Essential Restaurant Cleaning Checklist For Overcoming Covid-19
During the current pandemic of Covid-19, restaurants have been hit harder than just about any other industry. Completely shut down for months, most were allowed to open in a limited fashion and with the promise to protect their patrons. These protections include reducing the number of people allowed into restaurants and creating social distancing rules for patrons.
Another way to adequately protect customers and staff is to make sure your restaurant is cleaned and disinfected. Your restaurant staff has experience with cleaning during normal times. During a time of a pandemic, it is doubtful they currently have the necessary skills to properly clean. For this reason you should consider hiring a professional cleaning company to do the job. In this article, we will discuss creating a cleaning checklist for handling Covid-19.
TIP: Here’s another great article we wrote on reopening your business during COVID-19 you might enjoy!
Why You Need a Checklist
There are several reasons you will need a checklist for your restaurant cleaning during Covid-19. If you’re not planning on hiring a commercial cleaner for in-depth coronavirus cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing services, it’s crucially important for your employees to follow a protocol.
Let’s take a look at the different reasons why and how a checklist will benefit your establishment.
- Assures all steps that need to be taken are listed: When making sure a restaurant is safe from Covid-19, there will need to be certain and specific steps taken. Restaurant staff is trained on how to clean in normal times. During a pandemic, the rules change. A checklist makes sure that each item that needs to be cleaned is listed.
- Make sure each step on the list is accomplished: By following a checklist and checking off each item, the staff does not have to remember what to do next. The list also provides evidence to supervisors and managers that the tasks have been completed.
- Explains in what order to clean: It is important to clean in a manner that states what must be disinfected and cleaned first. As an example, cleaning items that are higher in a room should take precedence over lower objects. Another idea is that items that are prone to touching should be cleaned in a certain order or at a more frequent rate.
- It is a good place to list the products needed: Do you use Clorox to clean a door handle or glass cleaner on a countertop. During a pandemic, you may use both. It really depends on what is best for killing viruses in this case. A checklist allows you to say what and when to clean and what products to use for each step.
- Instructions on how to clean: Just as with products to use, the proper way to clean can be included in a cleaning checklist.
- The last and one of the most important benefits is that a proper checklist helps keep everyone safe and allows the restaurant to stay open and make money for all employed.
A Cleaning Checklist For Your Restaurant
When building the cleaning checklist for your restaurant, make sure all of the information inside of it is clear and detailed. This does not mean it needs to be complicated. In fact, the checklist needs to be as simple as possible for everyone to be able to follow.
Make sure the checklist is in order from the first step until the last. The instructions should be clear to the staff to follow the order of the checklist. Since it is designed to give the best possible cleaning services and disinfecting methods, working out of the order of the list can be detrimental to the process.
As discussed, clear instructions need to be listed as to how to clean and what products to use. Again, make it clear to employees that the products chosen for each step are on purpose and should be adhered to.
The checklist needs to list all personal protective equipment required to do each cleaning step.
Always make sure that everyone is trained on the cleaning checklist and make sure your team is closely supervised during the first couple of runs to be sure that they understand it.
Other Items that may need to be included in your checklist as instructions may be:
- Warnings, such as what objects could be stained by certain cleaners
- What to do with towels, gloves, soiled rags, etc., that could also be considered a health hazard after cleaning should be listed
- Best practices and special instructions, like a certain way to move a cleaning brush to gain the best health benefit should be included.
- Instructions like not seating guests until certain items on the list are not checked off and approved by a manager.
The list can be as extensive as it needs to be to make sure your restaurant guests and staff are safe. You may also want to read this article here on why cleaning is important in the food industry. Follow the recommendations of disease specialists, such as the CDC and others, and incorporate this information into your checklist.
Items You May Not Think Of
Several items will be easy to think of to add to your checklist for cleaning. There will be, however, some things that are specific to Covid-19 that you haven’t thought of. Let’s now take a look at some steps you may need on your list that are not common to restaurant cleaning.
Items People Touch Frequently
- Door Knobs that are shared by everyone to open doors
- Backs of chairs that people touch to pull out
- All touch screens that are used for payment
- Light switches turned off and on by employees
- Shared handles to cabinets and drawers
- Company telephones that your staff answers for orders
- Keyboards and other control devices to computers
- Office supplies that are shared
- All breakroom areas that are shared
- All bathrooms should be cleaned with extra care.
- Cleaning closets
- Kitchen areas should be spaced out and cleaned by checklist listed staff in that area to keep cross-contamination from happening.
When it comes to Covid-19, we want to be as safe as possible so that we do not infect the public or the restaurant staff. It is also essential that we use a checklist to give us the best opportunity to do this.
Restaurants who have a plan and develop checklists for cleaning will be more successful than others who are not prepared. This allows the restaurant which is prepared to stay open and stay in business in the long term. Take the time with your staff to create a cleaning checklist based on keeping your employees, customers, and your business healthy.