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Three Major Tips for Effective Restaurant Management

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Opening a new restaurant can be an incredibly exhilarating, and stressful, experience. Whether youíre fluent in the intricate art of food service or have a unique appreciation for the business aspect of hosting meals, there are countless components and details that play into an eateryís initial success and potential for growth. Of course, a restaurantís dťcor, lighting, and ambience can influence a customerís overall dining experience, but itís often what goes on behind the scenes that makes the most difference. Stock your kitchen with the equipment, staff, and vision it needs to function at its best, and give your restaurant the tools it needs to win over guests every time.

Function First

The kitchen is the beating heart of any restaurant, no matter how big or small it is. It is where meals are cooked and decisions are made. That is why itís incredibly important that the kitchen is set up and maintained to serve all your restaurantís needs. Before you can fill your cooking area with the supplies, ingredients, and staff you need to open for business, itís helpful to take inventory of the spaceís strengths and weaknesses.

Consider such details as how much square footage you have to work with, how much storage and shelving space is needed, and how many people can safely be accommodated in the area. The number and arrangement of prep stations and cooking equipment you establish may be limited by the size and layout of the space. Similarly, you will need to take into account how to most efficiently house things like utensils, dishware, and pots and pans. If it does not seem that everything you originally planned for will fit in the space you have, you may need to reconsider what will go into and come out of your restaurant kitchen.

Quality over Quantity of Staff

No job in a restaurant kitchen is a menial one; everyone has a vital role to play in keeping things running smoothly and safely. A well-trained and engaged staff will produce more high quality dishes in less time, and will do so consistently. It should be a priority, then, to staff your restaurant kitchen with employees that are both skilled at their duties and invested in the success of the business.

From your head chef to your dish washer, each person in the kitchen is responsible for what guests see as the finished product of your restaurantís work: the food on the plate. Therefore, it is important that everyone is ready and willing to do their part to turn out quality dishes. And while the strong drive and work ethics of your kitchen staff are qualities to strive for in their own right, a small kitchen space can especially benefit from a few people doing a great job.

Budgeting for Effectiveness

Just as every employee has an important purpose in the kitchen, so does the actual cooking equipment. It may seem obvious enough, but it can be very helpful to consider what types and sizes of supplies and gear your kitchen will require before purchasing anything. Such staple kitchen fixtures as ovens and refrigerators can also be surveyed to see which models and sizes will accommodate your needs the best. Other pieces of commercial equipment like grills and mixers may be appealing to buy, but might only be wise investments if they are necessary to prepare many of the items that will appear on your menu.

When you have a clear idea of the equipment you need, think about the best way to fit such purchases into your restaurantís budget. One economical option is to buy used and/or refurbished commercial gear, which may still come with some level of guarantee or warrantee. Another budget-friendly and space-saving way to go is to rent the equipment you do not use on a regular basis. For instance, there is no need to store a large ice cream maker if you only use it for occasional events.

Putting some thought and effort into how you stock, staff, and outfit your new restaurant kitchen can help influence how your eatery functions on a larger scale. By accommodating aspects of the space that you cannot changeólike the kitchenís size and layoutóand playing on the strengths of your employees and unique vision, you can give your customers a dining experience that is consistently rewarding. After all, when the back of the house is doing its best, the front of the house is the place to be.

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