KITCHEN MANAGEMENT

QSR Kitchen 101: Why Education-Based Solutions Are What Your Kitchen Crew Needs

5 Ways That An Education-Based Solution Empowers Your QSR Kitchen Crew


With one-third of employees in the U.S. not receiving enough formal training1 and 65 percent of employees requesting more job-related feedback2, the need for education-based solutions is at an all-time high in the modern knowledge-based workforce.

Products designed to address this growing gap between employee needs and their current reality need to go beyond instructional guides on how to operate the tool. An education-based solution is a solution designed and built to give team members the guidance and insight they need to succeed in their roles.

As the heart and soul of your QSR operations, your kitchen crews need an education-based solution that empowers them with the right information in order to accomplish your business objectives.

For a Kitchen Management System, this requires a specific balance of directives and reminders. The system must do more than inform crews what needs to be cooked and when. It should provide kitchen crews with the information they need when they need it while not providing unnecessary information. After all, the solution should come alongside the team and provide insight, not disruption.

Here are 5 ways that an education-based solution empowers your QSR kitchen crew to serve up fresh food and mitigate food waste.

1. Guide Them Through the Whole Process

When in full swing, the QSR kitchen is a dynamic environment with food in several stages simultaneously. The kitchen management solution should guide kitchen crews through the whole process and provide visibility into each stage as food is thawed, prepped, cooked, and held in the pan before it expires.

An overview of the cooking needs for the whole day is helpful, but it’s only the first step in the process of providing fresh food right on time and keeping waste down. An education-based kitchen management solution will provide your crew with easy visibility into the whole process in a single glance.

And here’s the best part: the more team members have access to the big picture, the less they might need it as they grow and learn. Even so, it’s always there—providing reminders when necessary and training new team members on the right process from the moment they step into the kitchen.

2. Fit Into Existing Workflows

Repetitive tasks like cooking depend on workflows to improve efficiency and reduce errors. The last thing a kitchen management system should do is disrupt existing workflows and pull team members away from their primary kitchen tasks.

While the system should fit seamlessly into existing workflows, it should also enhance the process where necessary. If certain steps are often not completed in time or skipped entirely, the visibility provided by the solution will shine a light on this part of the process. In this way, the system will continue to train kitchen crew on the correct process without completely disrupting the parts that are already working well.

3. Provide Access to Electronic Training and Recipes

Your kitchen crew should always have access to the latest training and recipes. As they learn and grow, they won’t always need it, but the training and recipes should still be updated and available. This level of accessibility is hard to achieve with paper-based learning materials. Not only can these resources be misplaced or lost, they can become outdated quickly.

Updating paper-based training materials can be a costly and labor-intensive task, and if the materials are not sufficiently updated, your team’s dependence on the resources will decrease over time.

4. Create Custom Reminders for Issues That Need Attention

More visibility into kitchen operations often provides increased awareness of issues. An education-based solution will allow you to not only identify these issues, but also provide reminders to correct and re-train when needed.

To truly be effective, the reminders and alerts must be customizable. The issues that require attention will vary between restaurants and kitchen crews. If one restaurant is consistently wasting too much of a certain food or a particular crew is not meeting hand-washing standards, targeted reminders to the team in need of reminding will be more effective than mass messaging to every restaurant.

5. Evaluate Performance and Encourage Improvement

For your kitchen crew, it can be hard to evaluate their performance if they rely only on their personal observation. They might navigate a busy day part with minimal customer wait times, but did they minimize food waste? And what about late-night day parts when there might be less food prepared? Does your team know the goals for customer wait times for these new and evolving day parts?

Capturing these insights and informing your team is part of an education-based kitchen management system. It does require accountability and transparency, but without it your teams might not know what they are doing well and what they need to improve on to succeed in their roles.

SICOM Chef™ Kitchen Management

SICOM Chef Kitchen Management enables restaurants to move the needle on speed and quality by optimizing preparation and cooking processes in the restaurant kitchen, then empowering your staff to carry those changes into action.

Kitchen Management Quick Guide

Learn more about an education-based kitchen management system

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kitchen management quick guide

Ryan Hildebrand
July 30, 2018

Our resident expert in all things middle of house, Ryan provides an insightful perspective on how kitchen and drive thru technologies can be harnessed to make a meaningful impact on speed of service and food quality.

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