In the past, restaurant kitchens were hidden from the view of the diners. Their food would just emerge from the kitchen, prepared already and everyone’s happy with that arrangement. Customers didn’t really care how their orders were made, but things are starting to change now and restaurants are starting to shift to the use of the open kitchen.
The use of open kitchen calls for maintaining strict standards of cleanliness and the best appearance in restaurants. It highlights the need for great looking and high quality kitchen linen and smart workwear, like those provided by Alsco. Check out why Alsco is trusted by restaurants all over Australia.
What is an Open Kitchen?
The open kitchen is a setup where the kitchen or where the food is cooked and prepared, fully visible to customers and not just to the staff. This kind of kitchen is fully integrated with the rest of the restaurant and the diners get a full view on how their orders are made. It was started to be used in the 1980s after the extractor hood became refined.
The open kitchen became more popular because of stories of unsanitary practices in restaurant kitchens. By allowing the customers to see how their orders are prepared, the restaurant can give them assurance that the dishes being served are safe.
The open kitchen setup can also be an additional attraction. It can be a way to emphasize the skills of its chefs and staff. Using an open kitchen can also showcase the cleanliness and order of a restaurant’s kitchen.
Ways to Make Your Open Kitchen Work
You are on the right track if you are thinking about using an open kitchen setup for your restaurant. Many top restaurants are switching over to that kind of setup now. But before you decide to switch over to an open kitchen, it would be best if you were to know the best practices of the restaurants that are using this kind of setup.
Here are some ideas that can help you:
Keep it Clean
As mentioned, one of the main reasons why the open kitchen is so popular now is because it is a way to guarantee that the food being served in an establishment is safe and clean. An exposed working area in a restaurant can only work if it is kept clean.
While cleanliness and being sanitary is a must for all restaurants, it must be taken to new heights when you go for an open kitchen. Your kitchen should be literally spotless when you have an open setup. Don’t give customers any reason to question or doubt that. Alsco tea towels and wipes are there to make your task easier and simpler.
A Great Looking Staff
It’s not just the work area that would be in full view of the customers when you have an open setup. They would be able to see your kitchen staff too. Customers could see everything that is being done in the kitchen if they want to.
Because customers can see your kitchen staff working, special attention should be given to how they appear. Everyone in the kitchen, from the chef to the helpers should be told to be conscious about their hygiene, their appearance and their practices.
One good way to impress people with the kitchen staff is by having smart and great looking uniforms for them. The uniforms too should be designed in a way that it stains and spills would not be so obvious, in case some accident happens.
Clean Right Away!
The restaurant kitchen is a busy workplace and everyone is aware of that. If a home kitchen can be a busy, just think of how hectic it can be in the kitchen of a busy restaurant. In that kind of setting, accidents, spills and making a little mess is inevitable.
Spills and any little mess should be cleaned and cleared as soon as possible. This should be emphasized to the kitchen staff. They have to be reminded all the time about how important it is for them to clean as they go and don’t ignore any mess, no matter how small, that could be seen by customers.
Your kitchen staff is probably aware of how crucial it is for them to keep the kitchen clean, but sometimes they cannot do everything that they can in order to keep things spic-n-span. That is not their main task. They are there to cook and prepare the food for customers. So sometimes they have to ignore a little mess. The problem is that in an open kitchen a little mess is a big deal.
It would be a good practice to have someone specifically assigned to do cleanups after the chefs and the cooks. They will be the ones to clean spills and pick up any trash so customers would not see those. These cleaning staff should not have to do anything else.
Another idea that you can use is to opt for a partially open kitchen. This means that you can screen off a portion of the kitchen instead of having it exposed for everyone to see. This can also be achieved by the use of frosted glass. This way, diners can still catch some of the action going on in the kitchen, without your staff being too exposed.
It can also be an opportunity for you to try out some creative and innovative arrangements for your kitchen interior. You can use a “water wall” for example, where a glass partition would be used to section of the kitchen from the rest of the restaurant. To achieve the waterfall effect, water could be made to flow from the top. That will give your patrons a glimpse of the kitchen without fully exposing it.
Plan for Success
These are just a few of the tried and tested ideas that you can use in order to make your open kitchen arrangement work for you. This does not mean that you should try out all of these ideas right away. You still need to do some planning in order to figure out how you can implement these ideas effectively in your own restaurant.
In the end it does not matter whether you are going for an open kitchen arrangement in your restaurant or not, the important thing is that you have to maintain standards in regards to appearance, cleanliness and hygiene in your restaurant.
Want the surest way for your kitchen can achieve high standards, when it comes to cleanliness and appearance? Get the services of Alsco, a name that has been trusted by restaurants all over Australia since the 60s.
Image 1: Jun Seita
Image 2: By Tzahy Lerner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image 3: US Army Africa
Image 4: Ervin Verbruggen
Image 5: Alpha