The best restaurant dishes not only stand out because of their ability to tickle one’s taste buds; to be considered perfect, they need to taste and look the same no matter how many are served anytime and anywhere.
If you own a restaurant, maintaining food quality should, therefore, be one of your main thrusts. It is something that all your employees from the back-of-house and front-of-house have to prioritize.
Customers that frequent your restaurant should never be able to tell that different chefs are creating their favorite dishes. When they order their favorite menu items, they expect it to taste and look the same as the last time they had it regardless of who cooked it.
This consistency in food quality plays a crucial role in the success of your business. When your customers’ expectations are fulfilled every time, you can expect them to come back. Additionally, they will spread the word about your excellent food and bring other people to dine at your restaurant.
Both of these will result in free, effective marketing and, of course, increased sales and profits.
Serving Customers Perfect Dishes All the Time
Many restaurants find maintaining consistent food quality a tall order. However, this is something that can be easily done if you follow the tips below:
1. Invest in technology
Having the required ingredients at the right amounts at all times is the first step to maintaining food quality consistency. You can ensure you will never run out of fresh food supplies when you have a restaurant point of sale (POS) software.
A POS system is a must-have for restaurants today since it helps owners, and managers stay on top of various processes efficiently. One of its best features, which will affect food quality, is inventory management.
With this software, you will get alerts when your supplies are running low. You can then restock your stores before they are empty. You can even program your system to order the ingredients that need to be replenished automatically.
When your chefs have access to the right, good-quality ingredients all the time, they won’t have any difficulties recreating the same dishes over and over again. The food will always be consistent regardless of the day and time customers order them. As a result, your diners will leave your restaurants completely satisfied all the time.
2. Avoid or minimize complicated menu items
Unique dishes, the ones that customers can only get in your restaurant, are usually great for any F&B business. They help your establishment stand out, which is great for traffic. You can also put a premium on them without any worries about your competition.
Allowing your chefs to come up with such masterpieces is a great way to encourage their creativity and keep them motivated as well.
However, you also need to keep your menu in check. One-of-a-kind dishes often require expensive ingredients that can be hard to find. As such, there is a chance you may lose more money on them.
Additionally, these dishes may be difficult to replicate. Because of this, consistency may become an issue.
To help maintain food quality consistency, ensure that the majority of your menu items are not too difficult and complicated to cook. If you want to feature elaborate dishes, choose only one or two.
3. Implement a recipe management system
Following a standard recipe is another integral part of consistently serving good food. Whether you have several chefs or only one, make sure anyone who is cooking is following the established steps in preparing each dish.
Input all the recipes digitally and install tablets or touch screen monitors in the kitchen. Another option would be to print them out and compile them in a folder. Whichever technique you go with, you will ensure your chefs will see and follow the right recipes.
Aside from the list of ingredients and measurements, the electronic or printed recipes should also contain other vital details. These can include instructions for prepping (cutting, chopping, etc.), cooking times and temperatures, the recipe yield, serving size, and required equipment and utensils. It can also have details about where to order the necessary supplies.
With all these details on hand, you will ensure all chefs will successfully replicate each recipe, every single time. They won’t have any reason to not do so even if their memory fails them.
4. Ensure all chefs, sous chefs, and kitchen helpers undergo proper training
All employees who will be involved in preparing and cooking food in your restaurant should be sufficiently trained before they start working. Chefs, sous chefs, or cooks, in particular, have to know how to replicate dishes from start to end.
Make use of these training courses to drill the importance of strictly following the standard recipes. Everyone who will have a hand in prepping the food should be taught never to change the way dishes are prepared.
Whenever new dishes are introduced, make sure all chefs and cooks are fully trained in duplicating them as well.
5. Encourage open communication
Lastly, communication between the kitchen staff and service personnel is crucial in maintaining food quality consistency in your restaurant.
Having daily reviews or taste panels before service is an excellent way to inform and educate the service staff about your menu. Your kitchen staff can also provide feedback about the dishes the chefs will find useful.
These daily meetings will also improve your servers’ ability to correctly describe and recommend dishes to first-time customers. When the waitstaff provides the right information to guests, the diners will know what to expect and are less likely to be disappointed with their orders.
Consistency is a crucial element that can make or break your restaurant. As such, make it a priority not only in customer service and ambiance but more importantly, in the quality of all the dishes you serve.
Ahmad Alzaini is the co-founder and CEO of Foodics, a fast-growing food tech startup. A businessman by nature, Alzaini is an app aficionado, developing businesses in Saudi Arabia within several industries. Today, Foodics has extended to new markets across the MENA region, processing over 1 billion transactions, and offering the latest technology in POS and restaurant management.