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It’s no secret that restaurants operate on razor-thin margins. If not for the markup on alcoholic beverages, some establishments couldn’t keep their doors open at all. Every penny counts in this industry, and a waste-free kitchen can help a restaurant save its pennies. By exploring how to increase efficiency in a commercial kitchen, restaurants, cafeterias, and other food service establishments can streamline operations, waste fewer resources, and keep costs down.
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Heating and cooling your food—you can’t do without it, but you could certainly do without the escalating costs. Energy-efficient refrigerators, freezers, ovens, and stoves represent upfront investments, but they’ll pay off in the long run by diminishing your utility expenses. Turning over older and inefficient units for more streamlined models may even help you make better use of your space in the tight quarters of a kitchen.
Lots of Labeling
Not everything in your kitchen is shelf stable. When time-sensitive provisions go to waste, it uses up space and costs your restaurant money. With a rigorous color-coded labeling strategy, kitchen staff can easily handle supplies. They’ll stay aware of any temperature restrictions and cross-contamination concerns that would affect proper storage.
You’ve likely paid a visit to one of those little Greek coffee shops with a menu that reads like a phonebook. Not content to serve hamburgers, gyros, and breakfast fare, you can even find fajitas, matzo ball soup, and sometimes sushi. They’re offering you a trip around the world when all you wanted was a decent burger. Trying to accommodate all tastes is admirable, but remember that if a restaurant does everything, it does nothing. Pare down your menu to what you and your staff do best. This will greatly streamline your back-of-house operations. Your kitchen staff and budget will thank you.
Closing down the kitchen is never easy. However, just as staff members need their days off, your equipment needs time and attention to recuperate from all that cooking. Rather than pushing your facility to its limit, set aside time to address any issues or concerns that have developed. Some equipment may require deep cleaning that staff can’t perform during normal operations. You may need to look at the HVAC and exhaust systems or replace small parts like gaskets and seals. While a shutdown can be inconvenient, this will help increase efficiency in a commercial kitchen. It’s a pit stop that helps you in the long run.