Best Practices on How Restaurants Are Kept Clean

waitress walking by clean table in restaurant

Restaurants are exciting places to go to, and it takes a special type of person to be able to own and operate one. But what about cleaning them? 

It would be nice if restaurants could clean themselves, but alas they cannot. If you want your restaurant to look spotless and your restaurant to shine, here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your restaurant shiny.

Get the Right Supplies

Before you can actually clean your restaurant you must have the necessary tools and supplies to do so. Below is a list of some common supplies and tools to help get you started.

When Things Should be Cleaned

Not everything has to be cleaned daily, but a lot of things in the restaurant should be cleaned daily if you wish to have a spotless restaurant. Below is a list of things that should be cleaned daily and weekly:

Daily Cleaning Checklist

Weekly Cleaning Checklist

How Can All of This Be Done?

The simple answer here is to divide the tasks amongst your employees. Depending on the type of restaurant you run depends on how this should effectively be done. 

There are two types of restaurants: those that close and open at a certain time and those that operate 24 hours a day. As such, the needs will be different, as explained below.

For Restaurants with Opening Hours

If you own these types of restaurants, then the best thing to do for daily items is to create a spreadsheet assigning different people to different tasks. What will be more efficient in the long run is having people alternate tasks either every night or every other night.

The theory behind this is two-fold. First, your staff members will not grow weary of doing the same task over and over again. If you assign the same task to the same employee and they are not particularly fond of doing such a task, they are more likely to cut corners on cleaning and it will not make your restaurant as immaculate as it could be. It could even cause some health issues depending on the severity of the lack of proper cleaning. 

The second reason is that if the workers know how to clean every item of the restaurant, it will make it easier for when certain people call out sick and more chores need to be done per person. 

Not that it is rocket science to clean certain items, but things like coffee machines need specific instructions and steps to follow. 

If done properly and efficiently, the cleaning should not take more than an hour, assuming there is a large enough staff that completes all of the daily tasks. 

For weekly tasks, this is best done at the end of the closing shift on a Sunday after every customer is gone. Obviously, some of these items can be done while customers are still there, such as sharpening knives or laundering the linens, but others such as dusting and looking for wildlife should not be done in front of the customer.

For 24/7 Restaurants

For restaurants that seldomly close (such as 24-hour diners) it is a bit trickier to do the cleaning, but nevertheless possible. 

The best way to clean a restaurant that never closes is to do it somewhat as you would with a normal restaurant, but slightly different.

Instead of doing all of the cleaning tasks at once, split them up over a period of four hours (namely from midnight to 4 in the morning). Since most people work during the day, the traffic at this time will not be as heavy, allowing you to complete some important cleaning tasks. 

On the off chance there is a time during the day where business is slow, use that time to knock some cleaning off of your checklist.

Important Reminder

It is not enough to tell your employees to clean, but you must also tell them why they must clean. If your employees know that it is about health and safety rather than just another chore they are more likely to do the task with success. 

Make sure your employees take care of themselves too (washing their hands, using hand sanitizer). This is just as important to the restaurant as is cleaning the restaurant itself.


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