Cafe and Restaurant Opening and Closing Full Checklists 21/22

Cafe and Restaurant Opening and Closing Full Checklists 21/22

Restaurant Opening and Closing Checklists

These are checklists that enlist all essential tasks that the staff of your restaurant must complete after closing your restaurant and opening the restaurant. The jobs are usually listed according to the different groups of the team and handed over in printed form or digital form to the teams working in opening and closing shifts. For example, make sure your cafe or restaurant menu covers (also see our barriers for cafes), a have a good design for your food-loving customers (check out the restaurant theme ideas)!

Benefits of a Cafe and Restaurant Checklist

After the last customer of your restaurant has left and before the first customer has arrived, there are tons of essential tasks for better management of your restaurant. It is necessary to create a checklist containing all necessary tasks to complete before a restaurant opening and after closing to ensure nothing is missed out on.

This checklist will help you in smoothly managing the day-to-day operations of your business. A checklist is helpful in keeping a check and balance and eliminates any confusion about the priority of tasks. Stats show that owners operating with opening and closing checklists experience fewer instances of human error and forgetfulness. The checklist also helps your staff work more efficiently by multi-tasking various tasks of the same group.  Not only this, the tasks are completed faster when working with a clear end goal in mind.

Types of Opening and Closing Checklists

Usually, the opening and closing checklists are of three types

  1. Front of house checklist: includes tasks that are the responsibility of the floor manager or senior server.
  2. A back of house checklist: includes tasks that are the responsibility of the chef or sous chef).
  3. A manager checklist: included tasks that are the responsibility of the general manager of the restaurant

Here it is essential to mention that all the tasks mentioned in the checklist are not directly to be performed by the person responsible, but the individual must ensure that his subordinates complete those tasks. The checklists are categorised into subsections that mention departments to be taken care of in opening and closing shifts.

Opening Checklists

Front of House and Bar Opening Checklist

Set Up

  • Organise tables
  • Clean windows, tables and other surfaces 
  • Empty trash cans
  • Ensure clean washrooms


  • Organise all the essentials on the tables


  • Restock tabletop necessities
  • Restock liquor at the bar
  • Put clean glassware

Back of House Opening Checklist


  • Ensure all the cooking setup is clean.


  • Ensure all the ingredients are ready for cooking
  • Ensure tools at the cooking station


  • Restock new inventory
  • Place food items in their proper place
  • Ensure that new cooking essentials are stocked

Restaurant Manager Opening Checklist

Staff Meeting

  • Write down goals for the day. 

Menu Education

  • Discuss daily special recipe with the staff members
  • Revise items included in the menu
  • Ensure that staff is prepared to cook new menu item


  • Clear any pending dues
  • Answer payroll questions
  • Set income goals for the day


  •  Ensure responses on social media platforms
  • Keep ascheck on any new deliveries of the day
  • Organise if any equipment or other electronics are due to be fixed

Closing Checklist

Front of House Closing Checklist


  • Clean furniture
  • Organize furniture
  • Clean floors
  • Clean coffee and ice tea machines
  • Clean soda machines 
  • Ensure clean bathrooms and restock necessitates if necessary
  • Empty trashcans and put new garbage bags
  • Turn off all the unnecessary lights


  • Ensure alcohol cabinets are locked safely
  • Secure any restricted area


  • Put back menus
  • Refill napkins
  • Restock salt and pepper shakers


  • Ensure all the tips are accounted for
  • Close register for the day and secure it properly
  • Audit the net cash for the day and secure it properly

Back of House Closing Checklist


  • Put back clean slip mats
  • Clean floors of the kitchen
  • Empty kitchen trash cans
  • Clean all cooking tools
  • Clean all cooking stations
  • Clean flattop
  • Put fresh oil in fryer
  • Ensure employee bathroom is clean and restocked
  • Clean break room


  • Organise inventory
  • Organise any new deliveries of the day
  • Label and unlabeled food
  • Ensure no food container in the refrigerator is five days’ old
  • Ensure all tools are back on the station
  • Restock all food items that are about to end in the containers
  • Secure walk-in and any other fridges or freezers
  • Prepare for cooking for the next day according to leftover items


  • Organise walk-in to ensure food safety and prevent cross-contamination
  • Put the older items in the front so that they are used before and can be prevented from getting rotten or wasted at the back of the fridge. Make sure every product is arranged in respective manner
  • Empty the dishwasher and ensure all the cutlery is back in place


  • Double-check temperature setting for the freezer and fridge
  • Ensure all heaters, ovens, and gas stoves are appropriately turned off
  • Secure sharp cooking tools
  • Ensure all unnecessary equipment are turned off.
  • Lock all employee lockers

General Manager Closing Checklist


  • Instruct employees to submit linens and send them off for washing
  • Ensure the whole restaurant is clean and ready for the next day before the staff takes off


  • See off your employees in a suitable manner
  • Check the attendance
  • Complete the logbook for the manager to keep things on the record
  • Design and put up the schedule for employees (in the break room, online, or your scheduling software)
  • Post advertisements of any job openings


  • Check emails and social media. Keep a close eye on the feedback and know what is trending in today’s world
  • Clean your office
  • Log all the deliveries of the day
  • Ensure there are no pending paper works
  • Schedule any maintenance work that is pending


  • Review the sales data regularly with POS and your revenue and receipts of the sales
  • Keep the sales information upgraded and to avoid errors recheck it with the register
  • Look for any pending cheques or orders
  • Make deposits
  • Ensure all pending dues are cleared


  • Make sure your office is locked securely, your PC with data is shut down and password protected
  • Ensure all the exit doors of the restaurant are properly locked and ensure secure lock of the main entrance on your way out
  • Set fire and any force entry alarms

That was all from our guide on the opening and closing checklist of restaurants. Hopefully, incorporating a checklist into your restaurant’s operational flow will help ensure better work, streamlined progress, saving money, and most importantly, happy customers.

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