Choosing the Perfect Cleaning Partner for Your Restaurant

Every restaurant owner understands that cleanliness directly impacts the success of their business. Regardless of how tasty the food, excellent the service or affordable the price, your guests will not return to your restaurant if it is not clean. Providing and maintaining this environment is an essential component of building brand equity and creating favorable experiences that will leave lasting impressions with employees and customers. In this unforgiving economic climate, it is imperative that owners provide positive experiences that patrons are looking for in a restaurant, including a clean, safe and enjoyable atmosphere.  

Maintaining a high level of cleanliness can be difficult to achieve without the right partner. So, how does a restaurant choose an established and accountable cleaning service that can be trusted? Isiah Jones, owner of Wellington Brickle, LLC in Washington D.C. and Manny Tadeo, Business Development Manager with Coverall North America, Inc., a leading franchisor of independently owned commercial cleaning businesses, share a checklist of items to keep in mind before contracting a restaurant cleaning service.

Hygienic Cleaning

Eating at a restaurant is a sensory experience. The look and feel of the environment is just as important as the food being served at your tables. If customers enter a local establishment that is dirty, chances are they will not return. The appearance of an operation, as well as the sentiment it creates for its consumers, is all part of creating repeat business. A study by Harris Interactive found that 79 percent of respondents would not return to a restaurant with dirty bathrooms. This statistic further proves that hygienic and healthy cleaning should be at the top of the list when considering a cleaning service for your restaurant. And that goes beyond just wiping down tables and tidying up the hostess stand. An established cleaning company should have the tools and processes in place to scientifically kill or remove germs and bacteria on nearly any counter or surface, providing guests with a safe and clean dining experience.

For example, Coverall Franchised Businesses use the brand’s Core 4® Process, which includes hundreds of specialized cleaning protocols using four advanced cleaning technologies that, when put together and used consistently, deliver a unique level of cleanliness from the dining area to the kitchen.

Quality Products and Service

Most cleaning services offer dusting, vacuuming, restroom cleaning and trash removal. However, it is also important to consider the cleaning chemistry used to disinfect your place of business. When you request a quote from your local cleaning service, make sure to ask if they use hospital-grade disinfectants. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a hospital-grade disinfectant kills three specific types of germs: Staph, Pseudomonas and Salmonella.

Extra attention should also be given to “germ hot spots” where germs and dirt thrive, such as sink areas, restrooms, door and appliance handles, tables, baseboards and floors. Ultimately, this will help reduce the risk of illness while keeping your front of house looking its best. 


There is a significant difference between a janitor for hire and a reputable cleaning service. Professional cleaning services bring years of training and experience to the table and undergo background checks, and are licensed, bonded and insured to help protect your business. Small mom-and-pop cleaners typically only offer the basics and are no match for the unique cleaning demands of a high-traffic business such as a restaurant. Whether hiring a local cleaning person or contracting a larger corporation, the cleaning partner you choose should be trained and certified to use tried and true processes to give your establishment the special attention it deserves.

Remember, there is no “one-size-fits-all” cleaning service, especially in the foodservice industry. Every restaurant is different and cleaning requirements will depend on the unique needs of your restaurant. Your cleaning company should customize your cleaning program to fit your seasonality, schedule and budget.

Consistency and Communication

Customer satisfaction starts with high-quality service, trust and communication, which translate to quick response times and consistent results. Since most of the cleaning is done well after the kitchen is closed, it is essential that you trust your cleaning service.  Additionally, the cleaning service must be accessible to the owner or manager should they have questions or special requests.

With the proper team, equipment and processes, maintaining a high level of cleanliness in a restaurant can be easy. Daily upkeep of your restaurant is essential, so it is important for business owners to partner with a service that can offer professional, regular, effective cleaning solutions in order to keep their customers happy, hungry and coming back for more.