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6 Tips for Closing for the Night

Closing your restaurant, bar, or retail shop each night can be a stressful time. There are a lot of things to worry about, and seemingly small details can be critical. Everything is important — from securing all doors and windows, to locking cash away in a safe. Manager-to-employee delegation can also be difficult. Do employees do things the ways they’re instructed? Or, does each employee change your procedures, yet still get the job done? The daily closing process for any business can be difficult. Use the tips outlined below to keep closing time as simple as possible.

The CCTV Security Camera operating in the restaurant.

Have a Checklist

A closing-time checklist can work wonders for your business. Checklists are especially important for new employees who can become overwhelmed from trying to memorize too much new information at once, but even seasoned employees benefit from a simple way to make sure everything gets done. A checklist will also help your staff stay organized and ensure that closing procedures are consistent every night. To keep your restaurant or store safe, create a simple yet thorough checklist process and keep it updated.

Good Communication

Communication among owners, managers, and employees is key to security. Everyone on the team must be aware of any potential security issues in order to be effective at securing the business at closing time. Whether an online chatroom or quick closing-time meeting, employees should be provided a standardized method to easily communicate which tasks have been completed and which have not. Whether your restaurant, bar, or store is slow or busy, communication is key to getting work done.  

Assign Tasks

Assign every task to a specific staff member and have at least one backup for every task. This ensures that every task gets done regardless of vacations, emergencies, etc. Assigning specific tasks also helps managers easily identify which staff member is responsible for each task if there are any issues. When done properly, task assignments even help minimize rifts among employees since workloads are more likely to remain balanced when some thought goes into the distribution of work. Teamwork makes the dream work!


Before locking up, make sure the surveillance system is set and ready for the night. Double check to make sure the cameras are all functioning properly and covering all angles of the business. If you have outdoor cameras, it’s also a good idea to check that none were redirected or obscured the previous night by animals, debris or the weather. Surveillance can be a life saver in unexpected situations.

Locking Up

Locking up should be done before starting other closing procedures such as counting registers, mopping floors, etc. This ensures that the only people inside the business are employees. The last thing any business needs is a slip-and-fall lawsuit because employees were mopping floors while customers were still inside. Before leaving, double check that the safe is closed and locked. On your way out, check one more time that the door is locked, and the alarm is set. Considering the alternative, the extra few seconds are worthwhile.

Your business is your baby, and it’s important that you take extra steps to protect your business — especially when you’re away from work. Follow these tips, and you’ll take comfort knowing that your extra effort will leave your business protected and secure.