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By Katherine Pendrill
Organized chaos – although it’s an oxymoron, it can be an accurate description of a restaurant during the Friday night dinner rush. So, where does your business fall on the spectrum of organized to chaotic? Wherever you land, a restaurant opening and closing checklist can get you closer to peak performance.
Streamlining your restaurant operations is key to driving repeat business. Your guests want to connect with family and friends over good food in a fun environment, and your restaurant must be able to meet the demand – or risk losing business to competitors. In the midst of labor shortages, fine tuning your internal processes can help you stay organized and able to deliver excellent customer service.
In this article, we’ll cover:
Servers and kitchen staff may not always agree on everything (like when’s a good time to ask the kitchen for 5 modifications to an order). However, all staff would agree that it’s frustrating to start a shift when the closing duties weren’t properly completed the night before.
As a restaurateur, you want your employees to be happy because you care about having a great culture and a profitable business. Taking control of your processes by using standardized opening and closing checklist templates is an excellent way to achieve this state of harmony. Considering that businesses can lose up to 30% of profits every year due to inefficient processes, it pays to get your ducks in a row.
“The biggest risk for the restaurant industry is rising wages and food costs,” according to this article by Modern Restaurant Management. “It’s imperative that you’re consistently and actively reducing costs to maintain your current level of success. How can you do this? Improving efficiencies.”
For example, restaurant opening and closing checklist templates make it faster and easier for your staff to open and start serving customers, or to close and head home for the night.
Use this daily opening checklist to ensure staff complete essential tasks before your restaurant opens for service.
Checklists templates also ensure tasks don’t get forgotten during a rush period and left for the next shift of servers to begrudgingly complete. They’re also a good resource for new employees, which can help you save precious time on training.
If you like the sound of leveraging restaurant open and close checklists, but you’re overwhelmed by the idea of actually creating the templates – fear not. We’ve included six opening and closing checklist templates (as well as downloadable PDFs) below.
Use this daily closing checklist to ensure staff complete essential end-of-day tasks after service has ended.
Starting the day off right can make all the difference to employee morale at your restaurant, which supports long term retention and a healthy bottom line. Whether you’re an early bird or a coffee-first-conversation-second type, these restaurant opening checklists will have you saying “good morning!”
Server responsibilities are no joke. Your employees already have full plates, so tame the chaos with this handy opening checklist. Make it a team effort and get your host and bar staff involved, too. This will give all of your front of house employees an idea of what’s involved in running a busy restaurant.
Looking for a downloadable version of this checklist? Get your very own server opening checklist PDF.
You may rely on your kitchen staff for their culinary genius, but you also depend on them to help your restaurant stay spotless and clear of health code violations. Use this opening checklist for back of house employees to keep your restaurant clean, your inventory under control, your food superb, and your guests happy from the moment you open.
Your restaurant managers are your eyes and ears on the ground. They’re taking the pulse of your staff and guest satisfaction levels on a daily basis, and helping you run a tight ship. Make their lives easier with a restaurant opening checklist that will never leave them guessing about their next move, and that will always support them in getting their priority work done.
Just as starting the day off right is essential to running an organized, successful restaurant, so is closing on a high note. Use these checklists to ensure everything in your restaurant is done and dusted (literally) before you shut down for the night.
Restaurant cleaning is a major part of closing duties. Give your servers and front of house staff the direction they need to get your restaurant clean and tidy by the end of their shift.
To ensure no closing duties are missed, get your free server closing checklist:
Closing the kitchen is a more extensive process than opening due to all the cleaning requirements involved, so help your staff stay on track with this handy list.
After a full dinner service, your managers want to wind down and plan for the day ahead. Give them the direction they need for a smooth closing with this checklist template.
We’ve covered server opening and closing checklists, plus restaurant open and close checklists for kitchen staff and management. Your team now has everything they need to get your dining room ready for a busy service and get it back in shape for the following day. The only task left on the list? Print out our handy restaurant opening checklist and restaurant closing checklist templates so your employees can easily reference them every day.
Katherine is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, where she writes about trending topics in food and restaurants. The opposite of a picky eater, she’ll try (almost) anything at least once. Whether it’s chowing down on camel burgers in Morocco or snacking on octopus dumplings in Japan, she’s always up for new food experiences.
By Tommy Truong
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