5 Ways to Setup and Run a Restaurant Kitchen efficiently
Most experienced restaurant owners know very well that whatever goes on in the kitchen will, in most cases, contribute to the success of the whole restaurant. This means that a well installed and managed kitchen can be of a considerable benefit to the rest of the restaurant. Your customers will be satisfied with the delicious and clean food from the kitchen; hence ensuring a seamless service. Keep reading this article to find out about the 5 ways you can follow in setting up and running your kitchen restaurant efficiently.
1. Plan your kitchen accordingly
A good restaurant kitchen should be made up of various stations. The number of stations you will have in your kitchen will depend on the space, budget and your planned menu. For the sake of saving space and money, some stations can be combined with others.
First of all, you will have to create a list of all the foods you plan to prepare in the kitchen. This should also include the processes that go on from the start to the completion of a dish. This means that everything a restaurant staff does should be able to flow smoothly without any interruption. Make sure that the kitchen has a prep area that will be able to accommodate all the ingredients needed for the food list you had earlier established. The kitchen should also be able to adhere to food sanitation and commercial kitchen guidelines. For example, you will be required to set aside an appropriate amount of wash stations and your air ventilation should also be placed strategically according to the specifications of your kitchen.
2. Stock the kitchen efficiently
Now that you have planned your kitchen accordingly, the next thing you will be required to do is to stock it with the appropriate equipment. Being a commercial kitchen, it will require you to purchase industrial-grade equipment capable of withstanding busy restaurant use.
Just like a new car, you should keep in mind that these items will start depreciating the moment you begin using them. It will, therefore, be a good idea to try saving some money during the start-up process by purchasing used kitchen equipment. Try to carry out research on the best places you can find good quality second-hand equipment. For example, if you are a resident of Saudi Arabia, try going to the internet and searching for the best places you can purchase restaurant equipment and tools in Saudi Arabia. You will be surprised at the number of places you can find excellent second-hand equipment.
Also when starting, try to avoid the temptation of wanting to purchase everything you see while shopping. Only go for the few basics to get you started. Depending on what you will be preparing in your kitchen, you need to come up with a list of equipment beforehand that will ensure you do not miss out on the most basic and important ones. The rest can be added at a later time as they become needed.
3. Invest in your staff
One of the most important ingredients for an efficient and successful kitchen is highly skilled and qualified hardworking personnel. Due to its importance, you have to be willing to invest in time and money so as to hire and train the best kitchen crew possible. All you need to do is to show your staff that you are ready to help them become the best they can be in their job. With this, you can be sure that they will work hard for you and be loyal to you.
Also, be aware that badly run restaurants suffer a lot of turn-over, so always see to it that you do everything in your powers to make them feel appreciated. The behavior you would like to see from them should be modeled by you. Things like offering bonuses will go a long way in showing them that you care. Words alone are never enough. Always lead by example by being open to change and also be willing to work hard alongside them. This will portray you as a good leader and they will look to emulate this.
4. Ensure safety measures are always observed
The safety of the kitchen should also be put into consideration earlier on. First of all, ensure that all your staff is conversant with all the kitchen equipment. This means that they should be able to follow manufacturer instructions when operating machines with sharp and dangerous parts. They should also always use protective gear whenever it is required for them to do so.
Hazardous chemicals should be handled with care. This can be achieved by carefully reading labels and being familiar with material safety data sheets for any chemicals on the premises. Finally, you should ensure that you are always ready for emergencies. You can implement an action plan for accidents, fires, natural disasters, violent situations and any other emergencies that may occur. All employees should be well informed about the same and know the actions they can take in case any of the emergencies occur at any given time.
5. Set up an efficient inventory system
It is very important to ensure that your inventory is always monitored. This aspect can save you a lot of embarrassment in the future. The system should be there to always remind you of the time you need to restock your kitchen. Apart from ensuring that you do not run out of inventory, the system should also have the capacity to inform or alert you in case you are overstocking the kitchen with inventory. This will help you to reduce food wastage that could have cost you a lot of money in losses.
The inventory system must be capable of being adjusted according to how your business will be running. In case orders from clients are going up, it should allow you to adjust it according to the demand. Make sure that invoices are well filed because they are the ones that will help you in determining whether you are actually receiving the goods you had ordered for.
The person receiving your inventory should always be careful when checking the invoice against the purchase order so as to ensure they always match. This is very important because the information on the invoices is what will be entered in the inventory system to help it monitor and suggest when to order more.
As a restaurant owner, you should understand that the kitchen is the engine of the whole restaurant. If the restaurant kitchen is well run and maintained, you can rest assured that you will end up having happy and satisfied customers; hence leading to a steady growth of your business.