Slow Serving Time, Wrong Orders, Customer Complaints! You Need to Fix Both Your Storefront and Kitchen

Slow serving time, wrong orders and customer complaints can happen anytime, especially at restaurants that lack a good management system. If this is a regular occurrence, we can tell you that the restaurant’s future won’t be so nice. If your restaurant is experiencing these issues, take a look at some solutions that are sure to be effective.

  • Slow Serving Time Is Caused by Incorrect Kitchen Design
  • In the Principle for the Appropriate Kitchen Design, Size and Budget Are Not Problems
  • The Kitchen Walking Space Has to Flow
  • Getting Orders Wrong Because You Don’t Have SOPs
  • Advantages of Having SOPs

Slow Serving Time Is Caused by a Faulty Kitchen Design!

            The kitchen is essential for restaurants. Whether the serving time is fast or slow starts with the kitchen. The problem with most restaurants is that they usually neglect to choose the appropriate systematic design to meet the needs of a restaurant. A common problem is a faulty kitchen design that doesn’t flow because the main focus is the storefront!

When thinking about a restaurant kitchen, a lot of people might think it’s at the back of the restaurant, so they don’t have to focus on it much. That’s where the problem starts. You can’t forget that a restaurant kitchen is different from a home kitchen, because a restaurant kitchen has the job of preparing food for over a hundred people per day. If there’s no system for the kitchen, many problems will follow until it’s overwhelmed or the serving time is longer and the orders pile up and then customers might complain.

In the Principle for the Appropriate Kitchen Design, Size and Budget Are Not Problems

It is essential that a restaurant’s kitchen design suits the type of food the restaurant offers. The principle for an appropriate kitchen design, one that stardard restaurants in general should follow, is you have to divide the kitchen into the following two parts:

  • Preparation Kitchen
  • Service Kitchen

These two parts are key to restaurant kitchen design and, we repeat, these two parts don’t depend on the size and budget for the kitchen, but on setting up the appropriate system for the type of food offered by the restaurant. Restaurants with good set-up for these two parts aren’t likely to have orders piled up. Let’s take a look at the role each part plays.


Preparation Kitchen This part is used for heavy jobs such as preparing ingredients to be added to each plate served to customers. Important and large equipment, such as a large refrigerator for stocking large amounts of ingredients, will be put here.

It’s also the section where ingredients are pre-cooked for menu items that sell well and dishes that take time to prepare. For example, the soup for yellow curry is prepared in the preparation kitchen and sent to the service kitchen to be made into single dishes and served. In the design, the preparation kitchen’s layout is separated into 4 sections: the stove section, the ingredient preparation section, the fridge-freezer section and the wash section.

Service Kitchen The layout for this part is separated into 3 sections: the stove section, the preparation section which includes a wash section, and the food output section. The service kitchen is where each dish is prepared and served. It doesn’t need to be very big and should have only the necessary equipment that isn’t too large.

The Kitchen Walking Space Has to Flow

            Another point that needs to be considered when designing a kitchen is that the walkway needs to have a standard width of 1.5 meters. Any smaller and there would be issues, such as two people can’t work at the same time. Also, if the walkway is wider than 1.5 meters, the work won’t flow and you’d end up wasting time and work rhythm resulting in a slow serving time.


There are still many more important details for restaurant kitchen designs including equipment selection. You can learn about them in Professional Kitchen Design”, a free course taught by Chef Willment Leong! Click 

Getting Orders Wrong Because You Don’t Have SOPs

            Restaurant problems, such as not being able to control service standards including flavor standards, stem from the fact that a work standard was not established from the start, resulting in employees making errors and not having standard operating procedures. This can be fixed by creating a standard work system.

You can start by creating standard operating procedures (SOP), a set of detailed work instructions or steps on how to perform each task, from Step 1 to Step 2 and Step 3. Or in a nutshell, an SOP is a manual for each department that employees have to follow and implement.

Advantages of Having SOPs

  • You have clear standardized work steps to ensure that every department meets your standards every day at every branch. Anyone can perform the tasks without having to rely on an individual.
  • You get efficient performance. It’s easy to save on work cost. The performance is consistent. Errors and waste are reduced.
  • The products and services meet customer expectations every time. Customers receive products and services with the same standard every time at every branch.
  • Reduction of conflict and creation of a good and standardized work environment. No one uses their own methods, which may cause conflict.
  • It’s easier to teach. SOPs help employees to learn faster and the teacher has a teaching manual so the work can be taught correctly and clearly.
  • There is continual development and sustainable growth. SOPs are guidelines for improving future performance. You can branch out sustainably.
  • When an old employee leaves, a new employee can continue the work immediately by following the

For example, in the case of frequent wrong orders, if the restaurant creates a manual for taking orders, instructing the employees on what to do from the moment a customer enters the restaurant, what to say, when to bring the customer a menu and how to take orders, everything in detailed steps reviewed regularly by the employees to prevent errors, each employee taking an order will know the steps and what to do from greeting customers to seeing them out. There would be little to no chance of error.

Creating the appropriate work standard for a restaurant is important and necessary for restaurateurs. Regardless of the size of your restaurant, you have to give importance to it if you want customers to receive a quality service and want to reduce work problems. If a restaurant has a system, the owner doesn’t have to deal with the headache caused by the usual problems.

You can sign up to learn more about it in “Systematically Creating Standards for Your Restaurant”, a free course taught by Mr. Pornchai “Tai” Nitmethawong! 

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