• Course 2: Lesson 1: Introduction to Safe Service

    When most foodservice professionals think of sanitation and food safety, they tend to think of the back of the house—all those hands working with raw food products where foodborne illnesses lurk. The front-of-the-house staff also has the opportunity to keep food safe. Whether it’s the hygiene of the server or the seemingly harmless work methods that introduce unsafe elements into the environment, food safety should be as great a concern in the service area as in the kitchen.

    This course is designed to help you and your staff anticipate—and overcome—some of the more common challenges while capitalizing on every opportunity. We will cover the basics your front-of-the-house staff will need to practice to achieve sanitary dining conditions.

    The importance of food safety cannot be overemphasized. Few things are as detrimental to a foodservice establishment as a publicly noted outbreak of a foodborne illness caused by poor sanitary practices.

    Food can serve as a carrier for various foodborne illnesses that are a direct result of unsanitary procedures within both the kitchen and the dining room of many foodservice establishments. Our checklist will cover the procedures your staff will need to implement to avoid foodborne illnesses and the steps they can take to achieve sanitary front-of-the-house conditions.

    Cleaning Your Restaurant Dining Room

    Your restaurant makes an impression on guests long before their food arrives. Consciously or not, they are evaluating the environment as soon as they walk in the door. A clean restaurant inspires confidence; a dirty one is a turnoff. Many guests will assume that if the front-of-the-house is unkempt, the part they can’t see—the kitchen—is as bad or worse.

    Your dining room is your public face. Keeping it clean is not only good for business and staff morale; it’s essential to passing health inspections and keeping customers and employees safe.

    Daily, weekly, and monthly checklists will provide peace of mind. The list of tasks may look overwhelming, but divide and conquer. Delegate responsibilities so that every employee takes part and nobody leaves a mess for the next shift. Every restaurant is different, so adapt the checklists to fit your operation.

    Develop a list of cleaning supplies. Wood tabletops and hardwood floors require different cleaning compounds than laminates or tile. Assign an employee the task of monitoring inventory and replacing worn cleaning equipment.

    Daily Cleaning Checklist:

    • Clean dining tables of debris with one rag (into a bus tub, not onto the floor). With a different rag, wipe the tables with sanitizer. Let sanitizer air-dry before seating new guests. Replace sanitizing rags frequently.
    • Sweep under tables during service as needed.
    • With sanitized rags:
      • Wipe down countertops and bar top.
      • Wipe tabletop condiment dispensers.
      • Inspect laminated or plastic-sleeved menus; wipe clean if necessary.
      • Wipe chairs, booths, and counter stools.
      • Wipe down beer keg taps.
      • Clean soda machine according to manual instructions.
    • Check restrooms frequently during operating hours. As needed, replenish supplies, empty trash, and wipe counters.
    • Vacuum carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture. Lift up loose cushions to get at any crumbs underneath.
    • Sweep or vacuum floors, then mop. Sweep outdoor seating areas.
    • Pressure-wash any rubber floor mats.
    • Empty trash bins, sanitize, then replace liners.
    • Gather table linens and server aprons for the laundry. Launder dirty towels separately from linens and apparel.
    • Clean restrooms thoroughly:
      • Clean toilets.
      • Sanitize counters, sinks, walls near toilets, and all door handles.
      • Clean and polish mirrors.
      • Refill dispensers for soap and feminine hygiene products.
      • Restock paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.
      • Empty trash bins, sanitize, then replace liners.
      • Sweep floors, then mop.

    Weekly Cleaning Checklist:

    • Dust framed art or other wall décor.
    • Dust ceiling corners, window blinds, ledges, windowsills, and ceiling fans.
    • Dust table legs, chair legs, and chair backs.
    • Clean and polish dining room mirrors.
    • Clean glass windows and doors.
    • Sanitize door handles.
    • Polish brass fixtures.

    Monthly Cleaning Checklist:

    • Sanitize all shelving.
    • Dust and wipe light fixtures.
    • Wipe walls and baseboards.