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Task 2 a
A description of kitchen workflow, with a diagram to analyse workflow in “The Chisholm’s” kitchen.
Workflow can be defined as
It can be described as the progress (or rate of progress) in work being done. In the kitchen terminology it is the sequence of operations incurred in the processing of materials or (performing of essential functions) is called the flow of work.
Conventionally, a good workflow in a kitchen means that materials and staff will move smoothly from the stores through preparation areas into cooking sections and then to the servers and the guest tables. Similarly, the dirty items will move back from the guest tables to wash up and back to the servers.
The work is always divided in the different sections and each section are joined into a layout and should follow a certain rules relating to the delivery (end product) Is know as the flow of work. Such flow of work is a natural and logical sequence that provides an ease of operations in the processing of materials i.e., food materials or doing of work.
The need is to identify factors that make professionals achieve work with minimum movement and well within limited time. The basic crux of good designing is the intrinsic information of space (or would-be-kitchen) that should give optimum benefit.
For example for a small business its owner can manage his business freely but for a bigger restaurant it is necessary to have a clear work system that indicates the duties of each employee. For instance the reception takes care of the customers on arrival and guides them to the table. The waiters takes the order, the kitchen prepares the food and waiters later serve the process continues until the customers left the restaurant. In a restaurant in the kitchen has its own set of operations and a workflow to successfully carry out these tasks.
The primary stage in design of workflow is to identify the work centre, which will exist in any kitchen
There are two stages that help in making a workflow
- Identification of the work centre
- Production layout
- Product layout – the equipment used in specific food production
- Process layout – the technique of cooking is used in production
Lets take an example of fish and chips in a fast food outlet.
Product layout where work centre where specific food product is made by using own equipment process for example; chilling fat fryers.
Process layout where work centre perform a particular process for example; frying, chilling
In kitchen operations the workflow systematically starts right from the receiving of materials to storage of materials, to preparation, to preparation to finish holding to service, to dish washing and pot washing and other cleanup to garbage disposal of the leftover materials that cannot be used.
The stages of the workflow are closely linked to the central points of food safety management system.
While working in the kitchen the equipment needs the minimum worker attention and the materials and tools should receive minimum handling.
Kitchen space should allow service operations space in order to work and keep things. There should be maximum utilization of space and equipments should be achieved through the proper workflow. At all times the quality control must be sought at all critical points and minimum cost of production should be sought.
WORKFLOW (SEQUENCE OF OPERATIONS)
The Chisholm hotel is currently operates on a cook-fresh method of food production.
The ordering is done by word of mouth and fresh food items are delivered thrice a week.
All the food items are issued as and when required the Chisholm hotel is undergoing the refurbishment program to increase its conference and banqueting services.
As if now the Chisholm kitchen consists of a chest freezer, a walk in chill room and a small store facility.
Proper Workflow always aims to minimize the criss-crossing and back tracking between the sections.
Effective workflow help in a prompt, effective, smooth production and service with the minimum expenditure of worker time and energy. Reduces the time incurred in delays and storage of materials in processing and serving. Ensuring workers and materials should travel minimum distances.
At present ordering is done by the head chef over the telephone. All the food items are ordered as and when required the communication mishap leads to unnecessary chaos. As this method of ordering involves no paperwork or use of any computer software, it states that there is no formal records are maintained while ordering.
Fresh food items are delivered three times a week as ordered by the head chef. All the receiving is done y the store person with the help of a storekeeping assistant.
The Chisholm hotel is equipped with a small dry store facility a walk in chill room and a large chest freezer. When the food items arrives at the Chisholm hotel it is stored in the conventional fridges and frozen item is stored a chest freezer.
All the food items are issued as and when required. There is one storekeeper full time and a storekeeper assistant working part time. The store person does the issuing.
All the mise-en-place and other preparations before actual cooking is done takes place in this section and this section is connected with pot wash as every food preparation requires a constant supply of clean kitchen equipments.
At present “The Chisholm” hotel is operating on a cook-fresh method of food production. This section is very well connected with the pot wash for the constant supply of clean kitchen equipments and utensils. A proper system of waste removal is done from preparation and cooking section to prevent any contamination of food.
Service of food
As soon as the food is prepared it is ready to be served. The food service is done immediately to the customer.
Identification and brief explanation of factors that may influence the workflow in a hotel kitchen
Techniques used for preparation of workflow
- Identification of work centre
- Techniques used for work centre
- Equipments used
- Production process
- Staff required
An effective workflow design and its proper implementation always help to reduce cost and increase efficiency in the kitchen.
- Layout of kitchen
- Availability of raw material (seasonal/frozen)
- Planning of menu
- Equipments in use
- Service operation style
- Production system in use
- Number of covers served
- Employees / training
- Budget and costing
- Type of clientele
- Law and regulations
Layout of kitchen
The plan or the layout of the kitchen is always determined by the policies, which the catering establishments follow. Each catering establishment policies are different from the other and all the pre production, production and postproduction all the activities includes the following.
- Receiving, pre-preparation area and storage.
- Cooking area
- Dispatching and wash up areas.
- Resources (gas, electricity, water)
- Work space
Workflow plays a very significant role in designing a layout of the kitchen. Considering the expansion of the hotel the layout of the Kitchen has been redesigned and revised. Since now the hotel is expanding its number of covers there is bound to be more people, more space and varied menu involved thus influencing directly over the layout of the kitchen. Thus if there is more business a hotel would need more people for the production and more space so as they are able to perform as per the needs which thus in turn states clearly workflow influencing layout. If the kitchen is not designed as required, it will affect workflow in not been able to cook properly due to lack of cooking areas and washing areas and accidents due to lack of space thus affecting the business.
Availability of raw materials
In any catering establishment all its production is dependent on the availability of the raw materials. It is the basic necessity of any catering establishment to have enough supplier’s policies and procedures for the smooth operations. In the hotel it is always kept in consideration that the availability of raw materials is limited and as per the season. Always fresh items are not available so if there is a need the frozen items should be used.
To ensure a smooth workflow availability of ingredients are must. Without which consistency in menu cannot be achieved which would directly affect the business. There must be ample storage of such items to avoid any disruption in the level of service. For example if the raw material is not available at time the chefs can’t start the preparation thus it will lead delays and smooth operation of workflow.
Planning of menu
Menu planning plays an important role. Menu planning is done in before hand keeping the function and the availability of raw materials in that particular time in mind. Workflow plays a very significant part in designing a menu. To have an effective workflow availability of resources, which includes availability of space and equipments for preparation, raw ingredients, specialized people to carry out the task must be present. The combination of these factors creates an effective workflow plan in the organization, which in turns helps in creating an effective menu. Thus making a Chinese menu in the hotel without have the appropriate kitchen and people would indeed disrupt the workflow of the organization as food would be prepared in inappropriate utensils by inexperienced business clearly affecting the service of the place.
Equipments in use
As there is lot of equipments are available in the market for the specific use. For any catering establishment it is not possible to have all the equipments. So what ever is available in the kitchen the maximum utilization of that equipment should be done for the smooth workflow and each catering establishment should have the minimum equipments to ease the food handlers in day-to-day preparation.
Kitchen must be well equipped with the basic equipments mentioned and enforced by the food safety laws. Lack of appropriate equipments does disrupt the workflow as if the food is prepared in non-suitable equipments, it might take more time, spoil the preparation of the food and also may lead to accidents. All these factors would clearly hamper the service and workflow of the place.
Thus setting a Chinese menu without having woks and high flame gas burners would affect the workflow of the place and may result in non-satisfactory results.
Service operations / style
It is always considered to set a style of service operations before hand and should be followed the same way to eliminate miscommunication and mishandlings.
Workflow is affective when there is a consistency in the set of styles followed. If the rules of operations are preset and staff is trained on that there is always a chance of smooth running of the operations. As the staff is clearly are of what is expected of them and how they have to achieve it. Since the chances of a consistent services are higher business operations runs smoothly without any disruption. This is the reason why hotel is designed through a step-by-step process to get the task done to have a better workflow in the organization.
Production system in use
For any catering establishment it is very important to have a set production system that they will follow and according to that the workflow charts are prepared. A catering establishment should follow cook fresh, cook- chill, cook freeze or combination of these production systems as per their needs.
It is very important for an organization to understand its operations before designing the systems. For an organization catering a large number of guests cook fresh method is not suitable, as it will directly affect the workflow of the place.
Number of covers
It is always estimated before hand the serving capacity of the catering establishment. The number of covers i.e. the maximum number of customers the catering establishment can serve at a given time. For an example a restaurant of 100 covers it is not possible to cater to 300covers, as there is not sufficient kitchen space present to cook, not enough equipments and not enough people who can prepare and cater to these covers. Thus it will affect the workflow, and can create inconsistent service and accidents.
Employees / staffing plays a crucial role.
In any catering establishment there are both skilled and un skilled food handlers to achieve the maximum output the employees have to mixed up in such a way that the catering establishment production output doesn’t get affected.
In any work scenario effective staffing plays a very crucial role in creating an effective workflow. This would mean that if hotel has a large banqueting function ahead then the staffing should be done in such a manner that there should be enough experienced skilled chefs to handle the situation.
Budget and costing
Every catering establishment works for making profits. To achieve the profits there are certain set standards in terms of money investments and returns. A budgeting and costing is done to ensure that the establishment is on a right track and cutting down on each and every unnecessary move that involves expenditure of money. Effective workflow would also mean correct budgeting and ordering. This means that assigning proper cost and proper ordering for every department. If it is ordered more than required it may mean surplus of items and thus need more storing space and thus blocking the money. On the other hand that blocked money can be utilized for buying an extra machine or day-to-day stuff for an effective workflow And takes the work pressure from the chefs.
Type of clientele
Every establishment is unique in its own serving customers and each establishment aims to satisfy a set type of clientele. For example Chinese restaurant it serves Chinese delicacies and aims to serve the person who loves Chinese food. To cater to Chinese clients the hotel should have appropriate kitchen and resources, which can provide effective services. Thus workflow and resources should be developed keeping clientele in mind.
Law and regulations
It is mandatory for every food production-catering establishment to abide by the rules and regulations laid by the government. Every establishment should always fulfill at least the minimum requirements of food safety and food handling procedures. Kitchen should be designed in such a way that it should not disrupt the food safety principles which would mean that if a person is cutting meat in the restaurant, sink should be present near to the desk to avoid any spillage and unnecessary movement in the kitchen area which may leads to accidents.
All the above-mentioned factors are thoroughly reviewed by any catering establishment or food production organization before setting up the workflow in the production areas. As it is said that any kitchen is not perfect it is very important to follow up and work hard to keep up the good work for a smooth and successful workflow in any catering establishment kitchen.
Effectiveness of the workflow:
The workflow carried out is very effective, as it will help to apply HACCP. The workflow is very simple without any blocking and is processed according to the stages. After cooking the food is chilled in blast chill which helps to reduce the temperature of the food and is than stored in freezer, if the food is stored directly in freezer it will increase the temperature of the other food and will lead to the bacterial growth with less storage life of food. The food is regenerated on event days, which help to reduce the cooking time and the staff involved. Thus the workflow carried will be effective.
A structured appraisal of the effectiveness of the current workflow in the Chisholm’s kitchen explaining the impact of the influencing factors.
The diagram illustrates the recommended workflow of the Chisholm hotel after refurbishment.
The above-illustrated diagram suggests a wide scope of improvements in the current Chisholm hotel kitchen with a little addition of new equipments and implementing new technologies. As per scenario the Chisholm hotel and conference centre is using a cook fresh production system. The stores are purchased by a word to mouth from the head chef to the store person; no written communication is carried out thus, leading to the communication breakdown.
Workflow in the Chisholm hotel is as follows
Service to customers
The key factors that will influence the above-mentioned workflow in the Chisholm are:
- The layout and design of the kitchen
- Storage area
- Production system
- Food safety procedures
- Staffing structure and training of staff
- Importance of communication at all levels
At every level these key factors are kept in mind and the ways of improving the existing workflow is based upon.
As the present scenario there is no formal method of ordering or documentation of the same is done that impacts in communication breakdowns and hinders the production as it leads to the shortage of the food supplies for the production. A new ordering system should be implemented which will be easy to refer back to. It is recommended to have an ordering sheet and should be filled up properly so that it can be referred back easily if there are any communication breakups.
As Chisholm hotel wants to implement new technologies for hassle free work a computerized system is the best option for this purpose it’ll not only help to do things faster as well as minimize the paperwork and save time and money.
As there is an urgent need of proper training for the store assistant schedule to be fixed to provide him the basic food safety and hygiene training. A logbook should be made to register the entries for items received. All the items for food preparation should be thoroughly checked before receiving and any item, which is not up to the set standards or doesn’t fulfill the Chisholm set policies should be returned as later if the food items are received without checking and getting spoiled in the fridges it can cross contaminate with the other food items and when it is needed there is nothing to prepare and will lead to impact on the workflow. A proper documentation of temperature records of goods and items received is maintained in order to avoid any issues arising at the time of checking done by the food and safety inspector.
At present the storage space at the Chisholm hotel is very limited as there is a small dry storing area, chest freezer and a walk in chill room that is not sufficient to store large quantities of frozen foods which will be required to serve the increased capacity of the Chisholm hotel and conference centre. The current storing area is small and its difficult to keep the food items separate according to the food hygiene regulation 2006 England, with the current storing area there is always a probability of food getting cross contaminated as the lack of space the raw food and the cooked food are kept in the same storing areas. Storing facilities needs to be reviewed as the hotel is undergoing the process of refurbishment and aiming to cater 1500 covers thus an efficient storing system will help in maintaining a good shelf life of the food items and reduce the process of deteriorating of the food items.
A new approach of issuing is to be implemented in the Chisholm hotel rather than issuing whatever is needed at that point of time. A computerized inventory system must be introduced for issuing of all the production items. A fixed time of issuing the stores should be carried out this will help to plan in advance for the banqueting functions and helps in reducing wastage of food items thus, providing the Chisholm hotel a better control of stock keeping and lowers down the cost and the discrepancies it will help the staff in well advance as they will plan according to it and can work smoothly.
As the current production system that is cook-fresh, would increase the work pressure on the kitchen brigade and thus leads to the smooth running of the kitchen functions. It is very difficult to prepare a cook- fresh method of food production to cater a large number of guests with the current staffing and lack of cooking equipments.
Planning plays an important role in pre preparation stage for a better service and to provide best service to the customer. It’s all about planning all the preparation is done correctly in advance in a convenient manner while following the food safety and hygiene regulations. It is very important in this stage to protect the food items from any contamination due to negligence or mishandling of food or the processing techniques.
All the food items should be cooked according to the set standards and HACCP guidelines should be followed. A written document of temperature records should be maintained at all times. While cooking meat joints and other food items the temperature of the thickest part should reach at least 70*c to avoid any bacterial growth.
Regeneration/holding of food
As the equipments currently used in the Chisholm are not very effective for its increased catering objectives. With the introduction of the cook-chill and cook-freeze methods special kitchen equipment know as a blast chiller should be installed in the Chisholm hotel food production area. The Chisholm Hotel should improve on the regeneration area where the cold food is kept cold and hot food is kept hot for service. The additions of new equipments will helps the kitchen brigade to cook and store accordingly and thus, leads to an efficient workflow as the food items are cooked and stored in advance. The other main problem with the Chisholm kitchen is that the frequent breakdown of the equipments, as the failure of the equipments at the time of service leads to panic in the kitchen staff and hinders to the smooth workflow.
Currently there is no training is provided to the staff at the time of hiring or any kind of induction at the time of joining the organization. The new staff faces a tough challenge in knowing the working system, the food safety and hygiene procedures that prevails in the Chisholm hotel. The untrained staff thus leads in the unwanted situations and cause disruption in the workflow. For every conferencing or banqueting function to be successful prompt service is the most important thing. The success of any food and beverage establishment depends on the skill and ability to deliver in any situation with excellence to their customers provided by the food handlers.
Apart from all these factors communication as whole plays a vital role as the smooth communication leads to the effective and smooth workflow. Whether at the time of ordering the food requisitions to the suppliers or at the time of following the standard recipes, while working in a busy environment an effective communication can solve any disruption or issues and helps an organization with a smooth and effective workflow.
- Peter Jones (2002) Introduction to hospitality operations: an indispensable guide to the industry, Cengage Learning
- Fine A.G. (2002) Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work, University of California Press
- Malhotra R. K. (1997) Encyclopaedia of Hotel Management and Tourism,Anmol Publications PVT. LTD
- Heinemann e,tal (2007) Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery, Heinemann
- Foskett, D etal (2008)the theory of cookery,hooder education.
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