5 Core Elements of a great Restaurant Checklist

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There’s a simple tool that ensures your staff knows exactly what is expected of them every day – a checklist. But do you know what makes a perfect checklist? Watch the video or read the blog post below to learn the 5 must have elements to the perfect restaurant checklist.

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...
There’s 5 core elements to a restaurant checklist. Don’t make this complicated – a checklist is just a tool with a checkbox to help your staff do their job. It’s not something to get staff into trouble or something used to reprimand them. It’s just a way for them to do their job better than they already know how to do, but without forgetting things. Think about this: the pilot of a 747 knows how to land the plane, but doesn’t it make you feel just a little bit better knowing he has a checklist so he doesn’t forget to put the landing gear down. Uh-huh. Exactly.


Please, don’t put it on a piece of scratch paper or make a copy of a copy of a copy. Don’t use the list from 10 years ago that has a bunch of scratches on it. You want your staff to look at this and know that you’re taking it seriously and that it’s not something that is being implemented to make their life more difficult.


Don’t just put the day of the week on these checklists – put the ACTUAL date. There’s a (very) few exceptions to the rule but generally speaking, having the actual date on the checklist let’s your staff know that you’re on top of things and that what is in front of them is always up to date.


That means that the checklist isn’t assigned to Jenny, it’s assigned to the pantry; not Jeremy but to the Grill; not Susan, but to Server 1. This way if someone calls in sick, you can divvy up that checklist to get things done. It also helps if you have someone new on a station so they can pull out that checklist and know everything that needs to be done. These checklists also help ensure that the staff know exactly what is expected of them that day or night. Server 1 isn’t going to say that she thought Server 2 was going to do that. There’s no more excuses and everyone knows the expectations.


It may seem contradictory but keeping it simple means that you’re not going to have 30 words per line. It can’t be overly complex because it’s not a training manual. Your staff needs to be able to look at it quickly and know exactly what needs to be done. It also has to be specific enough so that they know what “complete” is going to look like.


If you create these in Excel or some complex piece of software you’re going to have to cut, paste and insert rows. Give yourself a break! If it’s not easy to update it won’t get updated on a regular basis and it ensures that you’re the one who has to update it all the time. Use something with an easy drag-and-drop functionality – something your cook or manager can do themselves if needed, then reprint them on a weekly basis. Remember these are fluid documents meaning they’re updated each week so your staff knows that this is the newest most current information in front of them.


If you want an easy checklist builder, check out our new software BACON which has a checklist builder built right into it. Click the button below to learn more and get access for FREE.

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