When going to a restaurant or any other food serving facility, we rarely wonder what the organization of work in the kitchen looks like. We are only interested in having the ordered meal arrive as soon as possible, and that it is warm and tasty. However, it is extremely interesting how exactly the food preparation process looks like.
Preparing the kitchen for the working day
The day of work in the kitchen actually starts early in the morning, even before the facility starts serving meals. Then comes the moment to prepare all the necessary ingredients, replenish supplies and plan the amount of necessary semi-finished products. Cooks have to assess how many, even the tiniest ingredients can be used on a given day. This is related to more convenient cooking and having everything at hand, and shortening the time needed to prepare the dish and give it to the client as fresh as possible and at the right temperature.
Preparing the kitchen for the day is very important. No gastronomic establishment can afford to find out during the day that some ingredients are suddenly lacking. What’s worse, if this comes to light immediately after the customer places the order, the situation becomes stressful. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent this from happening – the Ordering Stack system, which keeps you up to date with the state of your inventory, planning a few check-ups of the stock to manually inspect the number of ingredients, or top-down, daily ordering of the needed products and storing them in the right conditions.
Particular stations in the kitchen
A very important detail concerning each kitchen’s work is a clear division of responsibilities, especially in the case of establishments serving several types of meals. It is known that one person cannot be responsible for all the dishes at once, which is why the gastronomic facilities often divide the kitchen into the following sections: cold (concerns preparation of dishes from frozen products), warm (fresh and warm dishes), and desserts. This gives the possibility to plan the work properly at each stage of cooking and avoid the situation in which individual employees are overloaded with their duties. One of the orders is overlooked.
Separating individual workstations in the kitchen is extremely important for the meal preparation process. When an order consisting of several types of dishes (e.g., soup, first course, and dessert) is received by the restaurant, several employees can start preparing them at the same time, without concern for delay or missing something. Some systems directly inform individual employees about the necessity of cooking a given dish. Others use the method of writing down the task list, which includes preparing a given dish.
Serving a meal to a customer
From the client’s point of view, the kitchen’s work affects him through contact with the waiter. When entering the restaurant or even ordering food remotely, we provide them with information about the order and possible additional requests (e.g., related to the additional quantity of a given ingredient or its absence). After obtaining such information, the waiter goes to the kitchen and usually passes it on to the chef, assigning tasks to other employees. This stage is extremely important, especially during peak hours – proper planning of individual dishes requires concentration and management skills.
The last stage of the whole food preparation process is the serving of a given dish. It can be done in several ways, depending on the strategy adopted by the restaurant. Some facilities decide to use a very simple bell – kitchen staff uses it to inform that the meal preparation has been completed and it is ready to be handed over to the customer. Some systems allow displaying on the screen information about the possibility of receiving the food. Sometimes, the chef himself goes to the room and reports to the person handing over the dishes to the customers that the meal is ready and waiting to be served. The completion of the whole process looks similar both in the customer’s presence in the restaurant and the reception of an order placed remotely.