hand checking off list

Are Your Restaurant’s Checklists Up to the Task?

Establishing clear processes, like checklists, help keep restaurant operations running and profitable.

It’s going to be a busy Friday at your restaurant. There’s the annual sports event in town and you’re going to be slammed. As a manager, you’re in the back early to make sure the team is ready for the volume that’s coming in. But as you walk through the door, you instantly start to worry.

There looks to be a lot of fries – but are there really enough for the evening’s predicted guest count? And hold on, when was the last time you completed an inventory? Now that you start thinking about fries, you wonder when the last time you checked your fryer. You remember being on site when they repaired fryer one, but did anyone else bother to check the last time it was serviced?

You start your daily travel path through the restaurant – the restrooms looks like they’re about 80 percent cleaned and no one on your team is really doing anything about it. You head to the kitchen to find that only about half of prep is done and your server rolling silverware just informed you that napkins are on their last leg – you actually could run out if volume is going to what you expect it to be tonight.

What the heck is happening? Holy chaos!

Trust the Process

Okay. So the above situation probably wouldn’t happen all at once, but the fact of the matter is if you had processes in place, the fallout (or even the risk of fallout) from these events might be mitigated.

Consistency is important in a restaurant. Some people might call it “boring,” but processes help keep the restaurant running and profitable. Creating systems and processes might seem tedious at first, but the benefits absolutely outweigh the consequences.

Here’s why:

Restaurant Checklists Provides Direction

Processes can provide direction for opening and closing procedures at your restaurant. They ensure inventory is taken properly or that a recipe is followed according to serving size. They even inform and shape the very behavior of your team in any given situation.

Remember that spill that happened during lunch that wasn’t cleaned up properly? If you have a written procedure in place, any one of your team could have jumped into action faster and cleaned it up according to company procedure, instead of what they consider to be “clean.”

Restaurant Checklists Creates Consistency

Have you ever heard the saying “I know it like the back of my hand”? Creating processes can help you and your team deliver a similar guest experience over and over.

Here are a few types of restaurant checklists that, over the years, we recommend to any restaurant or hotel operation.

  • The Manager’s Opening Checklist
  • Manager’s Shift Change Checklist
  • Manager’s Closing Checklist
  • Customer Service Checklist
  • Purchasing Checklist
  • Receiving Checklist
  • Storage Checklist
  • Preparation Checklist
  • Cleaning Checklist
  • Server Checklist
  • Bartender Checklist
  • Housekeeper Checklist
  • Catering Checklist
  • Drive-Thru Checklist
  • New Hire Checklist
  • Training Checklist

Really, that’s just the beginning!

Restaurant Checklists Help You Attract and Retain Employees

The business of running a restaurant can be fun and even frazzled sometimes, but the best team members take their role pretty seriously and they want to know that they are joining a restaurant that doesn’t let it all go to “hell in a hand basket.”

Having processes in place for recruiting, training and employee policies will show potential team members that your restaurant is organized and cares about training team members, holding them accountable to success and most importantly, providing an awesome level of service.

A checklist can provide a great way to keep your processes in order.

Source: Laura Price for Red Book Solutions