The Essential Bar Opening and Closing Checklist

The Essential Bar Opening and Closing Checklist

The Essential Bar Opening and Closing Checklist 150 150

Running a bar successfully requires meticulous attention to detail, especially during opening and closing times. A well-defined bar opening and closing checklist is a vital tool for any establishment serving drinks. It ensures that the bar maintains high standards, guarantees safety and operates efficiently. Such checklists help staff systematically manage tasks, leaving no room for errors or oversights.

Implementing these bar checklists can transform the daily operations of a bar. They serve as a roadmap for staff, guiding them through necessary procedures to maintain the establishment’s quality and ambiance.

A systematic approach not only enhances the customer experience but also streamlines the workflow, making it easier for the staff to manage their responsibilities effectively.

Why You Need a Bar Opening and Closing Checklist

Bar opening and closing checklists are indispensable for maintaining security, minimizing waste, and setting up for the next business day. They ensure that every aspect of the bar is taken care of, from locking up to restocking essentials. Here are five key reasons why bar opening and closing checklists are essential:

Security Measures: Ensures all doors are locked, alarms are set and valuables are secured, reducing the risk of theft or intrusion.
Inventory Management: Helps track inventory, highlights any discrepancies, and prepares orders for the next day, thus preventing stock shortages.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Guarantees thorough cleaning and necessary maintenance, preserving the bar’s hygiene and appeal.
Efficient Operations: Streamlines morning preparations, making it easier for staff to start serving customers promptly and efficiently.
Consistency in Service: Maintains a consistent level of service quality, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

By adhering to a well-structured bar opening and closing checklist, bar owners and managers can ensure their establishment runs smoothly, safely and successfully.

Creating Efficient Bar Opening and Closing Checklists

Developing a comprehensive and efficient bar opening and closing checklist is crucial for the seamless operation of a bar. For those looking to understand how to manage a bar effectively, creating and implementing such checklists is an essential step. A good checklist not only covers all necessary tasks but also is tailored to the specific needs of the business. It should be clear, concise, and tailored to the specific needs of the business, ensuring that staff members can complete their tasks efficiently.

When creating these checklists, it’s important to consider the unique aspects of the bar, such as its size, customer volume and the nature of services offered.

The checklist should be a living document, adaptable to changes in the bar’s operations or layout. Regular review and updates are necessary to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness. However, certain steps can help create effective checklists that contribute to your bar’s success.

1. Assess Your Bar’s Specific Needs

Before drafting a checklist, assess the specific needs of your bar. This includes understanding the operational aspects like what is a bar tab and how it’s managed.  Consider factors like the layout, peak hours and the type of clientele. This assessment will help identify the key areas that need attention during opening and closing.

2. List Essential Daily Tasks

Compile a list of essential tasks that need to be performed every day. This should include everything from restocking the bar to cleaning and security checks. Ensure that the list is comprehensive and covers all aspects of your bar’s operation.

3. Organize Tasks Logically

Organize the tasks in a logical order. For instance, cleaning should come after inventory checks and restocking. The organization will help staff follow the checklist efficiently, ensuring tasks are completed most effectively.

4. Include Safety and Security Measures

Safety and security are paramount in any bar setting. Your checklist should include tasks related to these aspects, such as checking fire exits, securing cash and inventory and setting alarms.

5. Customize According to Shifts

If your bar operates in shifts, customize the checklist for the opening and closing shifts. Morning staff might have different responsibilities compared to those closing the bar. Tailoring the checklist to each shift ensures that all tasks are covered throughout the day.

6. Review and Update Regularly

Regularly review and update the checklist. Doing so ensures that it remains relevant and effective, especially as your bar evolves or as new challenges arise. Encourage staff feedback to make necessary adjustments.

Bar Opening and Closing Checklist Template

For small businesses, especially bars, having a practical and easy-to-follow bar checklist for opening and closing is crucial. A bar checklist ensures that all necessary tasks are completed efficiently, maintaining the bar’s standards and readiness for customers.

Keep reading as we present structured templates for both opening and closing a bar. These examples of bar checklists are designed to be adaptable for different business needs, covering all essential aspects of daily operations.

Bar Opening Checklist Template

The bar opening checklist is designed to prepare the bar for a day of service. It encompasses everything from basic setup procedures to staff briefings, ensuring that the bar is ready to welcome customers.

The bar opening checklist is a comprehensive guide to start the day on the right note, focusing on efficiency and thoroughness.

Checklist ElementDescriptionImportance

Bar Opening ProceduresInvolves unlocking doors, turning on lights, and ensuring cleanliness.Sets the stage for the day’s operations and creates a welcoming environment for customers.

Inventory CheckChecking stock levels and noting items for restocking.Prevents stock shortages and ensures availability of all necessary items for service.

Bar SetupArranging the bar counter, glasses, and utensils; organizing serving areas.Facilitates efficient service and enhances the customer experience.

Equipment CheckEnsuring all bar equipment is functional.Prevents service disruptions due to equipment failure.

Staff BriefingDiscussing the day’s specials, events, and assigning roles.Enhances team coordination and prepares staff for the day’s service.

Bar Opening Procedures

Begin with general procedures for opening the bar. This includes unlocking doors, switching on lights and ensuring the bar area is clean and ready for customers.

Inventory Check

Conduct a thorough inventory check. This involves verifying stock levels, checking for any expired products and preparing a list of items that need restocking.

Bar Setup

Prepare the bar for service. This includes setting up the bar counter, arranging glasses and utensils and ensuring all serving areas are clean and organized.

Equipment Check

Ensure all equipment is in working order. Check refrigeration units, taps and other bar equipment for functionality to avoid any service disruptions.

Staff Briefing

Hold a brief meeting with the staff. Discuss the day’s specials, any events or promotions and assign specific roles and responsibilities for the shift.

Bar Closing Checklist Template

The bar closing checklist focuses on tasks to be completed after the bar has served its last customer for the day.

The closing process includes detailed steps for cleaning, restocking, and securing the bar, ensuring that everything is set for the next business day. The bar closing checklist is vital for maintaining the bar’s security and operational standards.

Checklist ElementDescriptionImportance

Bar Cleaning TasksDetailed cleaning of the bar, glasses, utensils, floors, and restrooms.Maintains hygiene and the bar’s appeal, ensuring a fresh start for the next day.

RestockingReplenishing used items and preparing the bar for the next day.Ensures the bar is fully stocked and ready for service, avoiding delays in operations.

Security ChecksLocking all doors and windows, setting alarms, securing valuables.Enhances the security of the bar, protecting against theft and unauthorized access.

Sales Data RecordingRecording the day’s sales for business tracking and planning.Provides insights into business performance and aids in financial management.

Bar Closing ProceduresTurning off equipment and lights, ensuring everything is locked and secure.Safeguards the establishment and ensures that it is properly shut down for the night.

Bar Cleaning Tasks

Detail the cleaning tasks required at the end of the day. This includes wiping down the bar, cleaning glasses and utensils and ensuring the floor and restrooms are clean. Keeping the bar clean means being prepared for unexpected health inspections.


Restock items that have been used throughout the day. This ensures that the bar is prepared and fully stocked for the next business day.

Security Checks

Conduct security checks before leaving. This includes locking all doors and windows, setting alarms and securing any valuable items or cash.

Sales Data Recording

Record the day’s sales data. This is crucial for tracking the bar’s performance and for future planning and inventory management.

Bar Closing Procedures

Complete the closing procedures. This involves turning off all equipment and lights and ensuring that everything is locked and secure.

FAQs: Bar Opening and Closing Checklist

How Often Should the Bar Opening and Closing Checklist Be Updated?

The bar opening and closing checklist should be updated regularly, ideally every three to six months, or as needed based on changes in the bar’s operations. This regular review ensures the checklist remains relevant and effective.

Factors prompting an update include changes in staff, introduction of new equipment, menu updates or shifts in operational procedures. Keeping the checklist current is crucial for maintaining operational efficiency and high service standards in the bar.

Can the Same Bar Opening and Closing Checklist Be Used for Different Types of Bars?

While the basic structure of a bar opening and closing checklist can be similar across different types of bars, customization is key for effectiveness. Each bar has unique aspects, such as its size, clientele and style of service, which should be reflected in its checklist.

A checklist for a small wine bar, for instance, will differ from that of a large nightclub. Tailoring the checklist to specific operational needs and characteristics of each bar ensures that all important tasks are covered appropriately.

Image: Envato Elements

This article, “The Essential Bar Opening and Closing Checklist” was first published on Small Business Trends


    We know what works and brings the best results!

    Social Media – Design, Marketing

    Working Hours : 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Address : Cevizli, Zuhal Street, Ritim Istanbul A1 Block
    No: 46 / 1 Flat No: 188 Maltepe / Istanbul
    Phone : +90 539 669 6587

    Privacy Preferences

    When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

    Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.