By nature, home kitchens have always been a more casual and intimate version of a restaurant, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be as efficient as a bustling restaurant kitchen. Between preparation, service, ambiance and cleaning, even those with the smallest of kitchens need to stay nimble, and creating the right storage solutions is key to that success. Follow these six restaurant-approved storage tips to make sure your kitchen is running smoothly, no matter what’s on the menu.
There are countless ways to use the clear plastic containers you often see stacked in restaurants. The larger ones are great for large amounts of broth, while the shorter ones can contain pesto and salad dressings. The best part? These covers are interchangeable, so you don’t have to worry about a misplaced topper.
Do you know that tasty tomato sauce you made some time ago? His leftovers are now in the fridge, and you can’t really tell if that smell means he’s still good. This would never happen in a restaurant, where all items are quickly labeled, making it easy to see what’s still fresh and what’s past its prime. Get into the habit of writing the contents of your leftovers on masking tape with a permanent marker and including the date.
There are probably two reasons why banquettes are a classic part of the dining experience: They can accommodate as many people as possible in one space, and they are more comfortable than individual chairs. If your kitchen has a dining area, consider adding a bench or bench. Either option offers the ability to add storage under the cushions as you expand the seats as well. A drawer would be perfect for laundry, but outdoor baskets would do the trick as well.
Restaurants are quickly releasing food because everyone online knows their place. And while no one should expect a meal to be on the table at home in a matter of minutes, they should be able to get around the room in a flash. All utensils, cups, and plates should be gathered in the same area of your kitchen and placed at least a few feet away from high-traffic areas of the refrigerator, oven, and microwave. Store appliances once in a blue moon in a pantry or closet.
If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant or peeked in the back, you’ve probably noticed that no space is wasted. Shelves above and below counters and walk-ins are lined with multi-level units. If you have a pantry, place the items you use most at eye level, the heaviest items below, and the specialty items above. If you don’t have a pantry, add open shelving on a white wall – for everyday items like plates and cups – or place a cart next to a small countertop. And add additional shelves to the cabinets to maximize the number of pieces that will fit inside.
There’s a reason Julia Child used a custom pegboard in her famous kitchen. By having her trusted pots and pans close at hand, it was easier to choose the items she needed on the fly. Follow his advice and install a pegboard for everything from pots and pans to ladles and spatulas.
No room for a pegboard? Opt for a single rail under the upper cabinets to hang your favorite items on the hooks. A bronze will acquire a patina over time, giving your sticker an aspect as perfectly lived in as that of a child.