The labour shortage the Australian hospitality industry is facing is real. With the end of JobKeeper, significantly reduced migration levels and a smaller pool of candidates, many foodservice venues are struggling to keep their kitchen operating at full capacity. So how do you keep operating with less?

Here are five ways you can improve the efficiency of your kitchen and do more with less help. Simply ask yourself the following questions

1. Are your existing staff happy?
It’s really important to ensure your current team is happy. With a highly competitive hospitality job market, staff need to feel their work is valued. Spend some time checking in with employees and make sure they’re satisfied with the work they’re doing.

2. How much time are you spending on prepping your food?
While you may think you’re saving money by buying your vegetables and meat whole, you may actually be spending more in staff and hourly labour costs. Consider buying prepared fruit and vegetables and portion-cut meat to help save on labour and reduce wastage.

In Sydney, consider MD Provodores or Sydney Direct Fresh and Melbourne’s Morco Fresh and Simply Fresh Fruit & Veg for pre-cut vegetables that can save your kitchen hours. Most Sydney and Melbourne wholesale butchers offer sliced, diced and portion-cut meats – you just need to ask!

3. How much time are you spending managing your wholesale ordering?
Food ordering for a commercial kitchen can be a time-consuming task, particularly if you’re the sole person doing it. Consider using a wholesale order management platform like Foodbomb to help streamline your supply chain.

From ordering to managing payments and finding new suppliers, Foodbomb is the wholesale order management platform that will give you hours back each week. Plus, you have a dedicated team to help you if any issues arise with any of your suppliers. Read how other venues have found value in using Foodbomb.

4. Do you have menu items that aren’t selling?
Yes? Then get rid of them! With winter just around the corner, now is the perfect time to review your menu. If you have a couple of dishes that aren’t selling, then remove them. It is particularly important if you have a lean team – don’t waste time prepping dishes unnecessarily, instead focus on the dishes that are selling! Check out some other tips when doing your menu planning.

5. Are you getting accurate orders coming through to your kitchen?
It is super frustrating when meals are sent back to the kitchen, not just for your team, but also for your customers. You don’t want to be wasting time re-doing dishes simply because you didn’t get the order right. Spend some time understanding where the breakdown is happening and get your front and back of house staff communicating effectively to get orders right every time.