As restaurants begin to reopen around the country, the number one question everyone will be asking is: is it clean and safe to enter? The power rests in your hands to not only make sure your restaurant is as clean as possible but also to make sure everyone knows it.
To reduce the risk to your employees and customers, you’ll want to maintain a full-scale, end-to-end cleaning routine. You can never be too safe when it comes to cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, so here are our top recommendations for cleaning your restaurant during COVID-19.
1. Deep clean the whole restaurant.
To dispel any fear or worry from your employees and customers, a professional front-of-house and back-of-house deep-clean is in order. Hire a team of sanitation experts to nit-pick every inch of your building, leaving it sparkling and germ-free. This will not only keep your entire building safe and healthy but will show your employees and customers just how dedicated you are to keeping them safe.
2. Frequently clean high-touch, high-traffic areas.
As a hub for customers of all ages, high-traffic and high-touch surfaces are going to become a cesspool of germs and contaminants. A qualified professional should meticulously clean all of these surfaces with environmentally-safe chemicals and sanitize them with the appropriate sanitation solution. When customers touch a table, chair, or railing, there should be no doubt in your mind that they are safe from harm.
3. Make your front of house shine.
When people walk in the front door, your dining area should exude the utmost cleanliness and sanitation. From a sparkling bar to shiny tabletops, all surfaces should be wiped down and sterilized appropriately. This includes wiping down condiment containers, cleaning trash and recycling bins, and wiping down chairs. No surface should be neglected—your employee and customer health depends on it.
4. Keep a well-maintained back of house.
As a restaurant, it’s your job to provide safely-prepared food that won’t cause illness. All of your standard food safety protocols should be strictly followed during this time (and every time). As frequently as possible, it’s important to do the following:
- Clean and sanitize your grill, griddle, range, flattop, and fryer.
- Change foil lining on top of the ranges, grills, and flattops.
- Wipe down and sanitize coffee makers, microwaves, toasters, and meat slicers.
- Clean and sanitize beverage dispenser heads.
- Wash utensils, small wares, flatware, and glassware.
- Clean sinks.
- Refill soap dispensers and replace empty paper towel rolls.
- Sweep, clean, and sanitize walk-in refrigerators and storage areas.
- Clean and disinfect prep area surfaces.
- Take out trash and recycling. Wipe down the inside and outside of the container.
5. Wipe down and sanitize hard surfaces.
Throughout the entire restaurant, it’s important to clean every hard and non-porous surface thoroughly. Grimy hands, debris, and germ-filled particles are all ways bacteria can spread rampantly. Reduce the risk of Coronavirus throughout your restaurant by diligently wiping and sanitizing all surfaces, throughout the day. Your customers and employees will thank you for your dedication to their health and safety.
6. Clean your bathrooms every hour.
As a public restaurant, you have a lot of foot traffic in and out of your bathrooms each day from both employees and customers. This is often a place where germs spread.
Wipe down and sanitize any handles, surfaces, or fabrics in the bathroom multiple times a day—even every hour—to prevent these germs from spreading. Provide easily accessible hand sanitizer and hand soap to employees and customers to limit the amount of bacteria they bring back with them to tables, staff, or the kitchen.
7. Wash linens, towels, and uniforms.
Any fabric, from curtains to table linens, should be thoroughly washed as frequently as possible. Wash rags, towels, aprons, and uniforms in the washing machine in hot, soapy water. Then, dry them on a hotter-than-normal setting, fold, and store them where they are safe from potential contamination. Even if it’s safe from grimy hands, it could still have lingering bacteria within the fibers. Play it safe by laundering all curtains at least weekly, tablecloths, and napkins after each use, and towels every few hours.
8. Vacuum, clean, and sanitize floors.
Customers provide a steady income to your restaurant, but they also track in a lot of dirt and grime from the outside. Even employees walking from the back-of-house to front will likely track in potentially harmful bacteria and grime. Carpets and flooring should be frequently cleaned and sanitized. If there is any debris, it should be immediately removed and the spot should be cleaned. High-traffic areas may need to be maintained more frequently, but the rule of thumb is to clean multiple times throughout the day.
9. Provide your employees and cleaning team with PPE & safety tools.
Stock up on all the COVID-19 prevention essentials. Copious amounts of hand soap, hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves should stock your storage room. Give your team and customers all the materials and tools they need to keep themselves and others safe. Your cleaning team should also have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they work on the front lines to beat COVID-19.
As a precautionary measure, educate your entire team about health and safety measures they can take to stay safe. Enforcing frequent hand washing, replacing used linens, and sanitation of surfaces is a great way to kill off unnecessary bacteria before it can start to wreak havoc on your business.
10. Laminate your menus.
People touch menus all the time, including after they have their fingers in their mouths. Having laminated menus will make it much easier to wipe down and sanitize them after each use, and prevent the transfer of bacteria from one customer to another.
11. Consider fewer tables with more space between them.
Especially when re-opening, people will gravitate to restaurants that have more room and make them feel less crowded. Have a plan for spacing out your tables—at least six feet aparat—so customers feel comfortable and safe when dining at your restaurant. Getting a recommendation from a specialist about best practices is a great way to ensure you’re following CDC guidelines and making your restaurant as safe as possible.
12. Post reminders of cleaning protocols.
Once you open to the public, you won’t be relying on only your team to maintain cleaning protocols. People of all walks of life will be in close quarters with each other within the confines of your restaurant. Be sure to display fliers and signs that are easily visible to customers and employees with important COVID-19 prevention methods.
Encourage frequent hand washing, surface-wiping, and hand-sanitizing. Be in constant communication with everyone in your restaurant so they can reach out with any contamination concerns, questions, or requests.
13. Implement ongoing professional cleanings.
Though your entire team is highly trained in breaking down and cleaning all restaurant equipment and maintaining all back-of-house tools, it may be time to call in a professional to ensure your restaurant is as safe as it can be.
On-site industrial cleaning experts have the expertise and training to handle facility disinfecting and minimize the risk of viral contagions. In addition, having a specialized cleaning team is a great way to further reinforce your care for customer wellbeing.
Get a head start on cleaning and sanitizing your building today. From deep cleaning to routine sanitization, our team will work diligently to create a secure and germ-free environment for your team to resume their daily routines.
Ready to start working with our team? Contact us with the form at the top of this page, email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 877-663-6766.