Cleaning Responsibilities

Its Either Clean Or Its Not Clean

QUESTION from Lisa in Massachusetts (viaFB forum)

“I’m interested in knowing what kind of expectation is reasonable when it comes to the condition the cooks leave the kitchen in at the end of the night.

What should the cooks be required to clean?

What is left for the cleaning people?

Does a cleaning crew come is every night?

How long do you allow for closing or what is the average time it takes them to close? And How do you speed them up without adding additional staff?

Thank you.”


Dish pulls mats once line is 100% closed. Not almost closing but C-L-O-S-E-D.

Everyone cleans their station, equipment, walls behind and floor under.

Rotate full sweep or designate a sweeper.

Dish mops the BOH line before the dish line at end.

Cleaning crew deep cleans hoods on schedule per contract.

Line opens like new every single day.

I can’t tell you how important it is for the exec and sous to clean with crew periodically.

They MUST lead by example and show the right way / only way to clean (i.e, no ice on flat top - no spray directly on walls or return air hood - cut boards never left flat - etc...).

See brown grease stains on anything and I’ll bet my legs it will come off. Show them it does. Don’t EVER let anyone tell you: “I DID clean it. That’s as clean as it gets” because the more you let it slide the harder and harder it gets to clean any piece of equipment.

Talk to suppliers re: chems / no chems available and ask for demos (and MSDSs).

There can be no room for error in cleaning. Either its clean or its not.

Write down every step and make a book and/or laminate and post.

Hold everyone to the same standard.

Make it shine and look under the line.

As far as the time goes to get this all done...

It really depends on how big the place is.

You have to walk them through it a few times and time yourself (or your best employee) at each station.

Just the beginning (and most other times as well) right is better than fast.

And believe me - nobody wants to milk the clock at the end of the night after a long shift.

Good Luck,

Josh Sapienza