Is untidiness or lack of organization adding stress or slowing production in your kitchen?
Kitchen cleanliness can affect daily operations in the kitchen. Not only will clutter, contamination, spoilage, and excessive inventory cause operational inefficiencies, but the overall reputation and brand of your restaurant stands to be compromised due to failing grades in restaurant maintenance.
In a Canadian Pizza Magazine article on the rules for keeping a clean kitchen, Diane Chiasson suggests using checklists for tasks, and having a plan for waste.
One of ways you can ensure that your kitchen is scrupulously clean is with a detailed cleaning schedule. A checklist for cleaning tasks is critical, of course. But for initial training and setting expectations with staff, the schedule or checklist may not provide enough information or accountability.
The messaging tools in your point of sale system can help. Send a “Confirmed” message, for example, which once read, is saved to the employee record. This type of message is ideal for scheduling staff a new or non-routine task such as cleaning the fridge or storage area, where confirmation of receipt may be helpful to ensure tasks are accepted and completed on time.
As the Canadian Pizza article describes, waste, excess inventory and spoilage also present challenges for maintaining a clean and efficient work space in the kitchen. One way to tackle this is to use inventory control software.
SpeedLine Inventory, for instance, compares the sales information from the POS with your recipes to calculate your ideal usage (stock you should have used) and compare the ideal with your physical inventory. By flagging variances, you can identify where problems are happening and make changes to minimize spoilage and waste, and increase inventory turns so staff are not tripping over excess stock.
Kitchen display systems can offer another way to streamline production and eliminate paper waste in the kitchen. And even beyond the basic display and bump capabilities, the kitchen display system’s reporting provides insight into make line production times. You can use that information to identify potential problems—from scheduling issues, to crowding or inefficient workflow.
So can point of sale technology help you run a cleaner, more efficient kitchen? While clearly no help at all with the actual cleaning, the information and communication tools in your POS system can have a significant impact behind the scenes.
Posted by Tricia Hoy| Author's website