Fast Food Fail! Simple Cleaning Solutions For Your Fast Food Kitchen

From the long hours and low profit to the overall cleanliness of your establishment, it is easy to see the different challenges of running a restaurant. If you own and operate a fast food restaurant, you are probably familiar with the importance of health inspections.. Unfortunately, hundreds of restaurants receive critical violations each year during their standard health inspections leading to massive fast food failures. These violations stem from unhealthy work conditions that can lead to unsafe food and health concerns for your customers. In addition, critical violations will give your restaurant a bad reputation that you may not be able to repair. Thankfully, proper cleaning of your fast food restaurant's kitchen can help. Using this guide on cleaning solutions, your restaurant will be clean, safe, and successful.


In most cases, the grill is a popular appliance for cooking burgers, steaks, and  various meat patties in your fast food restaurant. Due to the amount of use the grill sees, you may only have the opportunity to clean it in detail once or twice per day. However, using a scraper tool after preparing each dish is key to prevent heavy buildup of food particles and grease.

At the end of each shift, a thorough cleaning of the grill is necessary. Using steam and a gentle detergent is sufficient for cleaning your grill after each shift. While the grill is hot, soak a wet rag in clean water and liquid soap. Wring out the excess water and scrub the hot grill. You should also clean behind and under your grill each night before closing. Sweep up any leftover food particles and wash areas with a clean, soapy rag.


Commercial fryers are huge elements of your fast food kitchen. Used for frying chicken, hashbrowns, and fresh fries, it sees a great deal of abuse each day. Use the following tips to prevent heavy buildup, insects, and rodents from  making your kitchen home:

  • Oil Removal –  Each night, remove the oil from the fryer and frymaster parts and dispose using your restaurant's preferred method. It is important to note that removing the old oil throughout the day may also be necessary. If you notice discoloration or a thickening of the oil, remove it and dispose it immediately, Be sure your fryer utilizes a commercial tester to determine the polar content of the oil. Frying oil that measures 24 percent or greater of polar content is unsafe for use.
  • Wash and Dry – Once the fryer bin is free of oil, you should rinse it out with hot water. This will remove any batter and food particles left behind. After rinsing, add additional hot water and liquid soap and allow it to soak for a few hours. Rinse with hot water and dry using a clean, soft cloth.

Cooking Station Surround

The area around your grill, stovetop, and fryer will most likely accumulate a large amount of oil and grease. This residue can be difficult to remove, but it is important for the cleanliness of your kitchen. Using a degreaser is your best option for removing the stubborn residue. Unfortunately, many of the commercial greasers sold in supply stores contain ingredients that may be toxic to your health. For a safer option, consider using the following ingredients to create a natural degreaser:

  • 4 cups of warm water
  • 4 cups of white vinegar

While surprising to hear, vinegar contains acidic properties that are antibacterial and antiviral. Not only is it an effective cleanser, but it will also sanitize your cook stations.

Add to a spray bottle for quick cleanup or combine in a bucket to degrease a larger area. Spray the solution directly onto areas that contain greasy patches and scrub off with a cloth. When washing down larger areas around your grill and fryer, soak multiple clothes in the bucket and wring out the excess liquid. Then, scrub areas that contain the thick, sticky residue.

It is easy to see the overwhelming tasks necessary for a clean, healthy, and successful restaurant. However, without proper cleaning and degreasing of your kitchen, you are creating an appealing spot for insects, rodents, and bacteria. Using this guide of simple solutions, you can avoid a fast food failure.