How to Standardize Food Production Menu for Consistency

Standardize Food Production for Menu Consistency how to.

How to Standardize Food Production for Menu Consistency?  I am not going to discuss about the relevance of having a standard in the hospitality business and it is a philosophical discussion that I might address in another article . Below I will expose the basic mechanisms that are needed to start the implementation.Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency

Reaching standardization in food industry is extremely complicated and costly either way ( whether you do it or not it cost a lot both ways)

Definition of standard : A standard is an generally or locally accepted level of quality or quantity that can be reproduced without or with as less as possible variations.

Definition of standardization: It is the technical process implemented to reproduce an accepted standard within a given Industry.

 

Standardize Food Production for Menu Consistency

The below report is an actual case of a situation I faced during my career.And as you will see standardization goes way beyond strictly technical aspects to be fully implemented.

The cooking standardisation process.

Our cooking standardisation process is still quite far to be effective at this point. It is due to the combination of several factors:

  • Wrong best practices
  • Lack of ambition to change old habits
  • Insufficient data’s, and lack of analyse of it
  • Lack of transfer knowledge
  • Lack of appropriate tools
  • Failure to realise benefits of standardisation from kitchen management
  • Absence of appropriate workable recipes specific to existing equipment

 

Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency
Example of basic recipe not for kitchen use

 

I believe that we definitely can benefit few more points on our food cost if we start really implementing rational standardization. Most of our recipes are done for 1 kg of products and yielding various amount of portions according to clients specifications and it is a good thing, however it is not an applicable recipe for our production. Keep in mind that  these theoretical  recipes actually determining the amount of raw material to be purchased and stored, not to mention that none of these recipes are  attached with cooking step by step methods , assuming our kitchen team knows how to perform them perfectly and consistently. Allow me to illustrate with an example: fried egg noodles.

Theory recipe:    noodle dry    400 gr  ( yield around 800 gr)

Cooking oil (minyak goreng)    50 ml

Green mustard (Caisin)              100 gr

Salt                                            10 gr

pepper                                        3 gr

Carrots                                       100 gr

Eggs                                           3 pcs

Sweet soya                                 100 ml

Garlic                                           30 gr

Sweet soy sauce                         30 gr

 

Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency
120 ltr tilting pan

Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency

All the above product are arriving at different times in the kitchen, prices are different and storage conditions as well.

Study in the kitchen Q&A with employees : When you cook large quantity of noodles at once :

1/How many kilos of cooked egg noodle can you fit in one tilting pan capacity of 120 ltr ?

2/ How many of each vegetable do you add to it?

3/ How much oil are you using ?

4/ How much sweet soy do you add ?

5/ How much salt and pepper do you add ?

6/ How many eggs do you add ?

These questions are quite simple indeed however none of the answers are accurate and differ according to whom it is addressed to, most of the time the cook will use “feeling” for the seasoning. The survey I have conducted in the hot kitchen is proving that for the time been there is no way we can achieve any  high level of standardization let alone consistency. Needless to add that the cost of working this way along with created waste are quite heavy on our financial bottom line.

Standardize Food Production for Menu Consistency

 

Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency
Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency

 

Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency

To be able to produce efficiently  and consistently we need to gather all the information: for instance:

1/ how many liters of soup can we make in “this” pan of 30 ltr ?

2/ How much chicken can we fry at the same time in the deep fryer without dropping the temperature?

3/ How long does it take to cook the stew in an 80 kg pan compare to a 120 kg pan ?

4/ How hot should be this oil to perfectly cook a doughnut?

An there is thousands more questions that we must find the answer if we really aiming for standardization. So as you can see we are only scratching the surface and you can imagine the amount of work we have ahead of us but frankly this is what makes the difference between making money and losing money.

Standardize Food Production for Menu Consistency

 

Standardize Food Production Menu ConsistencyStandardize Food Production Menu Consistency

 

Therefore we will start a long term standardization program right the way with the following guidelines:

  • Create recipes adapted to each type and capacity of cooking ware, mentioning the quantity but also the method because each will differ for the same recipe.
  • Create a guideline chart to be used on the field by the chef as they should be able to see it in one glance.
  • Create a book of production and equipment adapted recipes called “use record” available for the chefs.
  • Evaluating and correcting each recipe because none seem to be accurate for implementation.
  • Provide adequate measuring tools like cups and spoons to eradicate hand seasonings. ( these tools have been ordered 1 month ago and are hopefully on the way)
  • Start theoretical and practical  continue training specific to standardization methods to change chef mind set during cooking sessions as well as increasing their core competencies for modern cooking methods.

 

Standardize Food Production Menu ConsistencyStandardize Food Production Menu Consistency

 

The above program is only the first step toward serious standardization and must start right the way because it might take some time to run effectively. The first phase is the purchase of these tools and start the training and recipe evaluation. I know it will be time consuming and fastidious but I believe that it is a step we must take to secure our operations in the future.

Standardize Food Production for Menu Consistency

 

Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency

Standardize Food Production Menu Consistency

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