


Involve Your Staff

While you shouldn’t be giving the responsibility of cleaning to your chef or line crew, they should be aware of the level of cleaning you expect from them. Make sure that all team members have a copy of your cleaning strategy. If you are new to the game, it is also a good idea to consult them about the protocols that would best align with their current process. 


Consider Outsourcing

Restaurant maintenance isn’t easy because the stakes are high. If you aren’t confident to tackle this part of the operation alone, we assure you that you are better off outsourcing cleaning to professionals.

Professional cleaning companies know the ins and outs of food health and safety standards. They are experts in their field and they can tackle any task with ease. While they might seem like an additional expense, your peace of mind is worth their price. 

restaurant checklistThe Checklist

As mentioned earlier, a cleaning strategy should include a cleaning checklist that outlines the tasks and schedules. In a restaurant that enjoys high traffic, below are a few items that you need to check off on a regular basis:


  • Wipe down splashes and spills in the back of the house. 
  • Clean the equipment including but not limited to the grill, fryer, and stovetop. 
  • Disinfect prep areas
  • Wash cutlery and dinnerware and let them dry overnight. 
  • Take out the trash and disinfect garbage receptacles
  • Wash dish towels and rags
  • Disinfect door handles and other high-touch areas
  • Disinfect tabletops and wipe down any surfaces
  • Vacuum the carpets
  • Clean the toilets and restrooms


  • Clean ovens and boil out the deep fryer
  • Wipe off and clean walk-in refrigerators and freezers
  • Tackle lime build-up from sinks and faucets
  • Clean anti-slip floor mats
  • Clean and dust off lighting fixtures
  • Clean and wipe down doors and windows


  • Clean and sanitize soda dispensers and ice machines
  • Check and empty the fridge
  • Replace pest traps
  • Clean range hoods and tackle grease build-ups 
  • Tackle any cobwebs in hard-to-reach areas


Neglected Areas to Take Note Of 

A restaurant is a busy place. It can be easy to neglect certain areas, especially during your peak season. That said, when it comes to food safety, there isn’t a good enough excuse to not clean every square inch of your establishment.

As they say, knowledge is power, below are a few areas that you should always double-check: 


Soda & Ice Dispensers 

Soda and ice dispensers can get nasty very quickly. These equipment have direct contact with food hence the build-up. Thankfully, for most dispensers clean-up is a breeze, often it only requires taking off the nozzle and wiping it down after every shift. For more of a deep clean, set aside a day wherein your restaurant is closed and run a few cleaning cycles.  



Menus can be incredibly disgusting. In fact, most health departments consider menus as the greatest disease vector in most establishments. Everyone has access to them and in a restaurant spills on the dining table are almost unavoidable.

Similar to soda and ice dispensers, cleaning menus are straightforward. Wipe them down and replace them often. 

fine dining restaurant


It isn’t enough to wipe down customer tables, you also have to clean and sanitize everything else you can see on the tabletops. This includes salt and pepper shakers, other condiments, tissue holders, etc. 


Running a restaurant takes more than a fantastic menu and stellar staff. As mentioned earlier, there is no doubt that abiding with health and safety protocols through a robust maintenance strategy is key to your establishment’s success. 


Nevertheless, this part of the operation is easier said than done. It can be challenging to keep up with the standards in these ever-changing times. 


Thankfully, you don’t have to go through it alone. We at Burgos Commercial Cleaning are eager to help. With our expertise, we can help ensure that every customer leaves your restaurant with a happy, healthy smile. Reach out to us today to learn more about what we have to offer.