If you are working in a restaurant, you know all too well that things can become relatively heated. No, this doesn’t relate to the potential unfortunate interactions you may have with angry customers. In the most literal of senses, working within a restaurant may become extremely hot.
For those who are stationed within the restaurant’s kitchen, this sentiment becomes even more true. Thankfully, you don’t have to tough it out throughout your shift. There are options available that can make the space much cooler. Or you have various means to keep yourself at a cool temperature too.
Keep in mind the following ways on how to stay cool in a hot restaurant kitchen:
1. Air Conditioning
Air conditioning is one of the most obvious ways on how to stay cool in a hot restaurant kitchen. During the spring season, temperatures are mild enough to open up the windows for proper ventilation. When summer inevitably comes around, these temperatures can become hot relatively fast. Worst yet, if you work in a kitchen, this can have a serious effect on your body’s overall functioning.
Air conditioning is crucial, in order to keep things cool while working. If you are the owner of the restaurant, ensure that the air conditioning system you have is in working order. Or, if it requires maintenance, make sure it is done well before your staff and guests need it. Ventilation throughout the kitchen is imperative, especially for your cooks!
2. The Walk-In Refrigerator
One of the biggest drawbacks to integrating air conditioning in your restaurant is price. Using the system, especially during peak summer days, can drive up your energy bill quickly. If you plan on using it on occasion, direct your kitchen staff to the restaurant’s walk-in refrigerator. Not only does it provide cold relief, but it is free to use.
For those who work inside of the kitchen, don’t hesitate to stick around inside the walk-in refrigerator to cool off. You’d be surprised as to how much relief you can feel inside, especially after working long hours. In fact, the typically organized nature of the walk-in is easy on the eyes, further stimulating relaxation.
3. Kitchen Fans
To get a certain middle ground within your kitchen’s capacity to stay cool on hot days, purchase some fans. Installing overhead fans inside of your kitchen is a great way to beat the heat. In addition, these types of fans are relatively inexpensive, so that you don’t have to break your budget.
When installing your fans inside of the kitchen, be cognizant of where you decide to place them. Since some kitchens are smaller than others, arranging your overhead fans in a particular manner is key. Whereas one kitchen might only need one large fan, others may require two smaller ones. You want to position the fans in optimal places to cool down the essential kitchen equipment in the restaurant.
4. Cold Treats
If you are able to, eating some cold treats can help in regulating your body’s temperature. This means that all kitchen staff should keep cold drinks nearby, in order to cool down. Your usual beverages, such as iced espressos or iced tea, can do more good for you than you’d realize!
It doesn’t have to come down to icy drinks either. Cold sweets, such as popsicles and ice cream, can have the same intended effect as their beverage counterparts. The main idea here is to consume food or drinks that can quickly provide your body with a cooling effect. Your work in the kitchen won’t get any less intensive after all!
Your body requires water not only to function properly, but to avoid the consequences of the heat. Working too many hours inside of a scorching kitchen leaves you susceptible to passing out, for example. To counteract this unwarranted vulnerability, ensure your team has a water station nearby.
Ensure that you take the appropriate breaks needed, in order to grab a quick glass of water. If physically moving to the water station isn’t possible, keep a labelled water bottle close to you. A few, coordinated sips throughout your shift will do a lot of good for your body’s temperature.
6. Creative Layering
When it comes to dressing appropriately inside of a hot kitchen, layers may be the last thing on your mind. However, now would be as good a time as any to showcase your creativity. Many kitchen staff members often take it upon themselves to physically stay cool during their shift.
For example, place a moist towel inside of a freezer, and let it freeze accordingly. Once it has turned solid, place it around your neck. These frozen rolls can also be placed in areas where you are more susceptible to excessive sweat. Don’t forget to wear breathable clothing as well!
Although working in a hot kitchen is unavoidable during certain times of the year, it doesn’t have to be a burden. As long as you have the right systems in place, your body’s temperature won’t negatively be impacted. Get creative with the kitchen arrangement, and stay cool!