Listen to this article now
The organization of your commercial kitchen is key to seamless operations. Without organization, your kitchen might be more prone to accidents, delays, and even losses as your staff will fail to keep track of material, hindering them from functioning effectively. A well-planned and organized kitchen must be modeled on the principles of efficient design and ease of functioning. Re-arranging your kitchen based on these principles will allow you to utilize existing space to the fullest, and ensure your kitchen is a space that is conducive to productivity. Read on as we discuss nine important tips to help you organize your kitchen.
9 Important Tips for Organizing your Commercial Kitchen
Create an Efficient Inventory System
Having an efficient and easy-to-track inventory is key to your restaurant’s success. Assign employees to keep track of the things you require, the existing state of the material, and wastage to help you s Taking stock of the ingredients you have must either be a daily or weekly process for streamlined operations. Ensure material is labeled and placed in accessible areas for operational efficiency.
Create Separate Working Areas
Having separate working areas for the activities in your kitchen helps you reduce confusion and chaos. It’s important to designate areas for food prep, cooking, plating, cleaning & ware wash, food storage, and non-food storage. Place these workstations close to relevant areas to simplify the activity in your kitchen. While cooking areas should be close to the ranges and ovens, food prep areas should be placed next to the sink for easier access – follow these examples to set up workstations in your kitchen.
Place Material within Reach
It’s important to place material within close reach of your workstations so that your employees can avoid moving around too much during operations. Place ingredient bins, produce sections, refrigerated material, and frequently-used kitchen tools close to your food prep and cooking areas.
Label Every Item
Labeling every item in your inventory not only allows for easy identification and access to these products but also helps your employees keep track of the quantity of remaining material. This will also help your employees to look in specific areas for what they require when a need arises, cutting down preparation time, and speeding up the overall cooking process in your kitchen.
Use Food Storage Containers & Boxes
As a commercial kitchen operation, you will require a large number of food storage containers and boxes to store your ingredients. Not only do these containers allow you to hold onto large quantities of raw material, but they also allow you to organize your inventory in an orderly manner. You can also consider procuring high-quality commercial reach-in refrigerators & freezers to help with managing and storing ingredients at your establishment.
Sort all Ingredients into Categories
A restaurant requires several items to provide full-service dining. Needless to say, your staff might get confused with the sheer number of items and materials in the kitchen. You should consider categorizing your inventory to help staff reach them sooner and avoid confusion. Sort and place spices & condiments in a single rack or area for hassle-free access, similar sorting practices must be followed for produce, sauces, and dry ingredients.
Adopt the F.I.F.O. Method
The first in, first out method is one of the best methods to keep track of your vast inventory. As the name would suggest, the FIFO method requires you to label and organize items you received first at the front of your storage area, while placing the items received later in the rear. It’s important to label items according to date for this system to work. Creating a date sheet to keep track of items due to expire will also help you organize your kitchen better.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
Maintaining a clean working environment is not only important to comply with health and food codes, but also to help you maintain an ordered kitchen. A dirty kitchen is more prone to accidents and mishaps and reduces the overall operational efficacy of your establishment. Make your staff rotate cleaning duties every week so that you can ensure your kitchen remains prim and proper.
Communicate with Your Staff
Communication is essential when you’re reorganizing your kitchen and setting up an orderly practice. Be sure to ask for employee feedback and put in place the suggestions they offer. This will improve operational efficiency and the ease of working in your commercial kitchen. Hold regular staff meetings to listen to what your employees need to say and address any outstanding operational concerns as early as possible to put in place a proper functioning protocol.
The Need for An Organized Kitchen
Here’s why you should organize your commercial kitchen:
Reduces Hazards & Accidents
An organized kitchen helps you avoid mishaps and accidents. This is because your employees know where and how materials are stocked, reducing the amount of pandemonium and foot traffic in your kitchen. A lower number of mishaps also translates to increased productivity and operational efficiency.
Reduces Unnecessary Expenses
A disorderly kitchen leads to increased wastage and accidents. This means you’re spending more on getting the same amount of work done, reducing your margins. An organized kitchen helps you cut down on both wastage and accidents, enabling you to cut down on unnecessary expenses.
Keep Food Safe & Fresh
Food safety is an integral part of operating a commercial food business. Organized kitchens pave the way for food safety and increased freshness since everything is sorted by date, and used accordingly – reducing wastages, and promoting food safety.
Improve Kitchen Efficiency
Kitchen efficiency improves as the extent of order increases in your kitchen. Employees find it easier to work in well-organized spaces, improving productivity and increasing the rate of efficiency in your commercial kitchen.
Maintaining an organized kitchen allows you to cut down on operating costs, promotes productivity, and also helps you maintain a high standard of food safety in the kitchen. Ensure your kitchen remains well-stocked and organized at all times to rank high on both employee and customer satisfaction.