Automation is a means to an end. Automating an inefficient process or to produce an item that is not valued by customers will not remove the root causes of the problem.
Automation and technology are part of a bigger system which involves various stakeholders (e.g. customers, employees, and suppliers). They are meant to support the people at work and processes that are streamlined.
FOR A CONVENTIONAL FOOD SERVICES ESTABLISHMENT
There are many processes at the Back-of-House (outlet). After the menu has been developed, the outlet will purchase food and other supplies, receive the supplies and store them for a period. This is then followed by preparing, cooking, dishing-up and serving the food to the customers. The preparation and cooking processes tend to be tedious and time-consuming. Conventionally, skilled staff and much attention are placed in these processes, since they differentiate a F&B business from another. Unfortunately, it is also these processes that contribute most to customer waiting time, which is not valued by the customers.
Under the Lean management philosophy, the goal of any business is to create maximum value for its customers with minimum resources. Processes which do not add value should be reduced or eliminated. Any adoption of automation or technology should be aligned to this fundamental philosophy.
A Central Kitchen (CK) is a facility that centralises procurement and common food production processes across the outlets within a F&B group. The majority of food preparation and processing is done at the CK and delivered to the outlet, where minimal preparation is required before the food is served to the customers. Depending on the size of the establishment, the CK can be a standalone facility or located within an outlet.
The processes in a CK are broadly similar to those of a conventional kitchen, but the nature of work and operating environment differ. The CK supports the outlet kitchen, and deals with larger quantities of food items. It has to comply with stricter safety standards, and involves additional packaging, storage and transportation processes to deliver the food items to the outlets. The tasks undertaken by each employee are likely to be more repetitive and monotonous, involving heavy lifting and handling of larger equipment.
THE STEPS INVOLVED
Our expert consultants will provide business advisory, assistance and guidance through:
- Determining the root problems and the aspect of operations that you would like to improve.
- Analyse the processes to identify bottlenecks and the critical issues to address.
- Measure existing performance
- Identify the solutions taking into consideration the resources required, importance and urgency in addressing the issue.
- Implementation of standard operating procedures
- Employees training
- Piloting of equipment
- Monitor and assessment
- Review and improve your processes continuously.
Companies can expect to enjoy leaner kitchen operation, increase production capacity, reduced wastage, consistent standards and providing a better working environment for your employee.