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How to manage a restaurant kitchen: 4 tips. Part 2.

The success of your restaurant is defined largely by how well you manage your kitchen. This is also the trickiest part of running a restaurant business with lots of things to keep in mind and multiple tasks to juggle with.

A kitchen in a restaurant is nothing like your usual home kitchen. It is designed to prepare food on a large scale and in multiple batches. Lots of operations have to be repeated over and over again throughout the day to create enjoyable meals for customers. Naturally, it implies working under high pressure during the busiest times. 

Here are 4 tips that will help you manage your restaurant kitchen more efficiently. 

1. Inventory and stock management  
Your restaurant kitchen inventory is the list comprising all the ingredients that are used when making the meals on your menu. Inventory management is a huge part of successful kitchen management. It helps reduce the costs and make sure that only fresh products are used while cooling. 

  • Group different food ingredients logically so everyone can easily find them. Keep grains, spices, fruits, and vegetables on separate shelves. Containers for dry ingredients should be marked appropriately and grouped. All the dairy products and frozen items should be stored in the refrigerators. Establish a “First in, first out” rule and make sure each member of the team follows it. 
  • Always keep a record of all your kitchen supplies. Buy all the necessary food ingredients in advance for the weekends and other busy days like holidays. Conducting regular inventory stock checks will help you save food costs and greatly reduce kitchen waste. After your inventory is sorted, you will know exactly how much of each ingredient you require weekly or monthly. 
  • Have a daily prep sheet for your kitchen in place and review it with your staff at the beginning of your day. This will make your kitchen operations more orderly. The kitchen prep plan helps plan and control the production of your meals. Additionally, this will avoid overproduction and food waste, make sure that every ingredient is available and nothing is forgotten. Having a prep sheet will also make it easier to train new employees.
  • Operating in the restaurant industry you are going to have an extensive network of organizations you cooperate with, including vendors and suppliers providing you with the required produce. To be efficient in your relations with suppliers, you must know your needs clearly and make sure you stay on budget. Make sure you have a list of multiple suppliers for each group of ingredients, like fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, etc., so you can order from an alternative source in case something goes wrong. Track their prices that may vary every week. Communicate and negotiate every time, to make sure you have steady and long-term partnerships with the vendors that suit your needs best.

2. Menu Management 
When you are opening your restaurant, you already have the main idea and the concept of your future place. It can be a regional cuisine theme or some other specialty. But what kind of food are you going to serve in your restaurant exactly? A large part of your kitchen management plan is deciding on your specific menu items.

How to create the menu

Your restaurant menu is one of the pillars of great customer experience and the main selling tool for your business. That is why it surely requires a lot of thought and effort, as well as thorough planning.
  • Make a list of all menu items you’d like to offer. You can do it just using a pen and a sheet of paper, but using Excel Sheets is going to work better. After you’ve included everything you’d like, see if you can make this list shorter. Research shows that the most efficient menus offer between three and seven options in each category, so it is easier for the customers to make the choice.
  • See how you can make your menu even more centric by leaving the items that share ingredients. This will make it easier to manage your inventory to reduce the chance of food going to waste.
  • Categorize your menu items into groups: appetizers, entrees, desserts, etc. Then move around the items in each category. You want to make your most popular and top-selling options to be more prominent than the rest.
  • The insights about your most profit-generating dishes may be driven from your POS system, which generates daily reports on your highest and lowest selling dishes. The latter can be gradually removed from your menu being replaced with items that are preferred by your clientele.
  • After you decide on the dishes and establish the prices you can go ahead and create the ingredient list for each menu item and their respective prep time. This brings structure and clarity to the chefs, cooks, and other members of the restaurant kitchen.
  • After that, you may proceed with designing your menu card.

Tips on designing the menu card
  • Your menu design can make or break the profit of your business. It should be made with a balanced amount of creativity, marketing, and knowledge in customer psychology and behavior. 
  • Your restaurant menu must draw the attention of the customers to your specials. Make sure they are prominent and highlighted. Customers are more likely to order dishes placed in the center of the menu, use this to your advantage. Include compelling photos of your dishes.
  • Regularly update your menu with new items, to keep up with the newest trends. Add new seasonal items and promos. Do not forget to update your digital menu to make it easier for customers to do the research and order meals online.

3. Proper equipment 
.Your goal should be to make your kitchen operations more streamlined and efficient. If everything is well organized, your staff is better able to focus on cooking great dishes to the satisfaction of your customers. If your kitchen equipment is modern and multifunctional, you have fewer items to perform a greater functionality. 

Kitchen equipment made of non-corrosive materials like aluminum and stainless steel is more durable and will last longer. New generation commercial kitchen equipment will help to decrease labor costs and increase productivity. They help automate and streamline the food preparation and cooking process.

4. Maintaining your equipment
Your kitchen equipment needs to be taken care of and properly maintained. If not serviced properly, your equipment may end up broken, which will involve extra costs for your business. Various pieces of equipment need regular cleaning, so you should have a table where all maintenance and cleaning requirements are specified including their regularity, with scheduled dates of service. If you forget to keep this log, you might end up spending a lot on buying new equipment or getting it fixed.

Want more tips on running your restaurant business? Read more articles on Tawreed blog. Be sure to contact us if you are looking for reliable suppliers for your restaurant.