F&B Service Industry | Opening and Closing Checklists

Shariq Ansari
January 30, 2023
5 mins to read
Grid's F&B checklists help restaurants increase speed and accuracy of processes required to maintain service quality.

The Food and Beverage (F&B) Service Industry is a fast-paced and demanding field that requires impeccable organizational skills and attention to detail to ensure smooth and hygienic operations. An effective Opening and Closing Checklist is essential to making this possible. These checklists guarantee that every aspect of the service process is carried out accurately and efficiently, reducing the risk of errors and accidents.

So, let's take a closer look at both of these checklists. An Opening Checklist is a detailed list of tasks that must be completed before the start of each shift. It includes a wide range of steps, such as setting up and preparing the dining area, kitchen, and service stations, as well as stocking inventory and checking equipment. Every store manager wants to ensure that everything is set up and ready for service before the first customer walks in, and this checklist assists them in doing so.

A Closing Checklist, on the other hand, covers all of the tasks required to close the restaurant for the day. This includes cleaning and sanitizing the dining area, kitchen, and service stations, as well as locking up the premises and preparing for the next day's operations. The closing checklist is critical for maintaining high standards of hygiene and safety, and for ensuring that the restaurant is in top condition for the next day.

Why should opening and closing checklists be used in every F&B store?

By using a systematic approach to opening and closing procedures, F&B service businesses can improve efficiency and eliminate the risk of human error. This leads to a more positive experience for both customers and staff and ultimately results in increased revenue. Checklists are not a one-time solution though and should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they remain relevant and practical. As the needs and requirements of the business change, the checklists should be adjusted accordingly.

A key benefit of using opening and closing checklists is that it provides a clear, step-by-step guide to the tasks required, which prevents the likelihood of important tasks being overlooked. They also instill complete procedure standardization among all employees, lowering the risk of discrepancies between shifts.

Using checklists also makes tracking performance and identifying areas for improvement easier. For example, if the same tasks are consistently overlooked or incorrectly completed, the checklist can be adjusted to reflect this and improve future performance. It's important to note that checklists conducted on paper make tracking a cumbersome process because data collation and management are highly prone to errors, resulting in inaccurate analysis. This is where the need to digitize your entire checklist process comes into play.

Opening closing dashboard for restaurants
F&B businesses need to digitize their checklist processes, to ensure transparency and accurate insights.

Grid's solution to manual checklists

Designed for F&B businesses that run opening and closing audits on their restaurants, the Opening and Closing Checklist template will let you run these audits digitally through the Grid mobile app. This template is especially ideal for businesses with multiple branches, as it ensures that the level and quality of service are consistent across all locations. The best part about digitizing via Grid is that you can move all your checklists to the app in minutes - just set up your Store Managers as users on Grid, give them access to the data, and you're done!

Once set up, the Opening and Closing Checklist template records and track everyday tasks that have to be completed at the time of opening a store and at its closing time. The template is divided into two portions, with each containing a list of checkpoints, which can be completely customized as per your requirements.

The Opening Checklist contains the following list of components that need to be filled in prior to opening the store:

  1. Cleaning: Store managers need to specify if all the windows, floors, walls, and artifacts are dusted and cleaned.
  2. Sanitization: Every table and chair must be thoroughly sanitized for the customers to use.
  3. Side Stations: All side stations need to be sufficiently filled and organized.
  4. Electrical: The manager is in charge of ensuring all electrical appliances like lights, air-conditioners, speakers, and TV screens are switched on and in working order.
  5. Counters: All food and drink counters need to be clean, and billing computers must be set up and ready for operations.
  6. Devices: The Point of Sales (PoS) machines and the order-taking tablets must be fully charged and in working order, before the first customer walks in.
  7. Image Capture: The image capture option lets managers instantly take photos/videos of any issue during the check-listing process.
  8. Team Briefing: The final step is the team briefing which has to be conducted by the manager before the door is opened for business.
  9. Score: Based on the answered checkpoints, the Grid app calculates a score automatically.
  10. Percentage: A percentage value of the completed checklist points for the store is shown here.
  11. Uploaded Time: This section is auto-filled with the time at which the checklist was conducted to ensure the validity of the data.

The Closing Checklist contains a similar list of components except for a few changes:

  1. Cleaning: All the walls and other artifacts must be dusted, and the floors, windows, front gate, cutlery, food menus, and host desk must be wiped clean before the store is locked.
  2. Sanitization: Tables and chairs need to be debris-free, sanitized, and organized for customers to use the next day.
  3. Side Stations: The side stations need to be cleaned, re-stacked, and reorganized for faster setup the next morning.
  4. Cutlery: The manager needs to check if all cutlery, crockery, and glassware are intact and kept back in their respective places.
  5. Counters: All counters should be cleaned, reorganized, and ready for the next day.
  6. Devices: Point of Sales Machines and order-taking tablets and phones must be switched off, put on charge, and kept safe inside for the next day's operations to function smoothly.
  7. Electrical: The checklist ensures MCB Panels, lights, air-conditioners, speakers, TV screens, and Wi-Fi are switched off before the store is locked.
  8. Security: Ensure that all windows and doors are closed and locked and that the store keys are handed over to the security guard.
  9. Image Capture: The image capture option lets managers instantly take photos/videos of any issue during the check-listing process.
  10. Score: Based on the answered checkpoints, the Grid app calculates a score automatically.
  11. Percentage: A percentage value of the completed checklist points for the store is shown here.
  12. Uploaded Time: This section is auto-filled with the time at which the checklist was conducted to ensure the validity of the data.
Opening and closing checklist for restaurants
With digital F&B checklists on Grid, all employee procedures are standardized which elevates efficiency.

How do your checklists function within the Grid app?

Now that you're aware of what the Grid Opening and Closing Checklist template contains, let's go over how easy and quick it is to set up all the data, checkpoints, worksheets, users, and analytics, with just a few clicks and no code!

The Opening and Closing Checklist Template for the F&B Service sector automatically creates:

  1. A designated workspace in your Grid account, called the 'Opening and Closing Checklist'.
  2. Two worksheets under the Opening and Closing Checklist workspace, called 'Opening Checklist' and 'Closing Checklist'.
  3. A workspace called 'Master Databases,' which contains a 'Store Database,' which includes a list of all your stores and their respective IDs.
  4. An analytics dashboard called 'Checklist Tracker Dashboard', where you can see automatically aggregated insights on all your audits.
  5. A notifications system and other dependencies so that the template can run perfectly in real time.

The Opening and Closing Checklist worksheets are meant to be filled in by Store Managers. Once the manager completes their checklists and submits the form with a single click, the audit data will directly be stored in the database. If the manager misses any checkpoint, the audit will be marked as incomplete. The Store Manager will be able to post pictures or other references as visual proof of the checkpoints being audited, as well as comments and other remarks. In order to integrate this template into your daily operations, all you will need are:

  1. A list of your stores that are to be added to the 'Store Database' worksheet.
  2. A list of users who are Store Managers for these stores.
  3. A list of opening and closing time checkpoints specific to your business requirements.

Now that you know the importance of digital Opening and Closing checklists, and how easy it is to put them into action, it's time to get the best results out of your operations. If you'd like to know more about how Grid can help you set up a checklist module that tracks all your F&B stores across multiple locations, standardizes operations, and gives you unprecedented insights into your business, speak to a Grid expert and we'll get you started.

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