Restaurant Cleaning Checklist: Useful Tips for Food Businesses

Cleaning a food business can be overwhelming. A cleaning checklist can help businesses maintain a consistent schedule and process.
January 7, 2021

Food businesses must ensure that they maintain a high standard of cleanliness at all times. This is key for food safety and the prevention of food-borne illness outbreaks. It is a legal requirement that all Australian food businesses follow and comply with federal and state legislation, which includes maintaining a clean and safe establishment. Also, clean businesses have higher amounts of returning customers which means more revenue and success.

Restaurant owners and managers can maintain a clean restaurant by following a detailed restaurant cleaning checklist. A restaurant deep cleaning checklist should include a kitchen cleaning checklist (back-of-house cleaning) as well as a dining room cleaning checklist (front-of-house cleaning).

Whether you work in a restaurant or any other type of food business, use the following cleaning checklist to ensure a clean, safe and compliant food establishment.

Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Following a kitchen cleaning schedule is essential for food safety and preventing food safety hazards. Keeping the kitchen clean in a restaurant (or any other type of food business) is not only necessary for preventing food contamination and food-borne illnesses, it’s the law. Australian food businesses can be inspected by Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) at any time. Food businesses found not in compliance with food safety laws, such as not maintaining a cleaned and sanitised kitchen, can face fines or even closure. 

Use the following checklist as a guide for what should be cleaned daily, weekly and monthly in the kitchen.

Daily

Surfaces

  • wipe down walls where food has splattered
  • clean and sanitise surfaces in preparation areas
  • clean the sinks
  • sweep and mop the floors
  • sweep walk-in refrigerators
  • sweep storage areas
  • clean garbage cans
  • disinfect waste disposal area

Equipment

  • clean cooking surfaces such as grills, ranges and fryers (be sure to clean underneath)
  • change the foil lining on top of grills and ranges
  • wipe down equipment (beverage machines, coffee makers, espresso machines, microwaves, toasters, etc.)
  • clean beverage dispenser heads and tips of soda dispenser guns
  • wash utensils, flatware and glassware

Other items

  • wash rags, towels, aprons and uniforms in washing machine
  • refill soap dispensers
  • replace empty paper towel rolls
  • take out the recycling
  • take out the garbage

Weekly

Surfaces

  • clean lime from the sinks and faucets
  • clean and sanitise walk-in refrigerators and freezers
  • clean floor drains with drain cleaner

Equipment

  • clean ovens (be sure to clean the walls, door and racks)
  • clean the deep fryer (boil it out)

Other items

  • clean floor mats

Monthly

Surfaces

  • wash walls and the ceiling
  • wash behind the hot line
  • wash vent hoods (this can be done every couple of months)

Equipment

  • clean and sanitise the coffee machine and espresso machine
  • empty, clean and sanitise the ice machine (every 6 months)
  • clean and sanitise the freezer
  • clean refrigerator coils
  • empty grease traps

Other items

  • Replace pest traps

Front-of-house Cleaning Checklist

Keeping the front-of-house clean provides a safe and healthy dining experience for customers. When customers come to a restaurant to eat, they expect to dine in an environment that is tidy, clean and inviting. The experience of dining in a food business that is unclean is enough to turn away customers and hurt a business’s bottom line. Using a cleaning checklist for a restaurant dining room (and other front-of-house areas) ensures that cleanliness standards are maintained.

Use the following checklist as a guide for what should be cleaned daily, weekly and monthly in the front-of-house.

Daily

Surfaces

  • wipe down walls as necessary
  • clean and wipe down counters
  • vacuum carpets
  • sweep and mop floors
  • clean and sanitise door handles and railings
  • clean and sanitise access buttons / elevator buttons

Furniture

  • clean and sanitise dining tables
  • clean and wipe down seats and benches

Restrooms

  • clean and sanitise restroom surfaces
  • disinfect toilets
  • clean restroom sinks
  • empty out feminine hygiene containers / garbages
  • take out the bathroom garbage
  • sweep and mop restroom floors
  • clean and sanitise door handles and railings

Other items

  • clean and wipe down condiments / salt and pepper shakers
  • clean cloth napkins, tablecloths, and aprons in washing machine
  • take out the garbage and recycling
  • clean garbage and recycling bins
  • clean and sanitise credit card machines
  • clean and sanitise menus

Weekly

Surfaces

  • clean and wipe down the light fixtures
  • wash glass windows and doors

Monthly

Surfaces

  • dust items on walls (e.g. art or decorations)
  • wash the walls

Running a successful and compliant food business involves adhering to food safety regulations and standards. This means having a clean and safe business is a top priority. By breaking down the cleaning tasks into daily, weekly and monthly categories, food businesses can ensure they are getting all their cleaning tasks done as needed. Using the restaurant cleaning checklist for both the kitchen and front-of-house is the best way for restaurant owners and managers to achieve a hygienic and food safety compliant business.

Food businesses can download and print off the AIFS Restaurant Cleaning Checklist for an even easier way to implement their cleaning schedule.