Restaurant Operations Checklist

Use the Restaurant Operations Checklist to optimize restaurant efficiency with tasks from purchasing, receiving, storing, service standards, and more.​

Restaurant Operations Checklist



Getting Ready For Cleaning

1. Is the dish station checked?


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2. Is the prep and grill station checked?


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3. Is the food and fry station checked?


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4. Is the front of the house cleaned, including doors and windows?


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During Cleaning

1. Is the trash and recycling taken out, and the area around the bins cleaned if necessary?


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2. Are prep station surfaces and register surfaces cleaned and sanitized?


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3. Are ovens and fryers cleaned, and the oil replaced as per the standards set?


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4. Are hoods cleaned, or maintenance scheduled with a cleaning company?


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5. Is the refrigerator and freezer cleaned and organized?


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6. Is the floor and the area under the equipment swept and mopped every day?


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7. Is the grill cleaned and scraped?


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8. Are all tables cleaned and sanitized after every use?


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9. Are high chairs and boosters cleaned and sanitized after every use?


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10. Are all the counters wiped down?


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11. Are the seats and benches cleaned?


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12. Is the carpet vacuumed?


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13. Are restrooms cleaned and sanitized, toilets disinfected, sinks wiped down, and feminine hygiene product bags taken out – with garbage cans emptied periodically?


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14. Is the kitchen equipment wiped down?


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15. Are walls wiped down if there are splashes?


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16. Are utensils, small wares, flatware, and glassware washed and air-dried overnight?


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Getting Ready For Bar Operations

1. Is ice filled in appropriate bins?


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2. Are fruit and garnishes prepared?


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3. Is there stocking up?


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4. Is there cleaning and setting up?


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During Bar Operations

1. Are sinks, bins, and wells that contained old ice wiped out, with proper scoops available?


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2. Are ice bins fully stocked with fresh ice every day?


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3. Is all fresh fruit cut and displayed in clean containers?


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4. Are open containers properly dated?


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5. Are any other garnishes stocked in clean containers?


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6. Is any build-up in ice machine/soda machines deep cleaned?


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7. Are shelves and fridges stocked?


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8. Are bars set up with bar mats, speed trays, straws, picks, stirs, and bar tools?


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9. Are the bar tops and stools wiped and sanitized?


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After Bar Operations

1. Are bottles that have been used wiped down with a clean, warm towel?


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2. Is the remaining fresh fruit/juices/garnish placed into clean containers and labeled with today's date?


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3. Are the bar top and stools cleaned and sanitized?


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4. Is the service bar broken down, and everything running through the dishwasher?


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5. Is the amount in the cash registers ensured to match orders for the night?


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Getting Ready For Manager Shift Change

1. Are side tasks assigned to staff as appropriate?


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2. Are job descriptions maintained for each role?


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During Manager Shift Change

1. Is appropriate labor cut when business slows down?


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2. Are employees' side work tasks checked before they leave?


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3. Are stations restocked?


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4. Are server check-out sheets, cash drawers, and tip reports collected?


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5. Are bus stations, server stations, and restrooms cleaned and stocked?


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6. Is it checked with the kitchen manager or chef if they have any concerns or challenges?


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7. Is the dinner reservations book reviewed with the host or hostess?


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8. Are employees' appearance and uniform checked?


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9. Are all safety gear available, such as gloves, hairnets, and goggles?


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After Manager Shift Change

1. Is the service ready for the next shift?


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Getting Ready For Catering

1. Are client meeting/event location/event details & theme/catering budget including menu options with service style discussed?


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2. Is the number of guests confirmed (if approximate - set a date to confirm)?


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3. Are various courses on the menu discussed?


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4. Is the order verified with the client along with a timeline for confirmation?


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5. Are event date/time(s) verified?


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6. Is a contract signed with all the necessary information and instructions along with a security deposit for the event?


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7. Are vendors researched for purchasing?


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8. Are vendors finalized, and orders placed?


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9. Is a purchase order printed/verified?


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10. Are receiving/storage instructions communicated to staff?


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11. Is alcohol service/license/permits and insurance verified for the event?


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12. Are special requests notified to the food production team (kids/allergies/special accommodations)?


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13. Are payment options verified?


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14. In the case of on-site cooking, are all raw ingredients, equipment, and necessary supplies verified?


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15. Is transportation to the venue confirmed along with storage at the event?


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16. Is the table set-up/equipment arranged per contract and ready for service?


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17. Is a post-event/catering review done with the client and staff?


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18. Is the final invoice sent to the client?


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19. Are thank-you notes sent?


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Getting Ready For Hiring

1. Is the application for employment completed?


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2. Is the W-4 form completed?


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3. Is the I-9 form verified and completed?


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4. Is the direct deposit form completed?


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5. Is the alcohol service policy discussed?


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6. Is the uniform policy discussed?


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7. Is the food handler permit verified and photocopied?


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8. Is the state and city alcohol permit verified?


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9. Are employee files organized and secured?


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10. Are new hire restrictions and accommodations discussed?


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11. Is the cell phone and internet policy discussed?


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Getting Ready For Training New Employees

1. Are guidelines and responsibilities discussed with the new hire?


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2. Is the menu descriptions test discussed?


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During The Training

1. Is the register/point of sale system shown and explained?


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2. Are cash flow procedures explained?


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3. Is the menu understood?


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4. Are food delivery procedures explained?


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5. Is greeting guests discussed?


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6. Are telephone procedures explained?


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7. Are teamwork skills and policies discussed?


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8. Are the side works understood?


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After The Training

1. Are diversity statements of the business discussed with the new employee?


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2. Is the menu description test administered?


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Before The Purchasing Process Begins

1. Is supplier selection/search done independently and are the records maintained?


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2. Are requests for proposals sent out?


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3. Is the product specification (new products) for the menu finalized?


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4. Is a steady supply of the product guaranteed by the supplier?


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5. Are discounts from other vendors and bulk ordering processes considered?


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During The Purchasing Process

1. Is the current inventory on hand verified?


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2. Are par-stock levels verified?


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3. Are order sheets with product numbers and item descriptions noted?


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4. Is the minimum order and order frequency verified?


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5. Is the lead time for delivery considered?


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6. Are substitutions allowed/considered?


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7. Is a purchase order created?


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8. Are prices verified from previous orders?


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9. Is confirmation of order/adjustments received?


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After Placing The Order

1. Is the quality of customer service and ease of placing orders noted?


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2. Are shipping and transportation verified to avoid any delays?


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3. Are substitutions or any issues with product availability noted?


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4. Are the receipt and inspection of purchases checked?


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5. Are the invoice approval and payment checked to ensure the three documents match?


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6. Is the record maintenance, including saving the purchase order, completed?


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Before Receiving

1. Is the delivery time(s) verified?


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2. Is the purchase order printed/verified?


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3. Are the receiving personnel identified and trained with written instructions available?


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4. Are quality expectations clearly outlined?


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5. Are substitutions notified to the concerned units?


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6. Are product specifications communicated to the receiving individuals?


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During The Receiving Process

1. Is the space for receiving and preliminary storage identified?


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2. Is the receiving equipment, such as carts/dollies, available and clean?


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3. Are products verified visually for quality and condition?


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4. Is the temperature of cold/frozen products verified with a proper receiving thermometer?


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5. Are dates of short-life products verified?


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6. For weight-based products, are they re-weighed to match the invoice?


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7. Is the purchase order and invoice match verified?


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8. Are products cross-checked with invoices and marked in the invoice?


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9. Are discounts verified per contract?


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10. Are transportation, shipping, and taxes verified?


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11. Are prices verified and cross-checked with previous orders?


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12. Are issues communicated promptly to delivery personnel?


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After Receiving

1. Is shipment rejection recorded and communicated to the vendor according to procedures?


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2. Are pictures of poor quality/damaged products taken and sent electronically to the vendor?


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3. Are credits applied per agreed methods/procedures?


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4. Is the returned product stored appropriately with signage advising staff not to use it, and copies kept?


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5. Are shortened products notified to the concerned unit?


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6. Is the invoice initially approved and ready for payment?


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Getting Ready For Storing

1. Is receiving equipment, such as carts/dollies, available to distribute/move products?


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2. Are prices verified and cross-checked with previous orders before storing?


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3. Are shorted/missing products status communicated to the concerned department?


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4. Is the space for receiving and preliminary storage identified?


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5. Are products that were shorted notified to the concerned department for reordering?


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During The Storing Process

1. Are the first-in, first-out policy and proper rotation followed?


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2. Is meat placed in the bottom of the freezer and refrigerator?


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3. Is food stored at least six inches off the floor?


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4. Is the storage area clean and organized?


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5. Is the temperature of storage units checked frequently, at least twice a day?


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6. Is all perishable food displaying proper dates before storing the product?


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7. Is the refrigerator/freezer not overloaded?


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8. Are damaged and spoiled foods thrown out, and if in doubt, are they thrown away?


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9. Is a proper system maintained, and staff trained to follow procedures to avoid food-borne illnesses?


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Getting Ready For Preparation

1. Are the greeter area, restroom area, dining room area, and register area prepared for front-of-the-house preparation?


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During The Preparation

1. Is the inside and outside property swept?


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2. Are doors and windows cleaned?


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3. Are menus fully stocked and clean?


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4. Are the screen and décor dusted?


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5. Are restrooms cleaned, and paper towels, toilet paper, and hand soap stocked?


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6. Are tables, chairs, booths, booster seats, and high chairs wiped and sanitized?


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7. Are salt & pepper and sugar caddies cleaned and stocked?


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8. Are all condiments stocked?


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9. Is stocking in FOH checked, and are employees made aware of non-available items?


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Getting Ready For Preparation

1. Are all items stocked?


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During The Preparation

1. Is it ensured that all dishes, pots, pans, and utensils are cleaned and stored properly?


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2. Is it ensured that all freezer, refrigerator, and dishwasher temperatures are checked and recorded?


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3. Are all sinks cleaned and sanitized after use?


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4. Are all work counters and surfaces cleaned and sanitized?


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5. Are the oven and stove areas cleaned?


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6. Are daily prep checklists prepared and posted prior to each shift?


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7. Is it ensured that frozen products are thawed properly in accordance with food safety procedures?


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Getting Ready For Service

1. Are Host/Hostess available?


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2. Is the Waiter/Waitress ready for service?


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3. Is a final walkthrough of the dining room completed?


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During Service

1. Is the Host/Hostess greeting and welcoming guests as they arrive?


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2. Is the Host/Hostess providing friendly and positive guest service?


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3. Is the Host/Hostess giving accurate wait times?


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4. Is it ensured that all phone calls are answered promptly within a specified number of rings (usually 3 – 4 rings)?


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5. Are guests greeted at the door/table within 60 seconds?


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6. Is the Waiter/Waitress providing menu features or specials and personal recommendations if needed?


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7. Is the table properly set for the correct number of guests?


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8. Are all drink orders arriving within a specified time?


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9. Are all appetizer orders arriving within a specified time?


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10. Are soup & salads delivered within a specified time?


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11. Are entrees arriving within a specified time?


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12. Does the Waiter/Waitress provide allergy information?


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13. Does the Waiter/Waitress repeat the order?


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14. Is the Waiter/Waitress clearing guest plates/bowls/silverware within a specified time after the guest is finished?


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15. Is the table reset within a specified time?


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Checklist by GoAudits.com – Please note that this checklist is intended as an example. We do not guarantee compliance with the laws applicable to your territory or industry. You should seek professional advice to determine how this checklist should be adapted to your workplace or jurisdiction.

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