Help Your Commercial Kitchen Run Smoothly With Proper Leadership

May 20, 2018

We focus a lot on how having the right equipment can keep your commercial kitchen moving quickly and efficiently.

However, it’s not just the equipment that makes the difference in your restaurant’s success. Having proper leadership in your commercial kitchen – and throughout the restaurant – will go a long way toward keeping your operation running smoothly and profitably. Here are some tips to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen.”

From the Top: A Great Restaurant Manager

The restaurant manager is the backbone of your entire establishment, including your commercial kitchen. Having a great leader as a manager is vital. An excellent manager will encourage and motivate staff. Doing small things like saying “Thank you,” remembering birthdays, and welcoming feedback will make a big difference in this area. A top-flight manager will also be an excellent delegator. Nothing kills a restaurant’s team vibe like micromanagement and criticism. Instead, your leader should be willing to encourage autonomy and coach mistakes gently.

In the Back: The Leader of Your Kitchen

Generally, the leader of your commercial kitchen is you chef or head cook. Sometimes you may have a kitchen manager. Regardless, you need someone who is quick on their feet, nimble, and works well under stress. Kitchens are hot, busy, and stressful. Between stocking stations, doing the work of cooking, and making sure your customers get exactly what they ordered on time, there’s a lot going on. The head of the kitchen has a lot on his or her shoulders. At the same time, the kitchen team needs to understand and respect the authority of the leader in your commercial kitchen. There’s little time for argument when the orders are coming in fast and the food needs to be piping hot and perfect. Communication and staying cool under pressure are essential for those in leadership in the back of the house.

Supporting Cast: Creating a Team in the Back of the House

Everyone loves being part of a winning team. Great teamwork in your commercial kitchen means things are getting done quickly, the food looks great, and everyone feels good. To get this camaraderie every night, make sure roles are clear. Every person should know their specific station and what they need to do. Prep should be done in advance, and downtime should be used as productively as possible. It should be clear-cut who is in charge and who the next in command is, all the way down. Everyone should know who to go to if something goes wrong, and who to approach if their superior is not available. If this sounds a bit rigid, don’t worry. The truth is that fun happens most readily in a commercial kitchen that is moving smoothly and effectively. When the rush hits or stress is high, being able to fit into clear expectations helps everyone do their best.

Give Your Commercial Kitchen the Support it Deserves

You may be a restaurant owner, manager, or kitchen manager yourself. If so, be sure to cultivate your leadership skills. You want to be someone that people enjoy working with and working for. Of course, to do their best your kitchen personnel need the best equipment too. Make sure the cooking appliances, refrigeration, and other equipment are the best they can be. Interested in making a purchase? Contact us for a quote today!

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