Running a successful bar is not something you can accomplish overnight. Among many things, it requires meticulous planning (see: how to get a liquor license). 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. Below find our free bar opening and closing checklist to add to your bar training manual. Godspeed out there!
Free Customizable Bar Opening and Closing Checklist
Click on the below image to download our bar opening and closing checklist!
Keep in mind that you can customize it to suit your bar or restaurant's unique needs. It's an editable spreadsheet document.
The listed steps don’t need to be done in this specific order.
But it's important to complete all of them before opening or closing. That ensures a smooth operation for your bar. It's also useful to keep them all stored in your bar operations manual. Near the bartender duties is a natural fit for them.
Here's a quick rundown of the checklist if you're not keen on downloading things:
Bar Opening Checklist
- Set up tables and chairs
- Restock clean glassware
- Polish glassware and bottles
- Set up any bar tools and bar equipment needed (see optimial bar equipment layout)
- Restock disposable items (straws, napkins, plastic utensils, etc.)
- Refill ice
- Restock needed perishables and garnishes
- Refill condiments and set them out
- Engage keg couplers if needed
- Test and clean taps
- Clean faucets with sanitizer
- Check bottle and keg levels (replace if empty)
- Verify all bottles behind the bar and in storage are stocked and ready to go
- Count and assign cash drawers
- Do a quick surface cleaning for anything the cleaning crew missed (sweep, pick up trash, etc.)
If you're the first one in the building, you may also want to do a quick property check. 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. Here's a free bar cleaning checklist!
Bar Closing Checklist
- Wipe down counters and chairs with sanitizer
- Place chairs upside down on tables
- Pick up any trash
- Run any glassware, plates, and utensils through dishwashers
- Sweep and mop the floor, especially behind the bar
- Soak and clean soda nozzles
- Cover and store fresh juices, mixes, and garnishes in refrigerator
- Wipe down all used bottles, pour spouts, and make sure you know how to clean a wine decanter
- Double check any cash drawers
- Count bank, cross-check it with your POS report
- Disengage keg couples if needed
- Restock disposables if running low (straws, napkins, etc.)
- Turn off TV and music
- Turn off lights
- Check nearby bathroom if needed
If you're the last one out of the property, you should also lock the door. :)
Keeping a clean and well-organized bar is also crucial to running a profitable bar. And being a good bar manager. 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.
If you find this article helpful, contact us to learn more about BinWise Pro, a complete liquor inventory system.
It will save you even more time, help you avoid mistakes (and the 86 meaning), and teach you how to take beverage inventory faster. There's nothing quite like a barcode scanner app for inventory to smooth out the whole process.