How To Clean A Bar – Bar Cleaning Checklist

8 April 2022
Staff member cleaning a bar table

Looking to get your bar cleaning in check? Not only are there a huge number of benefits to keeping your pub or bar sanitary and clean, but you are also required by law to keep your bar clean to not pose a public health risk. 

The cleanliness of your bar will have an impact on your business. Creating and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule in your bar is vital to ensure staff know exactly what they should be doing and to create a pleasant and sanitary environment both customers and staff want to return to. 

When it comes to cleaning a bar, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with everything you should and shouldn’t be doing. So, to help you get started, we’ve put together our bar cleaning checklist including:

  1. a bar deep cleaning checklist
  2. opening and closing bar cleaning checklist
  3. top tips for how to clean a bar and furniture.

Every-day bartender cleaning checklist

Now there are some tasks to clean a bar that should be completed every day and even on the hour. It’s not just the global pandemic that has required us to increase our cleaning in a bar. Regularly cleaning bars, tables, stools and floors throughout the day has always been crucial to meeting the standards of the environmental health department AND creating a safe, enjoyable environment for your customers. 

How To Clean A Bar During Shift

These tasks should be completed regularly throughout the day or shift and as needed. All members of staff should ensure to regularly clean hands, especially if dealing with cash/money and food. Spot cleaning is also an essential part of keeping your pub or bar in check. Spot cleaning requires members of staff to be monitoring and spot cleaning areas of the bar as and when they see mess.

All day bartender cleaning checklist: 

  • Wipe down the bar and sanitise in between customers where possible *
  • Wipe and sanitise tables and chairs in between customers & use *
  • Straighten chairs and tables – to look tidy and avoid trip hazards
  • Replace beer mats
  • Clear away glasses from tables and the bar area and run them through the glasswasher
  • Sweep up any food or debris across the floor of the bar and behind the bar
  • Check the toilets and fill up/clean as necessary – this is recommended at least on the hour
  • Take out bins when full
  • Refill bottles, cans and fridges when nearly empty
  • Refill straws, napkins & stirrers 
  • Clean tools behind the bar e.g. shakers, glassware and measures
  • Ensure glassware remains fully stocked

* Be careful of products used. Faux leather and also solid wood can be affected/damaged by bleach or harsh cleaning chemicals.

How To Clean A Bar In The Morning & Pre-opening

Bar & pub managers should always ensure that there are members of staff on the opening shift, which is before the pub or bar opens, to clean and ensure everything is in check so that the shift runs smoothly.

Behind the bar, opening bartender cleaning checklist: 

  • Empty and sanitise ice wells
  • Restock ice wells
  • Check keg stock levels – refill if needed
  • Refill all fridges: Wine, Beer, Soft Drinks & Mixers
  • Check the dates on juices in the fridge and dispose of/keep/restock accordingly 
  • Check the dates on open bottles of wine and dispose of/keep/restock accordingly
  • Ensure glassware is fully stocked and clean
  • Set up bar mats, trays, shakers, stirrers, pourers and any other tools
  • Restock disposable items such as napkins, stirrers etc
  • Clean the beer taps and make sure they are in working order
  • Prepare fruit including lemons, limes, cucumber and all other garnishes

On the floor opening bartender cleaning checklist:

  • Shake and brush any doormats
  • Remove any litter and sweep the floors
  • Mop and dry the floors
  • Check entrance and clean/clear
  • Dust all visible surfaces – picture frames, banners, furniture, glasses, lights, switches and fixtures etc
  • Clean all bathroom surfaces accordingly, including cleaning and polishing sinks and taps
  • Disinfect toilets and bowls
  • Clean doorknobs, locks and handles
  • Polish mirrors
  • Restock toilet roll, hand towels, soap and anything else
  • Sweep and mop floors thoroughly

How To Clean A Bar On Closing

At the end of the day or shift, it’s important to thoroughly clean areas and set up for the next day. This can help you avoid any contamination and keep the bar/pub looking, smelling and being clean and tidy.

Bartender closing checklist:

  • Run bar mats through the dishwasher
  • Dirty linen (towels etc) in laundry
  • Sort out, clean and dispose of any out of date fruit or garnishes
  • Sanitise the top of the bar, bar stools and full bar area *
  • Wipe all liquor bottles and beer handles
  • Clean out beer taps
  • Clean the speed rails
  • Sanitise, clean and soak soda and mixer guns
  • Rinse drains and wash drain covers
  • Sanitise any sinks and taps
  • Sweep and mop behind the bar
  • Clean and shut down coffee machines
  • Clean all glasses and glass machine
  • Sanitise any menus
  • Pack up furniture- turning chairs upside down ahead of floor cleaning in the morning

* Be careful of products used. Faux leather and also solid wood can be affected/damaged by bleach or harsh cleaning chemicals.

Bar Deep Cleaning Checklist

In addition to your everyday cleaning, some tasks that require a bit of extra time to give your bar some necessary TLC. These tasks can be addressed, weekly, bi-weekly or worst case monthly.

  • Empty and clean all fridges and reach-in coolers
  • Pull out fridges/machines and sweep and clean behind 
  • Clean storage equipment including glass storage and draws/cabinets
  • Sanitise and clean the keg lines
  • Dust and remove cobwebs in high, hard to reach areas such as above fridges
  • Polish silverware and draught taps
  • Power wash floor mats
  • Polish windows 
  • Clean the bins with hot soapy water

How To Clean Bar Furniture Correctly

Depending on the style and layout of your bar or pub, you might have items of furniture that require specific attention when cleaning. It’s always recommended to check the manual and specific cleaning instructions but we’ve outlined a couple of key things to remember when cleaning specific items:

Cleaning Wood

If you’ve got wooden tables, you might want to consider using a wax polish, now and then to keep your wood table in good condition. Bleach is also not recommended on wood furniture.

Cleaning Metal & Steel Surfaces

Clean smudges and fingerprints off metal and steel surfaces regularly to keep your appliances or surfaces looking shiny and clean. Like with many of our table bases, you can clean and polish these kinds of surfaces using a non-abrasive soft cloth or use a specific stainless steel cleaner on sinks/taps such as cream cleaner.

Upholstered Chairs

Upholstered chairs look great in a pub or bar and provide your guests with ultimate comfort. When it comes to cleaning bar chairs, it’s important to follow the specific instructions in the product manual, how you clean them can greatly depend on the fabric used. For most upholstered chairs, you should be able to hoover dust and dirt off them and then clean them with a warm water-based solution. Take extra care when cleaning these kinds of bar furniture to avoid stains and wearing away the colour. 

It’s not just cleaning that will keep your bar looking great: upgrade your furniture today with Tabilo Contract Furniture.

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