Restaurant kitchens are notoriously chaotic and challenging. From managing staff to prepping ingredients and keeping up with your customer’s demands, it requires a lot of hard work to keep it up to par. If you don’t know how to run a restaurant kitchen, here are a few things to keep in mind before starting your business.
1. Schedule Wisely
Kitchen staff should not be arbitrary. Instead, it is better to consider the flow of your restaurant and schedule properly. For instance, you should assign more cooks on a Saturday night when more guests visit than a weekday night. When scheduling, find out the best spot between your team members to meet the demands. A useful tip is to use your POS system to track sales trends. This will ensure that you know exactly when and who you will need in the right time. It might be tempting to save a few dollars by cutting staffing but this might do more harm than good in many cases.
2. Plan Prep in Advance
Prep tasks can be time-consuming, particularly for restaurants which mainly make their dishes from scratch. Many kitchens often start prepping 5 to 7 hours before the service starts to get everything completed in time. Instead of scheduling your cooks to come around lunch and hope the prepping things get done, it’s better to stay as organized as possible. Create an in-depth prep list based on your sales trends, history, and targets so that you can estimate how much to prepare and how long it will take.
3. Support Your Staff
During the rush hours, it is challenging for your kitchen staff to handle everything alone. As an owner or manager, you should be proactive and give them a helping hand. When things fall behind or your cooks can’t meet the upcoming demands, it’s up to you to decide. This means going to the bar and making some drinks or serving foods for your customers. When you lead by example, other employees will follow.
4. Implement the Right Tool
One of the most important tools for every restaurant these days is the Point-of-Sales or POS system. This advanced application can make a significant difference in communication between the back of the house and front of the house. When a waiter or waitress enters an order into the system, it is instantly delivered to your kitchen so that the chef can cooking the dishes. With a fully interactive and customizable interface, this machine can speed up the whole process and improve the efficiency in your restaurant.
5. Streamline the Whole Process
A restaurant can be a combination of a retail store and a factory. It is usually a lot for 1 or 2 employees to handle and details might be overlooked, thus resulting in inconsistencies in the final products. To minimize these issues, it’s necessary to streamline the process and develop practices that make sense to everybody. These small changes can be a decisive factor between the failure and success of a restaurant.
Knowing how to run a restaurant kitchen is what helps keep the workflow running smoothly. Using the right system and leading by example will help your employees stay organized and keep orders running. Scheduling your employees effectively will also prevent you from being understaffed on busy nights.