Store opening CHECKLIST!

Looks like people would like a checklist in writing. This list actually came from a previous post but I feel it would be easier to search with this subject line. So here’s an idea… I’ll start the list (and I’m sure I’ll miss 2 or 3 dozen things so don’t be too hard on me). If you feel there’s something I left out, simply copy my post and paste it with your addition into the response. Let’s try to get this list in a chronological order and make sure numbering is correct. -J_r0kk

Pre-Construction

  1. Hire an accountant
  2. Form your business entity (c-corp, s-corp, LLC, etc.)
  3. Draw up business plan
  4. Obtain a loan from bank (if needed)
  5. Go to architect, get plans drawn up (if build-out is needed)
  6. Bring 3 copies of plans to the city for approval.
  7. Contact Health Dept. and submit a copy to them for their approval.
  8. Obtain a building permit.
  9. Set an opening date with your contractor (should be around 4-6 weeks)
  10. Order signage
  11. Put in equipment order
  12. Order “Opening Soon”, “Now Hiring” banners
  13. Order POS system
  14. Obtain an insurance agent to insure your business
  15. Apply for cereal malt license (or liquor license)
  16. Set up accounts with all your suppliers (food, beverage, uniforms)

Construction phase

  1. Hang “Opening Soon”, “Now Hiring” banners
  2. Post applications on front door
  3. Make sure your cell phone is charged (you’ll be making a couple calls)
  4. Start entering your menu into your newly obtained POS system
  5. Get all utilities turned on. (Except gas. That’s after final inspection).
  6. Install phone system
  7. Run Cat-5 cabling for computers
  8. Run phone lines for phones and install
  9. Hang ALL signage (pole sign, building sign, window graphics)
  10. Order car top signs (HTH, inc.)
  11. Get menus printed
  12. Stay in contact with contractor to make sure he’s on schedule

2 Weeks Before Opening

  1. Send out press release
  2. Get an advertising game plan in order
  3. Set up special events for Grand Opening
  4. Order streamers
  5. Order “Now Open!” banner
  6. Order spotlights
  7. Set up pizza eating contest with local High School football team
  8. Start hiring and training crew
  9. Finish POS install project and install computers
  10. Set up final Health Dept. inspection.
  11. Buy Shelving
  12. Buy de`cor
  13. Buy storage containers and dough trays
  14. Order business cards
  15. Buy misc. smallwares and cleaning supplies (and trash cans)
  16. Install all equipment (including hood system) and tables
  17. Paint
  18. Buy “Open” sign


1 Week To Go

  1. Drop advertising to hit day before opening
  2. Print “Test Run” cards and doorhang them (only 100 cards)
  3. Get final inspection, turn on gas
  4. Final construction clean-up
  5. Train employees in the store
  6. Pass out uniforms
  7. Make sure all employee paperwork is complete (I-9’s, W-4’s)
  8. Install fountain machine
  9. Order food (dry goods first, perishable at end of week)
  10. Set up inventory inside store
  11. Prep food
  12. Run your “Test Run” night a couple days before opening
  13. Press release announcing store opening
  14. Set up restaurant, including any marketing materials and business cards.

1 Day To Go

  1. Final prep
  2. Make sure dough is in walkin 2 days before opening
  3. Hang Streamers
  4. Pizza eating contest (have newspaper there)
  5. Ensure ads hit TODAY!
  6. Bring flyers to local hotels, schools, convenience stores announcing opening.

Opening Day

  1. Hang “Now Open” banner
  2. Get spotlights hooked up
  3. Balloons, Balloons, Balloons
  4. All special events that were set up should be activated
  5. Stop stressing, breathe.

There is one IMPORTANT item not listed (although it may be bunched in with set up accounts with suppliers). Set up your Merchant Account.

Merchant Accounts AREN’T created equal! Numerous processors have special pricing for Quick Serve Restaurants. One such company is RBS Lynk.

I am an Account Executive for RBS Lynk and can be contacted at
5(Five) 1(One) 2(Two)
9(Nine) 2(Two) 1(One)
8(Eight) 7(Seven) 9(Nine) 8(Eight)

$0.00 Statement Fee
8 Cents per Transaction (+ Interchange)

No, you’re right. I totally left that one out…

Pre-Construction

  1. Hire an accountant
  2. Form your business entity (c-corp, s-corp, LLC, etc.)
  3. Draw up business plan
  4. Obtain a loan from bank (if needed)
  5. Set up business checking acct., merchant acct. for credit cards
  6. Go to architect, get plans drawn up (if build-out is needed)
  7. Bring 3 copies of plans to the city for approval.
  8. Contact Health Dept. and submit a copy to them for their approval.
  9. Obtain a building permit.
  10. Set an opening date with your contractor (should be around 4-6 weeks)
  11. Order signage
  12. Put in equipment order
  13. Order “Opening Soon”, “Now Hiring” banners
  14. Order POS system
  15. Obtain an insurance agent to insure your business
  16. Apply for cereal malt license (or liquor license)
  17. Set up accounts with all your suppliers (food, beverage, uniforms)

Construction phase

  1. Hang “Opening Soon”, “Now Hiring” banners

  2. Post applications on front door

  3. Make sure your cell phone is charged (you’ll be making a couple calls)

  4. Start entering your menu into your newly obtained POS system

  5. Get all utilities turned on. (Except gas. That’s after final inspection).

  6. Install phone system

  7. Run Cat-5 cabling for computers

  8. Run phone lines for phones and install

  9. Hang ALL signage (pole sign, building sign, window graphics)

  10. Order car top signs (HTH, inc.)

  11. Get menus printed

  12. Stay in contact with contractor to make sure he’s on schedule

    2 Weeks Before Opening

  13. Send out press release

  14. Get an advertising game plan in order

  15. Set up special events for Grand Opening

  16. Order streamers

  17. Order “Now Open!” banner

  18. Order spotlights

  19. Set up pizza eating contest with local High School football team

  20. Start hiring and training crew

  21. Finish POS install project and install computers

  22. Set up final Health Dept. inspection.

  23. Buy Shelving

  24. Buy de`cor

  25. Buy storage containers and dough trays

  26. Order business cards

  27. Buy misc. smallwares and cleaning supplies (and trash cans)

  28. Install all equipment (including hood system) and tables

  29. Paint

  30. Buy “Open” sign

1 Week To Go

  1. Drop advertising to hit day before opening
  2. Print “Test Run” cards and doorhang them (only 100 cards)
  3. Get final inspection, turn on gas
  4. Final construction clean-up
  5. Train employees in the store
  6. Pass out uniforms
  7. Make sure all employee paperwork is complete (I-9’s, W-4’s)
  8. Install fountain machine
  9. Order food (dry goods first, perishable at end of week)
  10. Set up inventory inside store
  11. Prep food
  12. Run your “Test Run” night a couple days before opening
  13. Press release announcing store opening
  14. Set up restaurant, including any marketing materials and business cards.

1 Day To Go

  1. Final prep
  2. Make sure dough is in walkin 2 days before opening
  3. Hang Streamers
  4. Pizza eating contest (have newspaper there)
  5. Ensure ads hit TODAY!
  6. Bring flyers to local hotels, schools, convenience stores announcing opening.

Opening Day

  1. Hang “Now Open” banner
  2. Get spotlights hooked up
  3. Balloons, Balloons, Balloons
  4. All special events that were set up should be activated
  5. Stop stressing, breathe.

Here is my contact info again.