Food production is a system involving food processing that includes the creation of recipes and menus, purchasing and inventory control, the actual food preparation and cooking, and finally, the serving of meals to customers.
And no matter where the food is prepared, among the important specific aspects of food production that need to be prioritised is consistency.
In today’s competitive market and an unstable economy, the costs of inconsistencies in a dish or restaurant are higher now more than ever.
Here are three ways to achieve consistency in food production:
Properly trained staff
Having properly trained staff is crucial but is just a fraction of the overall requirement to achieve consistency in food production.
Depending on how big the production is, a chef often relies on his team’s presence, skills, and efficiency. A kitchen team should know the value and skills to execute each ingredient’s expected yield, portioning, proper heat control and technique required for a dish, and discipline to ensure that they should not play with quality.
These same qualities should be the same ones to look for when hiring short term hire chefs to fill urgent vacancies in your kitchen. You need the least possible skill gap to deliver what your customers/guests have come to love from your business.
Since this is a human element in food production, there is more to focus on than skills and availability. You can check out the previous posts on mental health, those extra traits you need to look for when hiring chefs and cross-training tips to help you with staffing concerns.
Proper handling of the production line
Whether it is meal three or meal 200, a chef must ensure that a dish served is consistent in quality.
Make sure that there is enough kitchen staff to support the customer base. Get in touch with reputable chef staffing agencies who will provide you with your staffing needs rapidly.
If you want to work with what staffing you have, make sure that what is in your menu is something that your kitchen can handle efficiently.
Prevent bottlenecks in the kitchen by ensuring transparent workspaces are carved out in the kitchen for different duties. Cross-contamination should be avoided at all costs as it could be fatal to people with allergies. Review your kitchen layout and flow to prevent undue burden to everyone. Always think of efficiency when it comes to productivity. If a layout or workflow is not feasible for you, research and experiment with what will work best. There are various posts on this site on the different commercial kitchen layouts that may provide you with guidance. The ultimate goal is to serve safe and quality food from your kitchen to your customers.
Make sure that the proper daily food prep is done and do food prep ahead of time.
Standardised recipes are instructions for a consistent preparation method for food or drink with an expected quality outcome. Food production in any form benefits when there is uniformity in taste and quality. Particularly those who serve heirloom recipes, familiar customers/guests, may easily detect any changes that may not be to their liking. These changes refer to taste and in portioning or in the ingredient used, such as when a different meat cut is substituted for what the recipe originally calls for.
The intention of a standardised recipe is to produce uniformity in quantity and taste each time the recipe is made, regardless of who’s preparing it.
Steps in food production produce a domino effect. When you know how many ingredients to prepare in advance, it simplifies your inventory game all in all.
RELATED READ: Start Standardised Recipe NOW
What happens when a prominent ingredient in a recipe is missing?
- The taste or look of a dish may change
- Customers may feel cheated and distrust
When it is tempting to consider that one ingredient can be looked over, think of these two results.
Chefs who value quality and upholds their standards will see this as a non-issue, but in reality, some chefs solve this problem by substitution. It is a tricky solution to address an urgent issue, especially if it is not tested before. You can ruin a whole batch of food in the process, resulting in wastage or dissatisfied customers.
Ideally, the food you serve should always replicate what you have listed or shown on the menu. If an ingredient is unavailable, you need to change your menu and notify the whole team. Don’t risk upsetting your diners by serving them what they are not expecting. This is also an opportunity to consider an alternative dish to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies.
Consistency in food production is not a single step matter . It takes time and discipline to achieve. Many variables affect food production, and not all of them can be controlled by the chef and the kitchen team. But the good thing is that consistency is not a myth. It can be achieved. If everyone in the group upholds its value in building trust with your customers, establishing your business reputation and enhancing your bottom line, consistency can be achieved.
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,