Restaurant Operation Issues to Consider:

  • Does the revenue model for take-out only meet the expenses you need?
  • Is it worth staying open with a negative revenue model?
  • Consider the options of taking on additional debt?
  • SBA Loans
  • Interest only loan
  • Discussion with landlords: operators should consider approaching landlords to reduce rents to somewhere around 6% of sales while operations are closed and for a 60-day period once we re-open. If doing some to go or delivery sales, offer to share a percentage with them. Landlords should be our partners, and they should have flexibility if they want to get their tenants back and paying rent. The ramp up will allow business to get their feet back on the ground.
  • Contact your utility companies: you need a temporary time-out from payments. Ensure they will keep your power/gas/energy on.

Closing Procedures:

A Special Thank you to our friends at 99 Restaurants, Darden Restaurant Company and 110 Grill for furnishing their restaurant closing operational manuals.

  • Let staff take any food that cannot be frozen/saved.
  • Remove all trash from the building/Cancel Dumpster Pickups.
  • Take pourers off and tightly wrap open bottle tops of liquor in saran.
  • Leave all exhaust fans running – In the unlikely event of a gas leak or pilot goes out during the closing, the fans will help to exhaust any hazardous gas from the building.
  • Turn off any autopayment processes.
  • Cancel any scheduled deliveries. Examples would include:
  • Broadline Distributer
  • Knife sharpening
  • EcoLab   
  • Produce
  • Beer line cleaning
  • Coca-Cola
  • Linen
  • Dumpster
  • Cable/Direct TV
  • Music
  • Armored Car
  • NuCo                             
  • Close Out your Month End Procedures.
  • Alert your payroll company as to the layoffs and changes in payroll hourly and salary.
  • Employee contact info and address updated.
  • Alert your Health Insurance Company to the layoffs and the elimination of benefits.
  • Set up restaurant email to be forwarded.
  • Set up restaurant phone to be forwarded.
  • Cancel all reservations. 


  • A final Inventory of all food and beverage should be taken.
  • Prepare and transfer all perishable food.


  • Ensure all alcohol is locked in cages or office.  
  • Clean/blowout beer Lines.
  • Take your thermostats to the high 50’s to save on electricity, without turning the system off completely. Reconditioning the entire restaurant’s air after being off can cause compromised HVAC systems to fail. Better to spend a little to save what could be a lot.
  • Set any tankless water heaters to the “OFF” position. Turn off gas to each unit.
  • Turn off water circulator pump.
  • Turn off all gas to kitchen equipment.
  • Ensure all kitchen equipment knobs are set to the “OFF” position.
  • Empty all refrigeration on the line, unplug and leave doors open.
  • Unplug all refrigeration at the bar and in club houses, remove any items that may spoil and leave doors open.
  • Ensure all lights are off in walk-ins, kitchen, dining room, mezzanine, office.
  • Ensure all doors are locked.
  • All trash removed from building including office trash cans. Re-line all cans to keep fruit fly activity down. 
  • Perform a walkthrough ensuring walk in doors are closed and all exterior doors are locked.
  • Turn off any entertainment electronics.
  • All Patio Couches/chairs pulled inside and stored.

For a complete closing checklist to view and print, please click here.

Staff Issues:

  • Do I have to pay out accrued vacation if I am temporarily laying off an employee? While, no advisory has been issued, The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Bureau has reiterated that enforcement on this issue would not be a high priority.
  • Salaried Employees – if an exempt employee performs any work during a workweek, that exempt employee must receive their entire salary that week.
  • Will my unemployment insurance rate skyrocket? We have already had multiple conversations with the State Department of Labor, and they are well aware of this potential issue. This is an issue that we can be fully addressed on the other side of this crisis.