Although kitchen staff don’t interact much with diners as front-of-house staff, they play an important role in customer satisfaction.

With the internet exposing a lot of kitchen horror stories, many owners and managers are finding it hard to deal with low productivity and poor-quality dishes.

In today’s post, we’ll provide some restaurant kitchen management tips you can use to level up your BOH productivity and avoid troubles.

What makes a good working environment?

The working environment includes all factors that affect employees’ performance and development. These factors include workplace facilities, rules and policies, the relationships between leaders and employees, etc.

Building a good working environment, especially in the BOH, helps improve service quality and avoid customer dissatisfaction.

Let’s go through some main aspects you can improve to make the kitchen a better place to work in.

Kitchen facilities

Your restaurant kitchen should be fully equipped so that chefs and kitchen assistants can produce quick and quality dishes. Moreover, the kitchen should have standardized lighting, ventilation systems, etc.

Recognition and policies

A comfortable physical work environment and good employment policies (salary, benefits, security, policies, etc.), according to Douglas Robert Brown (author of The Restaurant Manager’s Handbook), are the most basic variables for keeping and encouraging people. Studies also show that a wage boost would make restaurant workers happier at work. 

So, good salary, bonus, and welfare policies will easily attract candidates, retain talents, and motivate employees to work productively.

Relationships

Workplace relationships also affect employee productivity. People trust a leader with foresight, leadership skills, and empathy. People also love to work in a place where there’s less drama and conflicts.

To maintain and strengthen relationships in your restaurant, you have to pay attention to many aspects. The workload arrangement needs to be reasonable and fair. Internal conflicts need to be handled properly. Bonding activities should be organized regularly, too.

Kitchen management tips for better productivity

1. Define clear roles in the kitchen

You should define the roles and responsibilities of each employee in the kitchen based on their strengths, weaknesses, and expertise. This ensures every procedure runs smoothly and efficiently. You can also track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of each staff easier.

2. Organize regular training

To improve food quality and minimize errors in procedures, you should organize periodic training for chefs and kitchen assistants. This is a long-term investment that will help your restaurant stand out from the competition and keep up with the latest culinary trends.

Through training sessions, employees learn how to adapt and handle different situations. They’re better prepared for unexpected difficulties such as shortage of ingredients, conflicting opinions from customers, or increasing demand, etc.

You can accomplish two goals by facilitating employee training. First, you’re showing employees that you care about their professional development and are willing to invest in them. Second, you can lower the cost of acquiring and training new people. 

3. Strengthen communication

Open communication is key to developing a sense of belonging, enhancing efficiency, and boosting productivity. 

First, establish a clear communication procedure in the kitchen. How should staff communicate when passing orders down the line, addressing issues, and notifying other staff members of each station’s requirements?

Then come up with a set of guidelines for communication outside of the day-to-day. If an employee has a problem or a complaint, they should know who to talk to and how to schedule time with you.

4. Establish a recognition and reward program

Not only are service staff and cashiers rewarded for selling more orders or higher-value orders, but kitchen staff also deserve recognition and reward for their good performance. 

You can use your own observation, surveys, and customer feedback as performance criteria. Clear criteria and metrics make sure no one is biased or feels that you’re playing favorites.

5. Enhance collaboration between FOH and BOH

Kitchen staff prepare food for customers, while service staff directly interact with guests and addresses their needs. That’s why both FOH and BOH should actively exchange ideas and suggestions to adjust food and service quality.

In addition, managers should regularly organize meetings, activities, and parties to connect team members. When people understand each other better, they can coordinate more smoothly at work.

Conclusion

Working in a restaurant kitchen can be stressful, prompting employees to lose their cool and burn out. You can, however, take steps to maintain peace and show employees that they are valued.

Try applying the restaurant kitchen management tips above to see a noticeable change in your business. It may take time for employees to adapt, but it’ll definitely help them improve their skills and become more professional.

Check out our detailed restaurant management guide.

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