Opening a restaurant is a daily right to ensure that you and your restaurant start the day ready to keep working, and not worry about trivial matters. With Zips Restaurant Opening Checklist, you can easily batch and assign every piece of set-up.
Setting Up for Success
Opening is the only chance you have to make sure your restaurant is prepared for the day ahead. Opening preparations imply that the rest of the day will require that much less crisis management. This is a time to check on inventory, finances, and cleanliness that will enable your restaurant to thrive. With a quick, early meeting, you can check in with your employees, brief them on any changes for the day, and remind them to help you manage by staying on top of their Zip Checklist tasks. Additionally, with time, you’ll begin to figure out the optimal times to turn each piece of equipment on, to make sure it’s ready to go in time for prep and operation while wasting as little energy and time as possible. When you begin to fine tune those details, you can directly alert the staff member responsible at the correct time to turn on each piece of equipment, thus providing efficiency using a restaurant opening checklist.
Whether you oversee multiple locations with different opening procedures or have just one reliable opening checklist performed by experienced staff at your location, the Zip Checklist provides accountability by being able to accurately understand the working contributions of each employee without badgering anyone while they are working. If one person always ends their opening early, find a way to take some weight off of someone else.
One of the biggest challenges of opening is coordinating with your vendor’s delivery. Your entire restaurant hinges on proper delivery, unloading, and payment when the vendor’s truck departs. Use the Zip Checklist task management system to ensure enough people are assigned to the vendor when they arrive to keep materials moving and productivity flowing.
Along with the new food coming in, it’s important to check on the food you already have in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantries. Whichever employee is assigned this task should carefully check food expiration dates, remove expired food, and make a note of items that are overstocked, close to their expiration dates, or both to be included in the day’s specials. They should update the inventory on Zip Checklist for reference by anyone who needs it and assign any resulting tasks to those down the line or contact the manager to do so.
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Your restaurant, like all others, has a very particular rhythm in the kitchen that requires certain systems to be ready for frictionless operation. Of course, you didn’t leave the dishwashing station ready for action overnight, so the station needs to be set up with the chemicals, racks, etc. required for the washing process. Meanwhile, every prep station needs to be cleaned and sanitized. This might seem redundant from the closing process, and it is, but redundancies ensure everything is done correctly, even if trivial things fall under the radar. With the Zips restaurant opening checklist, however, there is much less risk of anything eluding you so that you can pay extra attention when cleaning the stations or sections that weren’t cleaned as part of closing the previous night.
Ingredients, especially high-volume ingredients that are used in multiple popular dishes on your menu, are priorities when opening. Your kitchen staff’s opening tasks should include ample time for food preparation to reduce as much customer waiting time as possible. It is up to you whether to assign individual prep tasks to each person or create a shared list accessible by all of the opening kitchen staff that allows them to divvy up the necessary daily food prep. Time spent on food preparation planning ensures the kitchen runs smoothly and quickly as the day drags on.
With the Zip Checklist app, you can see which specific tasks your closing employees did and didn’t complete during yesterday’s closing. From there, you can check their work for quality assurance. If you find anything amiss, it is easy to check who was assigned the task, and if this is a pattern of negligence on their part. Some task management tips can be found here.
If your restaurant requires trips to the bank to deposit money, opening is a convenient time to do so. Whether you can deliver it yourself, another manager does the delivery or even an employee who otherwise would have few opening tasks, getting this done early on not only adds momentum to the day but also reminds you to keep the end goal in mind as you begin.
For more fundamental concerns of cleanliness, it is important to empty every trash bag before the day starts, to complete as many basic tasks as possible during opening to leave pressure off of the teams later in the day when they also have to juggle customers. Letting your employees exercise foresight, helps to ensure higher efficiency and makes sure your staff is warmed up when early customers start to arrive.
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By far the most versatile and helpful tool in your opening arsenal is a full system checklist. You, if you are on-site, or a trusted, high-level manager if you are not, personally going through the entire restaurant, checking for consistent quality in the entire setting, is invaluable to your business. Given most of the heavy opening work goes to kitchen staff, the management team will have plenty of time to assess the state of things thoroughly. The instructions on the restaurant opening checklist should be as accurate as possible, such as “fully stocked toilet paper and paper towels, lined, empty trash bin, spotless seats, and clean, dry floors” rather than “bathroom.” The more specific each item is, the higher level of quality you can be confident in each day. If any discrepancies are noted, the manager shouldn’t fix it themselves, unless rather simple. They should instead use the Zip Checklist system to assign the task to an appropriate staff member and mark its priority if it needs to be taken care of before customers start to show up.
Opening is one of the most personalized aspects of the restaurant world, so it’s important to keep track of what is working and what isn’t. With these checklists prepared, you’ll be able to add any new tasks or fixes to the recurring Zips restaurant opening checklist and gradually perfect your opening ritual. The better your opening is, the more smoothly your day will run.