Starting your own restaurant cleaning business will take some dedication and hard work, if you want it to be successful. Make sure that you take your time setting up your business properly and that you do not rush any of the steps. Having all of your paperwork in order is just as important as doing an efficient job cleaning. Since you will be starting this business from the ground up, initially you will be responsible for managing every aspect of it: marketing, labor and bookkeeping.
Starting your cleaning business
Determine exactly what kind of cleaning you will be doing. Make a list of all the areas you are willing to clean, such as the dining room, the kitchen and the bathrooms. Be specific about what you will do in each area. Will you only sweep and vacuum the floor in the dining room, or will you also clean the windows? Will you clean the whole kitchen or only mop the floor? In the bathrooms, are you going to make the toilets spotless or just clean the sink? Put everything in writing so that there will be no confusion as to your responsibilities. You can always add a task if a customer requests something specific and you are willing to do it. Be flexible, but remember that having everything in writing will make running the business easier.
Learn as much as you can about health inspections for restaurants. Each state has its own rules and regulations about health inspections, so contact your health department to receive information about restaurant sanitation codes. Ask a health inspector questions about his job and what kinds of violations he finds that can be prevented with proper cleaning. Ask him about any required cleaning equipment and cleaning products and make sure your business uses them. You will be able to tell your customers that you know the requirements for having a clean restaurant that will pass inspection.
Create a flier explaining how you are in the business to help restaurants. Outline the services you offer, and remember to mention that you are familiar with health codes. Distribute your fliers to interested restaurant managers. Ask local restaurant employees if they have an outside cleaning service come in to help clean after hours, and offer to give their manager information about your restaurant cleaning business.
Go to http://www.IRS.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99336,00.html to research the federal tax and accounting requirements that pertain to starting a small business. Also, you will need to check your local and state regulations for operating a small business. Keep a log of all of your customers' names and addresses, what services you did for each of them, how much they paid, and whether they paid in cash or by check. Remember, unless you hire someone to do your book work, you will have to do it yourself.
Clean each restaurant like you own it. Keep a log of everything you do for every cleaning. Make a checklist to go through when you have finished cleaning. This checklist will help you confirm that you have done all the agreed upon cleaning, and it will help you ensure that the restaurant meets state and local health requirements. Be sure to let the manager know of any red flag areas you notice while cleaning, even if it is not in your work description. For instance, if while you are wiping down a booth you notice a spring popping out of one of the seats, you should let someone know so that they can fix it.
Write down everything you agree to clean and stick to that agreement.