- M. Villarreal
Restaurant Kitchen Organizing Tips for Better Productivity
Every business owner will agree that organization is the key to success. And the impeccable organization is critical for the unimpeded functioning of a restaurant kitchen. Every wheel in that intricate system must run smoothly. Firstly, everyone has to know their part of the job. Secondly, the kitchen needs to follow a particular layout that will allow everyone to work undisturbed. So, to achieve that, many restaurant owners implement specific restaurant kitchen organizing tips for better productivity.
The reason why it's crucial to improve commercial kitchen organization is that things can get pretty hectic in there. Think about all those people running around, taking orders, chopping, mixing, steering, tasting, and serving. Then picture piles of dirty dishes that have to be sorted fast. And imagine that during peak hours when the kitchen runs at maximum capacity. Your guests have to get their food quickly, or you will lose them. And you can't keep a high level of service in an unorganized kitchen. Also, after you have reopened after the pandemic, you can’t afford to lose customers and smudge your reputation.
Let's take a look at how you can increase productivity in your kitchen so you become well-known for the top-notch service.
Restaurant kitchen organizing begins with an adequate floor plan
It's like designing your home. You want everything to flow naturally and people not to collide when walking from one room to another. Restaurant kitchens are similar in that way. A good floor plan will allow you to prepare and store food quickly and safely. As a restaurant owner or a chef, you know that meal preparation involves a precise process that consists of a range of different steps. So, you want to be able to flow from one step to another effortlessly and seamlessly.
You will do that if you organize your kitchen, so it has different zones dedicated for each step of that process. Thus, it would be best to have a separate zone for ingredient prepping, frying, grilling, baking, and finally, serving food. Such an organization will allow your kitchen staff to work undisturbed, and everything will flow perfectly. Moreover, zoning will prevent kitchen staff from running around looking for the tools and other needed items. An adequate layout will do wonders for your restaurant kitchen efficiency. If you find your current layout not working, in most cases, it is relatively easy to reconfigure the kitchen and prep areas (with the exception of the cook line). Often you will find the small investment of time to reconfigure will have huge rewards in efficient productivity. If you choose to make this move, work with a professional restaurant kitchen cleaning company to help set you up for success by deep cleaning your kitchen areas.
The floor plan should account for the freezer and refrigeration unit
Needless to say, for the food you prepare to be safe for your customers, it has to be stored properly. There are rules and regulations you have to follow to ensure this. So, the freezer and refrigeration unit should be next to the kitchen area. Of course, depending on what type of food you prepare, you may also need several smaller refrigerators within the kitchen. If there are food items used frequently in your restaurant, they will be within easy reach. Thus, cooks and chefs won't have to go far to grab them. Sometimes, if kitchen staff has to go too far to get the supplies they need, it may lead to inadequate food handling practices, which go against rules and regulations and may put customers' safety at risk.
In addition, if your cold storage is too close to your cooking equipment, it will make your refrigeration system use more energy to compensate for additional heat. Just like you want to prevent your staff from wasting their time and energy, you want your refrigeration equipment to be as efficient as possible too.
Storage is of utmost importance
Again, suitable storage solutions are essential for good organization. And this is the general rule that goes beyond restaurant kitchen organization. Therefore, you need to include many cabinets, drawers, shelves, and hooks. That will ensure you have space and the place for everything in your kitchen.
One of the simplest and most practical restaurant kitchen organizing tips for better productivity is hanging pots, pans, ladles, and other hangable items above areas where they are most typically used. It is a fantastic solution if your kitchen is on the smaller side space-wise as it provides a lot of additional space. Moreover, it keeps all the essential tools at hand's reach, so the staff often won't have to leave their post to grab what they need.
Furthermore, you should place storage near prepping stations. As we have mentioned, kitchen staff needs to ensure the guests get their food swiftly. Naturally, well-trained staff will help you achieve that. However, you should strive to eliminate all the unnecessary steps in the food preparation process. Thus, if various storage units are close to your food prepping stations, your staff won't waste time and energy fetching ingredients.
Eliminate cooking tools you don't really need
Carefully evaluate your kitchen inventory and decide which tools and items you really need and use. The most modern gadgets and cutting-edge tools are all nice to have, but the question is - do you need them? It is challenging to stay organized in a kitchen that has too many items. What is more, it makes it harder to find the tool you need. Ultimately, efficiency suffers. Therefore, the only things you should have in your kitchen are those you actually use.
Bonus restaurant kitchen organizing tip for better productivity: If you have several items that serve similar functions, group them together. It will make it easier to find what you need when you need it.
Your restaurant kitchen needs may change
It would be a mistake to assume that your kitchen layout will always be adequate for your operations. Styles always change. Also, your staff will likely change. You will probably want to update your kitchen to keep it efficient and in tune with the most recent trends. And if it needs some more significant renovation, you will likely have to pack your kitchen and move everything to the storage while the works are underway. If you have done an excellent job organizing it previously, you will have everything packed in no time. If not, you can hire professional packers to speed up the process.
Pro tip: If you get equipment and workstations with casters, you will be able to move them where you need them and change the layout to suit your needs. That way, you will avoid costly remodeling and kitchen redesign. What is more, commercial kitchen cleaning will be much easier and more thorough. Your professional restaurant kitchen cleaners will thank you and so will your employees.
You already know that cleanliness is imperative in a restaurant. Therefore, you have to remember to hire commercial kitchen deep cleaning companies that use food-safe commercial kitchen disinfection, schedule restaurant kitchen hood cleaning, and hire commercial kitchen deep cleaning services when necessary. If you let hygiene slide, your business will suffer. Another thing that can harm your restaurant and ruin its reputation is terrible service. And that is most of the time the consequence of bad organization. Thus, try to implement these restaurant kitchen organizing tips for better productivity and avoid or resolve any potential problems.
If you would like to learn more about Cornerstone Commercial Services and how we can help, please contact us at 1-800-274-3905.