4 Tips for Managing a Restaurant Kitchen to Meet the Rush of the Holiday Season

Bematech Blog - December 6, 2018

A happy family is seen sitting inside a restaurant through the front window which is decorated with holiday season lights. The couple smiles as they wait for their food being prepared by the team managing a restaurant kitchen.Customer traffic this holiday season will surely put your kitchen operations to the test. Managing a restaurant kitchen requires many moving parts to be accurately coordinated down to the second. When kitchen workflows are masterfully executed, it’s a thing of beauty. However, hiccups in your workflows can cost your chain restaurant waste, productivity, and customers. Here are tips for maximizing kitchen operations for the holiday rush and the whole year long.

1. Prep for Success

Prepping is the behind-the-scenes magic that keeps your restaurant running quickly and efficiently. If you don’t take the time to properly prep when managing a restaurant kitchen, the rest of the day can quickly go downhill. You’ll want to place  high importance on food preparation during the holiday season because it will save you time and set you up for a smooth, productive day. Things like cutting vegetables and peeling potatoes will put you ahead when the orders come flying in.

Because of its importance, assign daily prep tasks and organization to a reliable and responsible employee. Ensure that every detail is accounted for, from stocking plates to sharpening knives, so that no time is wasted in the heat of the moment. Setting your kitchen stations up for success will provide a much less stressful environment for your kitchen staff when the holiday crowds arrive.

2. Know What’s in the Stock Room

Nothing is worse than running out of an item right in the middle of a big dinner rush. Avoid this with an inventory management system that will accurately track what you have and what you need to prep for success this holiday season.

Keeping proper visibility over your inventory will not only increase customer satisfaction, but will also reduce shrinkage. When managing a restaurant kitchen, it’s crucial to know what you have on hand and how quickly it will be used in order to reduce your kitchen waste. If you’re looking to minimize excess food, start by analyzing your menu. An expansive menu with diverse choices means many different ingredients, which can be costly and hard to keep up with. Adjust your menu this season to include options that have shared common ingredients to maximize your inventory and slash food waste.

3. Provide the Proper Equipment

Manual system processes take longer, are prone to human error, and can be the cause of bottlenecks in your business. Investing in the proper equipment can mean the difference between a stressful, disorganized kitchen and an efficiently managed kitchen for the holidays. As someone managing a restaurant kitchen, you could use the help of an up-to-date kitchen display system (KDS).

Having the proper KDS solution will reduce errors, streamline order processes, and improve communication between wait staff and the kitchen. By preparing meals faster and more accurately, your restaurant will be able to produce faster turnaround and boost sales for the holidays.

4. Invest in your Talent

Hiring new employees is an expensive and time consuming process, especially when trying to recruit top talent. The training process that follows is just as costly, if not more. To minimize the amount of new hires needed for the holiday season and beyond, make sure you are fully investing in your employees. Restaurant managers can do this in many different ways, including the following:

  • Provide incentives to help reach goals
  • Be transparent about advancement
  • Listen to employee suggestions

By showing appreciation and caring for your current employees, you can build stronger relationships with them and have a greater chance of retaining your top talent.

Don’t let the holiday season stress you out this year. When managing a restaurant kitchen, make sure your team is equipped with the tools that grow both your business and the customer experience all year long. To learn more about how Bematech’s KitchenGo KDS System line can boost your restaurant business, request a demo today.