Training Your Staff: Essential Kitchen Cleaning Techniques Every Restaurant Employee Should Know

An employee wearing gloves while washing dishes in a clean commercial kitchen

This stock photo shows a restaurant employee wearing protective gloves as they wash dishes in a commercial kitchen. The image emphasizes the importance of proper dishwashing techniques and maintaining a clean work environment for food safety and hygiene in restaurants.

A sparkling clean kitchen is the heart and soul of a successful restaurant. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential restaurant kitchen cleaning techniques every restaurant employee should know. These methods will ensure a safe, efficient, and hygienic work environment, leading to happier staff and more satisfied customers.

Starting with the Basics

1. Handwashing Techniques

Handwashing is the first line of defense against foodborne illnesses. Teach your staff the proper handwashing technique, which includes wetting hands, applying soap, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, rinsing, and drying with a clean towel or air dryer.

2. Wearing Gloves

Gloves are essential when handling food or touching surfaces that have come into contact with food. Train your staff to use gloves properly and change them frequently to avoid cross-contamination.

3. Preventing Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination can happen when raw and cooked foods, or foods that contain allergens, come into contact with each other. Educate your staff on how to prevent this by using separate cutting boards, utensils, and storage containers for different types of foods.

An employee wearing gloves while washing dishes in a clean commercial kitchen
Maintaining a clean and hygienic kitchen is essential for restaurant success. Here, a dedicated employee practices proper dishwashing techniques, ensuring food safety and cleanliness.

Deep Cleaning: The Nitty-Gritty

4. Degreasing

Grease can build up in various areas of the kitchen, including cooking equipment, exhaust hoods, and walls. Train your staff to use a degreasing agent to cut through stubborn grime, then scrub and rinse surfaces thoroughly.

5. Oven Cleaning

Ovens can accumulate baked-on food particles and grease, which can affect their performance and create a fire hazard. Teach your employees to clean ovens regularly using oven cleaner and following the manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Floor Maintenance

Slips and falls are common in restaurant kitchens, so it’s crucial to maintain clean, dry, and slip-resistant floors. Train your staff to sweep and mop floors daily, using a degreaser to remove grease buildup.

A staff member diligently applying degreaser to clean cooking equipment in a commercial kitchen
Keeping cooking equipment spotless is crucial for restaurant hygiene. This image showcases a staff member utilizing a degreaser to ensure cleanliness and optimal performance.

Equipment Care

7. Dishwashing Machines

Dishwashers are a vital part of a restaurant’s kitchen, so it’s essential to keep them clean and in good working order. Train your staff to clean and sanitize dishwashers daily, checking for any debris and removing it promptly.

8. Refrigerator and Freezer Maintenance

A clean and well-organized refrigerator and freezer help maintain food safety and reduce waste. Teach your employees to clean and sanitize these units regularly, checking for expired items and wiping down shelves and gaskets.

Specialized Cleaning Techniques

9. Cutting Board Care

Cutting boards can harbor harmful bacteria if not cleaned and maintained properly. Train your staff to clean and sanitize cutting boards after each use, and replace them when they become excessively worn or damaged.

10. Fryer Maintenance

Fryers require regular cleaning to prevent the buildup of grease and food particles, which can affect food quality and create a fire hazard. Teach your staff to clean fryers according to the manufacturer’s instructions, including filtering the oil and cleaning the fryer basket.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should restaurant employees wash their hands? Restaurant employees should wash their hands frequently, especially before handling food, after touching raw meats or other potential contaminants, and after using the restroom.

2. What is the proper method for sanitizing surfaces in a restaurant kitchen? To sanitize surfaces in a restaurant kitchen, use a commercial sanitizing solution or a mixture of bleach and water, following the manufacturer’s instructions for proper dilution. Apply the solution to the surface and allow it to air-dry.

3. How often should deep cleaning tasks, such as degreasing and oven cleaning, be performed in a restaurant kitchen? Deep cleaning tasks should be performed regularly, depending on the level of use and the buildup of grease and grime. Typically, degreasing should be done at least once a week, while oven cleaning should be performed every few weeks or as needed.

4. How can restaurant employees maintain a clean and organized workspace during busy service times? During busy service times, employees should practice the “clean as you go” method. This involves wiping down surfaces, cleaning utensils, and disposing of waste promptly to prevent clutter and maintain a clean workspace.

5. What is the best way to store cleaning supplies in a restaurant kitchen? Cleaning supplies should be stored in a designated area away from food storage and preparation areas. Store chemicals in their original containers and label them clearly to avoid confusion and the risk of cross-contamination.

6. How can a restaurant create a culture of cleanliness among its staff? A restaurant can create a culture of cleanliness by providing ongoing training on proper cleaning techniques, setting clear expectations, and recognizing employees who consistently maintain a clean and organized workspace.


Training your staff in essential kitchen cleaning techniques is crucial to ensuring a safe, efficient, and hygienic work environment. By following the methods outlined in this guide, your restaurant employees will be well-equipped to maintain a sparkling clean kitchen, leading to happier staff, more satisfied customers, and a thriving business.

  1. 05/08/2023 - Reply

    Your writing skills are amazing! I really love it! Can you review my website and maybe you can share tour thought about mine?


Back to top: