5 Things to Remember Before Opening Your Restaurant Today

By Brian Harris

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Photo by Alex Ermolin

When opening a restaurant, whether in the morning for breakfast or afternoon for lunch hour, it’s important to take the time to be as thoroughly prepared as possible for the coming work day.

5 Important Things to Remember in Your Routine

1. Make a checklist

The first important item to have in place when opening a restaurant is a list of things to do. The checklist should be in plain site and have the proper times to turn equipment on and off. Be careful not to overlook easily preventable mistakes. For example, if equipment that needs to be warmed is turned on too late, the kitchen could be set back in prep time. Adhering to a schedule is also important for energy savings.

2. check freezers and refrigerators

The staff that closed the night before may have had leftovers that could be used for daily specials. This is a creative opportunity for the kitchen staff to use recipes for inventive treats that can impress new or return customers. This practice is also budget friendly and cuts down on food waste.

3. Document & Discard Expired food

This is especially important for take-out businesses. With online ordering and mobile apps, technology is making take-out businesses move at a faster pace than ever. For this reason alone, it’s important to clearly mark—with date and time—all food that needs to be stored at a certain temperature.

See Also:
Conducting a Food Safety Audit
Bluetooth Thermometer Probe: The Next Generation of Food Safety

4. Verify Closing Staff Completed Nightly Checklist

Check that the dining room looks orderly and that all chairs are pushed in, the tables are positioned properly, floors have been swept and/or vacuumed, and the bathrooms are clean. It pays to start off each day with zero assumptions.

5. Survey Building Exterior

A restaurant’s appeal to customers begins before they walk in. In the world of Yelp and social media shamings, no detail can be spared. The outside should reflect the inside, and customers know when the managers put the time into making it look professional. Make sure outside trash cans/ashtrays have been emptied and windows and doors are clean.

Bonus Tip: Audit for Compliance
The points above are merely good intentions if not properly enforced. You can only act on what you know and what has been documented, especially if you’re operating a network of restaurants. With mobile software, you can audit your restaurants and properties. Use digital forms to collect and organize information, and you’ll soon gain insights on compliance across your network.

Sample Restaurant Pre-Shift Checklist Form

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