Careers Business Ownership Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning Checklist Share PINTEREST Email Print webphotographeer / Getty Images Business Ownership Industries Restauranting Retail Small Business Real Estate Nonprofit Organizations Landlords Import/Export Business Freelancing & Consulting Franchises Food & Beverage Event Planning eBay E-commerce Construction Operations & Success Becoming an Owner By Lorri Mealey Lorri Mealey Twitter Lorri Mealey has nearly a decade of restaurant experience, including owning and operating her own restaurant in Western Maine. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 07/11/19 One of the biggest challenges of running a busy restaurant is keeping the kitchen clean. With a multitude of activities happening all the time, regular cleaning can seem overwhelming if you don't have a system in place. To help maintain a hygienic commercial kitchen, develop a handy list that outlines how to keep your restaurant kitchen spic and span. Some jobs should be done several times a day, while others need only be done weekly or monthly. Regular cleaning of your regular kitchen is essential for food safety and can help reduce food waste, lowering overall menu costs. Items to Clean Each Cooking Shift These actions are commonplace for cooks and other kitchen staff. Often, they will have already subconsciously worked them into their schedule and will be able to get them done in a timely manner. Brush grill between cooking red meat, poultry and fishWipe down the line and prep areasSwitch cutting boardsChange sanitizing water and cleaning ragsEmpty trash bins After Each Shift Breakfast, lunch, and dinner shifts should share responsibility in keeping the kitchen smart. Charting a specific time each day for these items to be dealt with ensures there is no gap in cleanliness. Clean the fryersBrush the grillEmpty sanitizing bucketsPut all cleaning rags in dirty laundryPut all aprons and chefs coats in the laundry (not with cleaning rags)Wash and sanitize all surfaces (cutting boards, reach-in, line, prep tables)Empty steam table and cleanWash meat and cheese slicer after each useCover all bins in a reach-in cooler with plastic wrapWash floor matsSweep and mop the kitchen floorSweep walk-in refrigerator Daily Tasks To save money and time, some restaurants will hire a cleaner who comes at night; someone called a "night porter," who makes sure the kitchen is up to cleaning standards for the next day of service. Clean out grease trapsChange foil linings of grill, range, and flattopsWash the can openerRun hood filters through the dishwasher Weekly Each of these duties can be rotated throughout the week so that every shift gets an equitable amount of side work. Empty reach-in coolers and wash and sanitize themDelime sinks and faucetsClean coffee machineClean the ovens. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instruction on this particular job.Sharpen knives (okay, not cleaning, per se, but needs to be done)Oil cast iron cookwareUse drain cleaners on floor drains Monthly As with the weekly cleaning list, these monthly jobs should be scheduled throughout the month, on different shifts, so that staff shares the burden of side work. Wash behind the hotline (oven, stove, fryers) to cut down on grease build up, which is a major fire hazardClean freezersEmpty and sanitize the ice machineCalibrate ovensCalibrate thermometersSharpen the meat and cheese slicerWash walls and ceilingsWipe down the dry storage areaChange any pest trapsRestock your first aid kitUpdate your material safety data sheets, which outline how to safely use any chemicals in your restaurant. Annually There are also several important things to do each year to make sure your kitchen is clean and safe. Most require the help of a professional. It's good to schedule them during slow seasons, or just before your busy season starts up. That way, if there are any issues or repairs needed, you won't lose too much business, if any. Check fire suppression systemCheck the fire extinguishers (this may need to be done twice a year, depending on where you live)Clean the hoods twice a year. Use a professional company that specializes in hood cleaning rather than doing the job yourself (very messy and time-consuming).Clean the pilot lights on any gas kitchen equipment (Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instruction). Implementing each of these schedules will help your kitchen be safe for employees and customers. It will prevent possible food contamination and help reduce food spoilage and waste, keeping profits high and staff happy.