Jun. 20, 2017

How to develop sidework checklists

Side work duties can differ by the type restaurant your operate. Here’s a systematic way to identify your side work duties so you can develop your own customized checklists:

  1. Identify Opening Side Work Duties. Make a list of all the tasks and functions that must be completed in the front of the house before the restaurant opens. This would include all those activities and work that need to be done in the dining room, beverage stations, server stations and other service areas. Also include functions servers may help the kitchen with including filling salad dressing containers and plating salads and desserts.
  2. Assign Tasks to Server Stations. Dole out these tasks to each station for the first shift of the day. The tasks should be assigned to stations in a way that allows for efficient completion of the tasks and in a way that evenly divides the work amount all stations as much as possible. In many restaurants the time needed to complete opening server side work is about 30 minutes.
  3. Identify “Running Side work” Duties. Next determine what side work functions need to be completed during the meal periods. Running side work, as it’s usually referred to, involves keeping server work areas adequately stocked and minor cleaning functions. This work can be divided up among the servers and bussers.
  4. End of Shift Functions. Create a detailed list of all the tasks servers should complete before the end of the day-part shift. Assign these tasks to servers based on the in which servers are scheduled to leave. You don’t want to assign a server, who leaves early, those tasks that will have to be repeated again before the end of the shift.

    The goal should be to have as little side work as possible left for servers on the PM shift. Ideally, you want PM servers to begin their shifts with a check to see their tables are in order and the service areas are adequately stocked. This also, creates time and less distractions for pre-shift meetings.
  5. Closing Duties. Make a list of all the side work that should be completed at the end of the PM shift. This normally includes storing and refrigerating food products, cleaning server areas, beverage dispensers and dining room areas and refilling table condiments. 

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