Kitchen opening and closing checklists are essential to help your team keep track of critical tasks in a busy environment. A lot goes into prepping for a busy day and winding down from the final order. Our guide will provide you with kitchen checklists to ensure your operations are effective and your team is in the know and accountable.
Our guide will cover:
The kitchen opening checklist is a vital tool that sets the tone for a successful day in any restaurant or food facility. It serves as a structured guide for kitchen staff to ensure the kitchen is prepared, organised, and compliant with safety and hygiene standards before the start of operations.
By following this checklist, your team can guarantee a smooth and efficient opening, minimise risks, maintain food quality, and provide a safe environment for your staff and customers.
Reviewing closing tasks
Safety and hygiene checks
Kitchen staff briefing:
Communicating staff duties
Cleaning and sanitisation
Food storage and rotation
Equipment shut down
Final walkthrough and security
Kitchen checklists act as a safety net, ensuring that all necessary food safety protocols and compliance requirements are meticulously followed. Adherence to health and safety standards helps prevent contamination.
By organising specific tasks and their order of completion, streamline the workflow. This results in reduced downtime, increased productivity, and a well-orchestrated kitchen operation.
A structured checklist ensures that no step is missed, minimising errors and preventing unnecessary wastage of resources. By providing clear instructions, it ensures that all crucial steps are completed accurately and in the correct sequence.
Restaurants are known for experiencing frequent high staff turnovers, which poses a challenge for managers tasked with repeatedly training new employees. Using checklists proves to be an effective method for new hires to learn their responsibilities and understand the expectations placed upon them.
Performing basic actions like switching off lights, heating, or air conditioning can noticeably cut down a restaurant's utility expenses. Adding these actions to a checklist guarantees they won't be overlooked.
A well-organised and efficiently run kitchen, facilitated by thorough checklists, means quicker service, fresher food and, ultimately, higher customer satisfaction. Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is at the core of what makes a successful restaurant, and checklists play a crucial role in achieving just that.
Take note of the tasks that should be prioritised. You should consider:
Once you’ve identified the tasks, these should be broken down into subsections depending on where your staff are positioned in the kitchen. For example:
TIP! You may also want to have a section for who completed the task, so staff are held accountable and to offer support and training for those who may not have completed the task as it should be done.
Once you have identified, organised and delegated the tasks, you can create the checklist and share it with your team.
The objective of an opening kitchen checklist is to help the kitchen staff organise their tasks seamlessly. In the mornings, food supplies are typically delivered, requiring proper storage. Additionally, some food items need to be gathered from storage for preparation throughout the day, particularly during busier periods.
The checklist ensures that these essential activities are properly coordinated, setting a structured start for the day in the kitchen. Creating the kitchen closing checklist follows a similar approach to developing the opening checklist. However, the closing checklist places greater emphasis on health and safety measures.
Given that food is stored overnight and the establishment is unattended, even minor oversights could have significant consequences. Failing to turn off ovens or stoves or not securely closing fridge doors can lead to property damage or food spoilage. It's crucial to address these safety concerns during the closing routine to ensure a safe and efficient kitchen process.