The restaurant industry is perhaps more dependent on consumer confidence than any other enterprise. Customers expect the very best of you in every aspect of their dining experience. Any aberration from these exacting standards can spark a backlash that can lead the business to ruin, and the use of social media only exacerbates the problem. The need to keep your restaurant in business calls for attention to some basic tips of kitchen operation.
No kitchen can turn out quality meals if it is not clean. Buildup of grease and waste food can create minor problems such as flavor issues, or it can lead to major issues like food poisoning. Expect nothing less of all staff than the strictest attention to cleanliness in preparation, cooking, and expediting areas of the kitchen. Adhere to a regular schedule for heavy cleaning of range hoods and hidden spaces behind and under equipment as well.
Reliability of Appliances
A fundamental requirement of commercial kitchen equipment is the ability to operate at high temperatures for many hours a day. All grills, griddles, flattops, burners, ovens, and fryers should have appropriate preventive maintenance performed by kitchen staff as well as by outside contractors. Proper attention to these details will provide consistent performance and high quality of all items prepared in the kitchen.
Attention to Service Items
A customer may never see what goes on your kitchen, but the results are visible when each dish is plated and served. When you send food out on dirty, chipped, or worn plates, customers notice. They wonder what other standards may have slipped, and your reputation suffers. Aggressively remove from use any utensils or dishes that suggest too much tolerance of poor quality.
Calibration of Equipment
Food service relies on a number of exacting measurements and standards. The thermostats on kitchen equipment work to maintain those temperatures and other settings, with the assumption that the readings they are using are accurate. When cold storage units are too cold or too warm, cooking can yield subpar results and bacteria can thrive. Maintenance plans should provide for refrigeration vessel inspections to verify that all such equipment is operating normally.
The kitchen is the heart of a restaurant. When food is prepared in a clean, functional kitchen, there is a clear difference in the quality of the restaurant’s offerings. Customers notice the attention to detail, resulting in a better image that will help sustain the successful operation of the restaurant for years to come.