Managing a coffee shop comes with its own unique challenges and considerations. In particular, cleanliness is often a big challenge for managers and baristas alike. That’s because when you’re working with a lot of liquids, coffee grounds, and crumbly pastries, spills are bound to happen from time to time. While taking care of minor messes is important, you should have some other cleaning tips at the ready to keep your coffee shop running smoothly and looking its best.

All about the plumbing

For many coffee shops, bathroom cleaning is part of the side work assigned to employees throughout the day. While taking care of the restrooms in your business is incredibly important, it’s equally important to take care of all of your plumbing throughout the shop. This includes sinks, floor drains, and hookups to your various water dispensing machines. Even seemingly small plumbing issues can rapidly spiral out of control if they aren’t addressed in a timely manner.

Even if you’re dealing with small cracks and fissures in your pipes, these can easily develop into bigger problems and if you don’t invest in repairs or sewer pipe linings, you might be looking at a costly sewer pipe replacement that forces you to close your doors until the repairs are complete. Being proactive about your plumbing care and maintenance is the best way to ensure that you won’t be on the line for expensive fixes down the road. Make sure that only approved materials are going down your sinks and toilets, and invest in regular cleanings as well.

Sanitize everything, all the time

Especially if you’re part of a larger franchise, chances are you’ll be responsible for passing quality-assurance tests. These often go over the cleanliness of your shop with a fine-toothed comb trying to find any areas of inadequacy. One place where many coffee shops fall short is proper sanitization. This includes regularly wiping down all surfaces and machines as well as switching sanitizer water after a certain period of time. However, it also includes regularly cleaning out your ice dispensing machines.

It’s inevitable that you occasionally miss a cleaning for your ice machine. That’s not a big issue in and of itself. It’s when the machine keeps being neglected that problems start to arise. If your ice machines aren’t regularly cleaned, you’re risking the potential that bacteria and mold can start to form. Not only is this unappealing, it’s also dangerous for your customers and risks the potential for liability issues if a health issue should arise. If you miss a cleaning, make sure to reschedule one as soon as you can.

Exteriors count, too

That’s right: Your exteriors have a larger impact on your success than you might think. Not only do clean exteriors maintain a positive first impression for new customers, it helps secure repeat business too. Exteriors that are covered in litter and messy stains from spills are unappealing and uninviting. If regular exterior maintenance isn’t on a list of larger monthly projects for your coffee shop, it should be.

Not only should you regularly clean up any litter that you find outside, you should also do your best to clean stains around the outside of your shop as often as you’re able. It’s one of the harder tasks to regularly complete, because it requires workers to be outside of the shop, but it should still be factored in to your cleaning routines. Remember those quality-assurance checks? They often take a look at your exteriors, too.

A little extra effort

While cleaning your coffee shop certainly requires plenty of elbow grease and extra effort, it’s worth it in the end. It creates a better impression on your customers, and it also gives you a greater sense of pride in your store. Though your first priority should be brewing great coffee, cleanliness should definitely be close to the top of your list.