I get asked all the time “What do I have to do to get my employees to remember everything?” It’s the most frustrating part of running a kitchen. How do other owners and founders take time off and leave their team in charge?
They don’t. They use checklists.
I love checklists. I’ve used them in every business I’ve set up, and they’re now part of my top tools. I know that I can’t trust teams to do everything. I’ve learned that lesson for you. Even with knowledge of what must be done, we need a backup. Memory and distraction are big threats. Checklists provide protection against these.
Building your checklist
Firstly, make a detailed list of everything you do, to your standards. From there make an easy-to-follow list for your employees.
From that, you’ll build your checklist. I find the easiest way is to use a spreadsheet program. Your checklists don’t need to be pretty, but they do need to be functional.
In the columns, layout tasks and days. Allocate a column for every day of the week that you are open.
You’ll see that each day has two columns, one to check and one for double-checking. This is because frustratingly, most checklists aren’t used because there is no accountability. We get around this by introducing double-checking.
As tasks are completed, they are marked off, either by checking or initialing. (I prefer initials because I like to know who did what)
And that’s it. Uncomplicated, easy to implement, and guaranteed to work