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Jenny Day

As of the publishing date of this blog, #closingshiftcleaning has received 73.5M views on TikTok.

The term “closing shift cleaning” is typically used in the food and retail industries and refers to the final leg of an end-of-day shift when the customers are gone, and workers can put things back in order. But many TikTokers are realizing the value in #closingshiftcleaning and bringing this concept into their homes.

The concept is simple: If things are clean when the morning crew starts, the opening shift will go a whole lot smoother. Instead of exhaustive deep-cleans, these nightly tidying sessions tend to focus on small, quick tasks that will make a big difference in the morning.

Why is a kitchen closing checklist important?

A checklist can help reduce forgotten tasked and increase employee accountable. When organized properly, checklists can also help reduce the time spent closing the restaurant down at the end of the day. This is extremely true in the restaurant industry because following a closing checklist sets the morning crew up for success.

Who is responsible for the kitchen closing checklist?

At many restaurants, the general manager is responsible for the ensuring that closing procedures have been followed, but with so many moving parts it can be an overwhelming assignment. To make the list more manageable, some restaurants divvy up closing responsibilities between the front and back of house managers or shift supervisors. Be sure that everyone is held accountable for their assigned tasks by assigning them in the manager logbook.


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How to create a kitchen closing checklist

Since every restaurant is different, every restaurant closing checklist will vary based on need. Below is a breakdown of basic closing tasks to get a checklist started. Be sure to tailor the list to fit your business needs, prioritize tasks based on importance, and organize the order of the steps in a way that streamlines your processes.

  • Consolidate containers of the same foods
  • Date and label all food that hasn’t been dated or labeled
  • Rotate inventory in fridge (first in, first out)
  • Restock all line stations
  • Take stock of inventory and prepare or adjust any orders
  • Prepare prep list for the morning staff
  • Check the temperature of freezers and fridges
  • Check that the walk-in and any other fridges or freezers are properly shut and locked
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Wash, disinfect, and put away all cooking utensils, smallwares, glassware cutting boards, pans, etc.
  • Wash rags, towels, aprons, and uniforms in the washing machine or prepare them for pickup service
  • Wipe spills from backsplashes and walls
  • Empty and disinfect all trash cans and recycling bins
  • Clean and disinfect employee restrooms if applicable
  • Turn off equipment and appliances
  • Clean and sanitize all prep areas, line stations, ranges, grills, and flattops
  • Make sure dry storage area is clean and organized.
  • Remove and clean non-slip mats or prepare them for pickup service
  • Sweep and mop the floors and replace mats
  • Activate the alarm system and locking all doors


The proper closing of a restaurant determines whether the next day’s staff walks in well prepared for success or behind the eight ball and cleaning up yesterday’s messes. Adhering to a well-organized restaurant closing checklist will keep your kitchen running smoothly and efficiently.

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