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10 Cleaning Tips for New Restaurant Owners

Running your own restaurant is a dream come true for food lovers, but it can also be quite messy. Keeping your establishment clean is vital if you want to keep customers safe and coming back for more, plus prevent a failing grade on your health inspection.

Here are 10 cleaning tips that are essential to follow. 

Wipe Down Your Condiments Daily 

It’s easy to forget about condiments on your tables, but ketchup, syrup, salt and pepper shakers hold bacteria and can become a sticky mess. 

You should wipe these items down with a clean cloth and water daily to remove any residue left by patrons.

If glass or other permanent containers are empty or contaminated, thoroughly wash them before putting them back out. This will keep them safe and sanitary and give customers a positive outlook on your business. 

Clean Your Trash and Recycling Bins

The average person might think cleaning garbage cans is overkill, but when you work in food service, you need to ensure everything is as sanitary as possible.

Your trash and recycling bins hold a lot throughout the day, including old food and floor sweepings. Using a disinfectant wipe when you take them out is a good idea. These cans are kept in and near your kitchen where you prepare food for your patrons, and cleaning them is one way to help ensure people don’t get sick. 

Pay extra attention to sanitizing products’ instructions to ensure you use them properly.

Invest in a Washing Machine

You might hand-wash your linens or take them home, but investing in a washing machine for your restaurant is better.

It’s much easier to throw cloth napkins, dishrags and other reusable items into an in-house machine than to get them sanitized for the next customer or worker who uses them. 

It also gives you and your employees a place to automatically put dirty items so they’re not sitting somewhere to contaminate things.

Ensure the washing machine is quiet enough to avoid disturbing your patrons. Light music can help if you have a smaller establishment. 

Look Over Your Plates and Cutlery 

Customers will notice how clean your restaurant is by your plates, bowls, glasses and cutlery. Dishwashing machines do a good job of sanitizing items, but they sometimes leave behind specks of food or residue.

It’s always a good idea to examine utensils and dishes to ensure nothing gross or unappealing is stuck on. Do the same for any kitchen gadgets that go through the wash to ensure debris doesn’t transfer to any dishes. 

Everyone’s heard a horror story about this, so checking everything beforehand can save you a bad review.

For more information on cleaning your plates and cutlery as well as other germ hotspots in your restaurant, please see the resource below.

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Dust Your Lights Weekly

Lights are an easily forgotten part of any business. Dusting them every week can ensure no dust comes down onto your tables or into a customer’s food.

Invest in a quality stepladder to safely reach fixtures throughout the restaurant. At the end of the week, carefully dust each lampshade and bulb.

Once you get into a routine, you shouldn’t notice any dust in the air below the lights. The process creates cleaner air around your tables. 

Wash Your Windows Regularly

Your windows say a lot about your restaurant from both the exterior and interior. Quality windows could last over 20 years with the proper care. 

Cleaning the inside and outside of your windows each week can help potential customers see what your business is about. It also gives people a great view outside. 

People who see what you’re all about are more likely to enter. 

Disinfect Door Handles

Your door handles may look clean, but they are covered in germs from your customers’ hands. Keep everyone healthy by regularly disinfecting them with a spray or wipe to keep bacteria at bay. 

Pay extra attention to this during cold and flu season, as you want to avoid a customer or staff member getting sick due to increased pathogens. Consider purchasing copper door handles since they are naturally antimicrobial. 

Clean Your Decorations 

It’s a good idea to clean any decor items monthly. Dust your picture frames, vases, tip jars and anything else around your restaurant. 

These items can collect dust and debris over time, and cleaning them regularly can help them look like new. 

Without it, your restaurant can come off as dirty or not cared for, damagine your reputation. 

Focus on Your Ceiling 

Your ceiling also collects dust and cobwebs that patrons may notice but not say anything about. That’s why it’s up to you to ensure it stays clean. 

Use a stepladder and duster with an extended arm to safely get into the corners and remove debris. 

Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to wash your ceiling with a sponge mop or other extended cleaning device. This can freshen it up and impact the look of your entire restaurant. 

Scrub Your Walls

The walls can use a wash now and then to keep them looking fresh for customers. 

Add a teaspoon of all-purpose cleaner to a quart of warm water. Do a test patch before cleaning the wall to ensure the solution won’t damage your paint.   

You can wash them quickly by using a sponge mop to cover a large amount at once. This will make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your restaurant. 

Keep It Clean 

Keeping your restaurant clean is necessary for your staff and customers. Taking the extra steps to sanitize your facility can make it look as good as your food tastes.

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