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Bar Checklists

Easily track bar operations and best practices with mobile bar checklists for bar managers

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What is a Bar Checklist?

A bar checklist is used to ensure that bar operation procedures are followed on a regular basis. This tool can be used by bar managers and waitstaff as a guide when preparing for, during, and after operations. Using a bar checklist helps bar managers comply with establishment standards and regulatory requirements to prevent fines and government-sanctioned closure. It also helps in streamlining operations while delivering consistent quality and service to patrons.

This article features: 1) Best practices for successful bar operation; 2) downloadable bar checklists, and 3) technology to help you comply with bar operation best practices.

Best Practices for Successful Bar Operation

Managing a bar means frequently switching from one task to another. it’s easy to miss important steps. Here are the top 4 best practices you need to remember to successfully operate your bar:

  1. Always be cleaning
    The cleanliness of a bar is important for passing health inspections and maintaining a good reputation:
    Before opening, inspect equipment, glasses, plates, utensils, tables, and bathrooms to ensure that they have been cleaned and sanitized. Spot clean areas and items where applicable.
    During operations, implement regular walkthrough inspections to identify areas that need cleaning. Look out for spills, food crumbs, trash, and dirt accumulation. Common areas for cleaning include the front bar, customer tables, floors, and bathrooms. Regularly dispose of trash bins before they overflow.
    Before closing, clean the back bar, tables, and bathrooms. Sanitize kitchenware, and glassware in preparation for the following day’s work.
  2. Monitor stock
    The worst-case scenario for a bar is running out of stock in the middle of operations. Even if liquor and food inventory has already been performed before opening, check stocks periodically throughout the night to ensure that supplies meet demands.
  3. Do regular rounds
    Do regular walkarounds and occasionally ask customers if they are happy with the service and if there is anything that can be improved. Observe staff members in the kitchen, bar, and service areas and check if they are following standard operating procedures for quality and safety. Take immediate action to diffuse tense situations between customers and staff members and eject disorderly persons if necessary.
  4. Ensure permits/licenses are updated
    Without the the correct permits and licenses, a bar cannot operate. Business and liquor licenses usually require renewal after a year, but may vary depending on your country or state. Take note of expiration dates to avoid hefty fines and suspensions.

Mobile app to guide bar cleaning and operations

Ensure your bar is up to code by using a digital checklist. Use iAuditor, the world’s #1 mobile inspection app to guide managers and staff and ensure proper procedures are followed. Perform paperless inspections and:

  • Generate on-site reports
  • Use powerful analytics to identify common problem areas and resolve them
  • Take photo evidence of compliant and non-compliant items
  • Indicate corrective measures, assign to a team member, and set priority and due date
  • Share reports within the organization instantly
  • Save reports online and keep them safe in the cloud


Juhlian Pimping

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Juhlian Pimping has been writing about safety and quality topics for SafetyCulture since 2018. Before writing for SafetyCulture full-time, Juhlian worked in customer service and wrote for an Australian RTO.