Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

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Restaurant kitchens must be completely cleaned every night. Whether you have an experienced staff or a novice crew, kitchen cleaning is more efficient if you post a list of nightly duties. A list of expected cleaning jobs ensures team members will thoroughly clean all areas without forgetting anything. Your list also can help eliminate health hazards due to food spoilage on surfaces.


Stack of plates in kitchen
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Cleaning dishes makes up a large portion of kitchen duties at the end of the night. Make sure all dishes are washed, rinsed and sanitized according to local health department codes. Post dishwashing methods on the wall above the dish sink.

Hot Equipment

Deep fryer in professional kitchen
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Clean hot equipment after it has cooled down. Spraying cleaner on hot oven doors or other surfaces can create dangerous fumes, so always wait for the equipment to cool. Wipe down all equipment surfaces, making sure that grease and spilled food have been removed.

Mechanical Equipment

Mixer in restaurant kitchen
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Break down any equipment, such as mixers or can openers, into parts. Clean each part separately, making sure that all food residue has been removed. Put the equipment back together.

Food Prep Surfaces

Chef cutting beef
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Wash all food preparation surfaces such as tables or cutting boards. Make sure all food and grease have been removed. Spray the cleaned surfaces with a sanitizing solution and let the surfaces air dry.


Kitchen floor getting cleaned
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Clean your restaurant kitchen floors as the last duty of the night. Sweep thoroughly, making sure all food is removed from beneath equipment and from walk-in refrigerator floors. Mop the floors with a commercial floor mop solution, mixed according to your manufacturer's directions. Rinse the floors with clear water to remove any soap residue and allow the floors to air dry.


About the Author

Victoria Bailey has owned and operated businesses for 25 years, including an award-winning gourmet restaurant and a rare bookstore. She spent time as a corporate training manager in the third-largest restaurant chain in its niche, but her first love will always be small and independent businesses. Bailey has written for USAToday, Coldwell Banker, and various restaurant magazines, and is the ghostwriter for a nationally-known food safety training guru.

Photo Credits

  • 1069 - l'heure de la vaisselle image by Michel Bazin from