Over the past five years, the bar, restaurant, and wine industry growth has risen. According to the National Restaurant Association’s latest report, the industry is expected to reach a record high of $863 billion in revenue. That's a 3.6% increase in growth this year.
With new spots popping up every day, consumers have more choices, and competition is more intense than ever. That makes keeping your bar clean and well-organized one of the most essential factors in running a successful bar.
Keeping that in mind, we have compiled some handy daily and weekly bar cleaning checklists to keep your bar clean and organized.
Daily Bar Cleaning Checklists
Below is an entire free downloadable bar cleaning checklist with everything here on it. But we want to break it down for you first. It's all based on your bar cleaning schedule, which revolves around opening, during the shift, and closing. Closely related, we also have a list of bar and restaurant kitchen cleaning supplies, a restaurant cleaning checklist, a guide to restaurant hood cleaning, a free bar opening and closing duties checklist.
It’s important to clean before opening. You don’t want to start your day with a dirty bar and be left scrambling when your guests start coming in. After clocking in, go through this list and check off the following tasks:
□ Melt any remaining ice from the night before
□ Restock ice for the day
□ Check keg levels and restock if they are running low
□ Refill fridges with bottled and canned beer
□ Make notes of liquor, wine, beer and mixers that are running low
□ Check dates on juices and discard them if they are more than two days old
□ Prepare lemons, limes and other fresh fruit for garnishes and drinks
□ Set up bar mats, trays, stirrers, and other tools
□ Restock disposable items like napkins, straws, plastic utensils, etc.
□ Inspect and clean beer taps thoroughly
□ Wipe down glasses, cups, mugs, etc.
□ Wipe bar counter and chairs
□ Check dates of open wine bottles and discard if they are five or seven days
□ Stock up clean towels, beer openers, wine keys and pens
□ Count the cash in your register and stock with extra change
Feel free to add or remove items from the list depending on the unique needs of your bar.
During the Shift
It is even more crucial to keep your bar looking at its best throughout the day for every guest that comes in. Remember: no one wants to drink at a dirty bar. It only takes one bad impression to turn away a guest who could’ve become a regular.
Here are our suggestions for things to look out for throughout the day. You can either check on them during your downtime or assign them to your staff as their shift duties.
□ Wipe down the bar after each patron
□ Straighten chairs whenever possible
□ Clean glassware, shakers, and other tools
□ Refill coolers with bottled or canned beer
□ Take out the trash once it is full
□ Refill napkins, stirrers, straws, and toothpicks
□ Switch to clean linens for wiping regularly
It is just as important to clean your bar thoroughly before after close for the night. Not only will this help keep your bar clean, but it also lessens the work when you open the next morning.
□ Sanitize the bar top and stools
□ Sanitize all menus (a moot point for a menu using QR codes in restaurants)
□ Sweep and mop the floor behind the bar
□ Wipe liquor bottles and beer handles
□ Clean out beer taps with a keg-line brush
□ Clean the speed rails
□ Sanitize soda guns
□ Rinse drains and wash drain covers
□ Empty trash bins
Weekly Bar Cleaning Checklist
In addition to the daily cleaning tasks, there are a lot of areas and equipment that require deeper cleaning around your bar. These include drawers and cabinets, coolers, keg lines, and more. While you don’t need to clean them daily, we do recommend checking and having them cleaned at least once a week.
□ Empty and clean reach-in coolers
□ Clean storage equipment
□ Sort and reorganize drawers and cabinets if necessary
□ Clean shelving for glassware and liquor bottles
□ Sanitize keg lines
□ Take preventative measures for bugs and other pests
□ Run floor mats through the dishwasher or power wash outside
Depending on your bar's traffic patterns, you may want to prioritize certain tasks for a particular day of the week. You can include these tasks to your closing checklist on Sunday night as an end-of-the-week cleaning.
Whether you are running a pub or managing a bar, having a clean bar is a great way to keep guests coming back. We recommend downloading our free cleaning checklist template below, customizing it to fit the unique needs of your bar. It's also helpful to store these checklists in your bar sop manual. Make sure to train your staff on the importance of completing all these tasks for a good cleaning routine.
If you find this article helpful, contact us to learn more about a liquor inventory system can help you run a profitable beverage program for your bar.