How to create the opening and closing lists for your restaurant

by Mary Fabro and Mima Vujadinovic

Steps to create opening and closing lists for a restaurant

Running a restaurant can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also requires a lot of hard work and attention to detail. One important aspect of managing a restaurant is ensuring that the opening and closing procedures are well-organized and efficient. A well-planned checklist can help ensure that everything is done correctly and consistently each day. Here's a detailed guide on how to create checklists for closing and opening a restaurant.

Step 1: Identify all the tasks that need to be completed

To create an effective checklist, start by making a comprehensive list of all the tasks that need to be done during opening and closing. This will vary depending on the type of restaurant, but some common tasks include:

Restaurant Opening List:
  • Turn on all lights, appliances, and equipment
  • Check inventory levels and restock as needed
  • Set up the dining area, including tables, chairs, and tableware
  • Prepare food and beverages
  • Set up the point of sale system and any other technology
  • Ensure that the cleaning supplies are well-stocked
  • Brief the staff on any updates or changes

Restaurant Closing List:

  • Brief the staff on any updates or changes
  • Turn off all appliances, and equipment
  • Dispose of any leftover food or beverages
  • Clean and put away all dishes, utensils, and glassware
  • Clean and sanitize all surfaces, including the kitchen, dining area, and restrooms
  • Check inventory levels and restock as needed
  • Count the cash drawer and make a bank deposit
  • Set the security alarm, turn off all lights, and lock all doors and windows

Step 2: Prioritize tasks

Once you have a comprehensive list of tasks, prioritize them in order of importance or by when they need to be done. This will help ensure that the most critical tasks are completed first, and any less critical tasks can be done later in the shift. If there is a series of tasks that need to be done in a particular order, these can be handled accordingly.

Step 3: Assign responsibilities

Next, assign responsibilities for each task to specific individuals or teams. This will ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and can work efficiently without stepping on each other's toes.

Step 4: Determine the frequency of each task

Some tasks may need to be completed multiple times a day, while others may only need to be done once. Determine how often each task needs to be completed and include this information in your checklist.

Step 5: Create the checklist

With all the information gathered, it's time to create the actual checklist. You can use a simple Excel sheet or a more sophisticated task management app like Trello. Start with the most important tasks and work your way down the list. Make sure to include any additional information or notes that will help the staff complete the task correctly.

Step 6: Train the staff

Once the checklist is complete, make sure to train the staff on how to use it. Walk them through each task and provide them with any necessary guidance or instruction. It will be helpful to even create documentation for specific instructions or processes, in case they are complex.

Step 7: Regularly review and update the checklist

Finally, it's important to regularly review and update the checklist as needed. As your restaurant grows and evolves, so will your opening and closing procedures. Make sure the checklist reflects the current needs of the restaurant and adjust it accordingly.

Creating comprehensive opening and closing checklists may seem daunting, but they can be incredibly helpful tools in ensuring that your restaurant runs smoothly and efficiently. By following these steps, you can create checklists that are tailored to your restaurant's unique needs and help your staff stay organized and on track.