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How to make opening/closing checklists (+ template download)

Last updated July 07, 2023 · By Dylan Blake

Darian Everding manages London Underground, a craft beer and whisk(e)y bar in Ames, IA.

Post-pandemic the London Underground has invested in staff systems to make sure everything runs smoothly—stuff like staff messaging apps, learning/training policies, and checklists.

That last one has been huge. Darian has created a robust checklist system that allows London Underground's staff to be more accountable to one another and the business as a whole, and it's also allowed them to be less frantic around shift changes, which has made a very big difference.

Read on to learn how Darian thinks about checklists and to download opening and closing checklist templates!

Download example opening and closing checklists

Here's how Darian thinks about checklists:

  • Be incredibly specific about the items on the checklists. Spell out every little thing.
  • Teach staff about each specific item. Which rag should they use for tap handles and which should they use for the bar? Go through the exact process they need to use.
  • Make the checklists public. If staff have to face the person who'll live with the consequences of whether or not they did what they were supposed to do, then they'll be more accountable to one another.
  • Accountability is key. If there aren't consequences for not doing the stuff you're supposed to do, then there's no point in even using checklists.
  • This means you need to review the checklists. At London Underground, the checklists are turned in to Darian every week so that management can review them. This is especially helpful if something goes wrong.

Check out the full 9-min interview clip to get even more detail about how Darian and the London Underground team have found success through checklists: