Go Beyond Cleaning and Sanitize Your Restaurant Effectively During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by Stephanie Hilliard on Sep 01, 2023

Go Beyond Cleaning and Sanitize Your Restaurant Effectively During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As you reopen your restaurant, things are going to be a little different than the first time you opened your doors – including how you are taking care of your surfaces! 

There’s always a level of maintenance that comes with anything that’s used daily and often, but there are some additional measures you can take to make sure your restaurant is clean. Taking the time to clean and sanitize furniture and other high touch surfaces during this time will protect not only your customers, but your staff as well. 

The CDC defines cleaning as the “removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces”. By cleaning furniture or surfaces, you are removing germs, along with undesirables, but aren’t killing them off. For cleaning to be its most effective, your restaurant needs to be sanitized as well. The CDC states that sanitizing or disinfecting is using chemicals to kill germs, reducing the risk of spreading infection. 

Most restaurants have a good handle on cleaning so we’ve come up with sanitizing best practices to keep your restaurant on top of it all:


  • Do identify the most touched surfaces in your restaurant. Think table tops, the backs of chairs, your door handles, condiment bottles, etc., these surfaces should be shown the most attention when it comes to sanitizing.
  • Do only use approved disinfectants that are effective against SARS-CoV-2. Make sure your supplies are up to par with this searchable list from the EPA.
  • Do implement sanitizing as an important part of your staff’s cleaning routine. It is not known how long the virus lives on surfaces, but similar viruses can survive anywhere from hours to days. Surfaces should be sanitized frequently, at least between groups of customers.
  • Do promote good hand hygiene among staff and customers. This not only is good for their health but can prevent the spread of germs in your restaurant in general. 


  • Don’t only use sanitizer on surfaces. Non-porous, hard surfaces should be cleaned with a soap and water mixture prior to sanitization. Know how you should be caring for your tables with our table cleaning guide before you use a disinfectant.
  • Don’t try to make your own sanitizer or mix up chemicals to make a “stronger” strain. This can render the disinfectant ineffective and can cause harmful fumes.
  • Don’t use just any sanitizer to clean electronics (ATMs, tablets, touch screens). Refer to the manufacturer’s guide or use wipes with at least 70% alcohol content to disinfect these surfaces.

Keep your restaurant in the best condition as possible by combining routine cleaning and sanitizing processes.

Looking for more resources? Check out the National Restaurant Association’s COVID-19 response page for the most updated information when it comes to your restaurant’s operations.

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