The following article is a guest post from Felicia Baratz-Savage who is a writer and graphic artist living in Indianapolis, IN. As a contributor for Cooks & Travel Books, she specializes in travel, culture and education.
No one has to tell you that your restaurant requires impeccable organization to remain operational. Restaurant organization isn’t a matter of personal preference—it’s an absolute necessity since you’re juggling a number of tasks; all of which can be screwed up if certain things aren’t in their rightful place — receipts, recipes, cooking utensils and more. From bookkeeping to burger flipping, everything you need to do your job needs to be easily available.
However, keeping your restaurant in tip-top shape is a little easier preached than executed. Here are some foolproof tips to make everything from unlocking the doors in the morning to closing them at night a little easier.
In the Kitchen
Recipe Storage: Ideally, everyone has each menu item memorized. But, if that’s not the case, a binder with laminated pages is ideal. It will allow chefs to quickly flip between pages, and if a little bit of the ingredients fall onto the pages, it’s not a big deal.
Pots and Pans: Don’t bother with fancy hanging racks. Install shelving units and just make sure everything has its place. To avoid having to search for where each item goes, designate a shelf for each type, and move from largest to smallest. This will keep you organized with little mental effort.
Spices: This time, skip the shelving, or you’ll end up with a clump of spice bottles that have no rhyme or reason. Instead, get a spice rack that allows cooks the ability to put each spice back onto its own slot. The idea here is to keep them separated so labels can easily be read.
In the Office
Important Files: Raid your local flea market and pick up a lockable file cabinet. Sure, most of your files will be online, but you’ll still run into important documents that will need to exist in paper format. It’s not a bad idea to print off tax receipts, for example, even if you file online.
Bills: Office spindles are a must. They’re sold very cheaply online, and it’s the perfect way to sort bills. Have a ritual in place: Open your mail first thing every morning. Check the due date on each bill, and put it on the spike if it can wait until your regularly scheduled day that you handle accounts payable. On that day, just pull them off one by one and deal with them.
Keys: Labeling keys is so, so important. You might be tempted to skip labeling in an attempt to deter thieves, but it’s a decision you’ll one day regret. Offices tend to accumulate keys, and it’s easy to forget which key goes where. Consider putting a spare set on labeled hooks behind a closet door and keeping a key ring with the most frequently used ones. Use colored key caps to distinguish between the keys on your key ring.
Restaurant organization is key to ensuring you’re getting the maximum levels of efficiency from yourself, your space and your employees. When everything is working together, from your shelving design to your key ring, you’re able to do more with less of your precious resources.