Never underestimate the power of organized storage. One of the most significant elements of successful workflow in the kitchen is sitting everything in place prior to cooking and preparing dishes. Having a well-stored and tidy storeroom ensures seamless workflow, organized service, improved efficiency, reduced waste, and a smooth restocking process. Regardless of the different pieces of equipment and items, you may have in your restaurant kitchen, there are always ways to keep them organized. Try the following organization tricks for your Restaurant Kitchen and Storeroom.
1. Categorize your Supplies:
Position your supplies by arranging ingredients by their use or type. This way, employees will easily find and locate ingredients, especially during rush hours. Keep dry food goods, non-perishable items and canned goods in a storing place separate from janitorial supplies, chemicals, and spare equipment parts to avoid cross-contamination. For instance, put equipment only used for dinner away from the tools you need during breakfast. In addition, separate spices from baking ingredients and put valuable equipment and ingredients in a locked storeroom that is only accessible to specific employees.
2. Keep Small Appliances Easily Reached:
All of the most-used appliances should be hanged throughout different stations in the kitchen to save employees’ time and effort when searching for small items. Here is a list of the utensils or cookware you may hang:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Small pots and pans
3. Label Everything in the Stock:
Create a standardized labeling system for all of your stock. Label all food items with the purchasing and expiration date to help employees find ingredients, track their freshness, and identify which items needed to be reordered.
Arrange items on different shelves and place all labels either above or below each product on the shelves.
Labeling is most important for bulky items such as napkins, spare parts, fryer filter paper, and to-go containers.
4. Organize Refrigerators:
Not only organizing the refrigerator will result in a more efficient and seamless workflow, but also saving money because unorganized refrigerator may waste electricity and cost you extra money. Electricity might be wasted by leaving the refrigerator door open for a longer time so that employees can find what they need, as well as restricting airflow because of a cluttered or overstuffed refrigerator, which in return causes the unit to work harder.
Accordingly, you need to organize the refrigerator in a way that suits your service by considering how frequently each item is used. Put the items that are more frequently used in an easily accessible place, which could be the middle shelf. At the same time, avoid overstuffing refrigerators by leaving enough space between foods, containers, bags, refrigerator-safe baskets and bins.
5. Maintain the Storeroom Environment:
The storeroom environment gets affected by Temperature, light, and moisture. Therefore, you need to control these three elements to keep food from spoiling and to ensure your restaurant’s food is stored properly.
50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature to store dry goods. Foods can spoil faster with higher temperatures, especially canned goods. It is advisable to have thermometers on hand to monitor the temperature and prevent spoiling.
On the other hand, Light affects temperature and oxidize foods such as fats and pigments. Oxidization decreases the food’s nutritional value degrades, makes it rancid, and causes food to lose their natural color and look faded or tinted gray. Whereas moisture can create environments where mold and bacteria flourish.
To avoid these issues and keep your food safe, consider making free-of-windows storerooms that have artificial lights opened when necessary. Further, use a dehumidifying system to prevent excess moisture, and ensure to regularly empty and clean the dehumidifier.
6. Invest in the Right Kitchen Equipment:
Commercial kitchens’ equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. However, to keep your restaurant kitchen and storeroom organized, you should invest in the proper equipment that helps in organizing and arranging appliances and ingredients. Consider having the following items in place:
- Can Racks
- Ingredient Bins
- Magnetic knife strip
- Commercial Wall Shelving
- Holding Cabinets
- Dunnage Racks
- Refrigeration Baskets
- Dish and Tray Carts