The restaurant business is a tough game to stay afloat in. Most eateries will either go out of business or switch ownership within the first three years. This is due to several reasons, not least related to improper care of finances, poor long term planning or just bad management.

Stay on top with our great tips for optimising your commercial kitchen and making sure not a penny goes to waste!

Out with the old, in with the new

Often you will find kitchens with appliances that have been there for ten years or more. While these machines may seem reliable, they’re far more likely to be wasting valuable energy and costing you more to run. Fridges are the main culprits for this. You may find that when you splash out on a brand-new fridge, that you’ll make the money back in the first year just from the sheer economy of it alone. Whether it be your well-meaning fridge or an ancient central heating pump – be sure to replace it if it’s not pulling its weight.

Test the waters with a takeaway menu

While this might not be for everyone, a takeaway menu can help increase the revenue your restaurant brings in. Many people choose not to go out for their lunch break, and instead pick up a quick bite to take back into the office with them. If you’re finding that your lunchtime service is particularly empty, this might just be the solution to fix it. Keeping your kitchen busy is the name of the game here.

Properly train your staff

If you don’t put the effort into training your workforce and striving for better staff engagement you will not be able to get the best out of them, that is as basic a fact as you can get. If your staff are knowledgeable about the menu, efficient in their roles and provide great customer service you will reap the benefits. Customers will respect your establishment more when they ask their waiter a question and they actually know what they are talking about. This also will reduce time your staff stand around looking hopeless, if they know all the jobs they can do when there is a lull, you’re far less likely to get your staff standing around.

Keep track of waste

If you run a restaurant you just have to get used to a little waste, however, there is a way to get the most out of everything. If you carry out a waste audit, you can see what dishes are being regularly returned/ignored by your customers and what ingredients are being routinely wasted due to it running out of its shelf life. Once you have this data, you can make adjustments to your menu according to what you think your customer base will appreciate more and adjust your food delivery to better regulate stock levels to the food levels you need. For the food waste that is unavoidable, you may want to strike up a partnership with a local charity to offload it to them – it’s better off going to help someone rather than being discarded in your bins.

Organise your storage space

If your staff are constantly asking questions about where everything is or taking forever to get ingredients, you may want to rethink where you put everything. Have a think about where you can keep things close to the action, including under-counter fridges and rollers that make everything easier. Speed is essential in a kitchen so you will want to design the storage space in your kitchen in such a way that everything your staff need is to hand.

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