No matter what hospitality business you run, ensuring the efficiency of your kitchen is essential. Here are 7 tips to improve your kitchen’s efficiency.
7 Tips for Improving Your Restaurant Kitchen’s Efficiency
As a restaurant owner or a manager, you have a lot of things on your plate. It can be overwhelming, but every little detail matters—especially in the kitchen.
The efficiency of your kitchen is what makes or breaks a dining experience for your guests.
An efficient kitchen means that the back-of-house staff can work productively. Food preparation is faster, and communication among staff is better. Focusing on increasing the efficiency of your kitchen will help you achieve the following:
- Reducing waste on labor and food inventory
- Keeping staff motivated
- Improving customer experience
- Increasing profits
So, here are seven practical ways to improve your kitchen’s efficiency.
1. Organizing Your Kitchen
A disorganized kitchen is a disaster kitchen.
And so, it’s important to take the time and actively plan out your weekly and daily tasks so you can prioritize them. Planning allows you to coordinate your kitchen staff’s schedules so they can do everything seamlesslyーwithout skipping over crucial prep or cleaning tasks.
These tasks include:
- Receiving and handling store food deliveries
- Preparing ingredients before lunch or dinner service
- Cleaning kitchen equipment and appliances
- Clearing work areas before a service
Having an organized kitchen is the first step to increasing efficiency. Organization reduces confusion to staff and streamlines the processes of your kitchen. Moreover, it ensures that you have everything you need at hand during service allowing everyone to move smoothly.
2. Improve Communication with Staff
Having clear communication is essential for every type of business, but especially in restaurants with dozens of staff. After all, they have to coordinate serving meals, giving out menus, and bussing tables, among many other things.
One way to do this is by communicating with your staff about what they need and what they think needs improvement is crucial. Their feedback helps you, but only if you ask for it. According to a study, managers in large organizations dedicate three-quarters of their time to preparing and attending team meetings.
And though you do not necessarily need to dedicate that much time for a meeting with your staff, it goes to show how important it is to communicate with them. Meetings can be a time to share information, brainstorm, and provide solutions to issues.
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Holding a daily staff meeting that will get everyone on the same page and allow them to provide feedback is essential to achieving an efficient kitchen. Your staff knows the ins and outs of the kitchen better, so communicating with them can also give you an overview of what works and what doesn’t.
When your staff doesn’t understand how their tasks affect one another, efficiency plummets. Breakdowns in communication can affect even the most seasoned veterans, leading to more mistakes, tension between teams, and a stressful work environment. All of which you want to avoid if you’re going to ensure the success of your restaurant.
3. Make Your Inventory System Efficient
Nothing is worse than running out of rice… especially if you are a Filipino restaurant–you’re doomed! So, maintaining an efficient inventory system prevents you from being able to serve your most popular menu items.
A good inventory system means employees can avoid mistakes and keep track of what ingredients need to be restocked and what you’re ordering too much of. If they have the wrong ingredients during lunch & dinner rushes, it could disappoint your customers.
Having accurate information on your inventory makes organizing your stock easier by minimizing food spoilage and waste.
4. Make Purchasing Simpler
Purchasing and managing your stock is one of the most critical, time-consuming parts of running a business. Your team should have accurate data and knowledge on the following:
- When and what to order
- Who to order it from
- What’s due for delivery
Make your purchasing process simpler with restaurant purchasing software that will control your orders and prevent food wastage. Plus, it allows your team to track food delivery and log issues when orders don’t arrive on time一making it easier to follow up with suppliers as soon as possible.
5. Streamline Your Menu
When you know which products are helping your business grow, it becomes easier to stay on top of what needs the most attention. Planning your menu also means considering ingredients’ availability and cooking time.
Let’s say you have a noodle shop, and you’re selling palabokーwhich includes many ingredients like tinapa flakes, chicharon, and shrimps. However, despite perfecting the recipe it still doesn’t sell as much as your pancit bihon.
Now, most often you end up with spoiled ingredients rather than increased profit. Instead of acquiring continued loss with this menu item that consistently underperforms, you can consider taking it off the menu.
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By streamlining your menu, your kitchen will only have to focus on a few menu items. A smaller menu is also more manageable. As a result, they’ll be more efficient and will have more time mastering the items.
In 2020, Red Robin’s CEO said that they decreased their menu by 55 food items to remain profitable during the pandemic. By doing so, they were able to improve their kitchen efficiency and produced better food quality with consistency. Despite having a smaller menu, they actually saw more profits with reduced inventory costs.
You can make the process of streamlining your menu easier with the right software that provides you with data on food items that gives you more profit than costs.
6. Upgrade Your POS System
Investing in a good POS system will definitely increase the efficiency of your kitchen and your restaurant as a whole. A good POS system also helps you with the following:
- Table management & customer service
- Provide real-time data on sales trends, direct costs, and inventory levels
- Automate purchasing and provide information on orders and deliveries
- Identify customer spending habits
Having access to these features will help you stay on top of all your costs. It also enables you to optimize your operations and maximize profits. Through this, you can save on costs and give you more time for your entire business operations.
7. Invest in Your Staff
Of course, a kitchen will only be as efficient as its team of skilled and hardworking staff一it’s the most important ingredient for a successful kitchen. So, you have to invest time and money in training the best kitchen crew possible.
Well-trained staff can help you improve the efficiency of your kitchen and ensure you are serving the best dishes to customers. By starting out employees with a solid foundation, you will be investing in the future of your restaurant. You want to nurture their talent and skills so your restaurant can grow into an even better place for customers.
Also, with staff that are knowledgeable and excited about their work, there’s little to no reason why your restaurant cannot operate effectively and efficiently. When each employee works efficiently without having to pause to figure things out from time to time, they allow other employees to also work efficiently. The cumulative effect is that when everyone works fastーfrom dishwasher, line cooks, to chefsーorder will be completed quicker.
Increase Your Restaurant Profits & Kitchen Efficiency
Continuously improving your operations to achieve the most efficient kitchen will benefit your restaurant and your customers. Also, most importantly, having better communication is key to making sure that employees are operating at their best.
Because how your employees interact with each other directly affects the customer experience.
Apart from that, it is essential to integrate technology into your processes to enable your staff to work faster without manually doing administrative tasks like inventory. Technology and your team should work hand-in-hand to have a kitchen that is fast and efficient effectively.
Looking for software for your restaurant? Contact Mosaic Solutions today and see how we can help.