Beyond the food and service at your hospital dining room, atmosphere is one of the key ways to improve retail customers’ overall satisfaction. As a hospital food service manager, the decisions you make about the design, flow and mood of your eatery can make an enormous difference in how it is perceived by doctors, hospital staff and visitors. While you could certainly settle for picking out a few new flower arrangements to spruce up the joint, opting for a design change that is both daring and innovative can really take your establishment to a new level of success and appeal.
One aesthetic choice that is becoming increasingly popular in restaurants, cafeterias and smaller eateries around the world is the idea of an open kitchen design and specialty cooking stations. With a large window or half wall that allows customers to see into the inner culinary workings of the kitchen with ease, this exciting feature is also practical method of improving operational flow. Here are five reasons for you to consider adopting an open kitchen in your own food service management.
1. Appeal to amateur foodies
Years ago, people may not have cared much to see how their sandwich was prepared or how the chef seasons a piece of steak, but all that has begun to change in recent days. An increasing number of people are taking pride in knowing the ingredients and cooking methods behind their foods, both in terms of nutritional value as well as a general love of good food. Allowing patrons to see into the excitement of the kitchen is another way to help them feel like they’re part of the action.
2. Easy access between kitchen and floor staff
Another great aspect of the open kitchen design is that reduces the time it takes for orders to reach the customer. The large window or portal that connects kitchen staff to servers on the floor makes passing orders and meals back and forth a snap. Floor staff can easily grab a number of orders and distribute them to hungry patrons without constantly running back and forth to the kitchen.
3. Greater comfort in the kitchen
When chefs are whipping up hot menu items for dining room customers, the kitchen can be a less-than-comfortable place to work. However, improving ventilation air flow via an open kitchen design can help dial down the temperature a bit for cooks and prep staff working around hot ovens, stoves and dishwashing equipment. When chefs and other kitchen workers feel more comfortable in their surroundings, they can take greater pride in their work without being distracted by the heat or humidity. As a result, the food at your eatery will likely improve in quality.
4. Food made to order
While patrons won’t be able to interact directly with chefs cooking up bulk foods, you can extend the open kitchen design to offer customers more control over simpler menu items. For instance, a sandwich or salad station with clear glass allows hungry diners to watch as staff members make their lunch to order. Placing all the possible ingredients out to view can also open up new customized menu items.
5. The ‘hustle and bustle’ effect
While some people may appreciate a quiet dining room, there’s something to be said for the excitement of constant activity revealed by an open kitchen design. The clamor of pots and pans and roaring flames in the kitchen can make for a livelier and more enjoyable atmosphere in the hospital dining room. When combined with laughter and engaging conversations between customers on the floor, an open kitchen design can lay the groundwork for a new hospital social center.