Here at Labl.it, we believe simple problems should have simple solutions. While the hospitality industry can be a tough and fickle business, there’s no reason to make it harder than it needs to be.
To help point your restaurant or cafe in the right direction, we’ve put together a few tips to help everything work more smoothly:
1. Use Labl.it
First and foremost we must recommend using Labl.it to improve any commercial kitchen. It’s the ideal solution to labelling all foodstuffs in the kitchen, including use-by dates and allergen information. It saves time, money, food wastage, and reduces the margin of error as Labl.it is largely automated without the need for handwriting.
Our labels can also be used for counter foods at front of house, which clearly lists the ingredients and highlights all allergens as per Natasha’s Law (introduced in October 2021).
Find out more today, and get your free 14-day trial.
2. Streamline menu
Did you know that a study at Bournemouth University concluded that there is an optimum number of dishes that patrons prefer to see in a menu? In fine dining restaurants, 10 mains were preferred, and seven dishes to choose from the starters and desserts. Whereas, six options per food category (chicken, fish, vegetarian etc.) were preferred at fast food establishments.
Check how well each item is selling on a regular basis, and remember to keep the menu simple. It’s worthwhile keeping track of sales, and periodically removing dishes that are less popular to attain a sweet spot for customers to have enough to choose from, while not being overwhelmed.
Being logical with the dishes will help you and your chef out; offering dishes that share common ingredients will reduce your inventory and prep time.
3. Efficient inventory system
Ensure you have appointed a reliable kitchen manager to keep on top of the quantity of ingredients. The last thing you want is to be caught short on a busy night, or to have a dish ordered more (or less) often than accounted for.
Efficiency within the kitchen links directly to food wastage. If food wastage is high then it’s time and money going in the bin. In 2018, the UK produced 9.5 million tonnes of wasted food, with 1.1 million tonnes coming from commercial kitchens.
Converting your establishment’s food wastage into pounds and pence will likely motivate you to put a strategy in place. It can be as easy as taking note of what food is being thrown away, and remedying that by reducing the purchase quantity, amount served, or ensuring accurate use-by dates are used on ingredients.
4. Prepare and organise
As with any fast-moving business, preparation and organisation is key. Making all processes simple to follow and accessible to staff is a must. Putting in the time early on to look ahead and predict changes will be a big step in the right direction.
Things like keeping the ingredients organised in a logical way (spices together, grains together, etc.), prepping food in advance where possible, and having enough time between table bookings so that orders don’t come through all at once. Even taking notice of whether the grill gets bottlenecked, and ways around that such as swapping out slow-cooked meats for quickly-braised meats.
5. Kitchen layout
Watch your kitchen when the restaurant is at its busiest. Are staff getting in each other’s way? Are they clambering and reaching over each other? Consider implementing specific kitchen work spaces, and if possible, have two separate entrances and exits to keep staff flowing.
A good rule of thumb is to reduce the amount of walking your staff have to do. This means ensuring a short walk between the tables and the pass (area where food transfers from the kitchen to the servers), as well as between the tables and the dishwasher. Less time walking means more time spent turning tables around.
While the hospitality industry can be hard work, it can be incredibly rewarding when there are processes in place to help the kitchen run like a well-oiled machine! Labl.it can assist with automating as much as possible, to leave you with the precious time you need to be ready for tomorrow.
Let us show you the incredible value the Labl.It system can provide with a free no-obligation 14-day trial.
Try out our system for 14 days and if it doesn’t work for you then simply put it back in the pre-paid box and return it to us!