Three Questions to Ask about Your Restaurant’s Storage Space

In your business, space is about so much more than storage. While it does physically store your inventory, treating it as a means to an end costs you valuable opportunities for growth and efficiency. Well-designed storage solutions should offer everything your workflow needs, all at a glance. Each component of your shelving should have a defined purpose; your staff shouldn’t be haphazardly loading up shelves when inventory comes in and later struggling to fit necessary overstock. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to ask yourself a few tough questions.

Is My Space Working for Me?

While standard shelving units might get the job done, they will fall short of realizing your space’s potential. Your storage solutions should smoothly integrate into your workflow needs in order to build operational support. Processing and storing prep tools directly out of a dish machine creates the potential for “wet nested” bowls or pans, creating kitchen health concerns. Specialty racks built for separating and draining freshly-washed items will keep them dry and sanitary for their next use. Storing dry goods or ingredients on an open shelf can be time-consuming when an employee needs to quickly locate a box or bag. Bins with labeling options will give your team the power to quickly and accurately locate exactly what they need. Static storage setups can become obsolete or even an obstacle if your workspace needs to move or change. Modular storage units can grow and change alongside your business needs, preventing disruptions to your workflow.

Wall Shelving

While it may seem cheaper to purchase shelving and storage products from a big-box store or an online discount retailer, consider selecting a storage solution provider who can provide the knowledge and expertise to help optimize not only your storage space, but your workflow and productivity as well. A well-trained space productivity expert can identify the red flags in your storage space and has the know-how to administer improvements and develop a solution that can increase storage capacities, reduce overall cost of use, improve processes and workflow, and maximize productivity and profitability.

Is My Space Safe For My Employees?

Despite ample warnings and cautionary tales, workplace accidents still continue to occur every day. With the right shelving, you can at least be sure they won’t stem from your storage solutions. When shelving is overstocked and items protrude, the risk of injuries from employees or materials getting “caught” increases. For fast food establishments working with limited floor plans, this creates an even bigger issue as employees move around one another. While minor accidents are an obstacle to efficient performance, serious incidents - such as a stack of heavy materials or even an entire rack falling on an employee - come with considerable liability.

If upper shelves aren’t well-secured or easy to access, employee injuries can also occur due to a tipping or falling unit. Hefting a heavy box too far overhead could strain your staff’s necks and shoulders, and potentially even tip the entire storage unit. When the shelves below the top are tall and wide enough to accommodate larger boxes, your employees won’t need to stretch to store them - they can stick to a manageable middle, instead. Smart, safe storage design comes from knowing your needs and implementing solutions accordingly - as well as adapting with the right accessories during your storage optimization.

Track Shelving

Can My Space Be Easily Standardized for Optimal Efficiency?

For restaurant chains with multiple locations, particularly those without a consistent built-to-spec floor plan, keeping storage consistent is vital. A standardized plan optimizes your space and provides safe, regulation-approved storage procedures for perishables, giving each location the necessary guidance to pass inspections and operate efficiently. When deciding on a standardized storage solution for your franchisees, you’ll need a dependable storage solution manufacturer to provide them. A number of successful nationwide fast food and fast casual chains utilize Metro ESP Pro (Enhanced Space Productivity) specialists to develop complete storage solutions, standardizing their approach from store to store.

Creating a standard storage solution “package” cuts down on the need for oversight during initial restaurant setup, and cuts back on the need to address potential regulation violations. When employees’ practices are guided by the actual storage pieces they use every day, there is less room for error and indecision. They won’t need to hunt for a stepladder to stock heavy boxes - the shelves will be the perfect size to hold bulky items below eye height. They won’t need to stop processing clean prep dishes to account for drainage - the rack they’ll be using is purpose-built to handle the task. Not only does this approach keep you in compliance with health department regulations regardless of location, it also helps your operational workflow run smoothly. This helps your management team spot and correct problems before they become disruptive to the rest of the team. Your store and your staff are working in harmony, ultimately helping your brand to provide a better experience to your customers.

At Metro, we believe that your storage solutions shouldn’t just solve an existing problem or improve upon a past design - they should act as an integral part of your business, working with your needs and assisting your employees through high-volume periods. Durable, modular, and standardized, our racks and shelving units are built to handle the toughest demands of your business, year after year. If you’re ready to revolutionize the way you store and work with your cooking tools, serving materials, and ingredients, we’re ready to eliminate your biggest storage challenge.