PRODUCTION/ KITCHEN MANAGEMENT
Organization is a managerial function that involves bringing together the physical, financial and human resources to achieve the goals of a large organization. To organize a kitchen in simple terms will mean providing the kitchen with personnel, equipments and tools for working and raw materials for the preparation. The first step towards organizing is to list the activities that will be performed on a daily basis in the kitchen.
The following are a list of work or activities carried out in the kitchen:
Procuring, receiving, storing and issuing raw materials
Preparing of meats, fish and vegetables as per the menu and meal service.
Cooking and service of various courses.
Cooking of specialty dishes.
Cooking food for banquets
Doing ancillary works such as maintenance and cleaning of all equipments and kitchens
Preparing food for staff
These tasks may then be classified into subgroups so that they can be performed efficiently. For example kitchens are divided as Larder, In Room Dining, Specialty kitchens, Banquets etc. They may further be sub-divided on the basis of cuisines like French, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and so on.
Once the departments are finalized Manpower Planning has to be done. This means that deciding on the number of employees required at various levels to carry out the defined tasks.
After all these have been decided, the organization must establish the standards that are to be followed. Standards are important for the following:
To achieve product consistency
To know the current or present quality of the products
To define the desired quality of the products for the future.
It is a tool for the Managers and staff to control costs and check quality of products
ALLOCATION OF WORK - JOB DESCRIPTION & DUTY ROSTERS
Allocation of work which is an important aspect of kitchen organization depends on the following:
Skill level of the staff
Type of business
Kind of operation
Job description at every level must be very clear and preferably documented. It should be handed over to the employee at the time of joining to eliminate any confusion. It also helps the new employee understand exactly his/her role in the organization. It also acts as a motivational tool for some employees.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF EXECUTIVE CHEF
The job profile will have:
To direct and guide the food production department in achieving consistent quality of food as per the standards of the hotel, in order to achieve guest satisfaction in an environment of high employee morale
To organize the team so that it delivers food of high quality with prompt, accurate and personalized service to satisfy and delight the guest.
The responsibilities of the Executive Chef are:
(Duties and responsibilities of the Executive Chef)
Performance Measures for Executive Chef:
FOOD COST: Food Cost to be in the range of 20%-25%
DEPARTMENT PRODUCTIVITY: Profit and Loss statements and performance vis-à-vis budgets
ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY: record of absenteeism and unplanned leaves
MULTI-FUNCTIONAL: Multi-tasking, mentor and coaching role.
EYE FOR DETAIL: Achieved by inspection and rounds
This is done to allocate staff their duties for a particular period of time. It helps to maximize output and also organize the shop floor as each employee is communicated their role for that period.
Factors such as day of the week, festival schedule, public holidays, forecasting of business etc. should be kept in mind while preparing a duty roster. Also staff needs to be given their weekly offs, which will have an impact on the duty roster.
PRODUCTION PLANNING AND SCHEDULING
It is important to make menu specifications before a menu is operationalised. This should be documented and it acts as a tool for F&B Production and Service to tell everything about the menu. It also helps in organizing resources such as staff, equipment, crockery, cutlery etc.
Scheduling a production involves planning for the equipments required, extra staff if any, and the preparation time as required.
This can be made easy by preparing what is known as a Gantt Chart . It can be made for an entire menu or even for a single dish.
A sample of this is as follows:
PRODUCTION QUALITY AND QUANTITY CONTROL
These are done to monitor and evaluate the procedures and processes of the organization.
The four points where quality and quantity are measured are:
Receiving Area: Here the quantity and quality of the goods are first checked. Sub-standard materials are rejected. Also it is seen whether the vendor is supplying the materials as per SPS of the hotel.
Production Area: chefs have to ensure that the food is being prepared as per the standard recipes of the hotel. This ensures that the food cost and quality is maintained. Any deviation from the standard recipe may result in loss to the hotel. This is a constant process and chefs need to improvise constantly to serve better quality food at desirable costs.
Service Area: the chef should ensure that the food is served with the correct accompaniments to the guests. Also the quality of the food once it has been picked up for buffets and banquets has to be checked by the chef. Left overs on the plate must also be checked periodically to gauge guest satisfaction.
Garbage Area: Garbage disposal should be checked sometimes to monitor wastage during production. Garbage should also be segregated at the point of generation to ensure efficient and clean disposal
FORECASTING AND BUDGETING
Yield: Total usable quantity obtained from a raw material.
Per Portion Food cost % = Portion Cost/ Menu Price x 100
Portion Cost= Cost of Ingredients/ Number of Portions
RESEARCH AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
The Food and Beverage industry has undergone changes over the years and is evolving constantly. Changes in lifestyle have also altered the food habits of people. Due to this there has been an ever increasing demand for various types of products to suit the needs of society. An example is the increasing demand for convenience food, be it ‘ready to eat’ or ‘ready to cook’.
Chefs need to upgrade themselves constantly to meet these demands and come out with new products. To develop creative and innovative recipes research and development is an integral part of a modern chef’s work. The role of a chef as a trainer is as important as any other work that is assigned to him/her.
Modern day chef’s also use different varieties of equipments to facilitate their work and enhance the skills. The knowledge of usage of the equipments are crucial to the work of chefs. Every equipment have to be tested before they are put into use.
TESTING NEW EQUIPMENT
Equipments are tested at the time of installation and then regular maintenance have to carried out to ensure proper working. The testing of each equipment will depend on the following factors:
Type of equipment- replacement of old equipment, justification for new equipment, significance of electrical load, drainage system, water inlet etc.
Reason for testing-ensuring the equipment is operating as per its design specifications and provides desired output.
Check operating instructions – ensuring that all the staff are trained to operate the equipment to maximize output.
Check if the facility are suitable for the equipment- whether the machine fits into the existing facilities, and what modifications has to be carried out if it is not fitting
DEVELOPING NEW RECIPES
Developing new recipes is a very common feature in all types of food businesses. Recipe development comprises various stages which differs according to the type of business. The following levels depict the stages of recipe development for hotels and restaurants:
LEVEL 1: AWARENESS/KNOWLEDGE/ENTRY
These refer to the skill development of a cook, through the various stages till the person is in a position to develop new recipes.
Evaluating food by a panel of experts is termed as Food Trial. Food trial can be of two types:
Trial of food when a new establishment is being opened or when any new dishes are to be introduced in the menu of an existing establishment.
Food trial conducted as part of a recruitment process to hire new staff.
The panel for evaluating food during introduction of new menu’s or while an establishment is being set up may consist of regular guests, eminent food critics etc.
ORGANOLEPTIC AND SENSORY EVALUATION
The quality of food is evaluated by the two methods:
It is a combination of the different senses-sight, smell, taste, touch. Every individual has a perception of these senses. Since these senses may differ for different people the panel for food trial should ideally consist of 3-4 persons and an average of the marking should be taken.
Appearance of the food is very important. Over cooking or use of colours which are not suitable for food appearance may make a well prepared food to look bad.
Food should have a pleasant smell. The taste of food is registered in the taste buds. The tastes can vary like sweet, salty, acidic, bitter, spicy or pungent. Aroma is the combination of smell of a food mixed with the taste of the food. Flavour of a food can be judged by smelling but to judge the aroma the food has to be smelt and tasted at the same time. Normally spices are categorized as aromatics.
Touch - this feature is judged by the texture (soft, hard etc.), temperature of the food etc. The serving temperature of the food also influences the taste as in cold soups should be served cold. The texture of the food indicates whether the food has been properly prepared or not, eg. a samosa which has a soft skin may not have been prepared properly. For liquid and semi-liquid food the consistency is also known as texture.
These are conducted in large food industries where tests are grouped into various categories.
Some of the tests that are conducted are:
Paired comparison test- several samples of the same product is given to be tested. After testing the organization can decide which one is best suited for its purposes.
Duo-Trio test- three samples are tested, one of which is the original product, second one similar to the original and the third one is the product to be tested. The panel assess which of the two resembles the original.