Regular Cleaning Won’t Cut It: How Restaurant Cleaning Procedures will Keep Employees and Customers Safe during the COVID-19 Outbreak

In any restaurant operation, cleanliness is critical. With the added complication of the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent quarantine, restaurants are tasked with taking cleaning and disinfecting procedures to a new level. Your normal restaurant disinfecting and cleaning procedures need to be amped up, and we are here to help.


First and foremost, make sure that ALL of your cleaning supplies meet the CDC’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. You can also check the label of your disinfectants and make sure that they include an EPA “emerging viral pathogen” claim.

Another consideration to make here is to use reusable cleaning cloths instead of disposable wipes. Not only are disposable wipes more expensive, in a lot of cases they don’t do as good of a job. Disposable wipes will also just end up creating more waste at the end of the day, and margins are thin enough as they are without having to increase costs to keep your facilities clean. Just make sure to wash them after each use.

Cleaning Procedures

Restaurant Sanitizing Procedures ChecklistIn addition to your normal routine, there are 5 critical tips that need to be added to your cleaning procedures to keep your restaurant properly disinfected and prevent the coronavirus from spreading :

  1. When using an Environmental Protection Agency-registered hard surface disinfectant, it is important to carefully read and follow label directions for use and proper contact times. For food contact surfaces, thoroughly rinse with potable water.
  2. Make sure that all “high-touch” surfaces are disinfected hourly: Doorknobs, door handles, push plates, railings, light and air control switches, faucets, and toilet flush.
  3. Even with customers and employees wearing gloves, your point of sale equipment needs to be wiped down nearly constantly. High-touch equipment is the easiest way to spread any known pathogen and keeping them clean is critical.
  4. Employee cleanliness is absolutely essential. Employees need to make sure that they are not only changing their gloves out on a regular basis but are also thoroughly washing their hands throughout their shifts each time they replace their gloves.
  5. Regular and updated training, just like on any other standard procedures is especially important when it comes to decontaminating your restaurants. Make sure employees know what materials to use, how long to let them sit on a surface, and what materials should be used to clean which areas

Restaurant Sanitizing Procedures Checklist_download


What used to be a “once-a-day” type cleaning now needs to be done 3 times a day at least. This includes full wipe-downs of countertops, bar tops, lobby counters, and anywhere customers might be. Even if your restaurant lobbies aren’t open to the public, any areas where your employees are commonly gathered need to be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Employee restrooms should be disinfected multiple times a day, as well. Also, high-touch utensils need to be swapped out more frequently during shifts, especially if they are used by multiple employees.

Calling in the Pros

In the event that one of your locations has a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus, you will need to have your restaurant completely decontaminated. This is where Quest comes in. We offer professional decontamination services that follow all CDC, OSHA, HAZWOPER, and EPA cleaning guidelines. Our decontamination services also offer rapid nationwide mobilization of certified, and experienced technicians in full PPE, to effectively decontaminate any location. Our services can also be scheduled, so your locations don’t have to wait until there is a case to get thoroughly decontaminated on a regular basis.

The coronavirus quarantine is presenting unique challenges for restaurants, but they are still able to do business. Keeping their employees and customers safe has become priority number one.  Here is a downloadable Restaurant Sanitizing Procedures Checklist cleaning procedure checklist to help you create your restaurant’s cleaning and sanitizing procedures. Adhering to these guidelines and implementing these enhanced cleaning procedures will not only keep your customers safe, but they will also keep them coming back long after the quarantine is over.

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