A foodservice back of house can be a loud, hectic place where tensions run high. There are things operators can do, however, to facilitate a smoother process in the kitchen. Here are several key ways to streamline back-of-house operations:
Optimize the kitchen’s layout. Kitchens can quickly become cluttered. The more efficient workflow spaces are, the better things will run, particularly at peak times. Consider dividing the areas by function, such as cleaning, storage and inventory, food preparation, meal cooking and service. Operators will also want to have the waste disposal and cleaning area, for instance, far away from the meal cooking area. Also, make sure completed meals exit the kitchen on one side and dirty dishes enter the kitchen on another to avoid traffic jams.
When considering a center island setup against an assembly-line formation, make sure to account for future menu changes, areas for supervision and training, energy efficiency, air ventilation and equipment maintenance schedules. Also, incorporate best practices as it relates to food safety—such as avoiding the potential for cross-contamination and following HACCP procedures.
Foster a positive work environment. Kitchens are high-pressure spaces. From busy cooks to plenty of cookware in motion at any given time, stresses run high.
To prevent interactions from getting too heated in the kitchen, consider advocating for more positive work environments in the back of house. The backbone of the initiative should be to encourage kitchen staff to talk openly, excite passion, act as one, make time for breaks and give positive feedback to others.
Automate tedious tasks wherever possible. Diners may not realize how much information and data tracking is involved in the back of house to ensure their meals are prepped safely and deliciously. For instance, refrigerator and freezer temperatures must be monitored for food safety; ingredients must be quickly pulled if there are food recalls; key equipment must be serviced on a regular schedule; inventory quantities must be taken; and, of course, food prep needs to be timed and measured to minimize waste and ensure accuracy.
Take advantage of tech solutions such as BOHA! from TransAct Technologies, which provides a single solution for automating many back-of-house tasks. By choosing from their suite of apps, operators can manage inventory management, temperature monitoring of food and equipment, food safety labeling, food recalls, checklists and procedures, equipment servicing and delivery management all from one system.
By creating an efficient and comfortable space to work, cultivating a supportive work atmosphere and letting technology handle repetitive duties, operators can sidestep many of the common pitfalls that plague back-of-house operations.
This post is sponsored by TransAct Technologies