When it comes to the restaurant industry, cleaning up is simply part of the job. And it’s probably not your favorite part either. Your staff feels the same, and because they’re not wild about cleaning — and you’re not wild about the staff time it takes without recouping revenue — it pays to find ways to make your cleaning procedures as simple and efficient as possible.
We get that, and we want to help with our list of suggestions that can help you simplify cleaning practices in your restaurant.
- Start from a good base. Sometimes you simply have to bite the bullet, cost-wise — and if staying ahead of cleanliness issues is a problem in your restaurant, it’s time for a cleaning party. Bring your entire staff in, assign everyone a job and clean together. Your entire operation will benefit from this one instance.
- Automate when possible. Some chores are simply better handled out of human hands. Take your restaurant hoods or deep fryers, for example. Both present unappealing, potentially dangerous cleaning tasks, so take the human element out of them. Automated solutions like AutoMist for your hoods and Total Oil Management for your fryers can remove these tasks from your staff’s to-do list and ensure these areas are cleaned and cleaned right every single time.
- Divide and conquer. Once your deep clean is done, break your restaurant down into sections and assign each section to staff members during each shift. In the back of the house your cooks could be responsible for cleaning the area where they work and servers may have areas to clean based on when they leave. This process of divide and conquer creates accountability and gives you an easy way to see that everything is being cleaned as it should be.
- Determine what should be cleaned when. If you think your entire restaurant needs to be cleaned every day, frankly, you’re overdoing it. Some projects, like mopping your floors or cleaning your hoods should be done daily but other projects such as cleaning the freezer or sanitizing the ice machine are monthly tasks. The key is making sure that these monthly tasks remain that by assigning each a specific date on the calendar and repeating it.
- Make it a bonus situation. Sometimes the easiest way to solve cleaning problems in your restaurant is to apply the right motivation. If your manager’s bonus structure has traditionally been focused on sales and cost control, add cleaning specifications to the list. The parameters here could be based on a scoring system of your own, the health inspector’s report or some other such criteria. Just be sure you’re up front with your management team about the change and your expectations.