[A] clean house (front and back) is essential, especially when preparing food. We pulled this list of day-to-day cleaning duties from our trusty How-to Handbook. Keep these tips handy, and go forth and clean!
Don’t be one of those businesses that ignores the state of their restrooms—nothing loses a customer faster. Hourly checks and wipe downs should suffice. Dishes Ceramics are important to your customers. Patrons don’t want their espresso in paper, so make sure dishes are done as often as possible. Fridges Fridges get messy quickly. Every night, they should be cleaned thoroughly, inside and out. They may need some attention during the day, too.
Clean the outside of your pastry case regularly. Consolidate offerings as the day goes on, always maximizing space so it doesn’t look empty. (Until it is empty, then clean it out.)
These should be rinsed after every use, and scrubbed as soon as they need it. Have enough pitchers on hand to switch to a clean set periodically.
Windows stay fairly clean, but doors and door handles get smudged quickly. Assign someone to touch up your café’s glass each shift. First appearances matter.
There is nothing appetizing about an overflowing trash can. Empty trash regularly. If you offer recycling or compost (kudos!), empty those, too.
Sweeping and mopping should be a daily duty behind the bar, and happen throughout the day in the café. Don’t neglect outside spaces, especially if you have seating there.
Empty milk containers, syrup bottles, and other accumulated packaging from behind the bar. You’ll probably have to do this a few times a day.
Counters, tables, and any other surface your customers see should be free of spills and crumbs. Behind the bar and back of house, keep it tidy, but do what you can the moment you can.
A customer adding cream to their coffee or grabbing a lid doesn’t want to maneuver around spilled sugar and coffee. Wipe down the to-go bar as often as possible, keep it stocked, and rotate out milk regularly—it shouldn’t have a chance to warm up.