This article will cover why it is that restaurants take so long to make their food. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing meals throughout the day for the restaurant’s guest. This requires hours of preparation usually, before the restaurant even opens. Chopping cases of vegetables, putting up shipments of food, pre-cooking, setting up equipment, and more. However, there are some other reasons to why the restaurant may be taking a long time with an individual’s order, which will be discussed as well.
How People Order Their Food
How people order their food is one of the main factors that determine how long it takes a restaurant to make their food, and why an order might be taking a long time. Some of the additional requests that people make for their food require the restaurant to have to do extra preparation before they can even start cooking the food sometimes.
Examples of this is someone that orders their food to be gluten-free. If an individual wants their food gluten-free, than the restaurant will have to prepare the food on a different surface, possibly cook the food on a different surface, and/or stop and clean all surfaces before making the gluten-free food.
When these things happen, the food is going to naturally take longer to make most of the time. This is especially true if the restaurant doesn’t have to do this very often for most of their guests. They won’t have everything prepared and ready to do these things, because it happens seldomly. Other examples similar to this could be preparing seafood, handling raw meat, and handling dangerous foods (foods that can easily cause sickness or poisoning if not prepared correctly).
All of these foods that are prepared cannot make contact with other types of foods until they have been properly cooked most of the time. This can include the surfaces they touch too. So, sometimes when these foods are ordered out of the blue more frequently than the normal, than the restaurant can end up taking longer to get orders out for their guests.
If there are only a few people in the kitchen and these orders are requested consecutively by many guests, then it will cause all orders to take longer. This is especially true if an employee is assigned to making these orders and receives them one after another before realizing that they have many of these orders coming up at once.
For example, one group of guest may order foods that don’t fit in any of categories that require special preparation, but one of the guests do. The cook will prepare the food as usual and then set up everything to make the food that requires the special preparation. Afterwards, the cook may set up everything back to normal to only find out that they have to do it again, because there was another special request from new guests.
This does happen pretty often sometimes out of the blue for restaurants when they are really busy. Sometimes there isn’t anything that the kitchen can do about it to make things go faster except to move faster. Sometimes moving faster doesn’t really change the fact that the order is just simply going to take longer. Cooking times cannot be changed.
Some special preparations require the restaraunt employees to change their gloves or change their apparel. Washing their hands again may be another requirement. All of these small things end up adding to the time it takes for food to get to a guest’s table, but they are all important and necessary. Failure to do these special preparations (what ever they may be) for certain types of foods that the guests request can get people sick, poisoned, or sent to the emergency room due to an allergic reaction at times.
At one restaraunt that we worked at the restaraunt had a salad station. There wasn’t anyone to make the salads and do that only during the times when people requested a salad. It was just done by whoever was closest to it that was assigned to another job. That person might be assigned to making soups for example.
If the restaraunt gets a ton of salad orders in a short period of time and people regularly ordering soups under these circumstances, then one has to suffer. Either the soups are going to take a little longer or the salads are just going to have to wait. If things continue this way, then the salds or soups can take a long time. This example is the usual case to why some orders at a restaurant end up taking so long.
The simple solution to this is for the restaraunt to get more employees, but this isn’t always an option available to the restaurant. Some restaurants can’t afford more employees.
Restaurants Not Taking Small Matters Seriously During Busy Hours
In other cases, small additions to food that is requested frequently in a small amount of time can hold up the line and make orders take longer too. Unfortunately, some restaurants don’t do the math when adding up the time that these small additions will take and end up pushing them off as petty things that employees have to do that should take “no time at all”.
No wonder people are amazed at how fast some restaurant employees move at times… The fact is, these small additions sometimes can add up to a lot of time. That’s how math works. One plus one equals two. Restaurants that ignore these things during time crunches end up with ticket orders that take a long time to finish. This happens frequently at restaurants in general.
Many restaraunts constantly struggle with this all the time. They will assign everyone in the kitchen to a station to help get orders out faster, but no one to handle the small matters when the kitchen gets too busy and swamped. Smart restaurants that have enough employees will send their managers into the kitchen to help with tasks during these times, instead of chiding their employees on their speed.
However, sometimes it is a slow or lazy employee on a specific station that is causing all the orders to take too long. Usually though, it is the restaurant not taking small matters seriously enough until they pile up and become a real problem, or the types of foods that the customer is ordering.
To fix this, a guest should stick to ordering simple foods on the menu that will probably be prepared more quickly when the restaurant has a lot of guests. It could possibly affect the time that an individual receives their order. There are usually some good items on the menu that the restaurant employees love making, because they are easier than other food items on the menu. Asking before ordering could help. Restaurant employees also want to get their orders out fast, so that they can get on with their day to the next orders.