If you are looking to get your kitchen in order, here are Chef Beall’s tips and tricks. To increase your efficiency, reduce your waste, and respect food hygiene and safety standards, there’s nothing better than getting organized!
1. Apply proper food hygiene practices
To keep your fridge under control, a clear system is a must. Create different zones for each product family, and account for prioritization standards when storing food in a cold room. These are the basics, but a reminder never hurts!
Chef Beall says: “Make sure everyone on your team stores the right foods in the right places.” A raw ingredient with an elevated risk of contamination shouldn’t be placed on the top shelf. If there is an accident or leak, it could drip onto the food below and contaminate it.
“You should also avoid placing dairy products near fans! They tend to pick up odours, especially when the products are liquid.”
The best tip for keeping your shelves from overflowing? Use your ingredients to their full potential. Only one of your pizzas uses goat cheese, but it’s one of your best-selling dishes? You can integrate goat cheese into your menu in many different ways! Experiment to create new menu items, or replace ingredients that are used less frequently with other ones. “This tip will not only help you avoid food waste, but will also set you apart from the competition,” adds Chef Beall.
2. Maximize the use of your food
“If you have extra, cook up a daily special. Too much cream left? Make a soup. A block of Pizza Mozzarella cheese or Bocconcini cheese? Turn it into fried bites. Ricotta cheese? Make a new dip for your appetizers!”
3. Pay attention to quantities
Constantly tight on space? Make sure you’re buying products in formats that suit your needs, even if you end up ordering more often. Pay attention to how much food comes in each week, and how much stays on your shelves. This way you can verify if you’re buying the appropriate quantities to avoid waste.
“"Be ruthless! If a dish isn't selling as well as you'd like, or if some items are more popular in the summer than in the winter, temporarily remove them from the menu – especially if they require more than one ingredient. This lets you showcase your best sellers while minimizing losses. When summer returns, add the dishes back to a seasonal menu to create excitement!"”
4. Think about rotation
First in, first out! Rotation should be automatic for your entire team. Whether it’s fresh ingredients or prepared foods, placing the newest products at the back gives you a complete picture of how much you have left, therefore minimizing waste. You’ll also avoid forgetting products at the back of your shelves.
“Store all your ingredients in transparent containers of the same size. They can easily be stacked on your fridge or pantry’s shelves. If you lack space, choose rectangular containers. If you want to minimize losses, opt for cylindrical ones with rounded walls that limit waste and help air circulate inside your fridge.”
5. Label everything... even your shelves!
In today’s world, where employees change quicker than menus, you can increase your team’s productivity by making your storage system crystal clear. It’s also the best way to make sure your method is enforced to the letter!
You can even indicate the placement of each family of ingredients on the shelves, and print a chart describing how food is divided up within your kitchen.
“Make your system easier to use and save time by preparing labels in advance. All that’s left to do is add an expiration date, and you’re done!”
Finally, maintaining order in your kitchen isn’t rocket science: "A lot of rigour, and a touch of creativity to manage the unexpected – that's all it takes," says Chef Beall.
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