In the restaurant business, no two days are the same. It’s a fast-paced, ever-changing business, but finding ways to streamline processes and create efficiencies can free up time to focus on what matters most: creating a great experience for every person who walks in the door or pulls up to the drive thru. With a continuous flow of customers day in and day out, treating each interaction with the same amount of care and attention will help you create a consistency in service that keeps guests coming back and builds a renowned reputation.

Providing consistently positive experiences for your customers starts in the back of the house. At the end of the day, your customers are coming in to receive a delicious meal and swift, yet precise preparation in a clean space helps you deliver on that expectation. In keeping things moving quickly and with quality in the kitchen, it’s important to have a dynamic cleaning plan that prioritizes the “hotspots” in your kitchen.

Identifying the different surfaces that require extra TLC in your kitchen and investing in high-quality cleaning products that make the process quick and easy helps you stay ahead of the mess.

The Griddle

During business hours, your griddle sees plenty of action and not a lot of downtime. Finding breaks to remove grease and baked-food can be a challenge but a clean surface to prepare food on is a necessity. The old-fashioned way of cleaning griddles with hand-held bricks, vinegar, oil or caustic cleaning products can be time-consuming and messy, and also lead to burns and unpleasant fumes.

Waiting for the griddle to cool down before cleaning is simply not always an option with the fast-paced mealtime rushes, so using griddle cleaner that can be applied directly to a hot griddle can help you complete the job faster and get back to cranking out meals. When working with a hot griddle, you can avoid arm and hand burns by using extended pad and squeegee handles when scouring the surface. Additionally, products that are made with food-safe ingredients can help avoid strong chemical odors and leaving residue behind.

The Dish Pit

The never-ending cycle of dirty dishes keeps your dishwasher busy – especially during and after meal times. In addition to the dishes coming in from the dining room, prep dishes can pile up throughout the day. Pots and pans with cooked-on food require soaking and vigorous scrubbing, and when food is really stuck on, it can set your dish room back, leaving it vulnerable during an unexpected rush.

Providing your staff with the right tools to tackle tough-to-clean dishes supports efficiency in the kitchen and helps you ensure availability of pots, pans and dishes so they’re ready when your cooks need them. Dishes with baked-on food require tough scour pads that can cut through the residue quickly and effectively. Additionally, dual-action pads not only provide an abrasive side that removes any cooked-on food, but also a smooth side that leaves a clean and shiny surface by scouring away remaining fine food particles.

Greasy Surfaces

One of the toughest jobs of the day is grease removal. Grease has a habit of coating a number of surfaces in the kitchen, and if left for long enough, can lead to unsanitary grease build-up and even kitchen fires. Ensuring the grease is removed daily not only keeps your kitchen cleaner, but also safer.

While the nature of grease removal can be challenging in and of itself, traditional grease removal products can be caustic, requiring users to wear gloves, masks, safety goggles and other protective equipment to prevent burns and other injuries. However, new innovations in grease control technology now provide kitchen managers with non-caustic grease removal tools that not only are safer to use but also cut cleaning time down. Additionally, new grease-removing wipes eliminate the need for the time-consuming process of stopping and filling up a bucket, which could potentially lead to dilution inaccuracy, and in turn a poor clean.

By identifying the areas in your kitchen that require extra attention, your team can be prepared with the right tools to stay on top of cleaning duties. When your kitchen is clean and hot-spots are being taken care of regularly, your staff is able to keep delicious meals coming and focus on providing an excellent experience for your guests.

Joseph Ciampi is the U.S. sales manager for 3M Commercial Solutions Division / Food Service Supplies and Communications Business.

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