The front-of-house experience is a crucial part of any restaurant. For that reason, restaurants and foodservice businesses have traditionally drawn a clear separation between the kitchen and the dining room. However, with fresh and natural ingredients growing in demand, modern restaurant goers are beginning to expect more transparency - and an experience with their meals.
In this handy guide, we explore the value of an open commercial kitchen concept. Learn how to provide an unforgettable dining experience with the latest front-of-the-house equipment and cutting-edge menu management technologies.
Rules of the Open Kitchen
With the growing popularity of celebrity chefs and culinary arts, open commercial kitchens provide an opportunity for operators to entertain and engage customers. When done right, it satisfies customers’ curiosity, while also showcasing the art of cooking. Here are some tips to ensure you deliver a quality experience:
- Train the Back-of-House: Since kitchen staff will now have direct exposure to customers, it’s crucial that everyone receives the same hospitality training so that you ensure an exceptional dining experience at every touch point. An open kitchen concept can be highly rewarding and fulfilling when staff is equipped with the proper training.
- Focus on Presentation: For a busy cook, it’s easy to forget that customers are going to be looking into the kitchen, so your containers and equipment should be presentable. Labeled containers should be clean, attractive and organized. If you have a butchering station, we recommend keeping it out of sight from customers.
- Prep Ahead: Dining experiences are better when guests know they’re in good hands. To help achieve this, chefs should be extremely organized and prepared to fully execute the menu before service begins. That way, when it comes time to cook, they can focus on cooking at a high quality while being friendly with guests.
Ventless cooking solutions like the latest Vector H Series Multi-Cook ovens can be placed anywhere outside of a traditional kitchen hood. With a sleek design, color options, glass door and adjustable volume and light settings, these ovens are designed to be a front-of-the-house show piece. As an added bonus, Vector H Series ovens provide an unmatched volume and variety of food in the smallest, ventless footprint. With up to four independent oven chambers, you can cook multiple food items simultaneously at the ideal temperature, cook time and fan speed—with zero flavor transfer. This cooking versatility helps provide your guests the fresh, diverse menu they are looking for.
Waterless Food Wells
Many front-of-house operations rely on steam tables and dry wells to keep their food warm. Unfortunately, these technologies use harsh heating elements that continue cooking food instead of gently holding at the ideal temperature. Not to mention, it can be challenging to keep steam tables clean and presentable in an open kitchen concept, with limescale difficult to remove.
Fortunately, waterless food wells are able to keep food at its ideal temperature longer, without the limitations of existing technologies. Using exclusive Halo Heat® technology, waterless food wells are designed to make time stand still in terms of product quality. Halo Heat uses gentle, radiant heat to evenly surround food. As an added benefit, waterless food wells cost less than $2 per day to operate and do not require any costs associated with installation, plumbing and maintenance.
Menu Management Systems
As foodservice businesses prepare for the future, more are adopting menu management software and mobile payment systems. We recommend investing in an oven that allows you to program recipes and record cooking data. This information is vital to streamlining service, monitoring food safety and informing menu development decisions.
With a quality front-of-house operation, you can provide customers a more personal, transparent experience that stands out. At Alto-Shaam, we’re proud to design ventless ovens, waterless food wells, and other kitchen equipment for modern, open kitchen concepts to provide a premium front of house experience.
To learn more about our innovative kitchen solutions, register for A Taste of Alto-Shaam demonstration today.