The Power of Modern Table-Service Restaurant Kitchen Management in the UK
Efficient kitchen management is essential for any restaurant that wants to thrive in a competitive market. It’s vital for survival and growth when you consider that more than 86,000 restaurants participate in a UK restaurant industry that is worth more than £38 billion.
The challenge for any restaurant owner or manager is to implement kitchen management solutions that provide vital analytics and assist with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Doing so helps to optimise performance, productivity, profits and customer satisfaction.
The value of analytics in restaurant kitchen management
Analytics are playing a more valuable role than ever in kitchen management when it comes to table service and fine dining. They enable managers to understand how their kitchen is performing and provide evidence to support beneficial and timely change. This is essential to the success of any restaurant business. As entrepreneur Seth Godin says;
“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”
Accurate real time analytics allow kitchen restaurant managers to ensure that change does not happen too late.
There are many factors that analytics for restaurant kitchens can assist with, including:
- Identifying less popular menu items so that they can be removed or rethought. This helps to improve customer satisfaction and reduces waste.
- Recognising when restaurant sales are highest during the day. This can help when determining how many kitchen staff are required at specific times.
- Understanding issues with delays in service. If there is a problem with getting food to the pass on time, there may be a need for improved training or a rethink of kitchen procedures.
Why restaurant kitchen KPIs are important
Analytics for restaurant kitchens help to determine the level of performance and provide evidence to support change. KPIs are the items that analytics can be used to measure.
Choosing relevant KPIs is therefore a vital aspect of kitchen restaurant management. These KPIs should be centered on the factors which are crucial to the performance of the kitchen. For instance, restaurant kitchen KPIs can include:
- Profitability of items on the menu.
If the cost of producing an item outweighs the revenue it creates, it needs to be removed or rethought.
- Sales per hour of labour.
Measuring the amount of sales made in a restaurant against the number of labour hours helps to identify issues with productivity. Further investigation is required in order to determine whether the issues are front of house (FOH) or back of house (BAH).
- Unavailability of menu items
Ideally a restaurant never wants to encounter a situation where menu items are not available. If the problem does occur the reason needs to be identified. For instance, there could be an issue with ordering practices or restaurant kitchen processes may be leading to waste.
KPIs are essential in helping to determine when improving restaurant kitchens is necessary.
How technology assists with analytics and meeting KPIs
Every table service restaurant kitchen needs to have technology in place in order to accurately measure analytics and performance against KPIs.
A kitchen display can provide information including how many orders of a specific item are required and how long it takes to fulfil each order.
The kitchen monitor can also be linked with the Point of Sale (POS) systems so that orders can be directly routed to the kitchen. This removes the need to use paper orders. When an order is ready for service, the notification can be sent directly to mobile devices used by the servers.
This functionality improves the standard of service in a restaurant and has a positive influence on kitchen productivity levels. The system also provides essential analytics such as speed of service reports and information about which ingredients need to be ordered, based on menu sales.
These reports can be accessed remotely. This means that restaurant managers can monitor the performance of their kitchens from any location.
Modern kitchen restaurant management is a powerful function when it’s optimised. It involves the expert use of analytics and KPIs in order to monitor and improve performance and productivity.
Technology plays an integral role in the management process, and will have an increased influence going forward. State of the art kitchen displays link with POS and FOH devices to create an all-encompassing management system that helps to optimise the performance of kitchen processes and personnel.