Overseeing day-to-day or weekly sanitization of your restaurant may be fairly straightforward, but there are many larger-scale tasks that need periodic attention and should not be ignored. Since you typically won’t need to complete these tasks very frequently (and therefore are more likely to forget about them), we’ve compiled a checklist that targets basic monthly cleaning and maintenance of your establishment. Paying attention to these areas will help you stay on track as you manage a successful, hygienic business!
Front of House
Clean walls and ceilings
If you haven’t already been staying on top of spills, stains, and splatters on your walls, you should clean all such spots at least once per month with an effective cleaning solution. If you notice any glaring or obviously dirty spots on your ceiling, tackle these monthly, as well. The more dirty your establishment seems, the more off-putting it will be to patrons, even if they only notice a few stains on the wall! This is one easy step to quickly eliminate that danger.
Clean/dust all decorations, art, and framed pictures
Over time, your front of house decor may start to blend in with the walls of your restaurant, simply because you’re so used to seeing it every day! Customers, however, are likely to notice if your decor is dirty, smudged, or dusty. At least once per month, spend some time polishing and cleaning all decorations in your lobby area, and around your entire front of house area.
Check conditions of carpets/upholstery
Carpets, rugs, and booth material can be easily frayed and damaged. Stay on top of the condition of such material around your restaurant, checking it for snags, rips, and fraying at least once per month. If possible, replace any carpet tile with new tiles, and have any damaged booth or rug material mended.
Move heavy furniture for deep-cleaning
Move out all booths and other heavy furniture around your front of house to deep-clean these areas at least once per month, including floors, baseboards, etc.
Clean dirty window frames
If relevant or possible, remove windows once per month to sanitize frames, eliminating any unsightly mold or dirt build-up that customers might notice.
Dust overhead fixtures
Cleaning overhead lighting is an essential monthly task, especially since dead bugs and other debris are likely to collect in chandeliers, ceiling lamps, etc. You can use an extendable Swiffer for this task, or reach inside unplugged lighting with a dust cloth and some oil to collect dirt and dust.
Clean refrigerator coils
Cleaning your refrigerator’s condenser coils is easy enough! Once per month, use a soft-bristled brush and a vacuum to scrape away dirt and debris from coils, which can build up over time if left untreated. Begin by unplugging your fridge and moving it out from the wall, then remove the panel at the very bottom of the back of your fridge to access coils. Vacuum the dirt you remove with your brush for an efficient process.
Clean and empty grease trap(s)
At least once per month, clean and empty your grease trap(s), typically located outside the building along the wall of your kitchen’s dishwashing station. Upon closing for the day, remove grease trap lids, empty out any built-up water, and scoop out all grease, placing it in a bucket to discard afterward. Scrub traps, flush screens out, and replace lid when finished.
Baseboards collect quite a lot of dust and dirt over time. While you probably stay on top of cleaning your front of house baseboards, be sure to tackle all baseboards around your kitchen area at least once per month to maintain a hygienic atmosphere. You can clean baseboards effectively with soap and water, or with a commercial disinfectant.
Empty/replace pest traps
If you struggle with any pests in or around your kitchen, check them at least once per month (we recommend more frequently) and empty/replace them, if needed.
Remove and clean drain covers
Even though your kitchen sinks are regularly cleaned and disinfected, all drain covers will need special attention on a monthly basis, as this is one area where food particles and other waste tends to accumulate and leave sticky residue behind. For quick and easy cleaning, disinfect with 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar solution, and let sit for several minutes before rinsing and replacing. You can also tackle this area with a commercial disinfectant.
Remove and thoroughly clean exhaust vents
Grease is prone to splattering on exhaust vents during the cooking process. To effectively clean vents on a monthly basis, remove the hood filters, and scrub with dishwashing soap and hot water before replacing.
Deep clean walk-in refrigerators/freezers
Assuming your fridge interior is already well-maintained, it’s recommended that at least once per month, all food items are removed for deep-cleaning of shelves, walls, and floors. For most effective practice, mop fridge floors thoroughly and spray all (empty) shelves with an effective disinfectant.
Scrub and polish floors
Bathroom floors are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. At least once per month, deep-clean all bathroom flooring, focusing especially on areas around toilets. Scrub with disinfecting soap and hot water, mixing in some bleach, if safe for your flooring.
Clean baseboards, interior window frames, trim
On a monthly basis, target the frequently-overlooked areas of your bathrooms, such as baseboards, interior window frames, and door trim. Use a disinfecting solution to effectively combat dust and dirt.
Dust overhead fixtures
Dust bathroom lighting at least once per month for a freshly-cleaned appearance for customers.
If you notice any stains on bathroom walls, spray with an EPA-approved disinfectant and scrub thoroughly to remove.