Anyone who works in a commercial kitchen can tell you it’s like no other workplace. The fast-paced environment, constant noise, and stress of meeting tight production timelines are all part of the job. Fortunately, with the right strategies and techniques, you can become an even more efficient operator to thrive in this challenging environment.
Whether you rent space from a friend or family member or you’re managing a kitchen at a restaurant, being organized is the key to success in any setting. Since many commercial kitchens are shared spaces where multiple operators share appliances and prep stations, efficiency is extremely important. Planning out your workflow ahead of time will help limit confusion and wasted steps during peak hours.
Use Labels and Markers
If you’re managing multiple people in a small space, you need to be able to quickly identify who has what job and what they’ve completed already. From a visual management standpoint, you can label and mark just about anything you want. This will help your staff quickly identify where they can find supplies and tools as well as their job assignments. For example, you can label and mark items like containers for food storage, cutting boards, and even drawers with sticky labels. You can also use different colored markers to label your employees’ aprons, which can help you quickly identify who is working in each area of your kitchen and what they’re responsible for.
Create Custom Shifts
A calendar will allow you to assign different tasks to employees depending on their availability. For example, you can assign one employee to clean duties on Monday and Wednesday nights, another to purchasing duties on Tuesday, and someone else to inventory on Thursday. Custom shifts will help prevent everyone from getting overworked and will help keep the doors open with minimal employee turnover. Once you have the calendar set up, make sure everyone is aware of the hours and what their duties entail.
Try New Recipes
You don’t want to serve the same menu every day, but you also don’t want to keep switching things up between specials. You want to find a happy medium between offering a variety and keeping your kitchen consistent and efficient. To do this, you need to try out new recipes to find the dishes that are simple to execute and popular with your guests. Once you’ve found a few recipes you like to serve, keep them as specials for at least a month so you can track their popularity. You can also rotate your dessert recipes to see what does the best with your clientele.
At the end of the day, the key to operating your kitchen like a pro is to be ready for anything that might come your way. Whether you’re hiring new employees or retraining current ones, implementing the right strategies and techniques can make a huge difference in your overall productivity. There are many things that can go wrong in a kitchen setting, but with the right practices, you can avoid issues and make your kitchen easier to work in.