Advantages and disadvantages of open kitchens in the catering industry | modern restaurant management

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The open kitchen concept has become one of the biggest trends in the restaurant industry. When people walk into a restaurant, food transparency is what matters most. An open kitchen makes understanding the whole process of food production very easy. However, whether or not an open kitchen is good from an operational point of view is still a matter of discussion. Realistically, a few restaurants like to be 100% transparent about their processes with the public.

Restaurants have opted for various technologies to make the whole concept of open kitchens absolutely comfortable for diners. One such technology adoption is the commercial kitchen ventilation system. It includes both air outlets as well as alternate air installations in the cooking area.

As consumers become more health conscious, their interest in clean label foods is growing dramatically, especially plant-based alternatives. Naturally, when dining out, they want to know if the food being served is made from animal-derived ingredients or cruelty-free, which further broadens the outlook for open kitchens. In this blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of open kitchens in the restaurant industry and how restaurants provide the best possible experience for their diners.

Advantages of the open kitchen

Cooking skills are cool

People like to watch how the food they are going to eat is cooked. A chef’s culinary skills speak volumes about the food they prepare. An open kitchen helps a chef demonstrate his cooking skills to diners who enjoy watching the cook. In this way, a chef not only sells a winning product, but also gains popularity among diners. The use of an open kitchen provides visual entertainment for diners, giving them an unforgettable experience.

On top of that, when the kitchen is open, diners can actually see everything being cooked; making them curious. This can put the restaurant in a profitable position considering that diners might be interested in what others are ordering; land ordering the same or even more for themselves.

Plus, a better experience leads to increased profitability. There is therefore a direct link between open kitchen restaurants and the profitability of a restaurant.

Watching helps build trust

An open kitchen was launched in an effort to gain the trust of diners. Looking at past scenarios, restaurant patrons have seen food appear behind closed doors. This is still prevalent in major parts of the world. However, for maximum transparency, restaurants at all levels want to be transparent with diners in order to maintain trust and long-term customer base.

Moreover, the care and attention the chefs take while preparing the food gives diners the satisfaction that there is no chance of anything going wrong with the food. A study suggests that in order to provide a safer food consumption environment, the design and layout of kitchens are more often considered, as evidenced by the growth of professions such as catering consultants, who work with retailers catering equipment to plan the physical layout of commercial premises. kitchens.

Creates motivation for chefs to cook better

According to a study, closed kitchens were seen as an isolated world, hidden from society and filled with aggression. This isolation has had an impact on the mood and attitudes of chefs before they enter the workplace. However, in contrast, attitudes towards going to work in the open kitchen were more positive due to the wider contact with people and the physical location giving chefs a greater sense of light and space. .

It is true that when chefs see diners enjoying the food served to them, they find the greatest motivation to cook even better. It literally develops a feeling of happiness with greater job satisfaction. Plus, instant feedback can inspire chefs to up their game.

Saving space and money

The open kitchen concept in restaurants is not only about chefs and diners and their point of satisfaction and motivation. An open kitchen saves restaurateurs space and money. The separate and closed kitchen requires more space; hence, leading to the generation of more rent, electricity and maintenance costs. The concept of open kitchens has eliminated additional costs incurred by restaurants and increased profits. This allows restaurants to conserve both space and money as well as customer satisfaction.

Disadvantages of the open kitchen

Too noisy

In a restaurant kitchen, you encounter noises ranging from the sound of running water to the sound of dishes. There’s no doubt that restaurants have gotten louder over the past few decades. The combination of the sound of the oven, dishwasher, coffee percolator and more with the sound of music and diners conversing with each other makes the concept of an open kitchen a little difficult to accept from a point of view operational.

To help deal with noise, restaurant owners are opting for different methods, such as working with engineers and renovating restaurants. This makes the overall noise reduction process very expensive.

Prevents temperature control

Restaurant kitchens easily trap heat. In an open kitchen, during cooking, the temperature of the kitchen and the room increases. This can bury the comfort of staff and diners. The best way to combat this heat is to install systems that provide ventilation, circulation and hydration. In addition, the exposed kitchen requires frequent checks of grease, dust, filters and exhaust ducts as required. This creates additional expenses and an extra cost in energy bills.

Lack of kitchen space

Although an open kitchen saves space and money, it can create problems in the back. Less space means less cabinets, wall art, storage shelves, electrical outlets and more. It becomes very difficult to operate in an organized manner in an open kitchen with the least amount of space.

When operational space is tight, the chances of the kitchen being messy during peak hours are very high. This could ruin the overall diner experience once and for all.

Privacy issues

As mentioned earlier, chefs can get motivated and feel happy by seeing diners enjoying the food. But not all chefs are so outgoing. Some chefs work to the best of their abilities when no one sees them. Even though the kitchen staff are always trying to keep their diners happy and entertained, they can end up getting mentally tired and stressed considering that they are always being watched. It’s not ideal for staff to always be so exposed.

Could possibly ruin the Diner experience

Even though the diners would like to experience the open kitchen, there might be some issues that could arise that spoil the whole experience for them. For example, not all aromas that come out of the kitchen are pleasant. Some are really bad for an average human being due to the fact that some people are allergic to specific foods and their smell. In an open kitchen, diners have no control over the aroma that might find its way into the dining area.

Realistically and figuratively, open kitchens might not be for everyone. For newly launched restaurants, the open kitchen plan is a great way to attract customers by giving them exposure of what’s going on inside the kitchen alongside the appearance and demeanor of the staff.

But at the same time, it is not fair to expect kitchen staff to prove their way of functioning in a kitchen. In other words, it should really be up to the outlet owner’s vision to decide whether the restaurant should operate in an open or closed kitchen. Finally, despite the challenges, an open kitchen can elevate the dining experience for customers while emphasizing its food safety procedures and authentic preparation.

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Cecil N. Messick