Are you feeling like a sous-chef within your own establishment?
There are instances when the proprietor’s role aligns with that of the chefs, necessitating collaborative problem-solving and enhancement initiatives. This results in rewarding experiences. The moments when the establishment excels in performance, particularly during peak hours, certainly warrant recognition, perhaps in the form of a staff beverage as a token of appreciation.
Nonetheless, there is often a lingering sentiment of unease or a lack of rightful authority within the boundaries of your own kitchen. The perception of you as an outsider by the staff, despite your aspiration to establish credibility within your own enterprise, remains unchallenged. Please remember that it is you who shoulders the financial responsibility for the food. Any errors committed by the staff, making the assertion of control vital.
This endeavor is not motivated by a desire for overbearing control. Rather it is because of the aspiration to develop a stronger sense of confidence and a deeper understanding of kitchen management. Through the adoption of modern control systems, a collaborative dynamic can be cultivated among the kitchen staff, front-of-house personnel, and business owners. This has to be supported by the sound use of reliable data and definitive results.
Implementing Control Systems for Proprietors and Kitchen Staff
Instituting a digital ordering and recipe management system will provide you and the chefs with extensive insights into ingredient costs and timely deliveries, facilitated by the online ordering portals of major suppliers.
Properly cataloguing all recipes in the management system will allow all stakeholders to assess the profit margins of each creation, which should be continually updated to reflect changes in supply costs.
The spatial arrangement of the kitchen should be optimized for operational efficiency and user-friendliness. Strict adherence to equipment maintenance and modernization is essential as faulty equipment can disrupt kitchen staff’s harmony.
Workflow dynamics can be enhanced by incorporating external perspectives to identify areas needing improvement. Recommendations might include reorganizing workstations, adding extra storage, and eliminating bottlenecks. Creating comprehensive checklists and detailed cleaning schedules is also vital.
Investment in labor-saving equipment can significantly reduce wage costs. Although these endeavors may entail notable expenses, the return on investment is typically realized within a few months.
Take the lead in staffing matters. Skilled personnel loathe working in an environment filled with incompetence, hence rigorous recruitment practices are vital. Focus on hiring individuals with the necessary skills or dedicate sufficient time for extensive training.
An effective system involves the owner’s active participation in the recruitment process, with crucial input from the head chef or kitchen leaders. Interviews should be conducted promptly, and job offers extended swiftly due to the highly competitive nature of talent acquisition.
Simplify the staffing process by implementing an online rostering system, easing the burden on the chefs. Provide them with a clear wage budget to prevent any unauthorized overspending, while ensuring full transparency in daily and hourly wage expenditures.
Promote a culture of financial transparency. Share accurate wage cost figures from the rostering system, informing staff members about additional expenses such as superannuation, Workcover, and uniforms. Disseminate sales figures and detailed cost breakdowns, leading to the calculation of an accurate Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) figure.
If weekly stocktaking is not feasible, a reasonably accurate COGS percentage can be calculated by dividing weekly purchases by total sales. This is particularly effective if the analysis is confined to food sales divided by food purchases.
Design a concise and comprehensive one-page results dashboard, to be shared with your team weekly. This dashboard should encapsulate crucial metrics including Cost of Goods Sold, wage expenditures, sales figures, and emerging trends—a true reflection of your establishment’s performance.
By assuming control over your most significant operational costs—namely, food and kitchen wages—you are effectively dismantling the pervasive “us and them” dichotomy and dispelling the myth of hidden kitchen operations. This newfound assertiveness enables you to navigate the kitchen environment with unshakeable confidence and undeniable credibility. Moreover, your chefs will benefit from a deeper understanding of the business aspects of restaurant or café operations, a knowledge that is rarely imparted to them. This enlightenment can significantly contribute to employee retention—a powerful incentive. Furthermore, with the establishment of robust foundational elements, the groundwork for implementing an incentive system is firmly set.
Now is the time to translate your intentions into concrete actions. Lessen the burdens on the kitchen staff by aligning expectations with achievable targets, thereby enabling them to fulfill their duties effectively, ultimately resulting in outstanding outcomes. Promptly repair any malfunctioning equipment and prioritize the creation of a pleasant working environment. Several of these measures can be implemented immediately.
Implement online rostering and recipe management systems, providing kitchen leaders with unrestricted access. These essential tools will facilitate increased accountability across the board.
Begin conversations with suppliers about transitioning to online ordering platforms, an increasingly preferred method in the industry.
Set aside time for concise weekly management meetings, attended by key personnel. These sessions should focus on a comprehensive review of the results achieved by each team member, fostering a culture of achievement and continual improvement.