Here's Everything Missing From Your Restaurant Closing Checklist

By: Debbie Miller

4 Minute Read

Jun 21, 2018

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Restaurant Closing Checklist

A restaurant's success isn't only measured by its great food. It's a complex operation that can combine manufacturing, retail, and foodservice businesses.

Proactive preparation is critical to all aspects of restaurant management. For example, a busy restaurant can quickly deplete its inventory and must be ready to go the following day. Therefore, closing checklists and procedures play an essential role in day-to-day management.

A large part of closing activities depends on the staff. Training plays a large role in productivity. Upgraded restaurant technology simplifies processes that used to be more manual.

Let’s look at a few aspects of opening and closing a restaurant that can be enhanced with the right technology in place.

What to Include in Your Restaurant Closing Checklist

  • Cleaning

    • Sweep and/or mop all floors.
    • Empty all trash receptacles and take everything out back.
    • Clean all tables, chairs, and surfaces in the front and back of the house.
    • Sanitize all cooking utensils and empty the dishwasher completely.
    • Polish glasses and silverware.
    • Tidy up and restock the bathrooms.
  • Food

    • Double check inventory and adjust any orders.
    • Date all food that hasn't been dated.
    • Re-stock all beer kegs and BOH stations in a properly-preserved manner.
    • Ensure all meats and items that should be stored in cool areas are in their place.
    • Make sure the walk-in and any other fridges or freezers are shut tight.
  • Safety

    • Safeguard all alcohol and sharp objects.
    • Turn off all heaters, ovens, and gas stoves.
    • Lock all doors and restricted areas.
    • Remove all cash from the register and store in a safe location.
  • Organization

    • All menus should be in the menu holder.
    • Refill the napkin dispensaries.
    • Turn off the lights.
  • Finances

    • Compare your sales report from your POS with your money in the register and your credit card receipts.
    • Address any outstanding checks or orders.
    • Run your Z-Report.

How a Restaurant Closing Checklist Improves Processes

It makes us shudder to think that to end the day, some restaurateurs simply shut off the lights and call it a night after a few menial housekeeping tasks!

If you aren't sold on the importance of restaurant closing checklists just yet, maybe these reasons will convince you.

Employee Productivity & Organization

Employee efficiency can be strengthened with streamlined closing checklists. As experienced as your staff may be, using checklists for daily procedures decreases room for forgetfulness or human error.

Checklists bring many benefits, including:

  • They will lessen the time it takes to complete tasks, while increasing the quality of execution.
  • Your staff won’t need to stick around longer than necessary to rush to complete their closing duties.
  • You can consolidate your closing procedures to cut back on labor costs.

Plus, consistently measuring (and rewarding) employee productivity and using goals and budgets to help employees grow can now be done with the right technology, which also has its perks, including:

  • Employees won’t have to log in to multiple systems to do all the different components of their job.
  • You won’t have to pull data from multiple systems to track how the company is doing compared to goals and budget.

Each day, the staff should be briefed on any operational updates. Ensure everyone knows any pertinent updates and is appropriately prepared for duty.

Better Inventory Tracking

Obviously, your restaurant closing checklist will remind staff to clean glassware, your venue, and your service areas. On top of that, inventory should be taken upon closing on a regular basis.

Gone are the days of using Excel spreadsheets or a stand-alone restaurant inventory software package. They may count the quantities, but they don’t assess the real-time valuation of inventory unless you also enter all your invoices in those other applications.

The good news is it’s now possible to count, manage, and value your inventory and accounting all in the same restaurant software platform.

The Manager Logbook

The manager logbook is a great place to start in evaluating everything that’s going on. The Logbook allows you to keep tabs on daily restaurant operations with daily notes, important shift details, and follow-up tasks together.

Restaurant software options that integrate the manager logbook along with the other elements like accounting and inventory have infinite benefits. For example, they make it easy to rollout new processes across your entire organization at one time.

It allows managers the same tools regardless of what store they are working in, simplifying day-to-day checklists for franchisors and franchisees, too. There’s also an added layer of accountability for standard processes.

Furthermore, it ensures critical items are reviewed timely and information is reported to above store management. New managers can learn company processes with an easy-to-use tool, plus the mobility will free your managers to keep track of notes and data from anywhere.

Mastering Your Restaurant Closing Checklist

There are many moving parts when it comes to closing down a restaurant for the day. Juggling all the processes can be difficult if outdated practices are in place. Whether you run a single restaurant or hundreds, it’s vital to balance the coordination of staff, vendors, and inventory at the end of the day to run a productive restaurant.

When it comes to issues of banking, inventory, staffing, equipment, food preparation, and more, restaurant closing checklists are pivotal to ensuring restaurant success.

What's in your restaurant closing checklist?

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