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Few things are as essential to running a successful restaurant than proper maintenance, cleaning,  sanitization of your establishment. Checklists are a fantastic tool to help you ensure that all daily, weekly, and monthly tasks are being properly managed, and will you stay on track when it comes to effective and necessary cleaning processes.

This article not only includes five free restaurant cleaning checklists for your convenience, but also discusses what a good checklist should cover, why you need one, and how you can use a cleaning checklist to your restaurant’s advantage.

What is a restaurant cleaning checklist?

Glad you asked! A good restaurant cleaning checklist is an extremely handy and helpful tool you can reference to ensure all proper cleaning procedures are being performed in your establishment on a regular basis. The best checklists are often separated into categories, such as the frequency you should perform each task (daily, weekly, monthly, or annually), or are sectioned off by restaurant area (i.e. “front of house tasks,” “kitchen tasks,” “bathroom tasks”). These sections will help you focus on one area at a time, so you can check items off per area as you go.

Basically, restaurant cleaning checklists are a great way to stay organized and keep you on track when it comes to performing basic cleaning around your establishment.

Who needs restaurant cleaning checklists?

Are you a restaurant proprietor or manager? Do you have a full-time or part-time staff who help you complete restaurant tasks and basic maintenance on a regular basis? Then you need a restaurant cleaning checklist —and it wouldn’t hurt for your staff to have copies, as well. This will keep everyone on the same page when it comes to cleaning tasks around your establishment. You can even hang several copies around different areas of your restaurant so that all staff members can reference checklists at any time.

Ultimately, checklists are an invaluable organizational tool if you’re interested in:

1. Improving efficiency

Following a comprehensive checklist will eliminate the time you’ll spend deciding what to clean and when.

2. Increasing accountability

Wishing your staff would take more initiative? With the use of checklists, you can easily designate specific tasks to each of your employees for an even distribution of duties.

3. Enforcing consistency

Cleaning checklists enforce consistency, and help ensure that certain tasks are completed within a particular range of time/in a specific area of your restaurant. If something isn’t done correctly, you can see exactly where things are going wrong and re-teach your staff on the correct way to complete a task.

4. Avoiding distractions

Rather than spending your valuable time cleaning items or areas that can be reserved for weekly or monthly cleaning, consult a comprehensive checklist for a better idea of when and how often you actually need to perform certain cleaning processes. Checklists help you avoid distractions by forcing you to only do tasks that are on the checklists.

5. Saving time

Save the time you would’ve spent putting together to-do lists, and the time and frequency you might’ve spent cleaning particular areas that can actually wait until later.

Why should you use a restaurant cleaning checklist?

Sure, you could manually make a “to-do” list of restaurant cleaning and responsibilities, but professional cleaning checklists also come with brief “how-to” descriptions for more complicated tasks (such as emptying grease traps, cleaning refrigerator coils, and more). In addition, checklists that have been professionally created cover several tasks that may slip your mind, especially if they’re tasks you don’t perform regularly. Checklists will ensure you stay on top of all necessary restaurant cleaning duties.

Common Restaurant Cleaning Frequency Checklists

One of the most popular and effective types of restaurant cleaning checklists are “frequency checklists,” or checklists that include tasks under sections that specify the frequency of performed duties. For instance, a few common sections of a frequency checklist might include:

  • After each dine-in guest
  • Every few hours
  • Twice daily
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Annually

Note that not every checklist will include all of these sections, though several in-depth checklists will. Some of the most helpful checklists typically include hourly through monthly cleaning responsibilities to keep your establishment sanitary and sparkling for your customers!

Some restaurant cleaning checklists will also target one of these frequencies at a time, and include a list of master items for that time frame. For example, if you’re specifically targeting monthly cleaning duties, it would behoove you to follow a checklist specifically for monthly cleaning, which would include a master list of monthly duties for you to work with.

Common Restaurant Cleaning Area Checklists

Another popular type of restaurant cleaning checklist separate duties by area of your restaurant, making it easier for you to compartmentalize tasks. A few sections that such a checklist might include are:

  • Front of House
  • Lobby Area
  • Bathroom(s)
  • Kitchen
  • Storage/basement

Area checklists are also a very effective tool to ensure that all corners of your restaurant are properly cleaned and accounted for!

Five Free Restaurant Cleaning Checklists

As promised, here are five comprehensive checklists to get you started with the special cleaning attention your restaurant needs!

1. Restaurant Sanitation Checklist

Specifically designed for our chaotic health climate, the Restaurant COVID Sanitation Checklist is a checklist organized by cleaning frequency, so you can ensure proper sanitation takes place throughout the day in your establishment. Perfect for all areas of your restaurant, including front of house, kitchen, and bathrooms.

2. Restaurant Weekly Cleaning Checklist

This handy restaurant weekly cleaning checklist is specifically focused on weekly cleaning duties around your restaurant, and is sectioned off by area (front of house, bathrooms, and kitchen). This checklist is great for checking off all weekly cleaning tasks to maintain a healthy, sanitary establishment.

3. Monthly Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

The monthly restaurant cleaning checklist focuses on some of the less-frequently completed tasks, such as checking carpets and upholstery, emptying grease traps, cleaning refrigerator coils, and more! It’s easier to stay on top of daily cleaning tasks than longer-term responsibilities, which can be neglected in the hectic environment of the restaurant industry. This checklist will help you stay on top of all monthly restaurant cleaning duties.

4. Front of House Cleaning Checklist

The front of house cleaning checklist specifically targets tasks that will help you achieve a beautifully-maintained front of house for patrons. This checklist is sectioned off by specific areas, such as bar, dining room, lobby area, and bathrooms to keep you organized as you go.

5. Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

This restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist focuses on kitchen cleaning duties, and is organized by cleaning frequency ranging from daily through monthly tasks. All of the items in the kitchen cleaning checklist will help you maintain a highly-sanitary establishment, and will help you stay well-prepared for any surprise visits from restaurant health inspectors.

With so many moving parts to managing and operating a successful restaurant, cleaning checklists are just one way to make your life a bit easier by simplifying and organizing the sanitization process. Download our five free checklists today, and experience the difference for yourself!

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