If you own a fine dining restaurant or a catering service or even a small town fast food establishment, then I’m pretty sure that you have a commercial kitchen. And the sign of a booming business or growing sales is the number of activities going on in the kitchen. Orders are lining up so fast you don’t have time to even go to the bathroom sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a very good indication of a thriving industry for you. And with the orders that come out, the dirty come back in. And by dirty I mean, plates, forks, knives, more plates, champagne glasses, you get my gist. You probably didn’t really think a whole lot about this since most of the time was for preparing the meals, not the aftershocks. I’m here to help. The following are some tips for cleaning a commercial kitchen.
After Shifts and Meals
After EVERY Cooking Shift:
– Thoroughly brush the grill in between times of cooking meat, poultry, and fish. Trust me, the customers will know if you took the quick route. Then goodbye income.
– Completely sanitize and wipe the preparation sections
– Always change cutting boards after every cooking shift.
– Regularly replace the water for cleaning and the wipedown rags.
– Never forget to take out the trash; the bins should always be empty.
After Each Meal (i.e. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner):
– Wash, rinse and completely purify all the cooking and serving items (pans, trays, silverware, utensils, Chinaware, etc).
– Scrub and rinse the grill
– Clean out the disinfectant containers
– Place all cleaning cloths in wash area
– Place all coats (chef and aprons) in wash area (but never with the cleaning rags)
– Remove dirt and grime from all surfaces (i.e. prep sections, food cutting area)
– Clear steam counter and sanitize
– Wash with soap and rinse slicers (i.e. meat and cheese)
– Close each container with sanitary plastic wraps
– Clean up floor mats
– Mop and sanitize the whole kitchen floor
– Mop and sanitize the walk-in refrigerator
Weekly Cleaning List:
– Clear all coolers and wash and disinfect thoroughly
– Remove lime and grime from every sink and faucet
– Empty and wash the coffee machine
– Inspect and clean the stoves and ovens. Make sure you follow each individual brand’s manual for cleaning so you stay away from voiding warranties in case of damage.
– Knives need to be filed and sharpened as often as possible (in our case, weekly will work fine)
– Make sure all the iron cookery equipment are oil cleaned.
– Make use of drain cleaners to avoid stuck up drainage (ugh, the absolute worst).
– Sanitize the ice machine, if you have one.
– Ovens should be fine-tuned to avoid overcooking or undercooking.
– Same with the thermometers.
Monthly Cleaning List (always double-check that these don’t get overlooked since it’s only once a month):
– Clear the backs of the hotline equipment (stoves, ovens, fryers, etc). This is to drastically reduce build up of grease and grime; a very dangerous fire risk.
– Empty and clean freezers.
– File and sharpen the slicers (meat, cheese, etc).
– Sanitize and clean the side walls and even the ceilings. It’s in the details.
– Completely go through the dry storage area and see if there are potential rodent dangers.
– Often overlooked but very critical to replenish the first aid kit.
– Update your inventory, not just the perishables but also the equipment, and immediately repair those that are damaged.
Of course, this is not the most complete and most meticulous list but I hope this helps you in cleaning a commercial kitchen. If you think that this is too much work and hassle, then maybe it would be a good idea to find a cleaning company in your area that can do it for you, for a reasonable fee.
Locate a cleaning service that has the expertise as well as the trained “cleaners” that can handle everything that is thrown their way. Make sure they can completely sanitize even the dirtiest kitchen. Do this today and see your stresses and worries completely cleaned out (pun intended).