May 21, 2018 glimpse_team

Bar Opening and Closing Procedures Checklist

Running a successful bar may seem like a chaotic venture that provides very little stability in terms of operating, but there are several tasks and procedures that need to be done on a regular basis to help increase the success. Hosting events, happy hours, whether the people come or not, nearby competition and a variety of other reasons can lead to an inconsistency in the business. When there is such a fine line between success and failure in a highly competitive market, doing the little things right, do add up and make a significant difference to your patrons and the overall success of your bar.

There is enough information, tips, and advice on things you should do to write a book, so here is just a brief rundown of the main bar opening and closing procedure checklist items you should be doing day in and day out.


Property Check

Upon walking into your establishment, doing a quick property check is a great idea. Not only should you look and pick up trash leftover from patrons leaving the night before but also for any damage that could be present. Be sure to take a few minutes to ensure that everything looks good from the outside.

Initial Assessment

Once you get inside, do a quick once-over, looking for anything that could be out of place or wrong from the night before. Broken chairs, missing items, employee responsibilities that went undone or anything that should have been done.


After the first scan of your establishment, the time comes to give everything a surface cleaning. Dust, leftover messes or other imperfections need to be dealt with before your nightly guests arrive. Dishes, kitchen, bar, taps, tables, and chairs should be given a good wipe down.

Inspect the taps

Your tap system is the lifeblood of your bar, and its proper functioning will determine the success of your bar. Always check your taps before opening up to make sure everything is working properly, the beer is still good and that they are clean. Faulty lines, broken spouts or even bad kegs can put a real damper on a busy dispensers with several taps

Inventory check

While this should be done on a regular basis, sometimes inventory gets missed or left unordered. Knowing your inventory levels beforehand can help keep your employees aware of the levels so if anything does run out, it doesn’t come as a surprise.


Empty and Lock

The first priority at closing time is to make sure all of your customers are out, and the doors are locked. Nothing slows up the closing process more than having people linger or needing to come back in because they forgot personal items. Do yourself a favor and set a firm closing time, so that your employees can expect to leave at a set time after the closing tasks.

Store Perishables

All bar garnishes, food or other perishables need to be stored properly to ensure they remain fresh for the next night. Always date your perishable items to make sure that nothing that has expired is served to your customers.

Clean and Refill Disposables

Deep cleaning at night is one of the most important aspects of the closing shift. After a busy bar night, your place will be a bit dirty, to say the least. Cleaning your bar equipment should be a detail-oriented process. Clean the taps, glasses, equipment, counter, floors, kitchen, tables and chairs.

Handle the Money

While there have been many items left off of this opening and closing checklist, handling the money is the most important one. At the end of the day, the success of your bar depends on how much money you bring in, so making sure all sales have been accounted for is crucial. If something is off between registers or an inventory check doesn’t line up with the POS, hopefully, you have a system in place to doublecheck any discrepancies. If you don’t have a system in place or if you are looking for a more reliable solution, check out Glimpse.

Glimpse provides an affordable business intelligence service enabled by video-gathered operations data; cameras over the bar track service transactions which are cross-referenced with POS entries for accurate tracking of inventory and most importantly bartender/server behavior and performance.

Venues using our system have seen huge improvements in efficiency, with less waste and theft, and have achieved a quick payout for their investment in our data system with these operational improvements and the tangible reporting provided.