Bartender Opening and Closing Checklist

Bartender checklist-1
// By Kyle Thacker // , Jul 5, 2019

Topics: Bartender Training

Running a successful bar relies on a team of people that must all be in sync and aware of their duties and responsibilities. One of the best ways to hack success behind the bar is creating a bartender opening and closing checklist. There are four big reasons that a bartender duties checklist is helpful, let's take a look at them.


Accountability for bar staff


A good bartender realizes that the work they do affects other bar staff. If you don't put a bottle back in the right spot, then the next bartender that goes to use those bottles will have to waste time searching for the bottle. And if a bartender doesn't properly clean something, then the next person will have to clean it. 


Creating accountability for bartenders is a great way to make sure everyone is doing their job which helps the bar as a whole run smoothly. 


An opening/closing checklist makes bartender literally sign on that the work is done. If something was done wrong, or not done at all, you just have to reference the checklist to see who is slacking.


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Communication between staff


A big issue when working in restaurants is a lack of communication. There are so many moving parts when operating a hospitality venue, that it can be difficult to for everyone one to be on the same page.


But when tasks are written down and accounted for, staff knows what needs to be done to make sure the bar is in good shape to handle any unexpected issue that pops up.


Checklists are a form of communication that is crucial to a bar's success.


Checklists delegate tasks


Bartenders, servers, kitchen staff, and support staff should all have checklists that breakdown the opening and closing duties for shift they work. This prevents managers from having to micromanage staff and constantly give guidance and attention to staff members when managers have other issues that need to be addressed. 


To take it a step further, management can appointment a lead server for each shift who is responsible for authorizing that their co-workers have completed all of the duties on a checklist. This saves a lottime towards the end of the night and also is a great way to reward good workers with more responsibility and authority.


Keeping the bar clean


It's so important for bars to be properly cleaned at the end of each shift. This prevents an unsafe environment, prevents pests like fruit flies, and is good for the morale of bar staff. No one wants to work in a dirty environment. 


A dirty bar also creates more work for bar staff and can cause conflict among bartenders if some staff isn't doing their job properly. 


Kyle Thacker

About the author, Kyle Thacker

Kyle is the Marketing Director for Backbar. Before helping Backbar connect with the restaurant industry, he managed multiple bars in Chicago, with a love of whiskey and cocktails.

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