Don’t Eliminate The Middle Man – Add One

Today, there are situations when we actually add a “middle person” instead of eliminating one to improve restaurant dining room service efficiency. If it’s cost-effective and demand is high, then proper market positioning will make it a worthwhile endeavor. For example, my sister just informed me of a restaurant delivery service in New Mexico that will let you choose one out of many different food outlets (all types of ethnic/fast food)- and then guarantees delivery within a specific time period. This not only gives assurance of restaurant customer service reliability, but more choices for dining take-out style.

In other areas of industry, the same idea holds true. There are electrical suppliers that no longer manufacture the product of electricity, but now are involved only in the delivery process of electricity to the customers. Because of market fluctuations, the new delivery supplier will utilize many other different energy suppliers to get the product of electricity to the customer efficiently and at the best market price. Again, adding the middle man seems to benefit all around.

In relating this theory to improve restaurant service, it is the food runner that has become popular, especially in the larger dining establishments that rarely existed years ago. Food runners are employees who only work the rush hours of the dining room- only running food back and forth from the kitchen to the tables with light dining room table interaction (condiments, fresh pepper etc.). It is a 2-4 hr. shift, depending on how long the dining rush lasts.

Before extra large restaurants existed, the waiter would complete the process of order taking and delivering of the food. Today, the food runner can be implemented (additional middle man) relieving the waiter of this time consuming and sometimes painstaking process. The waiter must share a percentage of his tip with the runner, but in return his job is eased because the food is delivered for him- allowing extra time to work more tables and up sell to customers thereby increasing sales. Though, it does remain the waiter’s responsibility to check the table for additional diner needs– either while the food is being placed by the runner or shortly thereafter. The tip-out to the runner is usually 10-15% depending on the service system, but well worth it if waiter sales can increase by 20-30 %.

The main point is the food runner addition improves delivery service efficiency while being cost-effective (if the sales increase outweighs the payroll increase). Properly integrating employees into the dining room service with exact middle man connections always makes for smooth service flow. It’s not a matter of just blindly throwing extra employees at a service problem, but organizing the best system possible with the minimal amount of labor.

Adding the middle man can sometimes streamline operations in such way that it becomes irresistible and impossible to ignore. Always, the demand arises when delivery routes of a service system become overloaded.

What Kind of Refrigeration Is Best for a Restaurant?

From large multi-deck chillers and patisserie display cabinets to upright and under-counter fridges, specialist refrigeration equipment is essential to the running of a restaurant.

Commercial refrigerators are designed to keep temperatures between 34°F and 40°F. The ability to preserve food at the specified temperature, a compressor ventilation component and stainless steel finishes are typical of restaurant refrigeration equipment.

Choosing the right refrigeration for your restaurant will make your kitchen run smoothly, as well as providing optimum food safety for your customers.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT REFRIGERATION EQUIPMENT

Before you commit to purchasing any restaurant refrigeration equipment, you must first determine exactly what types of chillers and fridges you need.

The size of your restaurant and the type of food you serve will be the biggest deciding factors in choosing the right commercial refrigeration.

If your kitchen space is small, you are not likely to have space – or the need – for a large walk-in fridge, so a spacious upright fridge should suffice. If you serve a variety of patisserie items or chilled drinks, you should consider choosing a specialist patisserie display fridge or upright display fridge.

The frequency of your fresh produce deliveries will also determine which type of refrigeration equipment you need for your restaurant. For example, if you receive daily deliveries of fresh or chilled produce, you will need less refrigeration space than those who get a delivery once or twice per week.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF RESTAURANT REFRIGERATION?

With many types of restaurant refrigeration available, it’s important to choose the right kind of chiller or fridge to best fit your commercial kitchen:

Upright storage fridges & Freezers – with less storage capacity than a walk-in fridge, an upright fridge is suitable for most restaurant kitchens. Available in a choice of sizes depending on your chilling requirements, an upright Gastronorm fridge requires less floor space than a walk in or chest fridge, with the suitability to store all fresh and perishable produce. Ideal for use in a hotel, restaurant, school or hospital canteen or any location which requires the unit to work under the high temperatures of a busy kitchen whilst providing ample storage capacity, Gastronorm upright chillers are designed to operate to 43ºC ambient, making them suitable for chilling meat.

Under counter fridges – also known as refrigeration drawers, these large capacity chiller cabinets are ideal for kitchens where space is at a premium. Depending on the size of your kitchen and your chilling needs, choose a two, three or four door under counter chiller cabinet to store seafood, poultry or meat

Reach in fridges – easy to access and with a with a large storage capacity, a reach-in fridge is the ideal refrigeration equipment for many restaurant kitchens. Suitable for all perishable and chilled produce, a reach in fridge should be situated away from the heat of the restaurant ovens

Refrigerated preparation tables – available for either pizza preparation or salad/sandwich preparation, this type of commercial refrigeration equipment should be situated in the food preparation area of the restaurant kitchen. They typically include additional drawers beneath the table top for additional chilled storage

Display fridges – specially designed to keep chilled produce at an ambient temperature whilst on display in your restaurant, a display fridge is ideal for patisserie and desserts, as well as drinks. The glass counter protects the fresh produce, whilst retaining an appealing display for your customers.

Advantages of Using Biodegradable Restaurant Supplies

Environmentally friendly products and methods of production have been gaining momentum worldwide. Environmental activists discourage the use of oil-based disposable products because these products pollute the environment from production to disposal. As one of the most waste-producing industries in the world, the food industry is in dire need of solutions for controlling waste. Biodegradable restaurant supplies made from corn, sugarcane, and biomass are thus gaining popularity among restaurants.

Biodegradable restaurant supplies have less of a negative impact on the environment because they require less energy to produce, reduce dependence on foreign oil, are made from renewable biomass, take less time to break down (and thus, won’t clog landfills), and are non-toxic. It’s hard to think why any restaurant owner or manager wouldn’t want to make the switch!

While these products are still more expensive than reusable and disposable products created by oil-based production, the long-term global benefits largely outweigh the costs. Biomass-production processes are also becoming cheaper as technology develops and demand increases.

Biodegradable cutlery and dishes can benefit restaurants in many ways, including providing an alternative to costly dishwashing. They may even be more hygienic. Dirty utensils create a polluted environment in the kitchen, which may be a health hazard to clients. Extra staff has to be employed to clean these items to prevent them from piling up. Frequent washing also does not guarantee total cleanliness of the utensils. Flies that perch on dirty utensils and spread diseases are less likely to find their way into restaurants that use one-time-use compostable cutlery.

Restaurants that are concerned about changing the traditional style of takeaway containers, utensils, or plates don’t have to worry because biodegradable restaurant supplies can still look and feel like plastic, despite being made entirely of paper. Thanks to incredible engineers working to improve these products, they are just as sturdy too!

Several variables determine how long it can take biodegradable restaurant supplies to break down, including heat and moisture. Typically, these products can break down in six or seven weeks. Compare that to the 500 years it takes plastic products to decompose! It’s easy to see the impact using compostable products can make.

In a world highly dependent on plastic, it’s important to continue to search for ways to reduce our plastic usage and its negative impact on the environment. Restaurant owners and managers who utilize biodegradable restaurant supplies should be celebrated for their efforts and contributions to a healthier planet. Consumers can support this effort by seeking out restaurants that are making conscientious changes to their processes and reducing waste.