Here is something a lot of people ask us or want to know more about and that is
How do I organize my Restaurant?
Where do I begin to organize my restaurant?
What do I need to organize my restaurant?
How will Organizing my Restaurant improve my productivity?
Where do I get these organization tools from?
It can be a daunting task with so many tools, ingredients, containers & perishable food items to consolidate let alone the huge burden of managing staff & running a business. People don't realize how important Organization is and usually it gets pushed to the side until either it’s starts to become a burden or the health inspector tells you to do something about it.
For a lot of first time restaurant owners, they look for spaces that have existing commercial kitchens to keep start up costs down. Sometimes with equipment already in place just to get them started which is totally Understandably. It's a no brainer to repurpose items already on hand or use tools you had previously that still work perfectly fine. Most people will keep existing systems in place & as they figure out their preferred work flow they can slowly adjust as needed. Then later when business starts to take off, thats when its time to re-evaluate, replace or upgrade. Because ultimately when it comes to figuring out how to organize your space that’s something only you as the person utilizing the space day to day can determine.
Where do I Begin Organizing my Restaurant?
You can start by identifying your work zones. This will help you figure out where certain items should be kept & from that point make things easier to sort & organize for efficiency.
- Prep station or Prep tables
- Hot station
- cold station
- Sanitation closet
- walk-in or refrigeration wall
- inventory receiving area
- produce washing station
- baking / dessert station
- server station
- bar / drink station
- linen storage closet
- laundry station
All these areas are opportunities for amazing organization. Once your systems are set in place, its also easier for staff to remember where things go back when prepping for the next shift.
So What Do you Need to start Organizing my Restaurant?
Typically it starts with the shelving which is the foundation of what your organization bits are built around. Metro Foodservice the leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen shelving offers many styles all proven to be stronger, sturdier & longer lasting than the other brands.
Which shelving you choose depends on the environment the shelving will be living in. Chrome Super Erecta shelving is your basic starter shelving & what you usually see in most restaurants. But in most cases, we recommend you stay away from Chrome as much as possible if your budget allows. Even as dry storage, our wonderful salty sea air takes a beating on Chrome shelving which shortens its lifetime. At minimum, try to stick with our Metro Super Erecta Pro coated Epoxy wire shelving with shelf mats. Mats will help protect the shelving finish & prolong shelf life. For cold storage or dish pit areas, you’ll want to go with the MAX i or MAX4 all polymer shelving for a lifetime rust free finish. Our Metro Max i can handle up to 1000lbs per 5ft shelf!
If you’re in need of a dish drying & storage rack, metro has the all polymer dish drying racks with accessories such as pot & tray rack & even a drip water catch at the bottom to ensure water doesn’t pool onto the ground and become a safety hazard.
Once you’ve established what kind of shelving you want & where you want it in your space, now its time to think about how to optimize it.
But How will this Help my Productivity & Improve Workflow in my Restaurant?
Simple - Mise en place (everything in its place)
All tools, containers, ingredients & cleaning supplies should be separated, color coded, organized & within easy reach of any work station to create a smoother more efficient work flow.
First thing to consider doing is REMOVING INVENTORY FROM CARDBOARD BOXES! We cannot emphasize this enough. Cardboard boxes are the original organization system. But cardboard comes in different sizes that can make organizing difficult, gets tossed around & placed on non-food surfaces which in turn transfers to your clean food sanitized surfaces. It can also attract pests like roaches, rodents & can be a breeding ground for MOLD or Mildew in unventilated dry storage areas.
Especially during this Pandemic time, foodservice operators are encouraged to presort & wash their fresh inventory & discarding all packaging before bringing it into the work space to prevent cross contamination of any kind.
You also don’t want to risk using a box that previously held something like raw meat to be used later for takeout boxes or worse - more storage.
Organizing your Take-out Items:
If you’re doing a lot of takeout, you probably want to consider cup storage like the Metro Overhead cup storage unit because remember you want to take inventory out of those boxes! The overhead storage will help hold your takeout inventory upright so they're not falling around onto the ground.
Carlisle Stor-Plus Color-coded Food Storage Boxes & lids to store back stocks of take out containers, plates or utensils. These boxes are a multi-purpose organization tool. These boxes are easily stackable and allows like sized boxes on your shelves which is better for organizing rather than odd shaped boxes.
Also consider the Carlisle Packet Rack to help store pre-wrapped utensils & condiments near the take out station. That way its within easy reach when prepping takeout orders.
Also think about incorporating your work surface into your shelving like our Metro Work stations. By adding the overhead shelving above it helps keeps your work station free & clear for active orders rather than storage.
Organizing Dry Storage in My Restaurant:
For dry storage items, Carlisle Square food Storage Containers also work well for pastas, beans or rice. It’s good to remove them from their original boxes & put them into like sized containers instead of stacking odd size boxes or containers off each other creating an avalanche of ingredients. Also the cover of these containers have areas to write what items are inside & date to ensure food items are rotated properly.
If you do batch cooking and use large food cans, consider can organizers from Metro to help clear up valuable shelving space & to ensure proper FIFO (aka first in first out).
Bakery areas already use our large Carlisle rolling ingredient bins for their flour or sugar but sometimes there just isn’t a good place for them in the kitchen. Consider the Metro Roll-under shelf kits which allows for stability of the tall legs with its C-frame and also allows storage above the bins. Remember keep lighter items up top to prevent the shelf from toppling over onto you!
Another storage hack to consider are the Metro tray slides. Typically they’re used to store prepared food in the walk-in so you don’t have the rolling racks taking up valuable refrigerated space. But another way to use these tray slides are for utensil or ingredient drawers. Load them up with your back stock of large spoons, tongs, spatulas, chopsticks, small little items (even screw drivers & hammers! cause you need that in a kitchen right? ) so they stay neat, organized & clean when not in use.
Another useful space that everyone forgets is the WALL itself. Use can use the Metro Smart wall systems to create wall hanging drying racks above dish pits, utensil & spice racks on the wall or on the sides of shelves, or above work stations like on our Metro Smartlever system for easy access while prepping on the stainless steel worktop below it.
An item that is now a staple in every foodservice establishment is PPE. Metro has a PPE holder that can hook onto existing wire shelving so your not opening boxes of PPE unnecessarily. Keep it neat & clean in the holder & within easy reach.
Also let’s not forget shelving tags! The perfect way to ensure staff puts items back into the same spot. a perfect organization tool!
Safety Equipment in My Restaurant:
When it comes to knife storage, you don’t want your blades to be bumping around in a drawer or standing up in a container. It can dull, chip or worse cut someone! Use a San Jamar knife storage systems to keep your knives sanitary & safe. While you’re at it, install a San Jamar Mani-Kare Kit bandaid dispenser to keep bandages within reach. The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling for a bandage or dropping a whole bunch of bandages on the ground by mistake.
Sanitation organization in my Restaurant:
Lastly every kitchen needs a sanitation zone where they store their mops, brooms, buckets, squeegees, cleaners, sanitizers, and many more items that you don’t want mingling in with your food items.
If there is wall space, install the Carlisle broom holder to keep them from falling over on each other or their bristles getting bent. If you need a place for a sanitation bucket, consider the Carlisle sani-pails and the Metro Pail holder to hook onto an 18” deep shelf or cart.
Where do I get these items to Organize my Restaurant?
So where do you pick up these amazing organization tools? Well from your local Hawaii dealers of course! Locals supporting locals is the only way to help everyone who lives, works & plays on this island State we call home. Otherwise contact us @pacrimreps anytime for assistance with any storage & organization questions.
Organization doesn’t have to be a huge project you take on all at once because let’s face it restauranteurs are BUSY from dawn to dawn! Regardless of what kind of commercial kitchen you have there’s always little ways to make improvements.
There are so many more organization accessories & tips so if you want more information or have any questions feel free to reach out to us so we can help suggest more storage solutions for your kitchen.
We appreciate all that everyone is doing to do their part to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We're all in this together & we want to do what we can to be of value to you during this time. Please give us a call - we are here for you!
Mahalo - PAC RIM REPS
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