There are less and less bodies coming through that revolving door to staff your kitchen. It’s not just your operation; it’s all over the industry. Skilled labor that not only comes to work but stays at work is rare. You’re probably already trying to figure out how to do more with less because frankly you are forced to. The quality employees that you do have are performing more and more tasks as fewer team members are around to pick up the slack. Stress is boiling over and the bad moral is showing its effects. If you can’t fix the lack of labor issue, you may want to consider looking into foodservice equipment that can cut down on labor time, stress, and save you money while doing it all.
It will take an investment, so when you make that investment, do your due diligences. Find equipment that has a low operating cost, that has been tested for energy efficiency and will cut down on waste and pay for itself over time. Energy efficiency seems like it’s the last thing that you need to be worrying about, but think about it, if a piece of equipment is designed to earn you more money the longer it’s on, it had better be energy efficient right? In fact, holding cabinets are some of the most energy efficient of any category of major kitchen equipment.
Cook and Hold Ovens, Retherm Ovens and hot food holding equipment have a major impact on streamlining your production process of a foodservice facility. Having your menu items ready and on hand to serve, eliminates spikes in production and labor stress during your peak periods of service. The result is less staff hours and lower labor overall costs. Preparing large batches of food ahead of time reduces the employee skill level needed to achieve the same menu as a cook to order production. The longer you can maintain high quality, flavor, and texture of your food while holding, the longer you can utilize that food product without sending it to the waste. This means less food waste due to degradation of food quality and happier more satisfied “yelp friendly” customers as a result.
Large or “full-size” holding cabinets can become a key cog of a reduced touch or reduced labor foodservice production process. There is a whole spectrum of holding cabinet sizes available that will assist you with the different applications in your operation. Pans of food can be removed from fryers, steamers or ovens and be placed directly into holding cabinets in order to avoid a cook/chill process.
Cooking with the intent to hold results in a more efficient production that often eliminates the need for some additional cooking equipment and staff. The staff that is on hand, are now free to focus on service, so more orders can be taken with less labor during peak meal times. Foodservice labor issues in commercial kitchens are forecasted to continue for the foreseeable future. Stay positive and explore your options, your employees and pocketbook will thank you.