8 Types of Restaurant Checklists

8 Types of Restaurant Checklists

Opening and running a restaurant business can be a daunting task. There are many things to consider, from the menu to the floor plan to the marketing strategy. But one of the most important aspects of restaurant ownership is creating and using comprehensive checklists. 

Checklists help you stay organized and on track, ensuring that no detail is overlooked. That way, you can focus on the bigger picture and provide your guests with the best possible experience.

You will need to create and use several different types of restaurant checklists. This article will outline the eight most important restaurant checklists and what each entails.


What is a Restaurant Checklist?

A restaurant checklist is a tool used to ensure that all necessary tasks are completed before, during, and after restaurant operations. It is a list of items that need to be checked or accomplished, usually in chronological order. 

For restaurant owners and managers, checklists are essential for streamlining the opening and closing procedures, preventing kitchen accidents, and ensuring that food safety standards are met. 

Creating checklists can also help you standardize training for new employees and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Restaurant checklists can be used for various purposes, but they all have one common goal: to keep your restaurant running smoothly and efficiently. 


The 8 Different Types of Restaurant Checklists

There are many different types of restaurant checklists. There’s a checklist for the front and back of the house, bar, kitchen, and other areas. Knowing all the different restaurant checklists and what they contain is essential. With that said, here are eight of the most common restaurant checklists that you need to know:

Opening and Closing Checklists

These checklists are used to ensure that all restaurant employees know their roles and responsibilities for opening and closing the restaurant.

Opening Checklist

An opening checklist contains a list of tasks that a restaurant staff must accomplish at the start of the workday – before they open the restaurant to customers. A typical opening checklist includes the following items:

  • Punch in.
  • Check the interior and exterior of the restaurant for cleanliness.
  • Verify if light fixtures, signage, furniture, and air conditioning systems are functional.
  • Check if all registers have been cleared from the previous shift
  • Turn on the POS system.
  • Conduct any necessary cleaning, including wiping down tables and countertops and sweeping or vacuuming the floor.
  • Prepare the pre-shift meeting; review the staff schedule, tasks, and roles for the day.
  • Conduct a pre-shift meeting with the front-of-house staff.
  • Touch base with the chef; review prep checklists and meal preparations.
  • Check the reservation lists; take note of special requests or notes about any upcoming service.
  • Do a final rundown to ensure everything is in place.
  • Open the restaurant.


Closing checklist

At the end of the workday, a closing checklist will help you prepare the restaurant and have it ready for the next day. A closing checklist typically contains the following items:

  • Clean and sanitize chairs, countertops, tables, and other surfaces.
  • Wipe down floors, windows, and doors if necessary.
  • Clean bathrooms; restock bathroom essentials if necessary.
  • Empty and clean the trash bins; replace the bin bags.
  • Restock the fridge and the bar with drinks.
  • Clean kitchen surfaces and equipment.
  • Conduct food inventory and adjust orders according to demand.
  • Refill condiments (sugar, salt, pepper, etc.)
  • Check and turn off all equipment that doesn’t need to stay on throughout the night (e.g., light fixtures, air conditioning, kitchen appliances).
  • Close the cash register and store earnings for the day in a safe.
  • Punch out, lock the restaurant, and ensure all your security cameras and alarms are active before leaving the restaurant premises.


Equipment Management Checklist

Instead of waiting for any storage equipment to break down and require expensive repairs, you can use an equipment management checklist to ensure that everything is running smoothly. This will help you avoid costly downtime and keep your restaurant running efficiently. Here’s what an equipment management checklist should include:

  • Visual inspection of all restaurant equipment.
  • Regularly scheduled deep cleaning of all restaurant equipment.
  • Daily sanitizing of all restaurant equipment.
  • Restaurant equipment maintenance and repairs.
  • Turn off ovens when not in use.
  • Check buttons, handles, hinges, grates, and knobs on different equipment to make sure they’re in working condition.
  • Check and clean the interiors of equipment like refrigerators, ovens, and freezers.
  • Keep the dishwasher free of food debris; when closing, leave the dishwasher door open to let it dry overnight.
  • Ensure all equipment and appliances are plugged in correctly, each having its dedicated circuit breakers.


Inventory Checklist

For your restaurant to run smoothly, you need to keep a tight handle on your inventory and make sure that you’re not running low on any key ingredients. This is where an inventory checklist comes in – it will help you track what needs to be restocked and what’s nearing its expiration date. Here’s what an inventory checklist should include:

  • Clean, organize and stock the shelves.
  • Count, measure, and record stock items.
  • Label each stock item.
  • Utilize an inventory sheet to determine which items need restocking.
  • Inspect and dispose of any expired or outdated stock.
  • Use a POS system to integrate your inventory records with your sales records.


Standard Operating Procedures

Every business follows an SOP – a restaurant is no different. SOPs help restaurant employees know what’s expected of them and how they should go about their daily tasks. It also helps ensure that everyone is on the same page, which avoids any misunderstandings or mix-ups. 

A restaurant SOP has four main areas that require checklists:

Facility and Equipment

A facility and equipment checklist focuses on how to handle the establishment and its equipment. It should include the following:

  • Regular maintenance and cleaning of equipment in the front and back of the house.
  • Dishwashing maintenance checklist.
  • Restaurant cleaning and sanitation.
  • Laundry.



This checklist will guide your staff in maintaining good personal hygiene and ensuring food safety. It should include the following:

  • Appropriate work attire
  • Personal grooming
  • Employee health, especially instances of infectious diseases.
  • Proper handwashing practices
  • Use gloves and other necessary utensils.
  • Staff contact with blood and other foreign substances.


Flow of Food

This checklist contains detailed instructions about food safety, particularly the proper preparation and handling of food. It should include the following:

  • Purchasing and handling of food from external sources.
  • Standard food preparation methods and recipes.
  • Food presentation
  • Following proper temperatures for holding, reheating, and cooling food.
  • Composting/organic recycling
  • Proper food storage.



This checklist involves proper dialogue between restaurant management, staff, and customers to keep the restaurant in order. It should include the following:

  • Welcome greetings for customers.
  • Responding to a physical hazard found in food.
  • Responding to a foodborne illness or contamination complaint.
  • Staff orientation and training on food safety.
  • Instilling food safety standards and regulations.


People Management Checklist

Managing a restaurant involves more than just the food – you also have to manage the people who work there. This includes everything from hiring and onboarding new employees to managing their schedules and performance. To help you keep track of all these different aspects, here is a people management checklist for restaurants:

  • Employee training and development
  • Retention strategies of employee
  • Employee compensation.
  • Recruitment and onboarding of new employees.
  • Employee scheduling using scheduling methods or software.
  • health and safety protocols of employees.
  • Employee performance reviews and ratings.
  • Policies and procedures for human resources.


Prep Checklists

A prep checklist helps restaurant kitchen staff know exactly what needs to be done to prepare for service. This includes everything from setting up the workstation to prepping ingredients. 

A prep checklist should include the following:

  • Items needed at the line station.
  • Items available on hand.
  • Par – the quantity of each item needed.
  • All food items required at the station.
  • Unique measurement of each item.
  • The amount of prep time required for each item to meet par.


ADA Compliance Checklist

The ADA compliance checklist is for restaurant owners and managers who want to ensure their establishment is accessible to people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all public places, including restaurants, be accessible to people with disabilities. 

Here are some items that you should include in your ADA compliance checklist:

  • Adequate measurements of accessible parking space (8-feet-wide for vehicles, plus 5-feet access aisle).
  • Alternative access route that doesn’t need the use of stairs (e.g., ramp, elevator).
  • Door width; make sure they’re wide enough for wheelchair users to access.
  • Aisle width; make sure the aisles in between fixed seating are wide enough for wheelchair users.
  • Make sure you have seating accessible to wheelchair users.
  • Ensure there is a portion of the food counter accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Provide a dedicated restroom for people with disabilities.


Financial Audit Checklist

Finally, you’ll need a financial audit checklist to help you keep track of your restaurant’s finances. This includes everything from budgeting and forecasting to bookkeeping and accounting. 

Here are some items that should be included in your financial audit checklist:

  • Revenue and expenses.
  • Budget vs. actuals.
  • Cash flow statement. 
  • Profit and loss statement.
  • Balance sheet. 
  • Sales tax returns.
  • Payroll records.



If you want to create all the restaurant checklists that we just mentioned, it’s important to use the ideal software that can handle all your restaurant checklist needs – DataMyte Digital Clipboard

The DataMyte Digital clipboard is a workflow automation software that will help you manage your restaurant using all the different checklists. From people management to food safety, DATAMYTE can help you create any checklist that you need to run your restaurant. 

Our checklist builder can help you create, edit, and share your restaurant checklists with your staff. That way, you can manage your restaurant more effectively and efficiently.

To learn more about how the DataMyte Digital Clipboard can help your restaurant, check out our website now!



Now that you know the different restaurant checklists, you can start creating your own! Just remember to tailor each checklist to fit the specific needs of your restaurant. And if you need help, you can always rely on the DataMyte Digital Clipboard.



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