Complete Guide to Creating a Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Schedule

May 16, 2024

As a restaurant operator, you know the importance of maintaining rigorous food health and safety standards. Keeping up with kitchen cleaning is one of the most effective tools to prevent food-borne illness, which affects an estimated 48 million people yearly. It also prevents pest infestations, cross-contamination, and the spread of bacteria. However, creating a commercial cleanliness schedule has additional, far-reaching benefits.

Read on to learn about all the benefits and how to draw up the most effective schedule for your restaurant.

5 Benefits of Restaurant Sanitation and Cleaning Schedules 

Sticking to a kitchen cleaning schedule means your establishment is always inspection-ready, safe for employees and customers, and immaculate.

1. No Task Goes Undone: Keeping a sparkling, industrial kitchen is no small task. There is a lot of equipment to clean, floors to mop, counters to sanitize, and more. With so many components of kitchen cleaning, having a clear list and schedule means everything is remembered. Ensuring all your bases are covered leads to a healthier environment for guests and employees.

2. Sanitation Record for Health Inspectors: Every commercial kitchen receives routine visits from its local health department. Owners who implement a checklist cleaning system can provide crucial checks and balances to their inspectors.

3. Everyone Plays a Part: Schedules can create a more egalitarian workload. Dividing duties by shift means all staff contribute equally to cleaning duties, which can go a long way to making a favorable environment for your crew. 

4. Consistency: When every cleaning task is completed according to the guidelines and timelines, the entire kitchen is cleaned consistently, making sanitation a quick duty instead of a major undertaking. 

5. Accountability: Assigned tasks give owners valuable insight into some of their employees’ habits. If one or a few duties seem like they are often missed, this allows management to reach out to staff who might be missing parts of their checklists. It’s an excellent opportunity for training. 

On the other hand, employers can see who goes above and beyond to ensure their duties are always impeccably executed and who might warrant an employee recognition perk.

How To Design an Effective Kitchen Cleaning Schedule 

Looking for tips on how to create a comprehensive kitchen cleaning schedule? Follow these tried-and-true recommendations.

Follow Food Hygiene Rules for Your Area and Establishment 

The first step to curating your cleaning schedule is to look at your area’s food safety requirements. From there, you can begin listing each item necessary to achieve compliance and safety.

Organize the Schedule by Priority 

Some cleaning duties require daily care, while others can be executed monthly. Construct a list of all your cleaning needs, then break them down into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.  For example:


  • Sanitize all food-prep areas
  • Wipe down and clean used equipment 
  • Disinfect points of contact such as light switches and door handles
  • Wash all utensils and cookware


  • Organize, clean, and sanitize refrigerators 
  • Clean out industrial equipment like deep fryers, coffee makers, and grease traps
  • Clean sinks and drains


  • Move and clean underneath major appliances, especially ovens and fryers
  • Sharpen knives and slicers
  • Check cleaning supplies
  • Change pest traps
  • Thoroughly inspect and clean major components like hoods, refrigerator coils, and ice machines


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Download Our Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

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