Food is one of the great topics of the 21st century and food management is becoming increasingly important.
The quality of food is crucial, with this meaning both the quality of the ingredients (seasonal, organic, sustainable) and the quality of the transformation processes (technical capabilities of the kitchen and their adequacy to the fixed goals).
The world is now populated by companies that have to deal with food in a professional manner: restaurants and chains of restaurants, clinics, hospitals, staff canteens and more. All these players are realizing that satisfying customers is never easy and that inadequate management of the Food&Beverage department can have very negative repercussions in terms of image.
Too many companies rely on a chef, putting in his hands the F&B department in the belief that he is able to manage it.
In my experience unfortunately this is rarely true, more often the chef will prove good at cooking but also a mediocre manager. The result is the need to revise the organizational system of the F&B and to make difficult and unpleasant choices.
Among the problems that occur more often in the absence of adequate planning:
Inefficient budget allocation.
This is normally linked to a poorly planned supply chain, where the quality of ingredients is not adequate to the desired result, where the lack of a well studied production plan leads to severe inefficiencies in logistics and adverse results on the supply price.
The staff can be either in defect or, most often, in excess. In both cases we have strong inefficiencies, discontent and not inadequate output. The organization of the kitchen staff and working shifts is crucial.
The menu is not adequate to the production processes.
The menu should be adequate to the food-cost goals, to the available equipment and to the professional skills. If these elements are not well aligned the result is poor and leads to problems.
The food consultant ideally is consulted at the moment of the initial planning, when the F&B department must be planned from its foundations.
But since the world is almost never perfect, the consultant may also be consulted at a later time, when the existing framework has to be redesigned and redefined.
In both cases, the result for the customer is to create a F&B department with costs under control, adequate and well utilized human resources, well designed production processes that allow high-quality results over time.
Operationally, the work starts with an audit, during which the food consultant gets in contact with the company, analyzes its organization and produces a report that represents a valuable check-up and a starting point for the work that follows.
Then we have to define with the management the goals: this leads to the identification of the actions that need to be taken.
Once all this is done, a detailed action plan is prepared and implemented.
Periodic audits ensure that the F&B stays on the right path.