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Kitchen Operations Checklists

Keep track of kitchen operation tasks using mobile-ready kitchen operation checklists for duty managers and shift supervisors

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What is a Kitchen Operations Checklist?

A kitchen operations checklist is used to ensure that all kitchen procedures are followed and completed across shifts. This tool can be used by executive chefs or duty managers to monitor kitchen operations before opening, during operations, and before closing the kitchen facility. Regular kitchen walkthroughs help businesses cut down expenses, improve food safety, and deliver stellar customer service. It also helps prevent untoward incidents in the kitchen that can lead to food contamination and other health risks.

This article features: 1) 4 crucial procedures you should monitor in the kitchen; 2) downloadable kitchen operating checklists, and 3) technology to help you streamline your kitchen operating processes.

Crucial Kitchen Procedures You Should Be Monitoring

Running a commercial kitchen can involve numerous procedures and hundreds of tasks that need to be regularly performed by staff. Knowing where to focus can be daunting. Here are the top 4 procedures you should prioritize to ensure a smooth kitchen operation:

1. Kitchen Opening

The kitchen opening is one of the most crucial procedures as it heavily affects how the other succeeding procedures are performed. Kitchen opening tasks include:

  • Turning on basic utilities (e.g., lights, ventilation, etc.)
  • Pre-heating kitchen equipment (e.g., ovens, broilers, griddles, etc.)
  • Checking and logging temperatures of refrigerator and freezer units
  • Inspecting the whole kitchen area to check if closing procedures were properly initiated during the previous shift. (e.g., cleanliness, equipment malfunctions, proper storage, and waste disposal)
  • Receiving and proper storage of food supplies (e.g., labeling, indicating dates, proper wrapping, and storage)

2. Food/ Kitchen Service Preparation

Food safety should be a top priority in every kitchen. Focusing on food safety protects consumers from foodborne illnesses and businesses from getting sued or shut down. Restaurants, hotels, and other commercial kitchens should take preventative procedures such as ensuring that kitchen staff adhere to all hygiene and safety procedures. Dishes should also be prepared according to standard recipes and served in a timely and appealing manner.

3. Kitchen Cleaning

Kitchen facilities should be clean and well maintained to pass health department requirements. Keeping a clean environment within the facility promotes food safety and boosts the productivity and efficiency for the kitchen staff. Cleaning should be conducted daily during opening and closing of the kitchen, and even in between shifts. Monitor all items and areas that need to be cleaned using a kitchen cleaning checklist and use it to implement a kitchen cleaning schedule.

4. Kitchen Closing

Similar to the kitchen opening procedure, kitchen closing is also crucial as it involves proper overnight storage of leftover food and ensures the security of the facility before leaving. Overlooking a simple step such as turning off ovens or stoves may lead to fire and other potential risks. Kitchen closing tasks include:

  • Double-checking if any perishable foods have been left out
  • Checking if all refrigeration equipment are working and locked
  • Locking of cabinets and proper storage of keys
  • Shutting off all heating equipment and other utilities
  • Activation of alarm system
  • Locking up the facility

Standardized Kitchen Operations with iAuditor

Easily keep track of kitchen operations by using a digital checklist. You can use iAuditor by SafetyCulture, a digital inspection solution, to deliver clear and concise instructions to your staff and also monitor if duties are being performed according to standard. Perform paperless kitchen inspections using your mobile device and:

  • Generate on-site reports
  • 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


Jai Andales

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jai is a content writer for SafetyCulture based in Manila. She has been writing well-researched articles about health and safety topics since 2018. She is passionate about empowering businesses to utilize technology in building a culture of safety and quality.