Running a profitable kitchen requires efficiency and productivity. Proper use of materials, equipment and manpower lowers cost, increases your kitchen productivity and raises profits. Here are some ways to start optimising your kitchen.
 


Keep track of your materials

An inventory helps you keep track of your ingredients as they move in and out of your stock room. To make sure you’re managing your materials efficiently, you’ll need two systems of keeping inventory:

  • Physical inventory – Typically conducted on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis, a physical inventory is a count of all your ingredients, equipment and utensils in the restaurant.
     
  • Perpetual inventory – This system keeps track of all materials entering and leaving your restaurant on a daily basis, giving you a record of how fast your inventory moves.

Organise your inventory with a good spreadsheet application like Excel. It allows regular updates and the ability to sort your master list with ease. This makes your inventory system more accurate and efficient.
 


Modern Scratch Ingredients for efficiency

When choosing ingredients, keep convenience and consistency in mind to be able to serve dishes on time and at a consistent quality your diners expect. Scratch cooking uses mainly raw ingredients. While this method guarantees flavour, the availability of raw ingredients can cause inconsistency in taste. Additionally, prep time is usually long, making your kitchen less efficient.

A good solution is ready-to-use modern scratch alternatives like bouillons and stock cubes that not only deliver flavour but also cut down prep time, wastage and expenses.
 


Equipment & utensils for your kitchen

Keep your kitchen efficient and productive by having the right equipment and utensils; no more no less. When assessing your kitchen equipment, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What types of equipment and utensils do I need?
  • How much space will they occupy?
  • What is the best kitchen layout?
  • Is the equipment easy to clean and sanitise?
  • Are chopping boards and knives colour-coded?

With the right equipment, you’ll be able to avoid high maintenance cost as well as space constraint.
 


Organising your manpower

Your staff are a valuable resource, so maximise their potential to optimise the productivity of your restaurant. Here are 6 things to keep in mind when managing staff arrangement:

  1. Hire the right people – If you’re running a grill place primarily serving steak, you want line cooks that are good at grilling. Hiring the right people with the right skills makes your kitchen more productive and efficient.
     
  2. Adopt economies of scale – This theory of having cost advantages as you expand can be applied to your staff. Maximise their productivity by assigning specific roles to increase their productivity. For example, hire a saucier to focus on sauces and let the rest of your line cooks concentrate on what they do best.
     
  3. Assign responsibilities – From the head chef down to the dishwasher, making sure everyone has a specific responsibility ensures a smooth and productive workflow. Sit your line cooks down and tell them in detail what they’re responsible for and what’s expected of them.
     
  4. Ensure work safety – Accidents in your kitchen disrupt the workflow and lower productivity. Creating a safe kitchen not only ensures smooth kitchen operations, but also makes your staff feel more secure about their work environment.
     
  5. Assess efficiency – An efficient kitchen means maximising the number of diners you serve with minimal wastage of time and resources. Look for new ways to improve your kitchen operations, like introducing bouillons and more efficient methods to save time.
     
  6. Schedule staff accurately – Whether it’s weekly or monthly, a well-prepared work schedule will keep workflow smooth and encourage camaraderie amongst workers. Divide the workload equally to ensure proper work and life balance amongst your staff without overloading any individuals.
     

Follow the tips above and make the necessary adjustments to suit your operations. By cutting down on prep time, using the right ingredients and managing resources well, you’ll get to see lowered operating costs and increased profits!