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Restaurant Daily Closing Checklist Examples

restaurant closing checklist

For many restaurants and bars, closing shifts can be incredibly busy and chaotic. At the end of a shift when the doors close and everyone is tired, it can be difficult to remember every single task that needs to be finished before you leave. Creating a concise daily closing checklist helps your staff leave each night assured they got everything done. The same can be said for an opening checklist, which we explain in-depth here.

What is a Closing Checklist for a Restaurant?

A closing checklist for a restaurant is a checklist created to mark off closing tasks that need to be completed after your bar or restaurant is closed for the day. Depending on the establishment, checklists will also contain a method of marking off tasks with the name or initials of the person who completed them. You can (and should) have weekly, monthly, and daily checklists to represent tasks you need to complete.

Why Use a Daily Closing Checklist in a Restaurant?

Using a closing checklist can help you run your business easier in the following ways:

  • Daily closing checklist as a means of increased accountability.

Since there’s so much going on during a closing shift, having your checklist can help create accountability checks. As tasks are completed, they can indicate it’s completed by signing their initials. This gives your team a sense of responsibility and the ability to reference who’s done what in case anything goes wrong.

  • Improved coordination between opening and closing teams.

Having a visual representation of what each shift is responsible for can make all the difference in knowing what to focus on and what takes priority. When your opening staff comes in, they can see what was done the night before. You’ll give your closing staff the opportunity to comment on any issues with task completion as well. Comment sections on your checklist allow them to mention whether or not it was an exceptionally busy night, if a new person was being trained, etc.

  • Reduce errors and mistakes with daily closing checklists.

In the hustle and bustle of a closing shift, it becomes incredibly easy to forget things without help from your trusty checklist. Going down a list of things you need to do is always going to give you better results than guessing what you need to do next. The accountability you’ve set up by having folks use their initials helps teach your staff in a more personalized fashion too. You can easily identify people who are having a hard time with specific closing tasks and help them accordingly.

  • Increase restaurant operations efficiency.

Time is of the essence for everyone during a closing shift. Nobody wants to leave late, and overtime increases your labor usage. Having a checklist completely streamlines the process of closing so your staff can focus more on the important things they need to get done instead of guessing or doing irrelevant tasks.

Front of House (FOH) Daily Closing Checklist Example

Each working part of your restaurant or bar should have its own separate closing checklist that includes relevant tasks. This “divide and conquer” tactic makes things move even more efficiently. Here’s an example of what your checklist might look like:

Date: ______           Shift Lead/Manager on Duty: __________________


Done By:


Task to Complete:


(Initials or name here)


(Ex.) Sweep and mop the floors.

(Ex.) Mop bucket lost a wheel.



Some other examples of tasks you might see on a FOH daily closing list include:

  • Emptying the trash.
  • Wiping down the seating and tables.
  • Bringing in any signs and putting chairs up.
  • Turning off lights/music.
  • Dumping any premade beverages (coffee, iced tea) and bussing any leftover dishes.
  • Cleaning and restocking bathrooms

This can vary greatly depending on the size and type of your establishment and what type of management you tend to have during closing shifts.

Back of House Daily Closing Checklist Example

BOH duties involve a lot of prep work and cleaning, especially for restaurants or bars that serve food. Most places will start to slow down toward the end of the night and it’s perfectly acceptable to allow your staff to begin these closing tasks early to get them done. Some of the tasks you might include in your BOH closing list include:

  • Making sure all the dishes are done and put away.
  • Prepping food for the morning shift.
  • Sweeping and mopping the back area.
  • Cleaning any rubber mats.
  • Cleaning the grill, turning off ovens, etc.
  • Putting away any garnish, sauces, etc.
  • FIFOing any leftover prepped ingredients.

Here’s an example of what a BOH closing checklist might look like. Each of these will look basically the same:

Date: ______           Shift Lead/Manager on Duty: __________________

Done By:


Task to Complete:


(Initials or name here)


(Ex.) Prep 2 trays of veggies for tomorrow’s morning service.

(Ex.) Did 3 trays because it was slow tonight.



Manager Daily Closing Checklist Example

Your shift lead or manager will have their own set of closing tasks as well. This checklist is important to communicate to other managers the next day. These might look like:

  • Counting the drawer and depositing money into your safe.
  • Dividing cash tips and/or cashing out card tips for the night.
  • Shutting down your POS system. 
  • Taking inventory.
  • Locking up for the night.

Managers can also act as floaters, helping finish up any leftover tasks as needed once their own tasks are complete. Here’s an example of a manager’s daily closing checklist:

Date: ______           Shift Lead/Manager on Duty: __________________

Done By:


Task to Complete:


(Initials or name here)


(Ex.) Lock up patio after it’s been cleaned.

(Ex.) Need to buy a new lock.



No matter who’s working, it’s beneficial to have a closing checklist to keep everyone aligned with finishing the day.

Ryan Philemon


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