Restaurant Cleaning 101: How to Clean a Restaurant Effectively

Restaurant Cleaning 101: How to Clean a Restaurant Effectively

Restaurant Cleaning 101: How to Clean a Restaurant Effectively

Restaurant Cleaning 101: How to Clean a Restaurant Effectively

It is so important for a restaurant to stay clean and sanitized. This guide on restaurant cleaning teaches how to clean a restaurant effectively.

Keyword(s): restaurant cleaning


An interesting byproduct of the COVID-19 outbreak is that businesses are more vigilant than ever before when it comes to proper sanitization. This is especially true when it comes to restaurants, many of which were immediately shut down in accordance with government regulations.

But, the steps for proper restaurant cleaning aren't always immediately clear.

Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered. Let's take a look at everything you need to know.

Where Should I Begin?

It can be difficult to understand where you should start your sanitization process. After all, restaurants have plenty of surfaces that employees, customers, or both come in to contact with.

The truth is that you’ll simply need to clean and disinfect all major areas. Let’s explore how to go about it.

The Kitchen

You can start in the kitchen area. Even if every other section of the restaurant is clean, your employees will unintentionally or unknowingly spread contaminants from the kitchen as they navigate through the restaurant.

For example, a properly sanitized dining area easily become contaminated in a short period of time as servers take dishes from cooks.

Additionally, uncooked food (such as raw beef) could carry pathogens that may spread to kitchen surfaces. Left unchecked, this could put your employees' health at risk.

When sanitizing this area, it’s important to disinfect both the cooking surfaces and the equipment. Cutting boards, blenders, etc. should never be neglected due to their frequent use. 


As you may expect, the restrooms of a facility need to be constantly sanitized. This becomes even more essential if both employees and customers share the same restroom.

Assuming that everything in the restaurant except the bathroom is clean, it won’t take much time at all for contaminants to spread. One patron using the bathroom a single time could transmit bacteria to their dish, which eventually makes it back into the kitchen.

If this occurs at the beginning of the restaurant's operating hours, then potentially hundreds or thousands of people have then been put at risk in a single day.

It’s also important to have your restaurant employees stay aware of the condition of the bathrooms so they can be cleaned and sanitized as necessary.

Dining Area

All services in the dining area need to be vigilantly cleaned. This means table should be sanitized before customers are seated, and then immediately after they leave.

The same can be said for bar tops, chairs, and anything else that customers may frequently come in to contact with. Doorknobs, handrails, etc. are also common services to consider.

In addition, it’s critical not to forget things like condiment bottles and menus. In fact, menus are often the surface in a restaurant that customers come in to contact with the most.

If you have an area outdoors that’s used for dining, it’s not recommended to clean or disinfect wooden surfaces. Since wood is porous, it’s fairly difficult to tell if any present contaminants have been properly dealt with.

To prevent facilitating the spread of COVID-19, these areas should be roped off and your facility should disallow customers from sitting there.

Storage Areas

Although these areas of the restaurant are less frequently interacted with than the others, they are sometimes areas that facilitate the growth of mold. Over time, unchecked mold growth can impose a significant health risk on your staff.

Fortunately, mold is relatively easy to spot and eliminate.

Be sure to clean and sanitize surfaces in a storage area that your employees would touch to avoid spreading contaminants for the rest of the restaurant.

How Should I Go About the Cleaning Process?

Although sanitization is the end goal, you’ll need to make sure that you clean surfaces first before you disinfect them. Otherwise, the disinfection process may not work properly and the affected area may not be entirely safe to interact with.

Since most cleaning chemicals are dangerous to come in to direct contact with, you’ll need to wear protective clothing. Disposable gloves are a must, and it’s best if you limit the amount of skin that you expose.

Additionally, ensure that the area you’re cleaning remains properly ventilated for the duration of the process. Inhaling cleaning products within a close space can result in significant health complications even after only a short period of time.

There are plenty of cleaning products to choose from, but not all of them are EPA approved, biodegradable, etc. As a business, it’s in your best interest to stock those that are.

Once a surface has been sanitized, it should be roped off until the product has completely dried to avoid causing complications for employees or customers. 

The Process Is Ongoing

Deep cleaning a restaurant once will only ensure that old contaminants are destroyed. Since people are frequently coming in and out of the facility even if it’s just employees, you’ll need to keep cleaning and sanitizing as time goes on.

In fact, surfaces should be cleaned each day to prevent the buildup of contaminants. Only by remaining vigilant will you ensure that your restaurant as a safe place for people to be. 

Implementing Proper Restaurant Cleaning Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn't have to be.

With the above information about restaurant cleaning in mind, you'll be well on your way toward ensuring that your facility is as sanitized and safe as possible.

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