Seven Tips for New Restaurant Owners: Avoiding Those Pesky Problems No One Thinks to Mention

Opening a restaurant can be very daunting. Often, you run around asking everyone you know for as much information as possible. These people are usually very helpful, but from time to time, forget to inform you about those niggly things, that if not dealt with, will cause you frustration. Well, here, we are going to talk about those annoying things that everyone forgets. The advice here isn’t vital, but it sure will help you to create a nice atmosphere in your kitchen.


  1. Separate the kitchen into zones: this is probably one that you’re already familiar with, but commercial restaurants should almost always zone their kitchens. This means having separate areas for various types of work, e.g. a separate area for preparing raw food (e.g. meat and fish) and cold food (e.g. salad). It’s important to keep these separate; otherwise, you can give your customers food poisoning. That’s not good for the reputation of your restaurant! The exception maybe very small restaurants, but you will need to be extra careful about contamination.


  1. Colour code your kitchen: a good way to encourage zoning, and to make it a bit easier for everyone to understand, is to colour code it. Here are a few ideas:


  • Yellow for food preparation areas.
  • Red for dirty dishes.
  • Blue for completed dishes waiting to go out to customers.




The way you colour code your kitchen depends on your personal preferences and the kitchen itself.  We advise that you use primary colours for your colour coding, as they stand out more than other colours.


Finally, the reason why colour-coding works is that people find visual cues easier to follow than verbal queues. We evolved to see before we evolved to speak, and that’s why colour works so well.


  1. Buy high-quality commercial catering equipment from the start, where possible. People often scrimp on their equipment when first staring out. Don’t do this. High quality equipment is often cheaper in the long run because:
    • They usually use less energy to run
    • They have fewer maintenance costs
    • They require servicing less often
    • They speed up cooking times, which boosts profits – as long as you have the customers.


  1. One-way travel around the kitchen. In larger commercial kitchens, create a one-way system. This is safer because it prevents accidents from people bumping into each other.


  1. Buy commercial catering equipment that comes on wheels, for easy cleaning. When you can wheel equipment around, it makes it easier to clean. You can wheel the item forward and clean behind it. This means that you don’t get food stuck behind your catering equipment, which can go mouldy.


  1. Place storage areas near delivery points. You don’t want people traipsing through your kitchen. It’s dangerous, and they can bring in bacteria and contamination.


  1. Use at least three types of bins: food waste, household waste, recycling, and glass. This just helps to keep the kitchen tidy. Plus, you won’t end up with a fine from your local council.


If you would like further help and advice about commercial kitchens, then please visit Garners.