7 Common Restaurant Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

A well-maintained, clean kitchen

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Foodborne disease outbreaks can be devastating to a restaurant’s reputation, but so are common restaurant cleaning mistakes.  Did you know that seemingly small cleaning mistakes can contribute to this risk?

Below are 7 common restaurant cleaning blunders that can have big consequences.  By identifying these weak spots and implementing simple solutions, you can keep your customers safe, your staff healthy, and your restaurant thriving!

1. Different Surface, Same Cloth, Common Restaurant Cleaning Mistakes

Cleaning rags may seem like a basic tool, but their proper use requires attention to detail. Color-coding cloths can prevent cross-contamination by assigning specific colors to different areas. For example, blue cloths could be designated for cleaning surfaces in dining areas, while red ones are reserved for restroom cleaning. 
Additionally, understanding the importance of folding techniques and the choice of materials ensures optimal cleaning efficacy. Investing in microfiber cloths, which are more effective at trapping dirt and bacteria, can elevate your cleaning standards and contribute to a healthier environment for your patrons.

2. Neglecting Common Touch Points

Common Touch Points (CTPs), such as door handles, light switches, and menus, are hotspots for bacterial transmission due to frequent interaction with multiple individuals. Neglecting these areas can undermine your efforts to maintain a clean and hygienic environment. Regularly disinfecting CTPs with EPA-approved cleaning agents can mitigate the risk of cross-contamination and demonstrate your commitment to customer safety. Consider implementing a checklist to ensure these high-contact surfaces receive thorough cleaning and disinfection throughout the day.

3. Using Dirty Mops

Spills happen. It’s a fact of life in the restaurant business. Unfortunately, many restaurants make the mistake of using dirty mops to clean spills.  A mop drags across food debris, grease, and grime throughout the day, using that same mop to “clean” a spill simply spreads the mess around, rather than removing it. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria and increases the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks.

The solution?  Invest in a proper mopping system. Utilize color-coded mop buckets and mop heads.  This simple step helps prevent cross-contamination between different areas of the restaurant.  For example, a red mop head and bucket could be designated for restrooms, while a blue set tackles food prep areas.

Don’t forget the power of training!  Equip your staff with the knowledge they need to handle spills effectively. Train them on proper cleaning techniques, including proper disposal of mop water and frequent disinfection of mop heads. This ensures a prompt and effective response to accidents, keeping your restaurant safe and sparkling.

4. Using Generic Cleaning Materials

While a “one-size-fits-all” approach might seem convenient, it can fall short in a restaurant environment.  Generic cleaning products may not be strong enough to tackle specific challenges that arise throughout the year.

For instance, winter brings a whole new set of cleaning woes.  Salt and calcium deposits from snowy boots track in, leaving unsightly stains and potentially damaging floors if left untreated.  Using a generic floor cleaner won’t be enough.

Here’s the key: Get specialized cleaners for seasonal issues.  Invest in products designed to dissolve salt and mineral deposits, leaving your floors sparkling and protected.

5. Neglecting Restroom Maintenance

Let’s face it, restrooms are a make-or-break zone for any restaurant. A clean, well-maintained restroom assures customers are dining in a hygienic environment.  

How? Here are some common mistakes:

  • Infrequent cleaning leaves restrooms breeding grounds for bacteria and unpleasant odors.
  • Running out of toilet paper or soap is a surefire way to leave a bad impression. Inconsistent restocking creates frustration for customers and reflects poorly on your establishment.
  • Leaky faucets and malfunctioning toilets create an eyesore, waste water, and signal a lack of attention to detail.

The solution is simple: implement a rigorous restroom cleaning schedule. Regular inspections by staff ensure a constant eye on cleanliness and supplies.  By prioritizing restroom maintenance, you can transform these areas into a reflection of your commitment to hygiene and customer satisfaction.

6. Poor Waste Management

Every restaurant deals with mountains of waste – food scraps, takeout containers, used napkins. However, letting waste management become an afterthought can have disastrous consequences.

Overflowing bins create an eyesore, attract pests, and unleash a symphony of unpleasant odors. Not to mention, failing to separate recyclables and organics from general trash adds to overflowing landfills.

Train your staff on proper sorting procedures for recyclables, organics, and general trash.

7. Not Getting Professional Cleaners, Most Costly Restaurant Cleaning Mistake

Running a restaurant is a demanding job, and keeping it clean shouldn’t add to your stress. By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing smart cleaning practices, you can ensure your restaurant shines for both your customers and health inspectors.

That’s where Restaurant Cleaners comes in! We take great pride in our work and are obsessed with customer satisfaction. Our staff of skilled professionals are highly trained and incorporate the latest advances in technology, safety, education, and training. Restaurant Cleaners guarantees an outstanding level of professional cleaning services.

We are:

  • INSURED: Restaurant Cleaners carries four times the legal requirement for insurance, giving you peace of mind.
  • EXPERIENCED:  With 60+ restaurant locations cleaned on a nightly basis, Restaurant Cleaners knows how to properly clean and maintain your commercial kitchen equipment. 
  • TRUSTED: We have worked with everyone from mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 500 companies, providing a trusted and reliable cleaning service for businesses of all sizes.

Contact us today for a free quote and see how Restaurant Cleaners can help your restaurant shine!



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