Managing the Cleanliness of Your Restaurant

I’m sure that upon entering another’s restaurant you begin noticing things that are either out of place, good ideas you could potentially put to use, or things that simply don’t make sense. One of the things you may notice are unclean, unkempt or dirty items; but you, like the rest of us, will know that keeping a restaurant spic-and-span is an ongoing struggle for restaurant management teams around the globe. Some manage cleanliness to such an exceptional degree that others wonder how it is possible to do so. The secrets really are simple, they are: organization, teamwork and motivation.


Keeping a cleaning schedule is one of the integral parts of ensuring that the cleanliness of your restaurant is kept in order. This can be managed through the creation and use of clear and concise, simple yet comprehensive cleaning sheets.

Two types of sheets are needed to properly organize the cleaning program of your restaurant: daily and weekly variations. The daily version will be for opening and closing your restaurant as well as for shift-changes, ensuring that everything is done right on a day-to-day basis. Weekly cleaning sheets, or “5” sheets, will contain a few tasks to be completed everyday which focus on the parts of your restaurant that need to be clean yet don’t need to be cleaned on a daily basis, such as cleaning the shelves under all your glassware or filling salt and pepper shakers.

You should also organize seasonal deep cleaning sessions to be completed during the quieter times of the year, often this is best during consecutive weekdays during the spring and the autumn.


Teamwork is a vital element of running an efficient and successful restaurant, so it’s no surprise that it is a vital element when managing the cleanliness of your restaurant. Make sure that you split the weight of your weekly cleaning tasks up equally between the AM and the PM shift. Also ensure that the daily cleaning tasks are properly weighted is equally as important; whilst your staff may work both shifts, unequal weighting of tasks are sure to create rifts between your employees. Regarding the completion of the sheets, introducing a policy of initialing rather than just ticking off different items will establish ownership of who cleaned what.


It can be hard to motivate your employees to complete tasks outside of the usual scope of their job. It can be even harder when some of those jobs involve getting down and dirty. Ultimately you need to have everyone on-board in order to make things run smoothly and how you want them too. In order to motivate your staff to not just complete the cleaning tasks but to complete them thoroughly, you should train them yourselves and the best way to do that is to do it alongside them rather than directing them on how to complete said task. Doing so will build their respect for you, help you to develop relationships with them, and motivate them to do their job well.

When you’re creating your cleaning schedules and sheets put out trial versions first with your best and most trusted employees. Have them give you feedback on your processes and help you finalize the sheets for introduction to your restaurant, introducing a method to properly organize and mange the cleanliness of your restaurant. After this, don’t neglect the opinions of the rest of your employees; taking their words into account will provide further motivation past the cleaning tasks and down to their everyday work and actions.


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Benjamin Michael Beddow

Food and Beverage Professional

As a food and beverage professional for over ten years, Ben has spent most of his time behind the bar, giving him a broad and in-depth knowledge of all things drinkable and drink related. Now, as a traveling freelance writer exploring the gastronomy, drinks, and food service industry of the world, Ben has taken his knowledge and experiences to the world wide web to share with others. The love for the trade never dies and Ben can still be found running around restaurants and slinging drinks in ski resorts in the USA during the winter season.

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