Leaning time is cleaning time…

Man! We made a helluva mess tonight at the restaurant! We had specks and flakes and chunks of junk all over the place. We worked long and hard to get things that dirty too.

It all started early in the evening when the blowing snow kept our customers tucked tight at home. Eventually we had a nice crowd arrive and gave us a chance to make ourselves useful doing our food service tasks. Before they showed up, we had a full crew standing around and tapping their toes.

That didn’t last too long though. Our kitchen manager extraordinaire, Adam, made a decision to get down to some deep deep cleaning. He started with the fryers. We clean them every night, in a rigorous process that keeps our frying oil nice and fresh. However the outside of the units get splashed on and covered in spills. He tackled them with a vengeance! After a short time, he had them glistening like brand new again. It was amazing.

He had started a process of cleaning that took off like a brushfire! By the end of the night, our kitchen team with me included were scraping and scratching and wiping and bricking every inch of surface of stainless steel we could find! The back wall, the griddle surrounds, and eventually the char-broiler got the deepest cleanings of their lives! We always maintain a tidy and well scrubbed kitchen, but over time there are areas that need extra attention. Well tonight, that happened.

With lots of elbow grease and using every tool at our disposal, we ended making a heckuva mess, while chipping away at that baked-on goodness. The grill bricks themselves grind down to a pebbly dust, while they scratch the surfaces back to shiny bare metal. We noticed that while doing this intensive cleaning job, we had created chaos and clutter.

During the process we were finding that the cleaning job was growing as we went. The mess got messier the more we cleaned. How counter-intuitive to see that the goal we were looking to reach was getting further away the more we worked at it. Actually it’s not that crazy of an idea. I mean we were just doing some basic scrubbing in a kitchen, it wasn’t rocket surgery!

Really though, I need a reminder like this every once in a while. When the project was almost near completion we saw the biggest jumble of disarray. It looked the worst, right before it looked its best. Once we were ready to do the final wipe-downs and toss the trash, it didn’t take long at all. The hard work was behind us.

The kitchen equipment looks less like we cleaned it, and more like we replaced it! Wow, it all has been restored to showroom shine. It’s a job that our crew can be proud of. They can more easily keep up on it too. We always work hard on our cleaning, but this was one of those super detail jobs that revivify…

Anyway, the next time I’m bummed out and bogged down just noticing the messes around me in life, I should take heart. If I’m working hard and making improvements, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. I might not like the looks of things now, but with just a little more effort, the shining glow will return and soon be blinding!

Keep scrubbing my friends 🙂

Until next week, take care and God Bless.


Aaron Nichols

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