3 Easy steps to save on Labor
Restaurants and Meal prep companies often ask the same question, “How do I save on my labor cost?” The answer to that starts at the top with the chef. The word Chef means chief: a focus of their job is to keep the kitchen organized and optimized. The majority of labor in a meal prep company is a combination of preparing the meals, and the rest is in the packaging and organizing.
Essential practices that can save time.
Organizing your prep list is the start of every chef’s day, creating a step-by-step and easy-to-read picture of how the day is going to go. Making sure tasks are in a clear order so that cooks can easily transition from task to task. Grouping tasks together by a kitchen station is also a big time saver. Grouping jobs together like cutting all the vegetables at once, grilling all the meat and fish, or blanching all the vegetables allows cooks to multi-task all in one kitchen location.
Keeping things in order as well is a necessity. Making sure all the cutting of vegetables and proteins is done first so that you can do all the cooking in the afternoon and keep the flow going.
As important as organizing your prep list is, organizing your prep cooks is equally essential. Assigning tasks to individual cooks is excellent for maximizing productivity: Maybe one cook is great at knife work while another is the master griller. This assignment plan allows you to focus on the right individual’s right tasks. Catering to your cooks’ strengths will ensure jobs are done faster and even more efficiently. Scattering shifts also works so that kitchens don’t become too overcrowded, which will slow down production as well as keep the chatter to a minimum.
The last step to maximizing productivity and minimizing labor costs is in the packaging process. Having an organized packaging line with all your necessary reports is going to set you up for success. When beginning the packaging process, be sure to have all your food labels, bag labels, and delivery/pick-up sheets organized and ready. Make sure your food labels are all organized by dishes. That way, you can plate and label all the lasagnas at once. Then, spread your bag labels across the table for each client so you can begin stacking their meals in front of their bag slip. Finally, separate all your meals by either delivery or pick-up, and using that three-step easy process, you’re ready to begin distributing orders.
The key to all three of these steps is always organization. Always stay organized and use the assembly line method to make sure work is getting done efficiently.
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