Chuck Schuler, MAS project manager, Cini•Little International Inc., suggests these four approaches to improving workflow:
Stagger delivery times. If possible, encourage clients to schedule their deliveries during off-peak hours, not during the start of the lunch rush at 11 a.m. This isn’t always the case in big cities like New York, where you might not get a choice, but if you have the option, it helps flow.
Reduce clutter. People can be collectors as the years go on. Suddenly you end up with 45 braising pans, but you use only 3 a day, and the extras are sitting underneath tables and taking up valuable space. Encourage a quarterly clean-as-you-go approach to purging; if you don’t use it, lose it.
Schedule prep periods. It’s important to develop bulk prep lists and par levels for all products; have a time schedule for how all food items are taken out of the kitchen and get to the servery on a daily basis. This promotes fewer steps in the kitchen, less travel to the coolers and back, and maximizing individual workstations.
Invest in separate coolers. Have a designated cooler for produce, meat and maybe dairy to help prevent cross-contamination. The other option is to designate one cooler just for finished product like crudités, fruit platters or catering orders. You don’t want carts stacked with platters of food near raw chicken, for example.
Looking for more ways to enhance efficiencies?