Do you have a large commercial kitchen with lots of equipment and supplies? Do you find it difficult to keep up with the mess? If so, then this blog post is for you. Here are 25 tips that will help organize your kitchen. You’ll learn how to organize everything from drawers to shelves in order to make it easier on yourself when cooking! In addition, a more organized kitchen will result in increased efficiency as well. Without further due, let’s get started!
Create separate working areas
Creating separate working spaces for cooking, baking, and other tasks can be extremely beneficial because it will let you gather all the needed equipment and supplies in one place. The great thing about this is that everything needed to complete a specific task would be within reach.
Remove unnecessary supplies
Removing unnecessary supplies can be extremely hard because everything seems important and believe me, I get it! However, when you really start to think about it there are so many unnecessary items in the kitchen that you could drown in them. If you haven’t used something in a while, take it to the back and if you find yourself needing it, you know where it is!
Prioritizing is necessary within every kitchen. If there are certain supplies in the drawer or a bunch of ingredients on a shelf, think which of them are the more important ones and place them in the front and the other rarely used items to the back. In this way, you will minimize the hassle and unnecessary moving and replacing!
Labeling is a great way to keep on track of what you have and where it is. You can use labels on drawers, shelves, or even containers for your equipment so that when someone else goes looking they know exactly which drawer the item should be in without having any trouble finding them this will also help with inventory. Also, labeling is used for food to tell others when the food was made and who made it.
Containers are a great way to organize your equipment, food, and other items. Containers can be used for anything from storing and organizing utensils in the drawer or on shelves so that they don’t get lost when you’re looking for them even if someone put them back wrong.
Use a magnetic strip
Magnetic strips can be used to store your knives conveniently on the wall. Magnetic strips can be also used for any other kind of metallic kitchen supplies. There are solid magnetic strips in the form of metal and designed to look like wood which I personally love. There is also magnetic tape available that can keep smaller and lighter items well organized.
Use drawer dividers
Do your drawers look like a mess? Drawer dividers are an easy way to organize your clothes and other items. You can buy plastic drawer dividers or you can use cardboard, paper, or fabric as well. Dividers help keep the things in each drawer organized so that you don’t have to search for what you need.
Use the FIFO method
The first-in-first-out method is used in every kitchen, I hope at least. Using the FIFO method means that placing the fresh ingredients that just came with the order will be placed back, and the older items that are perhaps opened, etc will be placed in the front. This method enables that there won’t be more than one container of a specific thing open at the same time which will save you a lot of time and confusion, in addition, it will stop the ingredients from spoiling.
Set up the workstation properly
Setting up the workstations properly so everything is ready and you can give your absolute focus to the task at hand is important. Equipping the workstation ahead of the actual working time with a proper cutting board, reliable knives, and other needed tools will speed and clarify the work drastically. Also, cleaning the workstation before beginning to work will increase efficiency and focus as well.
Keep things clean
There are a lot of things to keep clean in a kitchen in addition to the workstation. Shelves, drawers, floors, countertops, equipment, and supplies need to be clean at all times. Having a staff meeting about this and getting everybody up to speed is important so everybody can participate in the cleaning and offering proper cleaning supplies and instructions is the core of all cleaning in a restaurant. Cleaning is in direct correlation with an organized kitchen.
Get a large trash bin with wheels
Everybody knows the feeling of having opened packages, wet paper towels, and other scraps and bits scattered around the kitchen countertops and floors. Using a large thrash bin or multiple will ease the cleaning process drastically and it’s really important to have one with wheels because a full bio-waste trash bin can weigh so much that it is hard to carry even with two people, and nearly impossible alone.
Make use of cabinet doors
There are many different door organizers that you could benefit from. This is a great way to make use of the small space that you may have and get quite a lot of storage room practically from the air. You could store wax paper, freezing wraps, stretch wraps and cutting boards in them, or anything else that you may think of.
Communicate with co-workers
Communication with other employees is the key to everything in a commercial kitchen, and that includes keeping things organized. Discussing where everything goes, improvement ideas, and how to consistently keep everything neat is important because there are a lot of people working in the kitchen, or at least you are not alone.
Use hooks to your advantage
Using hooks and hanging all frequently used pans, pots, utensils, spatulas and virtually anything you want will speed up the cooking process greatly and the process will keep everything organized and within reach.
Organize ingredients by category
Organizing ingredients in the fridge and freezer by category will make ingredient gathering so much easier! Determining sections in the fridge is important and you could make one for veggies, another for meats, third for fluids, and fourth can be that famous mixed ingredient section rather than your whole fridge. You can do the same with the freezer for example one section for bread, another for sugary goods, third for fish, and fourth for meats. These are just examples and you can categorize them any way you like but the main point is to keep everything in great order.
Organize dry stock storage
Organizing dry stock storage shelf or room, which one do you have it doesn’t matter but the same principles apply as organizing ingredients in the section above. Having canned goods in one section, sugary dry products in another, and fluids in the third. There are a lot more categories to think of but the most important thing here is to keep the heavy products below, frequently used in the middle, and light and rarely used in the top! This way you will save your crew from potential accident scenarios.
Organize supply stock room
The same principles apply with this section as the two above. Organizing janitorial and cleaning supplies is the easiest of these three and you could do as follows: Section the cleaning detergents and cleaners into one section, all the scrubs, towels, and wipes to another, and investing in a broom holder is a wise choice as well. In many restaurants where I have worked there have been multiple broom holders scattered around the kitchen, not only in the janitorial room because they are frequently used supplies.
Use ingredient bins
Using ingredient bins for the ingredients that are used a lot for example flours, oats, sugar, and anything that you are using frequently will ease things a lot because you don’t need to carry huge bags from place to place and that huge quantities of ingredients are clearly shown in the bin so you don’t need to look for them and you have super easy access to the ingredients.
Use cutting board holders
Using a proper cutting board holder will ease keeping things organized when it comes to cutting boards and commercial kitchens do have a fair amount of those. Quality cutting boards need to be stored in air flowing environment so keeping them raised in a holder is the perfect way to do so.
Include storage racks
Investing in a storage rack in addition to shelves can be valuable if you have a lot of supplies and dry ingredients and let’s face it, commercial kitchens are filled with both. The great thing about storage racks is that they are super easy to assemble, they can be placed anywhere and they hold large amounts of stuff.
Use big squeeze bottles
This might seem odd but large squeeze bottles for sauces are essential for keeping them organized and within the reach. Most restaurants can have a dozen or more sauces so constantly running to the fridge or keeping them in inconvenient containers can waste a lot of time throughout the day and it can decrease the overall organization level in the kitchen.
Get a dry-erase board
Using a dry-erase board will drastically help the communication between workers and letting everybody know the latest updates, notes, big reservations, etc. Placing the board somewhere important will keep everybody up to date.
Get most of the walls
Using proper shelving in the kitchen will enable huge space increases where you can store all the bowls, containers, pots, pans, and other restaurant supplies. It will also help keep things organized if used properly!
Master mise en place
Prepping the ingredients is kitchen work 101 and that’s where efficient operation begins. Preparing your mise en place will also keep your fridge organized, which when combined with FIFO (first in first out) organization, makes for an easy flow of inventory.
Make a cleaning schedule
Making a cleaning schedule is important so everything that needs to be cleaned will be in a professional and organized manner. There are daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cleaning tasks that need to happen so making a schedule that every employee is aware of will make everything one step easier.
Whether you have a small or large kitchen, organized or a messy one, there’s always room for improvement and other organizing ideas that you can use to make work and life one step easier. When the steps above are applied to your workplace whether it is one of these smaller tips, it will have great results!