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How to Modernize Your Restaurant Kitchen to Improve Staff Efficiency

A restaurant must deliver outstanding service to diners, but operational inefficiencies that cause mistakes or delays may lead to missed orders and unsatisfied customers.

The backend of a restaurant, also known as the kitchen, is vital to optimizing business operations since the restaurant can't have a smooth-running frontend or dining area without an efficient backend.

In fact, a study from the AISSMS College of Hotel Management and Catering Technology concluded that a well-designed kitchen could help save operational costs and time while enhancing work efficiency and production output among the staff.

A modern kitchen is one of the crucial factors that can help improve your restaurant's efficiency. From tools to trends and techniques, innovating these areas can be valuable for your business. This infographic will guide your renovation efforts in modernizing your kitchen.


How to Modernize Your Restaurant Kitchen to Improve Staff Efficiency

Step 1: Assess your kitchen staff's needs.

Your staff spends the most time in the kitchen, so they should have a say in the renovation process. Ask them for their input on what works and what challenges make it hard for them to be more efficient in their work.

Perhaps your current kitchen layout does not suit their workstyle. In that case, you can include renovating the kitchen layout in your agenda.

Step 2: Source new equipment.

Used, worn-out equipment is prone to breaking down. As such, acquiring new equipment should be part of kitchen modernization. The factory warranty on a fresh set of equipment assures you that crumbling kitchen tools won't jeopardize your modernization efforts.

Purchasing new equipment will also improve your efficiency and sustainability measures. For example, new equipment will produce more food in a shorter time while using lower energy, reducing your utility costs and environmental impact.

Step 3: Check the latest industry trends.

You can't miss the industry's latest trends when constructing a modern restaurant kitchen, as there's always a new technology or design innovation that can provide you with a more ergonomic and efficient kitchen.

For instance, integrating the latest trend of handleless designs into your renovation may provide your kitchen with a simple yet streamlined look. In a busy restaurant, this quality can make your staff less prone to injuries caused by handles from cabinet doors that they come into contact with as they zoom across the kitchen.

Likewise, taking inspiration from the concealed storage trend may result in a spacious and flexible kitchen layout.

Step 4: Invest in energy-efficient restaurant equipment.

Businesses adopting are becoming more prevalent as time goes on. Investing in energy-efficient equipment will help your restaurant advance the pro-sustainability movement. In addition, these acquisitions can improve your brand's reputation, enhance employee productivity, and protect your business from the volatile pricing of the energy market.

Visit a trusted supplier when looking to purchase new energy-efficient equipment for your restaurant. The Charlie's Fixtures store in Southern California is a great place to start when looking for restaurant equipment specialists.

Step 5: Pick a suitable kitchen layout.

A proper kitchen layout is vital to any restaurant renovation or modernization process. If your current setup isn't working for your staff, you could look at it as an excellent opportunity to try out other kitchen layouts that will boost team efficiency.

For instance, your kitchen staff might find an assembly line kitchen design more efficient as this layout allows them to focus on preparing or cooking the food on a central row or island.

On the other hand, a zone-style kitchen layout can provide your team with a more organized setup, thanks to a design that allows for zones for specific kitchen activities or dishes.

Check out our guide on The Blueprint of An Efficient Restaurant Kitchen for more tips and things to consider when choosing the right kitchen layout for your restaurant.

Step 6: Consult the right architect or designer.

You should hire specialists, including a good architect, designer, or contractor, for your restaurant modernization project. These experts will help you build, install, and aesthetically design key areas of your restaurant kitchen—layout, lighting and electrical fixtures, heating, ventilation, storage and other relevant aspects.

Plus, they will have a vast network of colleagues who might be able to help you create the right setup for your restaurant. You can gauge if someone has the work ethic and track record you want by requesting their portfolio or seeking objective reviews of past clients.

Step 7: Listen to feedback from your staff.

Here, asking for feedback and listening to your staff's words can provide valuable insights. How much have your modernization efforts improved your operational efficiency? Is your newly bought equipment safe and easy to use?

Pushing for feedback can also help build a culture of improvement within your organization. For example, your employees may become comfortable suggesting improvements to the business process, equipment, layout, and other aspects of the business.

7 Kitchen Renovation Tips for Restaurants

1. Don't fix what's not broken.

Retaining the elements or fixtures that still work will allow you to save money, time, and energy. For instance, a plumbing system involves delivering potable water, setting up a proper drainage system, and installing pipes and tanks. Since you’ll be making significant investments in a plumbing system, you must ensure if its current condition calls for modifications or improvements before deciding to upgrade.

2. Determine primary revenue sources.

The latest tools and innovations in the restaurant industry should complement your restaurant's primary sources of revenue. These can be your dining area, bar, roof deck, etc.

Enhancing your restaurant's top income sources may increase your revenue. In that case, you can reinvest the money in modernizing your kitchen.

3. Check the equipment requirements.

Ensure your equipment purchases match your kitchen's capabilities, including electrical, water, and gas hookups. You don't want to buy the latest stove, oven, fryer, or dishwasher only to find out later that their requirements are higher than what's currently available in your kitchen.

4. Set up a plan and budget.

Determining what to improve and how to improve it will give you enough data to set attainable goals. With this information, you could develop a plan, set goals, and pick the best strategy to keep the modernization process smooth.

Budgeting is also an essential aspect of renovation. Sticking to your budget will protect your business from financial mistakes during renovation. Unfortunately, not all projects proceed as planned. So, make sure to provide a cash cushion for any unforeseen expenses you might incur during the renovation.

5. Find the right contractor.

While your local handyman may be perfect for small jobs, a total renovation requires more expertise. Hiring a contractor would be best for bigger projects, but they might be your most significant restaurant renovation expense.

So, look for reviews and ask for referrals. Your goal is to find someone trustworthy with an excellent track record. Your contractor should work with you in designing your dream kitchen layout with a clear understanding of your vision, timeline, and budget.

6. Communicate with your staff

Keep your staff in the loop while the renovation is ongoing. Specifically, you should update your team regarding the renovation's progress and provide them with a timeline of when they can resume work. You may need to compensate your employees while the restaurant is closed for renovation.

It is also essential to provide training refreshers to your staff before reopening. Allow them to familiarize themselves with the new tools and environment. This approach can help ease your team in processing all the changes, regaining their productivity, and formulating an efficient workflow.

7. Be at the top of your customer's minds.

While closed for renovation, engaging your customers is crucial to stay at the top of their minds. Your hard work for the renovation may be futile if your customers don't visit your restaurant when it reopens because they have forgotten about your business.

Maximize the opportunities to keep your customers engaged. You could post updates, videos, and photos of the construction's progress. You may also ask them for feedback and ideas on the renovation or want to send them invites for your grand reopening.

Modernize to Maximize

Consumer demand and behavior constantly change. Maintaining your business's market share may require upgrading your service or product from time to time.

Modernizing your kitchen, updating your layout, and getting better equipment can help you keep up with the times and maximize the potential of your restaurant business. Moreover, a new kitchen design could drastically improve your team's efficiency, ultimately boosting your revenue and profit.

Charlie's Fixtures, a trusted top-of-the-line restaurant equipment supplier, has a wide array of restaurant equipment that will help you modernize your restaurant kitchen and enable your staff to perform at their best!

Browse our shop today →

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