Getting your cafe kitchen efficient with streamlined processes
When growing your coffee shop business profits it’s easy to focus on ‘front-of-house’ activities for improvements and productivity.
Overlooking cafe kitchen efficiency is common, especially when you’ve been in business for a few years.
However if you are looking for new opportunities for profits, it’s time to maximise efficiency in your coffee shop’s kitchen. Not only will you find cost savings, but productivity gains too.
10 tips for raising the efficiency of your coffee shop’s kitchen
1. Implement a kitchen display system
A Kitchen Display System (KDS) is a computer system that displays orders as they are placed, allowing kitchen staff to see what needs to be prepared and in what order. A KDS helps improve communication between the front-of-house and the back-of-house, ensuring that only the correct orders are prepared and can be served in a timely manner.
2. Use a point-of-sale system
Using a Point-Of-Sale (POS) system helps streamline the ordering process by allowing customers to place orders directly from the table. This minimises foot traffic in the kitchen and can help reduce the amount of time it takes for orders to be prepared, improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.
3. Properly train your staff
Ensuring that your kitchen staff is properly trained helps you to achieve maximum efficiency in your coffee shop’s kitchen. When employees understand the reason why orders are prepared in a particular way, why measuring and cleaning are an important part of their role, it’s easier for them to do the right thing. Keeping your cafe kitchen processes streamlined and consistent. Training may also include teaching them how to use your KDS or POS system and how to work efficiently as a team.
4. Make use of technology
Using technology such as a KDS, POS, equipment with voice recognition and air-filtration systems can help improve efficiency in your coffee shop’s kitchen. Making order fulfillment, cleaning and preparation tasks more efficient. Additionally, using electronic temperature probes that ensure food is cooked to the correct temperature, reducing the risk of foodborne illness and improve food safety for your customers.
5. Keep your kitchen appropriately-stocked
Having a well-stocked kitchen may feel like being prepared, however making sure your kitchen is ‘appropriately’ stocked is more important. Ensuring that you have all the supplies you need on hand to prepare the daily, weekend or weekly orders with ingredients based on your forecasted needs. This includes keeping your kitchen equipment and tools in good working condition – sharp knives, serviced scales and scrubbed clean baking trays.
6. Keep things organised
Maintaining an organised and orderly kitchen can help improve efficiency and reduce the risk of mistakes. Work zones and preparation areas with ingredients and equipment in their designated areas, keeping the kitchen clean and tidy. You might also try using labeled storage containers to keep things findable when stacked.
7. Consider a menu engineering tool
When your chef is yet to master menu design, a menu engineering tool or software app (like apicbase) can take the guess work out of creating a menu. A menu with items that are popular, profitable and portion scalable allows your cafe kitchen staff to focus on preparing orders efficiently.
8. Use a food cost calculator
Keeping up with all the admin tasks that make a coffee shop kitchen profitable, can be challenging. Tracking kitchen supply costs, monitoring supply inventory and tracking menu item profitability are a lot to do, on top of managing the daily running of your cafe kitchen. Food cost formulas and food cost calculators offer an easier way to keep tabs on the cost of ingredients for each menu item, allowing you to keep prices of your menu items up to date with changes in your expenses.
9. Implement schedules
Bigger cafes need a lot more management and process control than smaller coffee shops. Whether it’s schedules to plan work shifts or production schedules to optimise food preparation. Schedules help your employees manage their workload, prepare for their shift and set expectations for what needs to be done when. Schedules are particularly useful for ensuring that orders are prepared efficiently – they help the kitchen staff know what needs to be prepared in advance so they can plan accordingly.
10. Use batch cooking
Batch cooking is when you prepare large quantities of food at once. It can help improve efficiency in your cafe’s kitchen by reducing the need for frequent cooking and prep work. Not all menu items can be batch cooked, so it is important to co-ordinate with your cafe kitchen staff and find out how it might work for you.
Overall, maximising efficiency in your coffee shop’s kitchen is essential for ensuring the success of your business. By implementing technology such as a KDS and POS system, as well as properly training your staff, the efficiency of your kitchen can increase significantly.
Managing your kitchen inventory and keeping things organised helps your back-of-house team. Making it easier to do admin by using a menu engineering tool or food cost calculator and implementing schedules, gives them more time to focus on improves, efficiency and streamlining the ordering and preparation process in your coffee shop’s kitchen.
When you improve your cafe kitchen efficiency you also improve customer satisfaction, reduce wait times, and increase profitability for your business.