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HOTELS & HOSPITAL ITY FACIL ITIES THE FLOW sella, to see what happens when ‘kitchen flow’ is enhanced in commercial settings.


motion from any angle. We also provided Tork colour- coded food-service cloths to enable staff to assign different colours to specific cleaning tasks.


Next, we scrutinised the placement of all products and equipment to ensure that no logjams would be created and that everyone could move around the kitchen with ease. The day after the experiment, two chefs were absent from work but the business suffered no corresponding dip in productivity. Since the two absent chefs would have each worked an eight-hour shift, we estimated that the kitchen had saved 16 hours of productive time as a result of our makeover.


Alan Kinsella has now issued his own flow guide to help kitchens follow his optimisation model. The acronym CHEFS stands for Control, Hygiene and tools, Engineer, Finance and Systems.


The ‘Control’ step involves the head chef gaining an overview of the kitchen situation and equipping all staff with the optimum resources and environment to allow them to carry out their work.


‘Hygiene’ should be factored into every step of the process and quality hygiene solutions should be provided for staff. ‘Products’ such as soap and paper towels should be made readily available at the entrance and exit of kitchens, and placed at eye level to ensure that they are not missed. This makes it an ingrained habit for staff to use them.


Firstly, we discussed the aims of the project with the restaurant chefs who quickly signed up to the idea. Between us we identified those factors in the establishment’s kitchen that were blurring the ‘flow’ picture. We then carried out a complete clean and introduced a series of changes based on 5S principles.


“Engineered and well-structured menus should be developed to


meet customer expectations while creating as little stress as possible for the chefs.”


This involved reorganising the workspace to ensure that all hand hygiene products and cleaning wipers were positioned in optimum locations. Products we chose included Tork Reflex which has been designed to boost efficiency and speed up delivery since its rotating nozzle allows the user to tear off a length of paper in one fluid


www.tomorrowsfm.com


The rotation of stock is also vital for hygiene: all fridges, freezers and dry stores should be organised so that older stock does not become forgotten or cause unwanted smells. Besides adhering to HACCP requirements, a clean and hygienic environment will help to create a good flow while also creating a more pleasant place for staff to work.


Engineered and well-structured menus should be developed to meet customer expectations while creating as little stress as possible for the chefs. And ‘Finances’ should be controlled to ensure that all cost targets are met. These four steps should together form a ‘System’ – one that needs to be repeated on a day-to-day basis.


It may not be rocket science, but it makes perfect sense for any work environment to be kept clean and uncluttered and for all frequently-used items to be positioned in logical places where staff can easily find them. But in a busy kitchen, such disciplines may slip – and this could lead to disorder, hygiene transgressions and a great deal of wasted time.


Taking a step back and considering the kitchen in the same light as any other production environment enables the kitchen manager to see their workplace in a new light. And this could help them to dramatically improve the efficiency of their operations.


www.tork.co.uk/reflex TOMORROW’S FM | 35


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