How to Avoid an Appearance on Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares”


Don’t wait for Gordon Ramsay to storm your kitchen with a camera crew. Take a look at the common lessons taught to failing restaurateurs in the FOX reality show, “Kitchen Nightmares” to remain at top of your game.

Keep it Simple

Chef Ramsay’s number one rule is to keep the menu simple. He is often wary of establishments with large or complicated menus, as it is typically an indicator that the restaurant does not have a clear concept or specialty. Keep you kitchen working with a manageable menu and provide consistently high-quality meals that can be produced just as efficiently during busy meal times. Learn more about how to develop a restaurant menu

Buy Fresh Quality Ingredients

Offer dishes that are composed of fresh and seasonal ingredients. Buying in season will ensure cost effectiveness, as well as freshness in taste. Pre-packaged products are typically more expensive and will add to your overall bottom line. Learn more about buying locally grown food

Plan Ahead

Prep the ingredients ahead of time for each service time. Create a line that will run with a smooth assembly of culinary construction. Communicate the specials and expectations to the entire restaurant staff. Host a small tasting for the servers to sample any new dishes and equip everyone with enough knowledge to effectively provide four-star food and beverage hospitality to each guest. Learn more about being a restaurant chef

Have a Signature Menu Item

Fill a void in neighborhood choices or create a unique niche within a saturated market. Keep you selling points in mind when creating a signature menu item. For example, if you are an Italian restaurant, what dish defines your concept? What can the customer get from your restaurant that other Italian restaurants do not offer?Learn more about target marketing for restaurants

Be the Example

Avoid walking into the management trap of “do as I say and not as I do.” If you want your staff to remain organized and effective throughout service, you need to be the example of how it’s done. Employees respect consistent and fair leadership, be the beacon in your kitchen and reap the benefits of well-balanced teamwork.Learn more restaurant management tips

Know Your Competition

Head over (or send a trusted informant) to comparable restaurants in your area. Find our what they are up to and look for lessons that can help your business thrive. If they are busier than you on Friday and Saturday night find out why; eat their food, experience their service and check out their décor. Create a unique plan to set yourself apart from the crowd while touching on the elements that have brought previous neighborhood success. Learn more about gauging your restaurant’s competition

Communicate with Your Customers

Talk to you customers, know what they like, don’t like, or wish there was. Include a comment card in the check presenter, go table to table and ask everyone how their evening is so far. Create a friendly presence in your dining room that is welcoming and receptive to guest feedback. Learn more about using customer comment cards

Audit Your Chef

Spend some time in the kitchen. Even the best chefs develop bad habits. Look for signs of employee burnout, check in with line cooks and observe the overall efficiency of the kitchen’s teamwork. Take a stroll through food storage areas and check for signs of neglect. Inspect refrigerators for old food, check expiration dates of packaged items and look for any unsanitary practices such as: dripping food pans, warm coolers, cool warmers or signs of infestation. Learn more about hiring the right chef

Update your Décor

Keep the style in the front of house current and relevant for your restaurant’s concept. When customers leave the comfort of their own homes, they are often looking for a certain ambiance within a chosen dining experience. Give them an environment that is clean, inviting and adds to the overall style of your menu. Some of Chef Ramsay’s past suggestion to flailing restaurants included hiring a professional interior decorator and asking friends, family or loyal customers for suggestions of how to create the perfect atmosphere. Learn more about front of the house design

Customer Service

Remedy errors quickly and take care with each order. Supply customers with first-class service and see that upset customers are taken care of with swift attention and hospitality. Remember that your business’s goal is to supply hungry (and paying) customers with good food and friendly service. Remind yourself and your staff that to work in a restaurant is to be part of the service industry – and excellent customer service sets the table. Learn more about how to care for upset customers


About Author

Maggie Henderson

Maggie once gained five pounds in pursuit of the perfect Indian dal recipe. When she isn't cooking, she spends her days as a marketer and her nights and weekends blogging, taking pictures and chasing after her son and dog.

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