Running a restaurant is a tough business. However, most of the problems you will face can be easily solved by optimizing your kitchen. This includes buying the right commercial hospitality equipment, but also implementing the needed processes and policies, from prep to clean up. It can be overwhelming to organize your commercial kitchen for everyday use.
However, in case your kitchen isn’t well put together, it will cause delays and countless other problems in the long run. Without proper organization, you might run into food shortages, accidents between the staff, dropping plates, etc. You can easily set up your kitchen for success with a few easy steps.
Work with Wholesale Food Suppliers
The most important part of running a restaurant is the food. A good dish depends greatly on the freshness and quality of the ingredients you’re using. Today, there are countless of options of food suppliers that you can choose from, but they don’t all offer you the same quality.
For a commercial kitchen, you need to make sure all of your products are fresh and timely delivered to avoid shortages. There are two types of suppliers that restaurants turn to: local and large suppliers. Although there are pros and cons on both sides, restaurant owners around the world are choosing a wholesale food service as a far more convenient way of getting their products delivered.
What are the Advantages of Working with a Wholesale Food Supplier?
The first advantage that they have is their product range. Today’s shortage economy pushes us all to the limit. Even though it sounds lovely, in reality no one has the time to drive around food markets every morning and hand-pick the perfect products. The solution for this is buying products in bulk to cut the costs and yield a higher profit margin.
Local farms provide deliveries at short notice, but they typically offer one type of product. Relying on a single food service wholesaler for all of your purchases saves you the hassle of procuring your ingredients from different places. Modern wholesalers provide you with a wide variety of ingredients, from fresh fruits and veggies, to meat, dairy, and even alcoholic drinks. Additionally, by working with wholesalers, you make sure that all of the products arrive at the same time and without delays, which tends to be a problem when you rely on multiple local suppliers.
Another advantage of working with a wholesaler is the accessibility of their services. If you choose modern wholesale food suppliers, you won’t have to deal with phone calls and misunderstandings. Instead, you can place or cancel your orders instantly through a convenient online platform.
Create Efficient Workstations
The workstations in your commercial kitchen are where your staff spends the majority of their time. By dividing them properly, you ensure that the restaurant runs smoothly. Your kitchen should feature five main workstations for:
- Food storage.
- Non-food storage.
Make sure to place each workstation in the area that corresponds to its specific purpose and equip them with all the needed tools and equipment. For example, the cleaning station should be near the sink and dishwasher, the preparation station will work best near the fridge or inventory area with your essentials from the chosen wholesale food supplier, while the cooking station should be near the stovetops and larger kitchen appliances.
The countertops should be free of clutter so that the employees will have more room to work. If you organize the workstations before use, the staff will easily prepare, cook, and plate the orders and maintain efficiency. If you have a smaller commercial kitchen and need to save space as best as you can, use the empty wall space instead. Install hooks and shelves to hang up pots, pans, spatulas, or other equipment.
Prep Ahead of Time
To avoid panic and anxiety in the busy hours, get ahead and finish some work beforehand. You or your staff members can do this before the start of the day or in between busy hours. Rushing around and multitasking is both stressful for your staff and can result in many mistakes and accidents in the workflow. Some ways to prep ahead of time are:
- Chopping ingredients.
- Peeling ingredients.
- Preparing batches of sauces.
- Cooking protein.
- Washing dishes.
- Sharpening knives.
To keep things running smoothly, assign a member of your staff to be in charge of kitchen preparation. They will make sure that ingredients are prepared in time and the workstations are well stocked. Examine your schedule to determine when to do the preparations. However, the best time is before and after the restaurant opens the door to customers.
Get the Right Cleaning Supplies
The restaurant’s cleanliness is always a topmost concern. It’s not only a matter of hygiene, but it also promotes the customers’ peace of mind. The hygiene in your commercial kitchen is even more important than the dining area since this is where you prepare the food. When creating your shopping list for essential tools and equipment, don’t forget to add these cleaning supply options:
- Sanitizers (health departments recommend the quaternary ammonium sanitizer).
- Oven brushes.
- Griddle screen scour pads.