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Kitchen Management

Managing a restaurant is enough work when everything is going well. The last thing you need is problems in the kitchen. To avoid “kitchen nightmares”, follow this simple guide to restaurant kitchen management.

Download PDF restaurant kitchen

Manage Kitchen Inventory

Having what you need, when you need it, is a big part of your kitchen running smoothly. Your POS system should have inventory management built in, so take advantage of it. Make sure you’re ordering what you need on time, and resupplying your kitchen according to analytic reports generated from your POS, and not just guessing. If your current system is out of date, there is no reason not to upgrade. New POS systems that run on iPads are more affordable than ever.

Perform a kitchen inventory audit on a regular basis to make sure your counts are accurate. If they’re not, start an investigation to find out why. Inventory is money!

Kitchen inventory management also helps you save valuable space and reduces waste. When you’re only stocking what you need, restaurant kitchen management is much easier overall.


Manage Kitchen Organization and Cleanliness

What takes minutes to organize will save you from hours of restaurant management headaches. Take the time to develop a codified system of labeling and stocking shelves, so outdated food can be identified quickly and removed.

Frequently cleaning your kitchen from top to bottom is extremely important and should be made a high priority. Not only does it keep your equipment working properly and reduce risks of injury, cleanliness ensures food quality and is a number one concern of guests. Would you feel confident inviting your guests in to see your kitchen? If not, you need to step up your kitchen’s cleaning standards!

Organizing, paying attention to detail and maintaining cleanliness give your brigade a sense of discipline, pride and a commitment to quality. By cultivating these values in your kitchen team you can depend on them to perform well when the pressure is on, reducing the number of orders sent back for re-firing. Avoiding issues caused by a disorganized environment makes restaurant kitchen management much easier.


Manage Kitchen Procedures and Routines

Have a well-defined system in place for moving food through the kitchen, based on your restaurant concept. If your kitchen staff fall apart during a rush, you need to find a new system for expediting orders that actually works! Taking the time to train your staff on proper kitchen timing means that when your restaurant marketing efforts pay off and your restaurant is busy, you can count on your team to maintain your food quality standards.

Make sure everyone is on the same page by focussing on training new kitchen staff thoroughly in the procedures. Give everyone a specific job to do and clear guidelines for what they should be doing at all times. Holding your staff accountable to doing things the right way, every time is a hallmark of good restaurant management.

Review the advice provided in our Learning Center article “How to Hire Restaurant Staff” and fill your team with superstars!

Manage Kitchen Equipment

Provide your kitchen staff with the right tools for the job. When equipment malfunctions make it a priority to fix it, to avoid problems. Remember, issues in the kitchen directly affect your guest’s experience. To ensure speedy service, your kitchen staff must have the proper tools, sharp knives, a working stove and good ventilation. If you’re going to depend on your kitchen staff to work hard to get orders right and work as a team, you have to support them by providing the right equipment. Listen to your head chef and trust their advice regarding their equipment. After all, you hired them to be the expert!


Front of House Support

A great restaurant manager takes steps to solve problems before they happen. Ensuring that orders are taken correctly and that tables aren’t mixed up is the job of the wait staff. Proper training for FOH is the first step. You can also equip your front of house team with iPad-based mobile POS systems they can use to take orders tableside that show up on a screen in the kitchen. Expediting the time between taking and making orders means more time to correct problems when mistakes are made. Additionally, kitchen staff avoids the hassle of decrypting a server’s handwriting and abbreviations, reducing confusion and saving time.

Kitchen Management is simplified when you take the time to organize, clean and plan ahead to avoid problems. With a good restaurant management strategy, you can be confident that as your restaurant grows, your team is capable of keeping up and maintaining food quality.

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