As we move further into 2021, we’ve been relatively lucky here in Australia – and compared to places like the USA and UK, things are returning to a new type of normal. Eating at restaurants and hitting the bars and pubs, is something many of us took for granted until last year. Now though, we realise just how much freedom means and food and beverage venue owners realise just how crucial it is to take care of their customers.
Although we’re on track to be back to operating at full capacity, business owners need to remember that COVID-19 is still around – and it can hit us again at any time. All it takes is one customer or employee, to be in contact with a carrier, and it can shut down entire cities within days. We saw this in Brisbane in January where one cleaner tested positive, and everything shut down for three days as a precaution. And in Melbourne last year, where one security guard testing positive led to months of full lockdown.
As a business owner, it’s easy for you to do your part – simply follow the guidelines! Aside from ensuring your contact tracing is at 100% efficiency, cleaning standards need to remain high to prevent the spread, should one of your customers be positive. The following checklist is designed to help you maintain the highest standards and keep your business operating, according to AIFS standards:
Front Of House
Front of house is the meeting point for customers, so it’s essential you keep this area spotless. Wipe down all counters and walls daily, clean the floors, sanitise door handles, rails and elevator buttons. Clean dining tables and seats, sanitise restroom surfaces and disinfect toilets, empty the garbage every day and sweep and mop all your floors. You should also wipe down your condiments, clean napkins and tablecloths and sanitise your menus.
Most of your cleaning front of house needs to be completed daily, however, you should wipe down your lights and fixtures every week, and wash your windows and doors.
Dust any art or decorations and wash the walls.
In The Kitchen
Every day, you should be cleaning down your surfaces, equipment and other items. For surfaces, clean the sinks, sweep walk-in refrigerators and storage areas, sweep and mop your floors, clean out your garbage bins and disinfect waste disposal areas, and of course clean and sanitise any preparation spaces and walls.
Your equipment also needs a good clean, including your cooking surfaces (grills and fryers), equipment such as coffee makers and toasters, utensils and glassware, and clean your drink dispenser heads and guns. You should also replace empty paper towels, wash uniforms and rags, and refill all soap dispensers every day.
Weekly, you want to take more time with the areas mentioned above. Clean the lime from sinks, faucets and floor drains, sanitise your walk-in spaces such as fridges and freezers, clean your ovens and deep fryers thoroughly, and clean floor mats and anything else you didn’t include in the daily wash.
Once a month, you should sanitise your coffee machine, ice machine and freezer. Also empty any grease traps and clean fridge coils, wash all the walls and ceiling, and replace any traps for pests.
Restrictions are easing, borders are opening, and although as a country we’re all aware this could change at any time, it allows us to start planning, albeit with caution. Do your part to keep your customers and workers safe, and with any luck, business will return to full capacity in 2021.
Food businesses must ensure that they maintain a high standard of cleanliness at all times. This is key for food safety and the prevention of food-borne illness outbreaks. Restaurant owners and managers can maintain a clean restaurant by following a detailed restaurant cleaning checklist. A restaurant deep cleaning checklist should include a kitchen cleaning checklist (back-of-house cleaning) as well as a dining room cleaning checklist (front-of-house cleaning).
Running a successful and compliant food business involves adhering to food safety regulations and standards. This means having a clean and safe business is a top priority. By breaking down the cleaning tasks into daily, weekly and monthly categories, food businesses can ensure they are getting all their cleaning tasks done as needed. Using the restaurant cleaning checklist for both the kitchen and front-of-house is the best way for restaurant owners and managers to achieve a hygienic and food safety compliant business.
It is a legal requirement that all Australian food businesses follow and comply with federal and state legislation, which includes maintaining a clean and safe establishment. Also, clean restaurants have higher amounts of returning customers which means more revenue and success.