2 New Ways to Use Checklists to Streamline Your Business

publication date: Sep 23, 2020
author/source: Nick Fosberg


Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

If you ever feel frustrated with the amount of work you have on your plate or if you're ever frustrated with staff not doing their simple day to day tasks, then this article is for you!

Last month I wrote an article about how I'm now using Jolt, a piece of software that helps you streamline your bar / restaurant with checklists, video trainings, inventory lists, etc.

So far, we've set up opening and closing checklists.

We've set up daily cleaning / side work for each day of the week for bartenders / servers.

Basically, everything servers and bartenders need to do on a day to day basis to make sure the place stays clean and stocked.


I'm working on management and training tasks / checklists.

I've got 2 new "checklists" that I'm creating this week that I want to tell you about as I think this could help you in your business.

Liquor Inventory Checklists

One thing I learned from a productivity coach years back was that if you have a task you need to do on a daily / weekly / monthly basis that is done the same way every time, the owner of the business shouldn't be doing such a tedious task.

This is considered to be $6-$10 an hour tasks and we should be focusing on $100 to $1,000 tasks like finding ways to add more profit, cut costs, and create better / faster ways to make the business run more efficiently - WITHOUT us.

When I owned my first bar, I always spent 20 minutes or so doing liquor inventory. Then another 10-15 min on the phone with the reps calling it in or meeting in person with them.

What I ended up doing was creating a spreadsheet with par levels of all our liquor segmented by who we order that through. Then I had the day bartender write in total bottles / cases we had for each and snap a pic of the inventory sheet and send to me.

This eliminated 20 min of a $8 an hour task for me. It also didn't require me to drive to the bar either. I'd then jump on the phone and call in the order.

Eventually I then passed off the actual ordering to my manager so I could eliminate that time as well.

If there's big case deals, I have him reach out to me to discuss.

Overall, this saves me 45 min or so per week. Or 3 hours a month I can put into more profitable type of work.... or golfing, spending time with the kids, etc.

How we are updating this process with Jolt...

What we are doing now, is we created a checklist in Jolt for this. Same thing, but now it's digital and can be done from anyone's phone.

When the bartender now enters total bottles or cases, our par levels will figure in and leave an output of what we should order.

When the checklist is completed, it's emailed to my wife and manager Rodney. If the checklist doesn't get completed by a certain time, Rodney gets a text message telling him so - ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM!

Daily Overview Checklist

The next list we are finalizing today are the daily and nightly overview checklist.

This isn't really a "checklist" but it's a list of questions that my day and nighttime bartender must answer and complete by the end of the night.

Questions we will have are more important type of questions an owner or manager would want to know.

1. How was the closing last night? Was anything missed?

2. Did we run out of anything today or did you notice we were running low?

3. Did you notice any issues with Toast buttons. Can you recommend an easier / faster way to key something in?

4. Any important calls Nick, Michele, or Rodney need to know about. Put name / number / what call is regarding here.

5. Please give overview of day based on slow / busy.

6. How did the servers do? Anyone that stood out in a good or bad way?

This is the list for the day and it's pretty similar for the nighttime as well. But when this list is then done by head bartender, it's then emailed to me and Rodney.

If we are out of anything and need to create a "to do" we then place it in our Trello board (another project management system we use just for the owners / managers)

Creating systems like this saves you time and gets you the valuable information you need in a simple / automated fashion.

Important to Know & Do

After reading those questions you'd think some staff would hold back their honest opinions to avoid "tattle tailing" and causing an issue with staff, but what I do with each bartender is make sure they know they can trust me and the management from day one.

That whenever they say a word about anyone or anything, THEIR name NEVER comes up.

When I'm told or Rodney is told something negative, we find ways to approach things by saying we:

1. Saw on camera

2. Got an email from a customer

3. A loyal customer / or friend reached out

4. We personally checked / saw / etc.

The LAST thing you want to do is throw a staff member under the bus who is helping you by telling you things that need to be addressed to make a better work environment.

Training + Onboarding Systems

My goal for next month is to knock out my next VERY important systems check lists. I'll explain how I'm going to set these up in a future article.


Most owners are ran by their business, they don't run their business. They can't leave for 2 weeks and feel secure the place will run itself. It took me 3 years to finally figure out how to start outsourcing and trusting others to do my small jobs for me.

Jolt is an easy way to start gaining more freedom from your business.

If you'd like to get a free demo e-mail my buddy benjamin.morrell@joltsoftware.com and tell him I sent you.

No, I don't get a commission and even if I did, that shouldn't matter. What matters is YOU finding a way to eliminate frustration from your business and putting in systems that make your life easier.

Nick FosbergNick Fosberg, author of "100/80/20 Marketing Formula," is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business...without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. Click here to get the Report: 30 Bar Promotions That Increase Revenue.