restaurant-management | 5 mins read

A Restaurant Closing Checklist- What it is and Why it's Important

a restaurant closing checklist what it is and why its important 1651814196 2480
Sanchari Chatterjee

By Sanchari Chatterjee

What is a Restaurant Closing Checklist?

When the last bills are paid and tables are cleared, it still doesn't mean the end of the day for servers and other staff members in the restaurant business. In fact, it is just the beginning of a round of essential tasks to be performed before a restaurant can finally pull down its shutters for the night. From flipping the door sign, to wiping down the doors and windows and tallying the day's accounts in the restaurant's point of sale system, a bunch of jobs need to be completed. While most of these have to do with cleaning and preparing the establishment for the next day's business, some jobs deal with administrative work, such as doing inventory counts and finances.

Although these are essential tasks, it's hard to remember them all, especially at the end of the day when employees are exhausted and worn out. This is where a restaurant closing checklist comes in. A closing checklist will make sure you don't miss out a single task, and everything is done like clockwork. With a closing checklist on your clipboard, not only will you make sure you are getting all the work done, but you also have the satisfaction of ticking boxes after each task is successfully accomplished.

What Good is a Closing Checklist?

  • A good restaurant closing checklist will make sure your restaurant servers and other staff members don't forget to complete all the tasks they are required to at the end of the day.
  • Staff members are already drained out at the end of the day. This increases the scope for human error. But with a restaurant checklist in hand, your servers will no longer have to strain to remember each task. They can simply go about completing tasks and checking the list.
  • A restaurant closing checklist will make your staff members accountable for the tasks they are assigned.
  • With an opening and closing checklist, you can make sure your food establishment is prepared for the next day's business; that is clean and follows food safety guidelines.
  • A restaurant checklist will assure you that your establishment is well maintained and all jobs are covered.

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Closing Checklist for Front of House

closing checklist for front of house 1651833366 2019

A restaurant's Business Operations are shaped by the look and ambience of its front of house. Cleaning and maintaining this part plays a big role in how your business progresses. Here's a closing checklist for front of house-

  1. Flip the door sign from 'open' to 'closed'.
  2. Clean all the chairs and tables across the different areas of the restaurant.
  3. Sweep and mop the floor.
  4. Take off the table mats, sweep and clean underneath, and place them back.
  5. Put the used napkins in the laundry bin.
  6. Make sure all tables and chairs are put back in order according to the floor plan.
  7. Clean all the menu cards and checkbooks.
  8. Make sure all bathrooms are clean.
  9. Take out the trash.
  10. Wipe down all the windows and doors.
  11. Clean and polish all the glass and cutlery.
  12. Turn off the lights.

Closing Checklist for Bar

  1. Wipe the bar counter surfaces.
  2. Pull the table mats off the counter, wipe them and put them back.
  3. Wipe the bar area floor.
  4. Take out the liquor bottle pouring spouts and clean them.
  5. Seal the half-used wine bottles.
  6. Take stock of the emptied mixers, canned drinks and liquor bottles.
  7. Restock the used stash of liquor, beer kegs and garnishing ingredients.
  8. Drain the ice.
  9. Lock all the liquor cabinets.

Closing Checklist for Back of House

  1. Sweep and mop the kitchen floor.
  2. Remove and clean the kitchen mats, place them back.
  3. Take out the kitchen trash cans.
  4. Wash, clean and sanitize all kitchen utensils, equipment and appliances.
  5. Clean and sweep all kitchen surfaces.
  6. Change the fryer oil and prep it for the next day.
  7. Prep the line stations and prep areas for the next day's shift.
  8. Check if the staff bathroom has been cleaned.
  9. Check and recheck the Restaurant Inventory.
  10. Take out the leftovers and label all perishable items that do not have a food label.
  11. Get the stocks back at all line stations.
  12. Check the refrigerator and freezer temperatures.
  13. Make a prep list for the next day's chef.
  14. Make sure all necessary appliances are turned off, check the right temperatures.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Closing Checklist for Restaurant Managers

Restaurant Owners and restaurant managers need to go through their set of opening and closing tasks that are slightly different from the servers and other staff members. So here's a closing checklist that can help restaurant business managers and owners.

  • Take a final round of the entire restaurant premises, make sure everything has been cleaned up.
  • Make sure the linen, such as napkins, tablecloths, etc. are laundered.
  • Make sure all staff members clock out of the attendance system.
  • Write your logbook if needed for the records.
  • Check the restaurant's social media pages, reply to emails, customer feedback, etc.
  • Check the inventories and scheduled supply chain deliveries.
  • Take note of the equipment and their maintenance needs.
  • Tally the finances and account reports from your point of sale system.
  • Take a look at all the data, analytics and sales insights shared by the software systems.
  • Check all the locks, computer safety and building alarms.

The Advantages of an Automated Restaurant Closing Checklist

Some POS systems or restaurant management software solutions like Zip Checklist, offer automated opening and closing checklists. There are many advantages to automating your restaurant closing checklist, but the most important of them is that it can help you quickly identify tasks that need to be done or remain unfinished. An automated closing checklist lets you tick off tasks as they are completed, allows you to immediately spot what's incomplete, and enables your staff members to complete them immediately.

An automated checklist or a task management system will send out alerts and notifications when an essential task is left undone. It can also help you keep track of an employee's progress on that task. Automated restaurant checklists will further ensure that your team members adhere to all the standard operating procedures without any recourse to shortcuts. In addition, by keeping tabs on which items on your closing checklist have been completed each day, you'll know how accountable each of your staff members are.

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