6 Tips for Running a Bilingual KitchenPrint
In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics measured that approximately 25 percent of food service industry workers speak Spanish as their first language— making bilingual back of house tools necessary for restaurant efficiency and profitability.
The food service industry is hard, but a few changes can make it easier for bilingual kitchens as well as all full-service kitchens. Here are our favorite tips for restaurant success:
1) Use Bilingual Rotation Labels
Keep up with health codes and make each day more efficient with English/Spanish food labels. Pre-printed English and Spanish food rotation labels can help kitchens stay organized, prevent food borne illnesses, and improve overall food safety. There are a variety of English/Spanish food label styles to serve the needs of all kitchens. For those restaurants with larger food labeling needs, the Date Code Genie automated labeling system has multi-lingual capabilities which allows restaurants to produce hundreds of labels in minutes - in English and Spanish!
2) Embrace Diversity in Leadership
Having at least two to three Spanish-speaking managers will benefit the entire team by creating a group that can communicate at every level, a strong investment in productivity. When everyone is given the opportunity to be understood, problems are solved more quickly, victories are celebrated together, and customers can leave satisfied and ready to return.
3) Update Signs & Posters
Use every opportunity to communicate with all staff by using bilingual posters and safety signs. Visual aids can also incorporate symbols and pictures for further clarity. The initiative could help keep your working conditions safe and avoid any mishaps that could not only harm your staff, but also create an unappealing experience for customers. Taking the extra step to also brand your posters and materials can foster motivation and identity among staff.
4) Encourage Communication
Help Spanish-speaking staff feel comfortable so they can ask questions freely and avoid misunderstandings. Embracing a bilingual kitchen also means encouraging English-speaking team members to pitch in when necessary, make an effort to bridge language barriers and foster a friendly environment.
5) Change How You Think About Hardware & Software
When updating your point of sale, changing suppliers or creating new recipes, let the systems serve the people; it shouldn’t be the other way around. A bilingual approach in every aspect of your business can help streamline communicating in the kitchen and help distribute responsibilities more evenly among staff, so try to avoid language barriers whenever possible. Any time you onboard new software or hardware, ask yourself if it has multi-lingual capabilities so all your staff can benefit from its use.
6) Have a Fluent Speaker Proofread
Spanish materials, signs and labels should always be proofread by at least one fluent bilingual speaker, if not two. Having someone proofread in real life is always preferable to online translation tools, which often make mistakes. A botched translation may be more troublesome than no translation at all.
Need help choosing the right tools to fit your bilingual team? Contact Dot It for insight into products and what works best.