How Do Restaurants Make Food So Fast? A Chef Explains

Do you find yourself sitting in a restaurant gazing around waiting on your food, then voila, it arrives and gets you thinking – it’s amazing how restaurants can prepare food so quickly, even when there are so many orders coming in?

Since, I’m a chef with over 10 years experience, I can easily understand the process of how long it should really take to get food from an order to their table.

If waiters and chefs are working in tandum, like an orchestra, it should never take longer than 15 minutes.

But, for anyone that has never worked in hospitality, it can be hard to understand because there are times you can find yourself making a simple meal at home that ends up taking longer than expected!

In this article, we will explore the secrets behind how restaurants make food so fast.

Understanding A Busy Restaurant’s Kitchen

Chefs in a kitchen, Covent Garden.
Chefs in a kitchen, Covent Garden.

The kitchen environment in a restaurant is very different from a home kitchen.

Unlike home cooking, where we prepare one or two dishes for a meal, restaurants prepare multiple dishes at the same time.

To achieve this, a restaurant kitchen is divided into different sections – one for preparing salads, another for grilling, one for deep frying, and so on.

This allows cooks to focus on one aspect of food preparation.

How Restaurants Make Food So Fast

One of the ways restaurants prepare food quickly is by prepping ahead of time.

This involves slicing, chopping, marinating, and pre-cooking certain ingredients.

For example, a restaurant may pre-cook a large batch of chicken breasts, which can then be quickly heated up and served when an order comes in.

This not only saves time, but it ensures consistency in taste and texture.

How Restaurants Take Advantage of Their Menu

Restaurants often offer a limited menu, with dishes that can be prepared quickly.

This allows cooks to specialize in those specific dishes and speeds up the entire cooking process.

Some dishes may also be partially-prepared in advance, such as sauces or vegetable medleys.

This way, the cook only needs to add the main ingredients, such as meat or fish, before serving.

How Restaurants Communicate Effectively In A Busy Kitchen

Communication is essential in a restaurant kitchen, especially during busy times.

There are times when multiple cooks are preparing different parts of a meal.

To ensure everything comes together correctly, there must be clear communication between the cooks.

This includes calling out orders, updating each other on the status of each dish, and ensuring everyone knows their role.

How Do Restaurants Ensure Food Is Cooked Perfectly?

Cooking food perfectly takes practice, experience, and skill.

Restaurants that are committed to providing high-quality food often employ well-paid chefs who have undergone extensive training.

These chefs know the ins-and-outs of cooking, including how to time each step precisely.

They can judge whether a piece of meat is cooked to the correct temperature or whether pasta is al dente.


How Do Restaurants Prepare Food So Quickly?

Restaurants prepare food quickly by prepping ahead of time, taking advantage of their menu, and efficiently communicating with each other in the busy kitchen.

Why Do Restaurant Kitchens Look So Different From Home Kitchens?

Restaurant kitchens are divided into different sections, allowing cooks to focus on one aspect of food preparation. This improves efficiency and speeds up the cooking process.


In conclusion, restaurants make food so fast by prepping ahead of time, taking advantage of their menu, and through effective communication.

The highly organized and specialized kitchen environment also contributes to the speed and efficiency of food preparation.

So, the next time you’re at your favorite restaurant, take a moment to appreciate the skill and dedication of the chefs who make your favorite dishes.

Did you find this guide helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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