Running a successful bar is not something you can accomplish overnight. Among many things, it requires meticulous planning and building processes and procedures you can train your bar staff on and hold them accountable for. That's what a bar opening and closing checklist are for.
Because first and foremost, you need steps for opening and closing your bar. So we compiled a handy bar opening and closing checklist to help you. Below find a breakdown of the components of the checklist, and then scroll all the way down to download our free bar opening and closing checklist and add it to your bar staff training manual!
Bar Opening Checklist
Quick Property Check
Upon walking into your establishment, the first thing you should do is making a quick property check. This is an important bar manager duty that's sets the tone for the rest of the staff. Any manager that doesn't do this small step isn't worth their bar manager salary. Take a few minutes to pick up any trash left outside the door by your guests the night before. Then head inside and push any stray chairs into bars and tables and note any visible damage that may be present.
Once you step inside your bar, look for anything that could be out of place or broken. Then make sure your employees completed their responsibilities before closing. This is also a good time to do a quick inventory check at your bar for any missing items. Also keep a lookout for any items running low that need to be reordered.
The next thing that you should inspect is your taps. This portion should also be on your bartender duties checklist. Always check the taps before opening up to make sure they all function properly. Any faulty lines, broken spouts, or bad kegs can hinder your bar’s operation on a busy night.
Do Surface Cleaning
And lastly, you should give your bar a quick surface cleaning. Any dust, leftover messes, or other imperfections need to be dealt with before opening. Give a good wipe down for your dishes, cups, bar’s counter, kitchen, and tables. Replace or refill any condiments and tabletop items.
Bar Closing Checklist
Close Your Bar and Lock The Door
The first thing that you should do after all your guests have left is to lock the doors. Having guests linger around can severely slow down the closing process. It'll prevent you, or your staff, from completing the tasks and leaving on time.
Examine Your Bar’s Perishables
Check on your bar’s garnishes, food, and other perishables. Make sure they are organized and stored properly to ensure they remain fresh for the next business day. A helpful tip for doing this is dating your perishable items. This will help you check on which items have expired or are close to expiring.
Check the Cash Register
Making sure that your bar is always bringing in revenue is definitely the most important thing to keep an eye on. As a bar owner or bar manager, you need to double-check your bar’s cash register before closing. Make sure all sales have been accounted for. This will help you catch anything off between registers, or if an inventory check doesn’t line up with what is recorded in the POS.
Clean and Refill Disposables
Similar to when you open your bar, you should always spend a few minutes cleaning when you close your bar. Make sure that your taps are cleaned thoroughly. Wipe your glasses, cups, and other equipment. Double-check on the counter, kitchen, tables, and chairs. Sweep your floors carefully and refill any disposables. A good bar manager will ensure all of these steps are done before leaving for the night.
Download a Free Bar Opening and Closing Checklist
These steps don’t need to be done in this specific order. But it's important to complete all of them before opening or closing to ensure a smooth operation for your bar. It's also useful to keep them all stored in your bar operations manual. Keeping a clean and well-organized bar is also crucial to running a profitable bar. It also helps set a good impression to your guests, because nobody wants to drink at a dirty bar. That's why you might find these bar and restaurant cleaning supplies helpful.
To help with your cleaning routine, download our free bar opening and closing checklist and customize it to fit your bar’s unique needs.
If you find this article helpful, contact us to learn more about BinWise Pro, a complete liquor inventory system, which is also very helpful! It will save you even more time, help you avoid mistakes, and teach you how to take beverage inventory faster within a few minutes.