Commissary Kitchen Series: Part 1: Creating consistency
Consistency is an important ingredient for restaurant success. It is what brings people back for more and creates a regular customer base – reputations are built on consistency. For restaurants with multiple locations, people who love your food want to know they can get those same great flavors no matter where they dine.
A solution that many restaurants are turning to is commissary kitchens. Having signature menu items prepared at a central facility ensures a consistent product no matter where it’s consumed. Instead of, for example, six people preparing the same sauce in six different locations, you can have one chef mass produce it using the same batch of ingredient. It can then be portioned and sent out to be used in multiple restaurants. The same process, the same tomatoes, the same spices are all going in to a dish that is served to hundreds of people across town.
Commissaries also give restaurant owners more control over their product. An individual location can’t make changes to a recipe without corporate knowing if everything is made in one kitchen. And a commissary can be helpful when a substitution is needed – allowing the same change to be implemented company wide.
There are financial benefits that come with consistency, too. Other than creating regulars and helping bring in new customers who hear about the quality of your food, a consistent product created in one location enables owners to bulk order fresh produce and quality ingredients (something we will explore more in our next commissary post). A central facility can also cut down on the cost of maintaining expensive kitchen equipment, and inventory control and food costing are more easily managed.