Restaurant Checklists: Opening, Closing, Daily Cleaning

Be consistent and effective with your daily restaurant opening and closing checks using a powerful inspection tool

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Published November 3rd, 2020

What is a Restaurant Procedures Checklist?

A restaurant procedures checklist is a tool used to ensure that all the tasks involved in operating a restaurant and providing exceptional customer service are delivered across all shifts from opening till closing. Also called a restaurant daily checklist, it helps managers perform regular walkthroughs before opening, during operations, and before closing to make sure that the establishment is at par with the restaurant’s standards.

In this article we will discuss the following:

How to Conduct Daily Restaurant Opening Checks

Daily restaurant checks can be routinary but they are vital to proactively catch issues before they become problematic. Here are some steps to follow when conducting daily restaurant checks:

Begin with the right checklist

With all the things to check during restaurant opening and closing, it is best to have a reliable restaurant daily checklist. Use restaurant checklists as a guide so that you do not miss anything when checking all areas of the restaurant at opening or closing.

Do a visual check

Look at the overall setup of the restaurant and ensure that what you see is indeed the intended look, ambiance, or seating arrangement for the day. Rearrange the setup of tables, chairs, and decorations, when appropriate, to fit any special occasions such as booked events.

Look closely

After you have checked the overview of the restaurant’s setup, it is time to look closely at the minute but important details in different areas of the restaurant. Check for wobbling tables and chairs and inspect the cleanliness of the table linens. Check the condition of the glassware, cutlery, and other items that customers are going to see. Anything that is not at par with the restaurant’s standards must be corrected.

Check the restaurant’s equipment

Is the cooler functioning? Are all the light bulbs working? Is the HVAC providing the desired temperature? Is the POS system working properly? Make sure that all the equipment used at the restaurant are in good working condition.

Ensure cleanliness

Maintaining the cleanliness of the restaurant is vital to maintaining the business. From the restaurant’s entrance, to the floor, walls, curtains, linens, equipment, and utensils, as well as the staff’s attire—everything should be checked for cleanliness.

Brief the staff and make notes

Record observations and corrections made during the restaurant check. Note not only the areas for improvement found but also record those deemed worthy of commendation. Good recordkeeping can be a good source of determining the most common errors and corrections made as well as a basis for periodic announcements of best workers.

Powerful Tool for Daily Restaurant Checks

The key to effective daily restaurant checks is to actually perform them constantly. iAuditor by SafetyCulture can help restaurant managers and supervisors complete restaurant daily opening and closing checks by making the inspections easier and more effective. With the restaurant checklists on the iAuditor mobile app, you can:

  • Get a timely reminder when a check is due
  • Be guided with an easy to follow checklist that you can edit according to your business need
  • Take photos for better context on what you find during checks
  • Quickly assign tasks for immediate action
  • Easily generate reports whenever a daily check is completed
  • Benefit from electronic recordkeeping for easy and secure access to daily reports
  • Make use of analytics to discover the most common areas for improvement and training opportunities

Get started by downloading from this free collection of restaurant opening, closing, and daily kitchen cleaning checklists. We also feature a general restaurant startup checklist you can use to ensure you are ready for the first day of operations.


Erick Brent Francisco

SafetyCulture staff writer

As a staff writer for SafetyCulture, Erick is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. Prior to SafetyCulture, Erick worked in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail.