66% of customers won’t return to a restaurant with a subpar hygiene standard.
Keeping up with hygiene standards is imperative for restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and other venues where food preparation takes place.
And while the kitchens in such venues are where all the magic takes place, they can also be challenging to keep clean.
As a result, many venues don’t put the necessary emphasis on their cleaning routine — 39% of hospitality workers believe that their kitchen equipment could be cleaner.
However, maintaining a clean kitchen doesn’t have to be challenging. Just like following a comprehensive recipe is key to preparing a spectacular meal, following a specific maintenance routine is key to keeping your kitchen in pristine condition.
That’s where a commercial kitchen maintenance checklist can help, as a thorough step-by-step guide to cleaning and maintaining your kitchen.
In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about a commercial kitchen maintenance checklist: what it is, what it should cover, and why you should create one using mobile forms.
Commercial Kitchen Maintenance Checklist: What Is It?
A commercial kitchen maintenance checklist is a comprehensive guide to cleaning and maintaining the different areas of your kitchen.
A kitchen maintenance checklist is usually a form that outlines the areas your cleaning routine should cover, the cleaning procedures that each area commands and the tools you will need to get the job done.
A maintenance checklist can also go further than just cleaning and include steps that will help you ensure that the equipment and appliances in your kitchen are working properly.
The goal of such a checklist is to help you build a solid, straightforward cleaning and maintenance process so you don’t have to spend extra time and resources figuring out how to get your kitchen to shine.
What Equipment Should Your Commercial Kitchen Maintenance Checklist Include?
Including all the necessary cleaning and maintenance equipment in your checklist has the same purpose as the checklist itself — to help you make sure that you’re well-prepared for the cleaning routine in advance.
Your maintenance checklist may include the following tools:
- A professional-grade degreaser
- Microfiber towels
- Rubber gloves
- An all-purpose cleaning solution
- A heavy-duty vacuum cleaner
- A glass cleaner
- Trash bags
What Areas Should Your Commercial Kitchen Maintenance Checklist Cover?
The goal of the checklist is to help you clean your kitchen as thoroughly as possible, which means it should cover as many areas as possible, to ensure that nothing is missed.
Area #1: Ranges
The ranges are where the frying, boiling, and sautéing takes place. Because of all the spills and hot oil splashes, they tend to get quite dirty after a busy day.
The high temperatures mean that ranges can also be dangerous — if they’re not cleaned and maintained properly, that is.
To keep your ranges safe and working properly, be sure to add the following routine to your checklist:
- Degrease and wipe the burners, the grates, and other surfaces
- Clean behind and under the range
- Clean the valve knobs and ensure they work properly.
Area #2: Ovens
Just like ranges, ovens also tend to get quite contaminated over time.
The more you neglect them, the more difficult it is to deep-clean them.
Be sure to include the following oven-cleaning steps in your checklist:
- Degrease and wash the racks
- Degrease and wipe the walls of the oven
- Clean the heating elements and the fan
- Wipe down and lubricate the rubber seals
Area #3: Fryers
Fryers can be found in a variety of commercial kitchens, from fast-food venues to high-end restaurants.
Compared to other appliances, poorly maintained fryers affect the quality of the food prepared in them more directly and noticeably.
This is why fryers demand extra attention — and a prominent spot in your restaurant maintenance checklist.
To make sure that your customers never complain about their French fries, include the following steps in your checklist:
- Dump and flush out the old oil
- Thoroughly rinse and degrease the fry baskets
- Inspect whether combustion fans are working properly
- Degrease and wipe down the fryer exterior
Area #4: Refrigeration Areas
Freezers, refrigerated drawers, free-standing and walk-in fridges, cold storage rooms — all of these fall under the category of refrigeration areas.
Since there is usually no food preparation taking place in such areas, keeping them clean is relatively simple.
The refrigeration areas section on your checklist should focus more on maintenance and ensuring that all of these areas are doing their job of keeping food cold.
More specifically, the steps to include in your checklist are:
- Adjust the thermostats to the appropriate temperature levels
- Clean and lubricate seals and gaskets
- Ensure that the door hinges and rails work well
- Check wiring installations and connections
- Remove excessive ice or moisture
- Discard expired food items
Area #5: Food Preparation Areas
Keeping all the kitchen appliances clean and functional should be an important part of your kitchen cleaning routine.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should neglect the more mundane areas — floors, countertops, shelves, tables and other areas where food preparation takes place.
Be sure to give these areas the attention they deserve by including these procedures in your checklist:
- Dust, vacuum, and mop the floors
- Wash or vacuum rugs and mats
- Wipe and disinfect countertops and tabletops
- Wash and disinfect all of your utensils
Area #6: Washing Areas
The final section to include in your checklist are the areas where the washing takes place — namely, the sinks and the dishwashers.
The idea of cleaning these areas might seem counterintuitive. After all, their sole purpose is to wash and clean.
However, when it comes to commercial kitchens, there is no such thing as too clean — and washing areas can be deceptive in this sense.
To ensure that your sinks and dishwashers remain as clean as the rest of the appliances and surfaces in your kitchen, add the following steps to your checklist:
- Ensure that the drains and drainpipes are clean and flush them if necessary
- Clean the faucets from limestone and other deposits
- Inspect and clean the dishwasher filter and drainage
- Wash and dry the dish racks
Why Should You Create A Commercial Kitchen Maintenance Checklist Using Mobile Forms?
When creating a maintenance checklist, one of your main goals should be for it to be easily accessible by all members of the kitchen staff.
And because of that, using a physical format such as a paper form is hardly the best solution.
Paper forms can get lost and tend to wear out over time — and all the smoke, steam and spilled liquids that are so common in busy kitchens only shorten their lifespan.
Another big drawback of paper forms is simply how unhygienic they can get while changing hands, surfaces, and spaces, which is unacceptable in a commercial kitchen.
That is why a mobile form platform is a superior solution for creating a kitchen maintenance checklist.
Mobile forms are completely virtual and cloud-based — which means that you won’t have to invest in printing paper and worry about wear, tear, or hygiene.
The investment part alone can be a significant factor — paper can add up to an $8,000 dent in your budget every year.
Additionally, the cloud-based nature of mobile forms means that they can be easily shared within your organization and edited on the go — all you need to access and edit a mobile form is your smartphone.
Commercial Kitchen Maintenance Checklist Takeaways
Cleanliness is a top priority for any commercial kitchen, high-end restaurants, and fast-food venues alike.
However, the necessary amount of cleanliness can be hard to achieve due to the sheer amount of attention to detail that is required when thoroughly cleaning a kitchen.
This is where a kitchen cleaning checklist can help.
By listing the cleaning equipment you will need, the areas to focus on and the cleaning routine for each area, it enables you to take a coordinated approach to thoroughly cleaning your kitchen.
And as far as tools for creating a kitchen maintenance checklist go, mobile forms are the superior solution.
Their rich customization potential, instant accessibility, and cost-effectiveness will allow you to save time and resources both when creating your checklist and putting it to work.