Technology and Commercial Kitchens: The Ultimate Pairing for Efficient Restaurant Operations

By Jason Bench February 3, 2021 Blog, Restaurant
commercial kitchen

Is there any element more critical to your restaurant’s success than your commercial kitchen? Looking at it from a business perspective, it’s a well-designed, efficient, gleaming production line and the center of your operations. It’s home to your most essential employees. It’s responsible for generating a product so excellent that your customers will return again and again.

Your kitchen is also designed for the safety of both of your employees and your customers. Commercial kitchens are inspected and licensed according to regulations for cleanliness and safe food handling, with additional public health recommendations added throughout 2020. This means your kitchen, and those who work in it, are directly responsible for maintaining the quality, safety and consistency of your product throughout your organization.

You spend time and effort carefully planning out the pairings on your menu – but have you considered what to pair with your kitchen in order to make your operations the best and most successful they can be?

Furthermore, what if this pairing worked as effortlessly as deciding what to feature on tonight’s dinner menu?

Your commercial kitchen is already a model of modern culinary mastery. What it needs is a tool that harnesses the power of today’s commercial kitchen technology to make your facility work even more safely and efficiently. A tool that can be easily used by any of your employees and that instantly saves, shares and consolidates all their responses. A tool that can help you quickly ensure operational and brand consistency and that can help you make data-driven business decisions.

This miracle tool? A deceptively simple mobile, digital checklist app.

Establish Safety and Quality

In order to improve performance, you must consistently measure performance. A mobile checklist app starts by digitizing and storing all your restaurant checklists. Making them available online means that any employee can access them from any mobile device; then all your checklists can be quickly filled out, uploaded to the cloud and aggregated, which allows real-time measurement of how well your operations are performing against organizational standards for safety, quality and service.

Specifically, a flexible digital app will allow you and your employees to:

  • Easily customize and configure all restaurant checklists
  • Complete temperature-based tasks and get that information into restaurant operations data in real time
  • Record each interaction and completion as it happens, with each one geotagged and marked with the employee’s name so it becomes your legal record
  • Add relevant photos to records, saving the time and effort it would take to describe the issues through the written word
  • When necessary, use customized templates to quickly create action plans, assign responsibilities to managers and employees, and establish due dates
  • Track the progress of each action plan in real time

All of these features develop employee accountability and reduce reporting errors, with no micromanagement required.

The magic of commercial kitchen technology isn’t limited to checklists, however. Your digital field app should also allow your operational team to build standardized quality assessment templates and standards for use across multiple locations. Specifically, the app should:

  • Include the functionality to manage and display the results of multiple updates and audits in real time
  • Alert all relevant parties as soon as any assessment is complete, including information on geolocation and time required for the assessment
  • When assessment requirements change, allow audit forms to be updated, with the updates pushed to all devices in the field instantly and consistently

As referenced above, these digital field entries become your business’ official, legal records. When your historical audit data is online, your staff can quickly and easily provide any necessary information to regulators, which helps avoid compliance issues and any related costs.

To summarize, a digital field assessment app is a game-changer that reduces human error while it ensures quality and accountability across all shifts across multiple locations. If that isn’t improvement enough, using the app is also likely to save valuable staffing time.

Develop a Culture of Consistency

For your restaurant business to be a long-term success, you must ensure that all your locations are delivering a consistently high-quality, enjoyable and safe experience for all your customers, through every employee and every shift. A truly next-generation field audit app will help you do this by opening an analytical window into each location and allowing you to actually put the results of your audits to work.

As it is finalized, key performance and operational information is shared immediately throughout your network and on the app dashboard. The app should then feature easy-to-use, built-in analytics that collect all the details and consolidate them into clear, real-time reporting. These reports can be the key to driving performance improvement and better decision-making; you wouldn’t have to rely on anecdotal evidence or gut instinct to make decisions.

Real data reporting makes it much easier to bring individual locations in line with brand and operational standards, while at the same time identifying previously hidden opportunities. You can quickly identify best practices from any location and roll them out across the organization. In short, based on evaluating all assessment results across the organization, your management team is able to quickly adjust and enhance operational processes to ensure success.

Achieve the Perfect Pairing

Just like the right wine completes the perfect entrée, the right digital solution can enhance and even perfect your commercial kitchen operations. A strong, flexible digital checklist solution for restaurants can ensure the right actions are being taken on time, every time. From digitizing to collecting to analyzing and even taking corrective action, the best restaurant audit apps make it easy to track performance and analyze trends over time while providing performance snapshots at any point in time. You no longer have to worry about operational standards not being met, which frees up your time to focus on your employees and to perfect the quality and hospitality of your products and services. And isn’t that really the reason you got into the restaurant business?