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The phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ rings true to me especially when considering that one of our restaurants covers 300 seats on the prestigious strip in Dubai. All the elements of the restaurant have to work in harmony and one of the most important aspect is the delivery – from the kitchen.
As a chef, my advice is to plan, plan and plan some more in the kitchen. Restructure the equipment layout, count the delivery capacity of the equipment, plan the crockery and cutlery. Whilst it is difficult to cover all aspects in this article, let me highlight some of the key functional aspects.
Take the equipment for example. The manufacturers provide handy guides to showcase what the delivery capacity is for each of your equipment and you have to cross reference that against your menu. It is important to note what equipment you need and what you don’t, this, I believe, is a common mistake in most new restaurants. A very practical approach in the initial planning would be to involve consultants, chefs, costs sheets, menu planners – this is worth the effort to optimize your delivery.
Staffing is essential. Staff skills should be planned accordingly when it comes to operating the technology in the kitchen during peak delivery periods. Whilst this may sound like common sense, many overlook this aspect of co-relating skill sets against the planned menu during a full house. I have seen instances when kitchen staff run helter-skelter due to bad planning on someone’s part. The onus then lies with the head of kitchen operations to restore order to the chaos. You don’t want your kitchen to represent a scene from Hell’s Kitchen and have tempers flaring. Another important area that I am particular fond of is crockery. It can diminish a good dining experience due to poor choice of crockery especially when you haven’t catered to a full house. Things start making sense when you break down elements into smaller, more manageable parts and assign clear roles. Repeat trainings and reminders are a must for a well-oiled kitchen. I would highly recommend chefs to visit multiple kitchens and learn from different layouts. Learn what the latest technology can do and constantly update yourself and this can be done by visiting Expos. Thankfully the industry is very supportive with trainings, talent management and learnings. Connect and make your own industry group and share knowledge.