Kitchen efficiency can be the backbone of your restaurant. The more efficient the kitchen, the better your customer's experience is. Optimizing your kitchen to improve efficiency can function in a lot of different ways. Anywhere from reorganizing the layout to encouraging open communication between your employees, with only a couple of small adjustments you can improve the performance of your kitchen and improve morale.
- Create work stations
Picture this: Your meat is stored in one corner of the kitchen and your meat tenderizer machine is in the opposite corner, across the room. Your staff needs to walk to that fridge, then to the meat tenderizer machine, and then back to wherever the cooking surface is. Creating a workstation setup will allow you to minimize unnecessary walk time and prevent potential accidental injury. Because everything you need is in one place there will be less bottle-necking and less struggle.
- Prep a lot
Prepping your food ahead is one of the best things you can do. Aside from cutting veg and setting up your mise en place, you could also be prepping any breads or dough you might need with a heavy duty dough mixer. Did you know? Kneading dough by hand can take up to 25 minutes. A commercial dough mixer will drastically reduce that time frame and free up the hands of an employee to complete another task while the machine does its work. Using an electric meat grinder and prepping your burgers will make the dinner rush go much faster. Commercial grade restaurant equipment can come in handy when working through meal prep.
- Create a smaller menu
Believe it or not, having a huge menu is not the best way to bring in customers. More and more restaurants are discovering that smaller more specialized menus are more inviting, and reducing the amount of product you need to keep in stock in your kitchen. One way to do this is by limiting the variety of proteins you serve. Doing a few things very well instead of a lot of things okay is a great way to create an efficient kitchen.
- Use an effective inventory process
Knowing where everything is, and where to find it plays a huge role in efficiency. Also, an effective inventory process will help keep you from buying unnecessary product and reduce loss from spoilage.
- Listen to your employees
Finally, the most important one. Your employees work in the kitchen. They are the ones who carry the meat from the fridge to the meat tenderizer machine. They are likely to have ideas on how to better run the space. Utilize the brainpower of your employees so you aren't the only one having to think about these things.
Creating a more efficient kitchen space will create a more efficient restaurant in general. Getting the right equipment in your kitchen and utilizing the space you've got will transform both your profits and your team morale.