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Do you use checklists in your restaurant? If so, are they working for you? If not – why in the hell not?! They are the key to getting things done right and on time. Watch more!

To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.

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Read the Video Transcript by Clicking Here...


Hey restaurant owners! I want to talk to you about the checklists that you’re using in your restaurant. There are five reasons why you may not be getting the results that you want out of them and why they’re not working for you.

Every restaurant has some kind of checklist because we know the importance of them. Very few restaurants have as many checklists or with the detail that I personally like. If you’ve seen any of my videos, you know I am crazy about systems, processes, procedures, checklist, prep sheets, temperature logs, maintenance logs, order guides, inventory sheets, and the list goes on and on and on. 

The Five reasons why the checklists you’re using probably isn’t working:

  1. If a task is assigned to everybody, nobody will do it. A couple months ago I told a great story regarding this here.
  2. Photocopies of photocopies or laminated versions, shows that you just don’t care about your staff. This is why I suggest that you update and print out new versions of the checklist with the day and the date. This helps your staff know that you’re checking in on them. Make sure that the checklists are accurate. All of this tells your staff that this task is important to you and it should be important to them too.
  3. Don’t actually check-up on the checklist. A lot of times we ask ourselves, “We gave them a checklist, why aren’t they doing it?” Your job is to manage the system and develop people. Just because you gave them a checklist, doesn’t mean you can walk away from it. You still have to check up to make sure that they’re doing the checklist.
  4. Your checklists still have items on them that you don’t even use anymore. I can’t tell you how many restaurants I walk into and the cooks tell me the checklist is 6 months old and had a dish they don’t serve anymore. 
  5. A checklist is not there for accountability; rather a checklist is a tool to help your employees do their job better. Asking your staff to do the hundreds of things that you need them to do per shift/day would be nearly impossible without a checklist. It’s not there to pinpoint things they didn’t do and get them in trouble. A checklist is there to keep honest people honest. If you’ve got liars, manipulators and cheaters on your staff, a checklist is not going to help – you’ve got the wrong person working for you. The purpose of the checklist is to take the person who actually wants to do a good job for you and give them the tools that they need to set up their day for success. It’s so they don’t forget to prep items, clean certain things, and maintain pieces of equipment on a regular basis, etc. It’s to keep your good people good and your honest people honest.

Your Next Step

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