Operational systems from the back of the house to the front of the house are the only way for your restaurant to earn its potential in profits. The magic of using systems is you can finally let your managers do the work. Your job then becomes holding your managers accountable. The secret to it all is checklists that keep your team on task and focused on what you expect from them. In every restaurant, every day, there are tasks that must get done. The best way to make sure it gets done—and nothing gets skipped—is to use a checklist for all the daily systems. 

A great example of an effective checklist is one that reminds management of all the daily paperwork. Here is an accountability checklist that covers daily paperwork.

End-of-Day Paperwork

• Was it completed before the last manager left the building? 

• What is the over short?

• Check that cash deposit was used, not POS cash due.

Paid Out

• A paid out is cash used from a bar or cashier drawer to pay for a bill, an invoice or a store run.

• Entered to balance.

• Was the line item detail completed?

• Is there a receipt in the daily paperwork?

Manager Log

• Are the questions being answered?


• Check that invoices are being entered as they come in.

• Check that invoice line item detail is being completed.

• Review physical invoices against the invoice summary report. Pick the correct date range, print it off and compare them to your vendor invoice summary reports.

Purchase Allotment System

• Check to see that the purchase allotment system is being used and followed.

• Double check purchase orders are within your purchasing guidelines.

Labor Systems

• Are master schedules in place and accurate?

• Has a labor allotment been run?

• Schedule is within budget guidelines using the reverse labor system?

• Is labor being tracked daily with the reverse labor system?

Food/Beverage Systems

• Are your products usable, have pars and locations set?

• Are recipe costing cards completed?

• Are you checking that orders are within purchase allotment guidelines and being placed on time (complete)?

• Has your inventory locations section been set to how the product appears on the shelves or alphabetical?

• Are inventories being taken every Sunday or at least the last day of the month?

Give this list to your managers. Maybe you don’t have all these systems in place yet in your restaurant. That’s OK. Find the things you do expect your managers to do now and start setting the expectation that you expect that work to get done every day. 

Your job is to hold your management team accountable and all you have to do is check their daily activities, holding them to this checklist.  If you simply ASSUME they are being done, you will not have control of your cash, profits or management. Follow this checklist to ensure you are doing your job!