A successful restaurant will run like a machine: efficient, lean and repetitive. Every restaurant must have procedures set in place for daily operations in order to run successfully with a minimum of problems. There are a number of jobs that need to be performed at both opening and closing. The time of day will dictate the form these jobs take.


Managers must handle the money in a restaurant according to procedure each day. On opening shifts, a manager should count the safe to determine the amount of money in the building, fill each register drawer and make the first deposit of the day. At closing, she will count out all drawers to close the accounts, count the safe a final time and lock down all the cash in the building.


Prepare food in a timely manner at opening and closing for the most efficiency throughout the day. At opening, the crew must do all the prep work for the first half of the day. Whether fast food or high-end cuisine, all restaurants prep some foods ahead of time. At closing, the crew must safely store all edible leftover food in appropriate containers for it to be used the next day.


Opening shift team members often perform heavy-duty extra cleaning tasks, as these are easiest done before the restaurant opens. Do cleaning jobs like scrubbing lobby floors, cleaning ovens and emptying and cleaning freezers in the morning. Daily cleaning jobs most often fall on the closing shift. While team members should clean throughout the day, the entire restaurant should be cleaned and straightened before closing staff lock the doors for the night.

Lobby and Dining Room

The opening shift is responsible for setting up the lobby and dining room. Set tables, straighten furniture, clean windows and do any other task to make this area ready for customers. After the restaurant closes, the night shift should stack chairs, sweep and mop and do anything else needed for a clean lobby ready for the morning.


No successful restaurant can run without accurate paperwork being done throughout the day. The opening manager should set up all necessary files for the day, including safe logs and register files. The closing manager is responsible for the final paperwork of the night, which may include inventory, cash control and food cost analysis for the day.