A Restaurant Owner’s Guide to Improving Kitchen Efficiency

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How To Improve Kitchen Efficiency?

A restaurant owner must know how to run an efficient commercial kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the restaurant, and it’s where food safety starts.

Managing a restaurant kitchen isn’t just about proper stock management, good workflow, or getting more plates on the tables. Efficient kitchen management is necessary for meeting food safety and health standards.

Diners will never visit a restaurant that cannot guarantee zero contamination on their food. Not prioritizing the health requirements in running a commercial kitchen can force you to shut your business down.

To help keep your restaurant’s kitchen hygienic, ensure food safety and protect the customers’ health, here are some major steps that you should take.

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1. Maintain an efficient inventory system

A sound inventory system is a crucial ingredient for running an efficient commercial kitchen. It helps your kitchen staff keep track of the ingredients and other food items that need to be restocked.

In addition, this is also a great way to ensure that your staff can easily access their ingredients during rush times. The last thing you want to happen is for your customers to wait for too long for their orders.

Track your inventory every day or week to create an efficient inventory system. You can choose to rotate your kitchen staff in different roles or give them specific tasks for the rest of the week.

You can also use open shelves for visible and easy access to ingredients. Beyond that, a good inventory system also enables you to discover what food items are going into waste or which ones have to be prepared more often.

2. Upgrade your kitchen equipment

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Your entire kitchen team can’t get their job done quickly if you lack the essential kitchen tools. You can’t even create the items on your menu without the proper cooking equipment. It’s always best to invest in high-standard equipment that can stand the test of time compared to cheap ones that need replacements after a few months. 

In a restaurant setting, you generally need equipment for cooking, storage, refrigeration, food prep, and janitorial. Some examples of cooking tools include a deep fryer, oven, grill, broiler, toaster, microwave, coffee brewer, and extra gas hoses for installing the appliances.

As for the storage and refrigeration, some examples are refrigerator, freezer, beverage dispenser, ice machine, utility carts, food containers, shelving, dunnage racks, and sheet pan racks. Food prep tools will include prep tables, food processors, blenders, mixers, and spice grinders.

For the janitorial or cleaning supplies, you’ll need a three-compartment sink, cleaning rags and microfiber cloths, foodservice sanitizers and chemicals, recycling bins, trash cans, cleaning chemical buckets, restroom supplies, and wet floor signs.

3. Create cooking and prep stations

Chefs and prep cooks need specific areas to work on, separated from the other kitchen workspaces. Depending on your restaurant and menu, you’ll need different workstations for different things.

For example, you can create a salad prep station, where all the ingredients are readily prepared in separate containers. Gourmet kitchens also have a Saucier station, a Poissonnier station, a Rotisseur station, a Patissier station, and an Entremetier station.

In creating your cooking and prep stations, determine the cuisines your restaurant is offering. You don’t need a Poissonier station if your restaurant only serves meat dishes like prime ribs and steaks. Also, consider the size of your kitchen. You can choose to combine multiple stations if you have a limited kitchen space.

For example, instead of having separate Potager and Legumier stations, you can get everything done on an Entremetier station.

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4. Keep the kitchen at the perfect temperature

Commercial kitchens are one of the toughest places to work in the food industry. Without a proper HVAC system, your restaurant kitchen can get extremely hot or too cold. Besides, temperature control and ventilation are crucial elements for running an efficient commercial kitchen.

Your kitchen staff will have a hard time working productively in a space that isn’t properly ventilated, heated, or cooled. 

Depending on your budget, you can choose to buy or rent a commercial portable heater and cooling equipment for your kitchen. Investing in such systems also lets you keep the odors from food and cooking in the kitchen. And prevent them from escaping into the dining areas.

As you decide to manage a restaurant and run its kitchen. You’re taking responsibility for proper and healthy food preparation. Failing to meet any food safety and sanitation requirements can jeopardize your operations. Implement proper kitchen practices in your business and team.

That way, you can guarantee the health and safety of your diners while increasing your restaurant’s profitability.