Managing Restaurant Safety and Hygiene Risks

There’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong in the restaurant business, but one of the worst possibilities is a major health and safety issue. Something serious can easily bankrupt a successful restaurant, so consider the following areas to ensure you’re complying with the law and taking reasonable steps to keep everyone safe, including staff and customers.

Cleaning up spillages

Spills from food can be breeding grounds for bacteria, which is a major risk to customers eating your food and the future of your business. Spillages of food and liquids can also cause slips easily, especially on smooth kitchen floors. It’s important that someone (or everyone in the kitchen) is responsible for cleaning up immediately to avoid any risk of avoidable accidents occurring.

Regular professional cleaning

Commercial kitchen deep cleaning services, including ductwork and canopy cleaning, are important for restaurant safety and hygiene and you should have professional cleaning carried out regularly in addition to the day-to-day maintenance your staff handle themselves. This kind of cleaning is also vital for fire safety, as extractors and ducts can eventually collect fat deposits which significantly increase the potential risk of a fire breaking out.

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How Do You Handle Logistics in the Restaurant Business?

It’s a widely known fact that entering into a new business is always a big risk. Restaurants come with an even higher risk than most start-ups, party due to fierce competition and other external forces. However, the complex set of considerations that have to be factored in by any new restaurant owner is probably the reason most new ventures fail. You’re unlikely to succeed if you fail to think about all the fundamental practical aspects of your restaurant, such as the following.

Supplies and transport

Managing your restaurant day-to-day is going to rely on fresh ingredients being delivered to your kitchen exactly when you need them. This definitely doesn’t happen by magic. Great suppliers and distributors are definitely out there, but you need to plan carefully to set up a system that works for your business. Finding a highly reputable company to manage the transport and delivery of all your fresh, perishable ingredients is essential. Harlow Group Storage, who specialise in temperature controlled transport, distribution, supply chain, and logistics in Bishop’s Stortford and Essex, would be one great example.

Location is crucial

Of course, deliveries and distribution will be related to your location, but this needs to be perfect for many other reasons. Where are your target customers? Are you in an area that fits with the concept of your restaurant? Are you far away from where most people live, and if so, is your food going to be worth travelling for?

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Your Cleaning Responsibilities as a Restaurant Owner

If you choose to run a restaurant, you automatically have many legal responsibilities regarding cleaning. You are obligated to ensure your customers can expect their food to be prepared in a clean and safe environment, with professional management and respect for the law. It’s vital to understand what your responsibilities are before you get started in this business.

After all, the penalties and potential consequences of not following relevant laws when it comes to food hygiene can be very severe, and rightly so. Not only do you stand a chance of having to pay legal fees if you are prosecuted, but fines and compensation have been known to reach the tens of thousands on a regular basis. You should also consider that the FSA (Food Standards Agency) will arrange for your premises to be inspected and you will be presented with a food safety rating, which will be public knowledge.

With this in mind, consider the importance of keeping your kitchen clean and maintaining all equipment to a high standard. It is unavoidable that your kitchen will frequently get dirty during the course of cooking, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to leave it in such condition. Proper sanitation prevents the risk of bacterial contamination increasing over time, which protects your customers as well as your employees. This includes appropriate measures taken when storing, preparing, cooking and serving food.

You must also bear in mind that the most common cause of health and safety issues in commercial kitchens is not actually food contamination, but accidents such as slips and trips. Spillages are common in any kitchen, and in a fast-paced commercial environment this risk is multiplied. Avoiding these risks needs to be a high priority.

As a restaurant owner, your day-to-day responsibilities must cover these basic things and more, but you are also required to take more action in particular circumstances. For example, if there are several cases of food poisoning in a short period of time resulting from food prepared in your kitchen, you may be required by law to carry out an investigation, or officials representing your local council or the FSA may have to carry this out.

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7 Steps To Improve Your Restaurant Service

You may start your restaurant business with the best intentions, but it can be hard to keep up with every area you’re trying to improve. Eventually, some factors may be letting you down. If you want to boost your overall level of service and your reputation, here are some sensible steps to consider.

1) Draw up service guidelines

Have a written agreement for your staff which explains what your ideal restaurant service is like. When expectations are written down, even if they seem like common sense, it helps to encourage consistency and ensure all staff are clear on their objectives.

2) Provide personal plans

Building on the initial guidelines you have created, a personal development plan for every individual staff member should be a priority. This ensures specific issues are tackled systematically and the right support is available.

3) Plan your hiring process

It’s important to look for new talent all the time, focusing on people who are passionate about providing great quality service at all times, as well as learning new skills and improving. Skills can be taught, so place more emphasis on the person. Training for new staff must be consistent and thoroughly planned.

4) Get the right supplies

You can quickly create an unprofessional image for your restaurant if you’re consistently having to make excuses because basic items have run out or gone missing. Cutting corners on the essentials is likely to have a knock on effect, making your staff and customers feel like you don’t care.

5) Train staff constantly

Every day is a new opportunity for development and gaining new experience. Staff in your restaurant need to always be learning more about the level of service they should be providing, and gradually becoming more effective.

6) Offer a great leadership service

Service works both ways – if employees feel supported at work, they are much more likely to pass on that positive feeling to customers. Overly harsh management can destroy a productive sense of team spirit, so try to steer away from this.

7) Let people show initiative

On a related note, team members might feel stifled by their instructions at times and this crushes any initiative they might want to show. Going above and beyond for customers is something to be encouraged, so trust your staff to deviate from the everyday rules if they’re providing the service that customer needs.

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How to source local and sustainable ingredients as a food service operator

As a food service operator, you will realize that the most reliable and sustainable place of sourcing all your food ingredients is by getting them from the local market where it is always fresh and in plenty. However, this should not be done blindly since there are some sellers or farmers who could exploit you especially if you are not well conversant with the local market prices and trends. As such, there are a couple of guidelines that one can apply when going about seeking local ingredients for their food services. Whether the food is to go to a school, a hospital, university or restaurant, you need to be smart in planning before making a purchase. This article is going to cover these guidelines that can help one well.

Flexibility

It is very important for a food service operator to be flexible when it comes to the business’ menus. There may be times when the ingredients that you expect fail to mature in time or maybe the weather changes and it spoils all harvests in the local market. As such, one needs to be very flexible enough to have an alternative for the spoiled ingredients so that their menus have a cover and also explain to the customers if such a thing happens. The replacement ingredient needs to be just as good as the one that was unreachable in the market so as to fill its place in the menu well.

Make Purchases When the Season Is Still At Its Peak

When the harvests have just hit the market, there will be very many farmers who will be looking to sell mostly due to lack of storage space. As such, you are bound to get all local food ingredients at a much cheaper price. Apart from this, an added advantage is the fact that the food ingredients will be fresh from the market which means that they will still be highly nutritious and flavorful too.

Develop a Good Relationship with the Local Farmers

local farmersDeveloping a good relationship with all the farmers that you will be working with will help you get all the products that you need when they are still fresh and crisp from the farms. As such, the farmers will also grow the specific ingredients that you would need due to the fact that they will be having a guaranteed market from you thus very beneficial to both parties involved.

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Opening a restaurant: The key to startup success.

The restaurant business is an ever changing ever evolving one indeed. There are important factors to consider when opening a restaurant, a food business is not and never has been a straight forward affair. Some core aspects to consider before you even start your restaurant are:

Have you got the money to do this?
Have you covered all the legalities?
Do you have the commitment for a food business?

So many businesses, not limited to restaurants but especially so in the case of restaurants have the tendency to evolve from a concept into a physical business overnight. Often this takes place with little to no planning involved and just as often we see failures. It is sound advice to seek professional advice on the subject, invest your time and a little money in the advice it will surely pay off.
Next thing to do would be to decide on a concept, a unique selling point if you will.This involves knowing what type of restaurant you want to start up and what kind of audience you are targeting. Demographic information on the area and other similar knowledge will go a long way.

Market research is also a most valuable and very necessary element you don’t want to be missing your target audience, a little bit of analysis of your competitors can give a lot of useful information to you as well.

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Put all this together in a business plan, again professional help in this department might pay off in the long run. Business plans play a fundamental role in structuring your business model clearly setting a direction for your business and also attracting investors. Your business plan doesn’t need to be a massive extensive document either, just make sure it has all relevant info for yourself your staff and your investors to have a good idea where you’re going.

One thing you cannot skimp on in the restaurant business is the kitchen and equipment therein. Invest in good quality apparatus right from the start and you will save a lot of trouble in maintenance and repairs in the days to come.

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You will need to make sure you have all the regulations met and licences for things like health and safety, alcohol licences music licenses and the list goes on, depending on where you are in the world. You might want to make sure all this is cleared up before you open your doors, being shut down in the first few days can have a devastating financial effect on your business.
Lastly but by no means the least important part of your business, the staff. In the hospitality business team, work is vital. You need good staff. Don’t be perturbed by the idea that staff is hard to find, just ensure your job descriptions are clear when placing ads.

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The Complete Guide to Restaurant Kitchen Design

Every Restaurant Kitchen requires an appropriate design for it to serve its role in the best way ever.
The first major task is to get the services of an expert restaurant kitchen designer. The designer should be a professional and must be an expert in preparing a kitchen design. The designer must incorporate all the necessities of a good kitchen design while preparing the design.

The design must meet all the required safety conditions.restaurant-safety The design must be approved by the concerned authorities. Thus a good design can only be prepared if we take the help of experts who can guide through the whole procedure of preparing the restaurant kitchen design.

 

A restaurant must have all the necessary equipment. They should display the required specifications and quality. A lot of companies provide equipment laying services. They provide the installation of the equipment according to the designs prepared. These companies provide expert guidance in equipment laying.

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A good restaurant kitchen design must provide for optimal use of daylight. This will help in
resto-sunlightincreasing the energy efficiency of the kitchen. The design must provide for an open and ventilated kitchen. The smoke gathered must be properly removed from the kitchen. The kitchen must have all the basic amenities like wash basin and sink. The wash basin must have the adequate supply of water. A restaurant kitchen is usually a wet place so an anti-slip floor is required. The floor must be cleaned properly. The material that is used must be of impervious nature. Walls must also be covered with a smooth and impervious material.

The electrical equipment must be provided in the required numbers. The safety of workers must be foremost and all the electrical wiring must be done in an orderly manner. Open wires must not be allowed at any cost. The drainage must be adequate. Water should not get accumulated on the floor or in the wash basins. There should be an adequate number of shelves in the restaurant kitchen.

The design should provide for the space that is required to place these shelves. The number of the shelves will depend on the requirement of the restaurant. The number of customers that will be handled determines the number of shelves required. The number of equipment required is also dependent on the number of customers that the restaurant will cater to. More the customers more will the number of equipment required. Another important aspect of a restaurant kitchen is the budget.

. Investment on less required items must be done in the last. A list of equipment which is required in priority must be prepared and they must be purchased first. The design must be prepared to provide for an efficient and smooth functioning of the kitchen.

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