Benefits of Opening/Closing Restaurant Checklists: Download a Free Template Today

What is the first task an employee does when opening a restaurant? What is the last task your staff completes when closing? Many simple yet pivotal responsibilities are completed during these shifts. Opening duties like turning on the lights and checking for wobbling tables may seem basic but they help ensure the best experience for your customers. Equally important are the closing tasks such as taking the trash out, sanitizing surfaces, and storing food and equipment properly. 

In this blog, we will cover what opening and closing checklists are and how they can benefit your restaurant. We have also included free, downloadable, and printable opening/closing checklists so that your business can put its best foot forward. 

What are opening and closing checklists?

A restaurant opening and closing checklist is a list of tasks that the employees on the first and last shifts must complete in efforts to prepare for the next day of business. Restaurant checklists are a tool that managers use to identify and resolve issues that may impact the business. 

What are the benefits of a restaurant opening and closing checklist?

As restaurateurs know, there are many tasks that need to happen on a daily basis to keep the doors open. Checklists can help organize the responsibilities that are required when opening and closing your restaurant such as food prep, storefront preparation, building check, general inspection, etc. Referencing a clear-cut yet thorough list makes it more efficient for everyone to ensure that even the smallest of tasks are done correctly. Checklists reduce forgetfulness, lower human error, and increase the quality of task execution. They also act as a helpful reminder for employees. 

Checklists save employees time and energy by ensuring that no task is overlooked or duplicated. Checklists can also help restaurants reduce spending by encouraging employees to proactively review inventory. For example, when food is stored properly, you can minimize the risk of spoiled ingredients and inventory loss.Aside from benefiting your bottom line, the most important aspect of opening and closing checklists is the fact that they improve safety in the workplace for both employees and guests. 

Download your Free Opening and Closing Checklists 
Preview of opening and closing checklist

The industry norm is to track daily responsibilities with pen and paper. However, as technology evolves, businesses are beginning to leverage digitized checklists that help automate workflows and reduce human error. Squadle’s robust suite of digital food safety products – from customizable checklists, shift management, and remote temperature monitoring, are changing the way that QSR, c-stores, and groceries manage everyday workflows and operations. Wherever you are on your business’s food safety journey, we’ve included a free, printable opening and closing checklist as a resource. If you are interested in expediting your opening/closing process with a digital version, please reach out to for a personalized demo.