As a restaurant owner, you strive to hire the best staff for your kitchen. The kitchen’s high-intensity work environment dictates you focus on employing trained food-preparation professionals wherever possible. You also have to take the extra step to ensure that you ingrain safety procedures within everyone who works behind the scene. From open flames to slippery floors, the kitchen environment can be hazardous to even the most expert cooks if they are caught unawares. To prevent serious injuries, train your kitchen staff in these best safety practices for working in a fast-paced, hostile kitchen.
Equipment poses a hazard in any industry or business. Hands and sleeves can get caught in moving parts leading to lacerations, sprains or breaks. Make sure every worker understands how to use each piece of machinery — even those that are not mainstays of their specialty areas. Teach employees to keep their eyes on the task at all times; that is, they should never look away from where their hands are performing even when someone speaks to them.
Fire poses the greatest danger not just to cooks but to everyone in the building. Where grease and flame share a space, this danger is magnified. You can do your part to minimize the hazard by installing and continually maintaining the proper restaurant hoods New York and locating fire extinguishers throughout the kitchen. However, you need also to train your personnel on how to both prevent and react to fires, including knowing when to sound an alarm without delay.
An objective observer stepping into a kitchen at the height of a dinner rush for the first may react with nervousness at the scene: workers furiously chopping vegetables with razor-sharp knives, stirring boiling liquids in vat and rushing back-and-forth on wet rubber mats, all within feet of each other. Your staff must be reminded to move with purposefulness to the task and awareness of each other. Remind cooks and assistants to call out passing warnings and to never invade the space of a fellow professional unless invited.
A piece of restaurant clothing is designed for efficiency and safety, with thick layers and task-specific fabrics. Your chef should ensure each worker dons the appropriate kitchenware at the start of the shift. You should also provide safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, for cleaning after closing time.
Restaurant owners have to deal with a variety of challenges before, during and after actual business hours. You can minimize one challenge—keeping your kitchen staff healthy and safe—by taking steps to protect and educate every worker who cuts, cooks and carries in the restaurant’s back end.