Running a restaurant is hard work. In addition to ensuring that the dining room and front of the house are running smoothly, you also need to make sure that your kitchen is functioning efficiently. This can be a challenge, but with the right tools, it can be done. In this blog post, we will discuss what kitchen efficiency is and outline the elements of an efficient restaurant kitchen. We will also finish by discussing how modern technology can help you run your restaurant more efficiently!
What is Kitchen Efficiency?
At its core, kitchen efficiency is the ability to manage your restaurant kitchen with maximum effectiveness. An efficient kitchen is able to handle the current volume of orders within your restaurant's speed of service standards. Dine in orders are prepared and delivered to guests in an acceptable amount of time, and off-premise orders are ready when the customer or delivery driver arrives to pick it up. Running an efficient kitchen means you're able to do this with a staffing level that works for you business model - in other words, the amount you're spending on labor is proportional to your revenue while keeping your customers satisfied.
So, how can you improve your kitchen's efficiency?
- Set yourself up for success. The ability to run a great shift starts before the first customer walks in the door. Prep the right amount of food and stock the line appropriately so you're not constantly running off line to get things. This includes stocking things like dishes, ramekins, and condiments. Perform a line check before opening to make sure all the food meets your standards, and schedule your staff to the right levels. Trying to cut back hours to save on labor can be appealing but might backfire if you kitchen is then unable to meet the demands of the shift.
- Use technology to help. There are certain types of software products that can help improve your kitchen efficiency if implemented correctly. A food and beverage management system can help you order and prep the right amount of food by forecasting your demand. Labor scheduling tools can help you staff at the right level. And kitchen display systems can give your kitchen a productivity boost by making sure you never lose paper tickets and by displaying real-time ticket performance metrics.
- Be prepared to adapt quickly. If you start to fall behind during a rush it can be hard to catch up. It's important to adapt as quickly as possible when this happens. If possible, temporarily move employees from non-production roles like dish and prep onto the line to help. Consider slowing down the orders by pausing your online ordering or reducing the number of online orders you can accept. Modern kitchen systems are starting to develop the capability to notify you before you get overwhelmed, and in the future they will be able to take some of these actions automatically.
With the right planning and commitment, you can create a fully optimized restaurant kitchen and run your restaurant more efficiently than ever before!