Most restaurants do a great job with the day to day cleaning tasks – cleaning tables and chairs, sweeping and mopping, cleaning and restocking the bathrooms, cleaning the kitchen prep areas, taking out the trash, etc. DHEC performs inspections to ensure that restaurants are keeping the areas sanitary to prepare the food. However, many restaurants do not have routine or deep cleanings scheduled to clean areas that are routinely skipped during the daily cleaning tasks. Here are some areas to pay attention to that may require a commercial kitchen deep cleaning service.
Take some time to look closely at these areas. Although the customers may not have access to some of these areas, pictures of dirty areas on social media may hurt the image of a restaurant. Start in the food prep area – generally, the kitchen, then work your way around the restaurants. Pay close attention to the bathrooms, the bar, the dining area, and the entrance/exit and look for areas where dirt and debris may have started to build up.
The kitchen area is unlikely to be viewed by many guests, but DHEC spends more time here than the other areas. Depending on the equipment in the restaurant, the fryers generally have built-up grease on the sides, backs, cabinet doors (both sides), under the fryer, the wall behind the fryer, and the hoses and pipes leading to the fryer or connected to the other appliances. Simply put, grease isn’t simple to remove and if this hasn’t been done in months (and sometimes years), be prepared to spend a lot of time removing the grease. Using a steamer may help eliminate the grease.
Inspect the other kitchen appliances. The grill tends to attract build up on the sides and back as well. All appliances touching the fryers should be inspected and cleaned as well. The inside of the oven may need to be thoroughly cleaned and will take some time, even if routine cleaning is performed. Pull shelving away from the walls and inspect for splashes, drips, marks from the mop head, and other dirt or debris. Cleaning the walls generally doesn’t take long, but removing items from the shelving, moving the shelving, then returning it to normal could take much longer than the cleaning itself. Also, if the kitchen has a commercial ice maker, check under the ice maker, especially if there is a floor drain and thoroughly clean around the drain and pipe. Some kitchens have a mop sink and the sink should be cleaned inside and out.
Many restaurants have a bar area. Although the bar itself is generally cleaned after each customer, the underside of the bar generally gets neglected. It isn’t uncommon to find gum, old food and other unsanitary items stuck to the bottom of the bar. Additionally, although the chairs may be wiped off, the chair rails connecting the legs can be neglected. Mud, dirt, food, gum and other items can be stuck to this area, as well as the bottom section of the chair itself. If the bar has a kickplate or footrest, it may need to be thoroughly cleaned as well, and possibly polished if it is metal. The baseboards can get really dirty and can be visible to customers in some restaurants.
At almost all restaurants, when a customer leaves, the table or booth is bussed, then wiped off for the next customer. The surface wipe off may be sufficient for sanitary purposes, but, like the bar area, customers tend to place stuff on the bottom of the tables and chairs. If the table or booth is touching a wall, you may need to pull the table or booth away from the wall to inspect for cleanliness. Also, the leg or legs of the table or booth should be properly inspected and cleaned as well.
A dirty bathroom can turn customers off. If employees are cleaning the bathroom, they may be skipping the backs of the toilet tanks, the baseboards, the walls, the doors and handles, the handicap bar, the sides of the base of the toilet, rings inside the toilet bowl, dust on the wall lights, dust on the urinal and handles, the inside of the urinals, the bottom of the urinals (if there is a strong urine odor even after cleaning, definitely inspect this area), the area under the paper towel dispenser or hand dryer, and the floor grout.
For more information on commercial cleaning training, visit International Sanitary Supply Association at https://www.issa.com. For information on commercial kitchen cleaning service in or around Columbia, SC, click the blue link.
Mike Young is the CEO of Palmetto Commercial Services in Columbia, SC. PCS has cleaned hundreds of commercial kitchens and helps restaurants maintain their cleanliness by performing scheduled detailed cleaning services. PCS also helps restaurants with their DHEC inspections prior to opening and if issues arise during inspections. Mike has earned all 3 IICRC master certifications, crime scene cleaning certification, meth lab cleanup certification, environmental disinfection certification and CBRT certification from the American Bio Recovery Association. PCS has won multiple cleaning awards, including Best of the State Cleaning Service 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, Post and Courier/Free Times Best Cleaning Company 2019, 2020 and 2021, BBB Torch Award for Business Ethics 2017, Lexington Life Magazine Best Restoration Service 2021 and 2022, Top Rated Local Best Janitorial Service in South Carolina 2019, 2020 and 2021, Columbia Metropolitan Magazine Best commercial cleaning Service 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 and SC Best in Business Best Janitorial Service in SC, Best Floor Cleaning Service and runner up for Company of the Year 2021. Mike helps other commercial cleaning companies by writing cleaning service SEO blogs.