Running a successful restaurant kitchen is extremely hard work, demanding patience, a mind for organisation, adaptability and the ability to think on the fly. A kitchen can be a very hectic place, full of mayhem and clatter whether it’s because an order has not been delivered on time or because a vital piece of commercial catering equipment has suddenly stopped working, and as such getting it off the ground will require monumental effort on your part. But don’t panic! You are not alone! Below is a quick guide on how to get started with making your catering empire a success.
Do your research
First, do your research. Make sure you understand exactly what it is you’re getting yourself into. Read up on other famous and successful chefs, as their books will contain a wealth of information regarding everything from running a kitchen, to their own personal experiences in the catering industry.
Also make sure you know about the area you wish to set up shop in. For example, an area with a plethora of Chinese restaurants probably wouldn’t make a good place to set up a noodle bar, or any other restaurant that specialises in Sinocentric foods. Also make sure you know a thing or two about cooking.
The ability to know what commercial catering equipment does and how it should be used is essential, as is information regarding the managing of a restaurant, not merely cooking. Study local laws pertaining to food hygiene and licenses for certain foods or drink. You will not be able to sell alcohol, for example, without a valid license.
Work on Kitchen Organisation
Next, work on how your kitchen should be organised. Depending on how large it is, you may need to establish a working hierarchy to ensure that the kitchen can run smoothly, and so that it can continue to run smoothly even when you’re not there to oversee things personally.
It’s also important to know when to be in charge and when to let your staff operate by their own initiative. Assign each chef their own particular role and work station, if there are multiple areas that need to be covered, and ensure each person knows what they’re doing and how to do it.
Kitchenware should be clearly labelled if they have certain rules pertaining to safety (always turning it off when not in use for example), and anyone who needs to use it needs to know how. Equipment and supplies must always be in their assigned places, and movement of them should always be made known to staff.
Always ensure your kitchen is clean, and that your staff know what they are doing. A clean kitchen is necessary for its survival, the health of your customers and the safety of your staff. It is important to check the quality of the food you are serving too. Check dishes before they are sent out, and keep up good communication between waiters and chefs to prevent mistakes in ordering and cooking.
Focus on the menu and the food!
This should be your first consideration and the rest will follow! Hopefully you already have an idea of the sort of dishes you wish to cater, and as such the beginnings of a menu in your mind. For example, a restaurant based around Italian dishes will almost certainly include pasta as part of its menu, and possibly pizza and ice cream as well.
The menu you choose must also be reflected in the equipment your kitchen has. A restaurant that focuses on steak dishes, for example, will need commercial catering equipment dedicated to the cooking of meat and the preparation of sauces. Do not be afraid to be creative with your menu, but at the same time try to make sure that you have enough “safe” dishes to keep things reliable. A successful restaurant knows how to balance popular, tried-and-true dishes with the innovative spin that makes them noticeable.
For more information regarding commercial catering equipment and other appliances specific to the culinary industry, feel free to visit the website of Advantage Catering Supplies, or else contact them directly by phoning 01304 827272.