1. Kitchen layout
A restaurant kitchen is a spot where lots of operations take place. The staff usually works under high pressure to have everything done on time and match the high level of service. This is why it is extremely important to have all the prep stations and counters located so that no operations are disturbed, overlapped, or interfered with. Another essential part is having enough wash stations, safety equipment, and air ventilation facilities and having them located in the right places.
The next essential component is storage. First, you have to provide enough space for your kitchen equipment, and second, for your stock and food supplies. When a kitchen is organized, it doesn’t only look good but also makes it easier for the staff to navigate it and find the required ingredients for cooking. Your kitchen should not be crowded or clotted. Think how you can replace 2-3 bulky pieces with a single unit serving multiple functions. A blender is a good example of multifunctional equipment that can perform slicing, chopping, mixing, batting, etc. Vertical storage is a great solution for storing large pans, while shelves and racks on the walls would give you extra storage space and free up the storerooms.
3. Stock needs
our list of ingredients and supplies will depend on your choice of menu. Choose your POS system carefully and make sure it can be integrated with your restaurant management software. This way you will have total visibility of your stock purchase process and needs. Your inventory list will contain lots of perishable items, and the system will track everything carefully, helping you avoid overordering and having too many supplies.
4. Staff role guidelines
Guidelines and procedures for your kitchen staff establish some common rules that apply to every employee, chef, and cooks alike. They must cover food preparation as well as kitchen sanitation. These are some common sanitary practices like washing/sanitizing hands before entering the kitchen. These rules should be set out beforehand, so everything runs smoothly once your kitchen starts its operations.
5. Number of staff for back-of-house operations
You should have a list of all employees that would be required to run the kitchen operations. This list includes all the roles that should be present in your restaurant during one shift, starting from chefs and ending with waiters. Each of these roles will be assigned to each specific area or station inside the kitchen to make sure everything is covered and there are no overlaps. This list will depend on the type of your restaurant business, the menu, and the type of revenue generated.
Pitfalls you may come across during kitchen management
According to statistics, one in three newly opened restaurants will survive its first year. Lots of restaurants fail within the first months of their operations. This can be caused by lots of reasons, one of which is poor kitchen management.
1. Too little space
In many cases, chefs and cooks have to work in restricted spaces with not enough room for movement. A restricted area will have too little storage space. This will lead to confusion among staff, not being able to navigate, and an atmosphere of chaos.
2. Poor/old equipment
Kitchen staff operate better if they are equipped with all the necessary modern tools. If your equipment is too worn out, this may become an obstacle to the efficient performance of your kitchen crew, because no one likes to work with old equipment. Besides, older tools may consume much more electricity than more state-of-the-art multifunctional devices. This will lead to higher electricity bills and impact your operating expenses.
3. Disagreements between staff members
A good restaurant is not just a place where all employees are skillful enough. They should love their job and find fulfillment in serving good quality food to people. This is what makes your business stand out when team members are happy to go the extra mile to make the experience of their customers truly remarkable.
A chaotic kitchen environment without good bounds established between the staff may lead to poor coordination between the team members. The chef must make sure that the staff are on the same page about their duties and there is a pleasant and friendly atmosphere where everyone feels valued and appreciated. It’s the chef’s responsibility to brief the staff daily so everyone knows what to do and what to focus on.
4. Unsafe kitchen environment
Restaurant critics or health and sanitation inspectors tend to come uninvited and pay surprise visits. Your priority must be making sure that your restaurant kitchen remains safe for people to work in. Smoke, fire, and fumes from cooking may block the vent fans and make the walls darken, making the work conditions deteriorate, this could lead to personnel attrition and fines by health and sanitation authorities. That is why you must be consistent about the proper maintenance and cleaning.
5. Interrupted flow of operations
Like in a chain reaction, one small interruption may lead to the whole process being disturbed or slowed down. If the cleaning staff forgets to clean one station at the end of the shift, they will have to waste the time for cleaning in the morning. This way, the cooks will not be able to prep the ingredients on time, and the chef will be late with cooking. The orders will be piling up and the whole process of cooking and serving will be disturbed. To avoid this situation, the workflows and procedures should be established, observed by everyone, and supervised properly to find and eliminate the weak spots.
6. Technology breakdown
Smooth working processes in a restaurant depend greatly on modern technologies. If your hardware and software are not updated on time, this may slow down the entire restaurant and keep the customers waiting and the staff nervous. Always be on the lookout for modern and efficient solutions in hardware and software that will help you save time, money and run your business more efficiently.
Customers nowadays expect to have more and more sophisticated experiences when they come to a restaurant to dine in. The essential part of a restaurant’s success is kitchen management, which can be organized to deliver exactly what the customers expect. Using efficient kitchen management techniques in combination with modern technologies will help your restaurant business grow tremendously.
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