The Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Schedule
A cluttered kitchen creates distraction, an irritation, a visual & philosophical drain on mise en place and the natural order of things in a proper kitchen. It can also pose a health or safety issue. A clean kitchen on the other hand promotes clear thoughts, focus, pride, and a greater realization of mise en place. Everything is clean, everything is “in its place”, everything is as it should be.
But how do you get to that “Nirvana” of kitchen cleanliness? If you tell your staff to “clean the kitchen” will your expectation be met? If you think that’s true then you will be constantly disappointed and disillusioned with your crew! What’s clean to them usually involves a 30 second wipe down with a rag. The only way to attain a clean kitchen which meets your expectations is to create, post, and verify (i.e. make sure they are doing it!) a clearly defined cleaning list. For a restaurant or catering operation, you need a very specific commercial kitchen cleaning schedule which details everything you expect to be cleaned, and when it is to be cleaned (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
For instance, telling the crew to “clean the stove” is opening the door for them to take the path of least resistance! Your laziest cook will simply wipe the top and say it is cleaned. If you want it done correctly then you need something more like this:
On Mondays clean the stove:
- clean the firewall, rail, oven doors and sides
- clean the stove grates
- remove & clean the burner units
- clean the burner ports or jets
- remove & clean the grease tray
- whatever else you expect to be done
This kind of detail makes it very clear what your expectations are and when the cleaning is to be done. It also makes it easy for you to hold your crew accountable…did they accomplish the task or not?
The Excel sheet below is a kitchen cleaning schedule which I created to help in my kitchen. It’s purpose is to do the “deep cleaning” of items which need to be detailed, not the daily cleaning which is expected at closing (that’s a separate list!). For instance, the stove is cleaned every night, but it is detailed once a week.
The deep cleaning list is broken down by station (saute, grill, saucier, pantry, day prep, night prep). Each station is assigned items which need to be deep cleaned as either a weekly or monthly routine. This results in every piece of kitchen equipment being detailed right down to the casters either once a week or once a month depending upon necessity or preference. I’ve chosen the slower days of the week for daily deep cleaning. And items which are detailed once a month I’ve assigned to week 1, week 2, etc, meaning that they have all week to complete that task so they can learn to plan an organize which day to do it.
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