Closing the Restaurant – Using Checklists To Ensure All Is Done
Properly closing a restaurant is one way to make sure the morning shift starts their day correctly. It therefore stands to reason that if the morning shift completes their duties properly, the afternoon or evening shift can report to work and smoothly transition into waiting on the evening’s customers.
From the busboy to the salad prep girl to the dishwasher, each person in a restaurant has a specific duty to fulfill. The same applies when closing a restaurant. If each person follows their specific checklist to close their respective area, the work will get done quickly and smoothly.
Ultimately, any job not properly completed by the support staff should be caught by the manager on duty. In fact, the restaurant manager’s closing checklist probably has many tasks to complete. This includes making sure each area is clean, walk in units are cooled at the right temperature and all food is stored. The manager must also handle the money and statistics from the day’s activities. Normally, the manager’s supervisor will stop by the restaurant to review receipts, statistics and deposits.
The kitchen closing checklist will differ from the server closing checklist. Each should outline specific tasks to complete that are easy to follow and in a specific order. The goal is to ensure that the next shift will readily and easily be able to find supplies and wait on customers. Therefore, every dish and utensil should be properly stored once cleaned. Every floor must be mopped with the bucket and mop returned to their positions. Finally, there should not be any food left out overnight.
When a restaurant is closed in a timely and efficient manner, its owner(s) may decide to reward its employees from time to time. Recognizing the achievements of employees by the year, month or week could serve as incentives to lower paid employees to work harder. However, simply saying “thank you for doing a good job” can sometimes make a big difference too.
Closing a restaurant involves everyone doing their part to set up the following shifts for success. No one person can do it all. But if everyone does their part, a restaurant is likely to do well financially while at the same time providing quality.