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  • M. Villarreal


At the time I am writing this blog post, it is November 1st and the holiday season has officially kicked off! Customers are back and we all need to be ready for the holiday season. With the general public more comfortable eating in public places, restaurants and commercial kitchens everywhere are going to see a steady increase in traffic and business (and all the craziness that comes with it).

To guarantee your restaurant runs smoothly, you need to ensure your kitchen is at its best and ready. The madness that occurs with the surge of traffic during the holiday season can put a strain on even the most well-run commercial kitchen. It’s more important than ever to practice good safety and cleaning habits to set your employees, kitchen and business up for success and limit the possibility that anything goes wrong in your kitchen during this busy time of year.

There are several issues to be aware of in your kitchen before the holiday season rush picks up, but two of the biggest are kitchen and exhaust system cleanliness. As a restaurant owner, chef or leader, you must be mindful of food hygiene rules and prioritize them to ensure the kitchen’s success. Your staff should clean the work area with the clean-as-you-go method. However, your kitchen should get a thorough (deep) cleaning on a daily basis.

We recommend hiring a commercial kitchen deep cleaning company to ensure your kitchen is spotless and, more importantly, germ-free at all times. Setting and enforcing food hygiene rules in commercial kitchens is of the utmost importance if you want to create a safe environment for both your employees and your customers. If you are not thorough when it comes to the cleanliness of your kitchen, not only will you get fined, but you can also seriously harm someone's health.

Likewise, vent hood exhaust cleaning is the other half of the equation and just as important. Ensuring that your hoods, filters, extraction fans and ductwork areas are clean does more than keep the inspector at bay, they ensure a healthy work environment, clean tasting foods and great customer experience (which is often reflected in social media – good and bad), but truly the worst outcome is the possibility of a devastating FIRE! Even if contained to the kitchen, it can often shut a business down for days or weeks at minimum.

It is so important; the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets codes that require all commercial kitchens regularly maintain their vent hood exhaust systems with regular cleanings (NFPA 96). The best way to keep these issues at bay is with regular cleaning – both by your employees and a professional commercial kitchen deep cleaning company and quality vent hood cleaning company. These companies can check your grease filters for signs of buildup, improper installation and damage to your exhaust system. If there is a blockage in your grease filter it may cause, there to be an increase of grease residue left over on your kitchen equipment and that puts you at risk for fire hazards. Hood systems are designed to pull grease, grease by-products, and other particles and contaminants out of the air to help prevent build up and increase cleanliness in the kitchen space. If you are using an improper hood system set up you could think that your system is working properly, however it won’t be collecting the grease and other particles which could put your kitchen at risk of a fire and could add undesired smells and smoke to both the kitchen and dining areas.

The holiday season is already a difficult time for many restaurants due to the demands of time and resources, this year could see more pressure than ever before. Plan ahead, set expectations and inspect what you expect – both from your employees and your commercial cleaning company. With the right plan in place, this could end up being one of the best holiday seasons for years to come. Be ready for it!

If you need help with commercial kitchen deep cleaning or commercial kitchen vent hood exhaust system cleaning, contact Cornerstone Commercial Services today at 1-800-274-3905

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