Renting a space, creating floor plans, hiring staff, organising a menu, buying equipment… the list goes on and on. Managing a commercial kitchen is a difficult task, especially a cost-effective one.
Money is a huge focus for anyone running a successful business, and within an industry which is as competitive as catering and hospitality, it can be even more so. So how can you ensure that you are running a commercial kitchen which is as cost-effective as it can be?
The Right Menu
Some restaurants can have more than enough items on the menu. This can not only cost you enough in ingredients, but if you don’t get the customers you need then you could be losing money. Opt for a smaller, more refined menu with 20 or fewer options, using fresher ingredients. Don’t forget about portion size and always think quality, not quantity. This way you’ll be throwing less away.
Knowing your menu and your customer’s needs will help with knowing which appliances you truly need. If you only sell crepes, you aren’t going to need a chip fryer, are you?
However, the opposite applies. If you have a variety of options on your menu ranging from steaks to pasta dishes, you are going to need appliances and storage units which do the job properly for commercial needs (such as commercial chest freezers). Ask yourself what is essential; an oven will probably be on the top of your list, so be sure to choose a reliable one.
You can control your budget by hiring staff wisely. Use the logic of ‘one expert rather than two amateurs’. A chef with plenty of knowledge and experience will know how to use their time effectively, alongside some cost-saving tricks. Don’t forget to invest in frequent staff training.
Labour can be one of the most expensive parts of any commercial food business. Make sure you are managing the workflow of the kitchen staff effectively to get the best result. Think about getting a practical schedule together to understand production capacity.
Energy Efficient Appliances
One of the biggest outcomes for commercial kitchens is the energy costings. Restaurants use around 5 to 7 times more energy than any other commercial business and quick-service restaurants can use up to ten times more. This is where choosing your most energy efficient appliances comes in.
The average energy costing per cooked meal in commercial kitchens are on average:
Snack bars: 4p
Coffee shops: Over 7p
Traditional English restaurants: 19p
High-class restaurants: 27p
Hotel restaurants: Almost 36p
While it doesn’t seem a lot, this adds up. Just think of how many meals are made in that kitchen every day.
Never settle for domestic appliances in a commercial kitchen environment, as they simply won’t cut it for the demand. You just have to look at the Lincat electric cooker range to see how they differ.
More Prep Work
Food which already comes pre-prepared is much more expensive than that which isn’t. You can save time and money by putting in the legwork. Instead of buying already pre-chopped lettuce, buy full heads of lettuce and cut them yourself, or even instead of buying pre-made burgers, why not get your chef to make them from scratch. Your customers will love it and you will save money!
Its no myth that hospitality is a competitive industry and any commercial kitchen manager should focus on the right aspects of the kitchen to provide a real boost to the environment and save money.