Maximizing kitchen efficiency is essential to your success. Tightening up the ship solidifies consistency, increases productivity, minimizes waste, and saves a ton of money. Start implementing some of these strategies today, and the results will come.
Mise en Place
One of the key concepts to master in any well-run kitchen is mise en place, a French term meaning "to put in place." This means every tool has its proper place it returns to every single time. Every ingredient gets properly measured and prepped well before service.
Every ramekin, bottle, and pan are in the same lineup night after night. When your staff can rely on muscle memory and things are ready where they are supposed to be, they won't waste time scrambling during the rush. Dishes will come out faster and with more consistency every time.
Look at Layout
Organization isn't only essential with ingredients, but with the way your kitchen is laid out as well. Consider designating workstations located near sensical spots — the prep station near the walk-in and dry storage, for example. You want enough space to move around freely, but not have to walk a huge distance every time you have to use the sink. A good general rule is to position your fridge, stove, and sink form a triangle all within reach of each other.
Reel in Rebates
There are many programs available these days that will provide your business with rebates if you invest in energy-efficient appliances. Working with a participating contractor will help you identify savings along a whole array of products like ENERGY STAR® rated ice machines, refrigerators — even lighting and fans. Look up viable programs in your area, file the necessary paperwork, and you'll not only cash in on an instant rebate but long-term savings as well. All while doing your part to conserve energy.
Let your ingredients do much of the work for you. Gluten- and MSG-free Ridgecrest® Soup Bases, for example, allow for tons of versatility depending on what you add, yet they save you time by letting you forgo the lengthy step of making a stock from scratch.
They also double as seasoning for meat and seafood dishes, or a great broth base for risottos. Take a closer look at your menu and see where you can cross-utilize ingredients — such as dipping sauces also used for pasta — or where you can cut corners in labor but not flavor — like buying pre-peeled garlic or pearl onions. Work smarter, they say, not harder!
Meat Your Maker
It can be tempting to try and save by ordering huge cuts of meat and butchering them in-house, but in the end this DIY method could stretch your budget. It's easy to accidentally cut meat heavier than accounted for in your cost analysis. Plus, you're more likely to waste by-product that could be saved and utilized, and — let's face it — there's always a risk for injury. Performance offers custom cut meats, so you can easily get perfectly portioned cuts delivered that are pre-cut and trimmed, saving you on labor costs and ensuring consistency for every plate.
Save with Software
Apps are now as abundant in the kitchen as mirepoix — technology provides endless opportunities for increasing BOH efficiency — all with some swipes on your phone. One of our favorites from our One Source partner programs is Jolt, a program that boosts efficiency in all kinds of ways — from remotely monitoring inventory, to par management, automating tasks, and reducing waste and labor costs. There are countless apps and software being developed, it's time to dive in and find what will take some weight off your plate!