January 1, 2020, isn’t just the start of a new year; it’s the start of a new decade. What better time to turn over a new leaf and turn your kitchen into the best thing since sliced bread?

Let’s go over some kitchen resolutions that your customers (and employees) will appreciate.

Cleaning House

The holiday rush means your restaurant is stressful, hectic and, above all, messy. The post-holiday lull is the best time to take a break from the chaos and give your kitchen a thorough cleaning.

Approach your kitchen strategically. Have a detailed checklist of what you plan to clean that day, and focus on areas of the kitchen that you’ve been ignoring for most of the year. Oil traps, range hoods–even the deep, dark corner of the freezer that nobody goes into anymore. This is your chance to get all that gunk cleared out and start the year off with a literal clean slate! 

Gift Yourself An Inventory System

A place for everything, and everything in its place. That’s the difference between smooth operations and absolute chaos. 

As you go into the new year, consider ways you can improve how you receive, manage, and track your inventory. The right inventory system can have a real financial impact on the way your restaurant operates, and on your bottom line.  

For instance, employing a First In First Out system can reduce spoilage and increase food safety. Applying Low-Stock Inventory practices can keep your costs low as well. And implementing a digital inventory system can help you keep closer tabs on what you have on-hand versus what is coming in or going out at any given time. 

Retrain Your Employees

The restaurant industry has notoriously high turnover, and while you can usually squeak by with giving new kitchen staff a quick briefing on how you run your kitchen, there’s usually not enough time to train people on anything more than how to prepare the current menu. 

This would be a great opportunity to train your team on important things that you wouldn’t normally have time for. I’m referring to topics like:

  • Food safety best practices
  • Customer service
  • Skills cross-training
  • Emergency procedures

The first topic is especially relevant to every member of your team (even those working in the front of the house) because food safety is everyone’s problem

Digitize Your Ordering System

If your restaurant is still using paper tickets to take orders, then you’re far, far behind the curve. Modern restaurants make use of digital POS systems to track orders and pass them to the kitchen. It’s faster, more efficient and more scalable in the long run.

Advanced digital POS systems also allow your kitchen to more accurately communicate customer orders and special requests (like if someone is allergic to an ingredient). You can then link your POS system to your inventory tracking software and have it update your stock counts in real-time. 

Come to Think of It, Digitize the Rest Too

If you’re following the advice on this post, then you’ve already digitized your inventory and your POS. So why not digitize other things as well?

There are apps and digital devices for nearly any aspect of the restaurant business you can think of: shift scheduling, temperature monitoring, food recalls, customer satisfaction, and even the actual table menu

Each application represents a significant improvement in the way your business operates and is an investment in your future success.

In Summary

You don’t have to follow all of the resolutions on this list (although it would be nice). Even just one of these suggestions will be a significant improvement over your current state and will improve both the morale and performance of your team and the satisfaction of your customers.

So why not give it a go? No time like the present. 🙂