Having an open kitchen can be a bold move. It takes a well-trained, dedicated staff and impeccable work habits, but the results can be seen in much higher revenues. The concept of an open kitchen—a restaurant that allows diners to see the inner workings of the cooking process—has been gaining popularity in recent years. Customers are fascinated by watching chefs make their food, and having the process out in the open speaks to your confidence in a clean, healthy food-handling environment. Incorporate these open kitchen cleaning tips into the cooking techniques, rather than considering cleaning a separate job to be done afterward.
Food Prep Surfaces
Cutting boards, countertops, and even serving areas are among the quickest areas in a restaurant kitchen to get soiled and look messy. The rest of the kitchen can be clean and sanitary, but if vegetable juices or food crumbs remain on the flat surfaces, diners will see that as a sign of a dirty kitchen. Here are some ways you can prevent this:
- Keep multiple cutting boards handy and move them to the dish area as soon as they get soiled. Replace boards with fresh ones frequently.
- Use a food brush to remove solid matter from countertops, then spray the counter with water and use a squeegee to remove any remaining soil or bacteria.
- Teach cooks to wipe down all surfaces between jobs and during the cooking process.
- Rest spoons or other utensils on squares of parchment paper to prevent drips from soiling counter surfaces.
Windows are just an afterthought to most diners' minds, but if you've got glass between you and the customers, you'll be behind a layer that gets constant scrutiny. Children will put nose and fingerprints on every glass surface they touch, and adults often leave handprints as they lean in to observe your team at work. Set an alarm if needed, but get into the habit of doing a quick spray and squeegee on the glass at least once every hour. Two minutes on the glass can make a great impression on dozens of future customers.
It may be the last chore your team finishes at the end of the night, but kitchen floors should be dealt with all day long, as well. Dirty floors signify dirty kitchens to many people, so frequent cleaning is important. Keep multiple brooms and dust pans in unobtrusive spots throughout the kitchen and use them frequently. Instead of traditional mops and buckets that leave the floor too slippery to use for long periods of time, use Kaivac's OmniFlex Dispense-and-Vac. With this system, your team member dispenses cleaning solution onto the floor, working it gently into the grout. Then, a powerful vacuum removes the solution, as well as grease, food particles, and other soil, leaving the floors completely dry to the touch. You'll save drying time, allowing your team to go right back to work right after the floor has been cleaned. This allows you to clean the floors multiple times throughout the day.
These open kitchen cleaning tips will help ensure your customers' eyes are drawn to your talented chefs preparing their food and not to dirt and food particles littering the kitchen.
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