Restaurants make food extremely fast, having multiple orders done in half the time or less than the typical home cooker. They are able to do make fresh food for private schools, sports events, and business parties in less than 30 minutes, feeding over 100 people. This is even while they have their regular orders coming in throughout the day.
This isn’t to mention the fact that the food is coming out fresh, meaning that they are literally making the food right there on the spot rather than making hours beforehand. Atleast this is the case most of the time.
How are restaurants making their food so quickly?
1. Restaurants Use Commercial Equipment To Cook Food Faster.
Restaurants use commercial equipment like deep fryers, flat top grills, and ovens to cook their food faster. Some of the equipment is the same things found at home, except they are a lot bigger, more expensive, and more efficient. Because they are bigger, they have room to put more food on or in them, therefore cooking food faster.
Ever try cooking food for a small group of people using your stove at home? Well it is possible, but you realize soon enough that it takes longer because of the limited space.
Cooking 20 french toast in a frying pan will take a lot longer than if it was placed on a commercial flat top grill. There just isn’t enough space to place all the toast at once. A commercial flat top has enough space to cook all the toast at one time.
Frying chicken at home on the stove may be fast, but still taking awhile, because you can’t place all of the chicken in the frying pot at once. Commercial deep fryers can fry over 100 pieces of chicken at one time.
Whenever food can be cooked all at one time, it greatly reduces the time that the food takes to finish all together. Instead of calculating how long it takes to cook each set before it is all done, it simply becomes, how long it takes the food to cook. That is the only time that matters now because all the food is cooking at once.
Besides using the bigger commercial equipment, restaurants also use smaller equipment as tools to help with making the food.
2. Restaurants Use Preparation To Cook Food Faster.
Preparation is key to cooking all types of food faster. This is a technique that restaurants must use in order to cook food as fast as they do for hundreds (or thousands) of customers each day. Before the food is ready to cook, hours of preparation goes into getting it ready. This applies to hot and cold foods.
To prepare the food, the restaurant may chop up the food so that it only needs to be thrown on the flat grill when it is time. For salads, the restaurant may use a vegetable chopper for example to dice up all the pieces into little squares and then place them into containers.
After the vegetables are chopped up, they just need to be sprinkled on top of the lettuce, which takes no time at all when it is time to make a salad.
Some of these tools are really cheap for restaurants to buy, so replacing them when they break is worth it and saves labor. Some tools can be used to chop up a whole shipment of vegetable in 2 hours or less to use for the entire day. These tools are not only used this way for chopping vegetables, but different tools are used for various types of food to quickly prepare them.
Special sauces, ranch, bbq, and other condiments that the store makes are all made before the restaurant even opens, with employees coming in hours before the restaurant opens for business to make them.
Preparation doesn’t just happen before store hours. It continues even through the business hours. Some restaurants get so much business that they have to hire employees that do nothing but prep for their whole shift just to make sure the food sold to customers continues to get to them fast enough.
Meats are already marinated a day earlier, and thawed in the refrigerated so they are ready to be cooked. Some restaurants have the food completely cooked before it even reaches the restaurant, so all they have to do is take the packaged food out and reheat it.
3. How Restaurants Use A System To Cook Food Faster.
Restaurants have a system for preparing, making, and cooking each food in their restaurants that they teach to all their employees. This system helps them make the food as fast as possible, while preparing it in a way that always makes the food come out right, and look presentable.
The more complex the food is, the more a plan is needed, when cooking the food, is needed when it needs to be prepared in a timely manner. Restaurants will occasionally set up cheat sheets for their crew members to look at on a wall near them in their work station. The cheat sheet visually helps them to know what to do step by step in case they forget or get lost somewhere in the process of cooking the food.
All of the ovens and grills are usually set to the same timers and temperatures, which never change. The food that takes the longest to cook is cooked first, and the rest of the food cooked afterwards, to ensure that everything finishes at the same time and it all comes out fresh.
Restaurants will also use the lastest commercial equipment that has the ability to cook the food at the push of a button if possible. For example, coffee shops might use an automatic coffee maker. They can also use various high tech equipment to set the exact time and temperature of individual foods. From there they can set the food to cook, and prepare other foods at the same time without having to watch the food every second to make sure the food isn’t undercooking/overcooking..
Using techniques and methods like this, a restaurant develops a quick way to cook food even when they have multiple orders coming through at one time. They can prepare meals for a whole football team without anyone waiting too long.
4. Restaurants Use Experience To Cook Their Food Faster.
Restaurants will use the experience of others in their restaurant to cook the food in a faster, better way. When there are 50 crew members that all have repeatedly made the same foods over and over again, they come up with faster ways to do it. Even if the old way of doing it never changes over time, the repetition makes them faster.
It becomes second nature for them to prepare a steak with a side of mash potatoes and pie for dessert if this is something that customers always order.
5. Restaurants Use A Good Menu To Cook Food Faster.
A good restaurant will have a menu that consists of cooking the same food items for most of their options. All of the food options will be similar to the next option. This makes it easy for the cooks, because they will virtually have to cook the same thing with only minor changes.
For example, a steak with mash potatoes for one menu option, and a steak covered with bbq and fries for another. Another option on the menu may include the same steak presented with their popular bbq sauce as a whole different selection.
Another good example would be a burger restaurant. They only have to worry about cooking the same burger meat each time, just with a different bun, sauce, or selection of produce.
Having the same food items on a menu but giving many different options to the customers with it, means they can cook the food faster for everyone overall. The restaurant would slow down on their production if they had to use a commercial deep fryer and a flat top grill to prepare all of their foods. Usually a good restaurant that prepares food pretty quickly makes sure to only include food items that can be prepared easily with the equipment that they already have.
The menu that restaurants have, not only usually include the same foods cooked in different ways with minor changes, but also use foods that be cooked the same ways that they are already used to. This way if any new items are added to the menu, it doesn’t slow down their usual quick process of making the food.
Also, menus sometimes are set up electronically for the cashiers (and sometimes the waiters), so everything the customers order is saved and sent to the kitchen as soon as (or even while) they have ordered. This way food can be prepared and cooked at the same time the customer is ordering.
6. How Restaurants Use A Good Staff To Cook Food Faster.
Restaurants will schedule their staff to effectively work certain positions throughout the week to make the food preparation and cooking the fastest. If they know that they have employees that perform better in certain positions, then they will put them in that position for specific times of the day. They will typically try to avoid putting certain crew members in certain positions if they know they don’t like it, and they don’t feel comfortable in it. This allows the crew member to work better; therefore faster when cooking the food.
If a restaurant is able to place everyone in the positions that they are the most comfortable in, then it will be an easy day for the staff, and quicker food for the customers.
Fast restaurants will have a big staff and delicate crew members to cook only certain parts of the order instead only one cook doing everything. This means that every single order finishes faster.
It would be nice if we had a system like this at home (Timmy is frying the eggs while the wife is cooking the bacon at the same time.) right?
7. How Restaurants Use Time Limits To Quickly Make Food.
Many restaurants keep track of the time it takes for them on average to prepare their food for their guests. They are always looking for faster ways to cook their food. Customers that are hungry and satisfied with the waiting time before their food finally arrives, will most likely return again in the near future. This motivates the restaurant to be faster.
One of the most common reasons that customers may not return to a restaurant again, or decide to go with another, is the time limit. If a restaurant takes too long to cook the food, they may leave and never return again.
Restaurants know this, so they set time limits on the food they prepare to ensure that it is always cooked in a timely manner to satisfy their customers. They also encourage their employees to cook the food faster by giving out bonuses sometimes for maintaining or outperforming the expected time limits. This results in the food getting cooked even quicker than before.