Why Should I Hire a Professional Kitchen Cleaner When I Can Have My Staff Do It?
Restaurant margins can be tight. You don't want to spend money outsourcing a task that your staff is being paid to do. But there are some jobs beyond the abilities and time constraints of your staff, and heavy-duty kitchen cleaning is one of them.
We're not talking about the kind of cleaning your kitchen staff does on a daily basis. They're responsible for properly sanitizing all kitchen surfaces, scraping the grill, sweeping and mopping floors, etc. We're talking about the occasional deep cleaning that removes stubborn dirt and buildup, reduces fire hazards, and prevents health and fire inspection violations.
What Does Professional Kitchen Cleaning Involve?
Tasks vary slightly from one service to the next, but a professional cleaning should include:
- Cleaning and removing grease from the kitchen exhaust system and hoods*
- Cleaning behind, around and underneath all kitchen equipment and appliances.
- Deep cleaning of walk-in refrigerators and freezers
- Emptying grease traps
- Replacing filters
- Sanitizing all surfaces
- Deep cleaning floor mats
- Cleaning vents
- Refilling chemical dispensers
*All of the tasks are important, but cleaning the exhaust system is the most important. Dirty exhaust fans pose a serious fire hazard, and regular inspections and cleanings are required by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
The required frequency of exhaust system and hood cleaning depends on the results of your required periodic inspections. For most restaurants, a professional exhaust system cleaning is recommended about once every three months.
You can opt to hire a professional service to clean just the exhaust system, or you can go ahead and opt for a complete deep cleaning. The deep cleanings help keep your kitchen sanitary, and they're always a good idea to make sure you're prepared for random health inspections.
Methods and Costs of Exhaust System Cleaning
There are three methods of exhaust system cleaning: manual scraping, pressure washing or steam cleaning. Scraping tends to be more economical, and it can be very effective when done properly. Pressure washing and steam cleaning are more expensive because they involve specialized equipment, but these methods are preferred by the NFPA.
In some cases, a cleaning service will do a combination of both. Some of the ductwork may be difficult to access, which makes scraping impossible.
Most services charge an hourly rate of $75-$150 for exhaust system cleaning. The price depends on the condition of the system, how long it has been since the last cleaning, the size of the crew (larger crews get work done faster) and your location. Regular deep cleanings are usually priced similarly, although is some cases the rate may be slightly less.
Author: Ashley Smith
Get Bids for Kitchen Cleaning Services
Use our free request for quote tool and get price quotes from multiple restaurant cleaners in your area. There are no obligations to hire and we won't ask for your credit card information.