Time is money — as the saying goes.
In commercial kitchens, this means that the less time you spend on preparing food and the more time you can spend serving customers quality menu items, the better. That’s why resolving workflow inefficiencies can make a difference for your operation — and your bottom line.
Your workflow, from the start
Where do you start when trying to make a food prep process more efficient? At the beginning, of course!
Follow your entire process — from setting up for the day to serving food to the customer.
This should include how the food arrives. Is it frozen and needs to be thawed or does it come fresh? If it does need to be thawed, how and where is that done? Do you need to take time to marinade your proteins or do they arrive pre-seasoned?
Each step can provide insight into where you might be able to improve the process.
Food prep process pain points
Identify where there are pain points that slow you down or require dedicated labor. Many of these processes are improved by addressing one or more of the following:
- Improving ergonomics – If an employee is having to bend down or strain to complete a task, that should be addressed through an improved layout, modified workflow or more flexible equipment.
- Incorporating proximity – Grouping tools and equipment that are used together in the kitchen can save time. Products like ice bath carts can fit under tables to keep proteins at safe temperatures without trips back and forth from the walk-in.
- Reducing the number of steps – Consider how your process could be simplified by streamlining steps, incorporating automation or reordering tasks for efficiency.
- Eliminating inconsistencies – Inconsistency is costly. If you can automate the more labor-intensive steps of the process, it will help speed up prep while maintaining successful flavor profile consistency and keeping customers happy.
- Increasing throughput – Offering fresh menu items at the ready and adapt to meet changing demands is critical to a positive customer experience.
Keep in mind it’s important to involve team members who perform these tasks into the evaluation. Cooks can tell a difference in the food they’re creating and if their workflow is improved. Equipment can help supplement or support their creativity in the kitchen — it’s not a replacement for it.
Some operations will even survey customers to make sure there isn’t a decline in food quality due to a change in process.
Food prep equipment
As operators review their processes and look for ways to improve their throughput, innovative equipment can play a key role. AyrKing offers a line-up of equipment that can help operators keep up with demand throughout the food prep process.
How it helps you keep up with demand:
Automates the breading process, which results in 25% faster production time and leads to higher throughput, while ensuring greater consistency.
Breader Blender Sifter (BBS)
Automatic Food and Beverage Stirrer
How it helps you keep up with demand:
Eliminates hand stirring of craft beverages or creamy soups and sauces and shortens prep time by up to 75%.
AyrKing’s decades of experience give them the knowledge they need to tailor food prep equipment to solve customers’ unique challenges.
For example, they partnered with A&W restaurants to develop the Beverage Syrup Stirrer. This equipment allows the chain to save on product costs, improve beverage quality and reduced the prep time from a four-hour manual process to an automated 20-minute step.
With Pizza Ranch, an AyrKing sifting table accelerated breading process by 15% while decreasing sifting time by more than 30%. Its famous “The Country’s Best Chicken” stays consistent, while reducing employee time and labor dedicated to the preparation of this popular menu item.
Working with a leading QSR seafood chain, AyrKing developed the Mixstir, a dedicated mixing solution that automates the process and improves reliability, consistency and flavor profiles. The Mixstir keeps product consistently blended and ready to cook or serve while eliminating the need for labor-intensive hand stirring or the use of improper equipment.
These restaurants — and more foodservice and retail customers around the world — have found equipment solutions to improve their back-of-house operations.
What would it take for you to optimize your food prep process and keep up with demands?
Adding customized equipment into your kitchen workflow can be a short-term change that can have long-term positive impact on your operations’ throughput, customer experience and bottom line.
Stop wasting time in the kitchen and contact AyrKing to help you improve your food prep processes.