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  • Writer's pictureMaya

Standard Restaurant Checklists for Daily Operations


Running a restaurant requires owners and operators to look for what’s essential while clearly understanding the minor details. Here are the best restaurant checklists focusing on four primary operations areas. You can use them as is or tweak them to reflect your business’s needs. Either way, they may help you get a few steps closer to greater efficiency.


Daily restaurant opening checklist

The number one checklist runs through many tasks that should be accomplished at the very beginning of the day. It could also double as a pre-shift list when the restaurant switches from breakfast to lunch or dinner.


1. Audit the interior and exterior of the restaurant, assessing general cleanliness and whether appliances and electronics (lights, sound system, Aircondition, and more) are functioning correctly.

2. Prepare registers and POS system for service

3. Clean and set tables as needed

4. Review staffing and adjust according to call-offs and last-minute reservations.

5. Conduct pre-shift meetings with front-of-house (FOH) staff and chefs

6. Check reservations, noting any bookings that require extra attention (e.g., special occasions or large parties)

7. Do a final walkthrough

8. Open the store for customers


Daily restaurant inventory checklist

Every restaurant should have a system or inventory management. You need to complete these daily routines to help you keep tabs on what you have on hand, what needs to be ordered, and whether your current approach works for your bottom line.


1. Assess stock shelves, cleaning and organizing as necessary and ensuring contents are prioritized according to FIFO (first in, first out).

2. Diligently count and measure stocked items and add them to the daily inventory log

3. Double-check inventoried items to ensure everything is properly labeled and dated according to safety regulations.

4. Utilize an in-house/custom inventory sheet that outlines par counts and shows which items are being wasted. Save data to determine food costs and look for ways to minimize food waste.

5. Disposed any expired inventory, and don’t forget to log losses.

6. It is always best to incorporate sales data with inventory records via your POS system.


Daily restaurant equipment maintenance checklist

If you want to keep your restaurant fully operational and ready to welcome guests, it’s best to have a restaurant equipment checklist that includes daily tasks.


1. You should check equipment to ensure all appliances are functioning correctly. It includes flipping switches, trying handles and knobs, and testing hinges.

2. Don’t forget to verify whether the equipment is plugged correctly to avoid losing power, tripping a circuit, or blowing a fuse

3. Make sure to clean in, around, and on critical appliances for the building (dirt, grease, grime), focusing on ovens, fridges, and freezers that are prone to collecting debris

4. Ensure all walk-ins, reach-ins, and other refrigerators and freezers are set to the appropriate temperatures

5. Set up dishwashers for efficiency, cleaning, and removing debris that could interfere with ongoing functionality.

6. Clean, sanitize, and check the functionality of the ice machine(s)

7. See daily equipment cleaning tasks, and schedule deep cleaning on weekly/monthly rotations.


It would be helpful to print these daily checklists and then post copies in shared spaces and employee handbooks. It’s essential to keep everyone aware and understand the highest standards of maintenance, cleaning, opening and closing tasks, and other critical operational duties. It helps you improve your chances for smooth shifts and positive experiences for your team and guests. Suppose you’re interested to learn ways that you can streamline your business operations. Talk to us now.

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