The Burlodge Multigen III

Who is Burlodge?

Burlodge is a kitchen equipment company originating from Italy but has companies and factories in the United Kingdom, Italy, France, United States of America, and Canada. The headquarters in the US in based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

What is the Multigen III 105 Series?

This piece of kitchen equipment is a revolutionary dual-oven technology that is used is a variety of patient foodservice systems around the world. The Multigen series allows foodservice professionals to re-thermalize products of different densities and textures to a consistent heat, insuring optimum food quality every time. Another beneficial characteristic of the Multigen series is the adaptability of the oven compartment which can be configured to various sizes to accommodate different meal arrangements. Basically, this piece of equipment is a multi-portion point of service trolley that is intended for cook-serve, cook-chill, and cook-freeze foodservice applications.

I was trained how to use this equipment yesterday at my patient foodservice rotation. The representative who trained the kitchen staff was a Registered Dietitian from Nashville, TN who worked for Burlodge.

The Burlodge equipment is broken down by different categories of major kitchen equipment:

          Tray Systems

          Bulk Systems

          Tray Assembly Systems

          Trayware

          Support Equipment

The Multigen III 105 Series falls in the Bulk Systems category and is a two compartment cart consisting of oven and refrigeration settings. The equipment is used in locations that cook, hold, and deliver food to other parts of the facility that are physically farther away than ideal. For example if a hospital setting had a nursing home attached, foodservice workers would be able to cart their Burlodge Multigen III over to the connecting facility, while the meals for service were cooking. Then, serve these meals without compromising the food safety of the meal.

Features of the equipment include:

          The Multigen III uses convection heat (Competitors use conduction heat)

          Reaches temperature in less time

          Heating time reduced and food re-thermed at a lower temperature

          Distributes heat evenly

          Saves energy

          The cart can be programmed to wake itself up and begin cooking

The daily cleaning procedures include:

1.      Removing racks and shelves from cart

2.      Using a hot soapy solution, wipe compartments, exterior stainless steel panels, shelves, and hot top; then rinse with a separate cloth and plain water. Allow to dry.

3.      Allow heavily soiled surfaces to soak for about 15 minutes.

4.      The hot top should also be sanitized as this surface may come in direct contact with food.

5.      Clean the sneeze screen with a soft cloth and a suitable hard surface/glass cleaner. Do not use abrasive pads or cleaners as these will damage the screen surface.

6.      Clean the control panel with a damp cloth only.

Burlodge USA

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Food Costs: Actual vs. Ideal

One of the factors that play a substantial role in the success of a foodservice operation is food costs. Food cost is what a menu item costs to prepare. The cost of a chicken entrée with meat, sauce, vegetables and starch is your food cost. Most restaurants run between a 30-40% food cost, this does not include the cost of overhead that needs to get added in before you start making a profit. A major influence on a restaurant’s food costs are the portions that the kitchen staff are creating each recipe and dish with.

One of reasons that franchise chain restaurants are so successful is because they have menu portions under control and regulated. It doesn’t matter if you go to Applebee’s in West Virginia or California, you will probably be served the same food in the same portion sizes. Customers like this consistency. By having a restaurant maintaining predictability, regardless of the location, chain restaurants guarantee strong profit margins.

Poor portion control is one of the leading causes of food cost variances. Consider that your ideal food cost is based on the premise of exact portioning for each menu item, including the portioning of each ingredient within a menu item. If your prep and line cooks have gotten in the habit of “eyeballing” measurements rather than sticking to the exact recipes, chances are your food cost variance could be as much as 5% or more. Proven portion control strategies include the use of portioning scoops, scales and measuring spoons and cups. Pre-portioning can be effective in controlling costs by using portion baggies and a scale to pre-weigh product before stocking the cook line.

Ideal food cost is the standard by which you can compare your actual food cost. If your actual food cost varies to your ideal food cost, then you set about to determine why and where the problem(s) lie. After completing your inventory, you should do a food cost analysis. You should do this at least once a week. The actual food cost is the cost of the food consumed by your customers.  When your actual food cost is higher than your ideal food cost, then you have not optimized your bottom-line profits. You have thrown money out with the window- I guess you could say. However, you won’t know this unless you know what your ideal food cost is.

So, a few things that a restaurant can do to maintain this consistency and reliability, in regards to portion control and essentially saving in food costs are:

          Providing pictures of each plated item. This illustrates the correct portion sizes and proper plating.

          Provide pictures of what each raw material/ingredient should look like after they are prepped. So for example, have pictures of actual sizes of what diced chicken looks like compared to the restaurant’s sliced chicken. This will give employees a visual of how to prep and what to look out for when assembling menu items.

          Pre-portion condiments, sides, and sauces. Every restaurant that I have ever worked in has done this. This is why when you go out to eat a restaurant and you order a salad, the dressing usually comes in small ramekins that have plastic lids. This way you can serve the dressing in-house or for to-go.

          Always have an adequate amount of correct sized storage containers, ladles, and scoops for each menu item as well as a variety of measuring cups, spoons, and scales.

These four prevention measures not only assist in less waste, but they also speed up food preparation and service time – especially at peak times like the lunch-rush or dinner-rush. It also makes certain that your customer gets exactly what they order and what they want, every single time they come to dine at your foodservice establishment.

So, with all of this information being said… How does this apply to my ISPP rotations right now?  Well, at my Institutional Food Service, Production and Management rotation, the entire class was assigned a task. This was to choose a raw material (ingredient) and analyze the actual vs. ideal food costs of that item. And by doing this, see what the restaurant needs to do to improve the usage of this product- whether or not if it was being overused or underused. So, the raw material I chose was chicken breast. This is the most profitable, and popular, raw material that this particular restaurant location utilizes throughout the summer. So, by going through the company’s database with the assistance from management, each student/dietetic intern were able to see what problems existed. And by doing this, new techniques or methods can be adopted to improve the use of these raw materials within the foodservice operation. Fundamentally- creating an even happier customer base.

Manage My Restaurant

What is Ideal Food Cost?

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Food Allergies in Foodservice Rotations

While being in my Institutional Food Service, Production, and Management rotation this summer, a common concern from management has come to my attention. And this concern would be…  Food Allergies!

A food allergy is the body’s immune system reaction to certain foods. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching or swelling in or around the mouth, face, and scalp; tightening in the throat; wheezing or shortness of breath; hives; abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea; loss of consciousness; and even death.

Food allergies are a growing public health concern. As many as 15 million people in the U.S. have food allergies. An estimated 9 million, or 4%, of adults have food allergies. Nearly 6 million, or 8%, of children have food allergies with young children affected the most. Although children allergies to milk, egg, wheat, and soy generally resolve in childhood, they appear to be resolving more slowly than in previous decades, with many children still allergic beyond age 5 years. Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, or shellfish are generally lifelong allergies.

The top food allergens are categorized into eight food groups. These eight food groups account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions. They include: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. The estimated prevalence among the American population is:

          Milk and eggs: based on data within and obtained outside the United States, this rate is likely to be 1-2% for young children and 0.2-0.4% in the general population.

          Peanut: 0.6-1.3%

          Tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans): 0.4%-0.6%

          Fish: 0.4%

          Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp): 1.2%

          All seafood: 0.6% in children and 2.8% in adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that food allergies result in more than 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children under the age of 18 years. From 2004 to 2006, there were approximately 9,500 hospital discharges per year with a diagnosis related to food allergy among children under age 18 years. Even small amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction. Most allergic reactions to foods occurred to foods that were thought to be safe. Allergic reactions can be attributed to a form of mislabeling or cross-contact during food preparation. Food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting. Every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department. This is approximately 200,000 emergency department visits per year, and every 6 minutes the reaction is one of anaphylaxis. Teenagers and young adults with food allergies are at the highest risk of fatal food-induced anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may recur after initially subsisting and experts recommend an observation period of about 4 hours to monitor that the reaction has been resolved. Individuals with food allergies who also have asthma may be at an increased risk for severe or fatal food allergic reactions. Children with food allergy are 3-4 times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared without food allergies. It is possible to have anaphylaxis without any skin symptoms (no rash or hives). Failure to promptly (i.e., within minutes) treat food anaphylaxis with epinephrine is a risk factor for fatalities.

Chemical contamination can occur when high-acid foods are prepared or stored in metal-lined containers. Poisoning may result if brass or copper, galvanized, or gray enamelware containers are used. Fruit juices should never be stored in gray enamelware with lead glaze or tin milk cans. Cases of poisoning have been recorded that have been attributed to use of improper metal utensils. Sauerkraut, tomatoes, fruit gelatins, lemonade, and fruit punches have been implicated in metal poisonings.

Toxin metals also have been implicated in food poisoning cases. Copper may become poisonous when it is in prolonged contact with acid foods or carbonated beverages. The vending industry voluntarily discontinued all point-of-sale carbonation systems that do not completely guard against the possibility of backflow into copper water lines. Also, food such as meat placed directly on cadmium-plated refrigerator shelves may be rendered poisonous.

Mayo Clinic

NIH

FARE

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The Marketing Mix

As a part of my business class/Institutional Foodservice, Production, and Management dietetic internship rotation, we are required to develop a breakfast marketing campaign. The reason for this project is to incorporate the marketing mix and to essentially improve breakfast sales at the Taziki’s Mediterranean café in the WVU Mountainlair. We are required to speak with the management for advice on what’s working and what’s not working within their breakfast menu and customer foundation. As an ISPP dietetic intern and graduate student, I am also required to apply this information to my Management Quality and Process/Performance Improvement Project, as well.

So, to manage marketing activities, managers must deal with variables relating to the marketing mix and the marketing environment. The marketing mix is defined as the specific combination of marketing elements used to achieve an organization’s objectives and to satisfy the target market. The marketing mix decision variables are product, price, place, and promotion. The marketing environment variables are political, legal, regulatory, societal, economic, competitive, and technological forces.

Product

A product can be a good, service, or an idea. Even though the manufacturing of products is not a marketing activity, research on customer needs and product design is. Product decisions focus on which products to develop, which current products to promote, and which products to discontinue. The term new product means it is a genuine innovation because it has not been served commercially yet. The term new to the chain, like McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, are really an imitation of a successful product offered by another chain restaurant, like KFC’s chicken nuggets.

Price

Price is the amount of money charged for a product. Price competition has become very common in foodservice operations. Marketing managers usually are involved in establishing pricing policies for different products because consumers are concerned about the value obtained in the exchange. Price is a critical component of the marketing mix and often is used as a competitive tool. Price also helps establish a product’s image. The goal is to set the price at a point that customers perceive value, yet the company achieves the volume and profit it desires.

Promotion

Promotion is used to facilitate exchanges by informing prospective customers about an organization and its products. Promotion is used to increase public awareness about a new product, or to renew an interest in a product that is declining in popularity. The level of advertising in fast-casual dining, like Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, has become quite large.

Place

In marketing, place refers to the location, the place where food or services are offered. Increasingly, food is prepared somewhere else. Food manufacturers are preparing, packaging, and distributing menu items to restaurants and contract companies. Customers are noticing an increase in mobile carts and food trucks. This is giving the public more options when they are away from home- and at an affordable price as well.

mark mix

Microsoft Word - The Marketing Mix

Quantity Demand: Historical Roots

The desire for an efficient foodservice operation requires that the production manager to know the estimated number of customers or the number of servings of each menu item in time to order prom the procurement unit. Good forecasts are essential for managers in planning smooth transitions from current to future output, regardless of the size or type of the foodservice (i.e., schools, hospitals, or restaurants). Forecasts vary in sophistication from those based on historical records and intuition to complex models requiring large amounts of data and computer time. Choosing a forecasting model that is suitable for a particular situation is essential.

Historical Records

Adequate historical records constitute the basis for most forecasting processes. Often, past customer counts, number of menu items prepared, or sales records re used to determine the number of each menu item to prepare. These records must be accurate and complete, or they cannot be extended into the future with any reliability.

Effective production records should include:

          Date and day of the week

          Meal or hour of service

          Notation of special event , holiday, and weather conditions, if applicable

          Food items prepared

          Quantity of each item prepared

          Quantity of each item served

Although production unite records reveal the vital information on menu items served to customers, production is by no means the only organizational unit that should keep records. Only by cross-referencing records of sales with those of production can a reliable historical basis for forecasting be formalized. Records of sales will yield customer count patterns that can be useful for forecasting. These data can be related to the number of times customers select a given menu item or the daily variations induced by weather or special events.

Historical records in the production unit provide the fundamental base for forecasting quantities when the same meal or menu item is repeated. These records should be correlated with those kept by the purchasing department, which include the name and performance of the supplier and price of the food items.

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Food Production Forecasting

Forecasting is an art and science of estimating events in the future and provides the database for decision making and planning. The art of forecasting is the intuition of the forecaster, and the science is the use of past data in a tested model. Both are required to estimate future needs. Forecasting is described as a function of production and constitutes the basis for procurement. Computerized systems often are used to facilitate the forecasting process.

Production Demand

Forecasting not only is a function of production but also is needed for procurement. Food products must be available for producing menu items for customers. The primary result of forecasting should be customer satisfaction; customers expect to receive what they ordered. In addition, the foodservice manager is concerned with food cost; both overproduction and underproduction affect the bottom line.

Overproduction, the production of more food than is needed for service, generates extra costs because the salvage of excess food items is not always feasible. Leftover prepared food spoils easily and requires extreme care in handling and storage. Even though some leftover foods might be salvageable by refrigeration, certain foods may break down and lose quality. An example is re-using chopped tomatoes or chopped lettuce from an earlier production shift. Policies and procedures for the storage of overproduced food items should be well defined and rigorously enforced.

Attempts to reduce overproduction costs by using a leftover high-priced food as an ingredient in a low-cost menu item reduce profits. For example, using leftover rib roast in beef stew, soup stock, or beef hash, all of which could be prepared with less expensive fresh meat, is difficult t justify. In addition to the higher food cost, planning and carrying out these salvage efforts incurs higher labor costs that could have been avoided had overproduction not occurred. Customers often suspect that leftovers are being used, which can be damaging to the image of a foodservice operation.

Underproduction, the production of less food than is needed for service, can increase costs as much as overproduction. Customers will be disappointed if the menu item is unavailable, and they often have difficulty in making another selection. Furthermore, underproduction may involve both additional labor costs and often the substitution of a higher-priced item.

A wise manager will insist that a similar backup item be available when underproduction occurs. For example, in a university residence hall foodservice, if the grilled meat patties run out, an excellent replacement would be frozen minute steaks, quickly grilled. Such a substitution certainly would increase customer satisfaction even though it hurts the bottom line.

FoodServiceSalesGrowth

Setting Goals with Your Team!

No matter what stage of development your team may be at, they’re most effective when the whole group understands and accepts the goals of their assignment. A way to get your team on-board is to allow members to provide feedback on defining and refining project goals. Managers should also provide feedback on establishing and refining these goals. Synergy between team members and managers in establishing project statements will result in achieving these goals, as well. This conversation should normally happen at the initial project meeting, which should also describe team-building goals and information goals.

Effective teams contribute to the achievement of three types of goals throughout the course of a project.

1.      Team-building goals focus on:

          Getting to know each team member. Teams are most effective when they take time to discover each member’s background, skill, work style, etc.

          Learning to work together. Teams need to identify the strengths of each member and set processes in place to work efficiently together.

          Setting ground rules. Members need a common understanding of how the team will conduct itself and what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Some of the topics for discussion are meeting attendance, promptness, conversational courtesy, assignments, and breaks.

          Figuring out decision-making processes. A characteristic of ineffective teams is that decisions just seem to happen. Teams need to discuss how decisions will be made to avoid conflicts in the future.

2.      Information goals include:

          Getting updates from team members on progress! Staying connected with your team and making sure everyone is on the same page is important.

          Learning about the tools used to support the team’s various tasks.

          Communicating with stakeholders.

3.      Project goals focus on:

          Understanding the project and each member’s assignment. Teams should be able to ask questions about their tasks and the stakeholders’ expectations.

          Identifying the business needs supported by the goals.

          Understanding the process that will be used. Not only do team members need to understand the overall process, but they also need to understand which steps are their responsibilities.

          Identifying the resources needed. Team members need to discuss resources that might be needed sooner than later in the process. This discussion ensures that necessary resources will be available at their designated times.

          Developing a project plan or outline of how the team will accomplish their goals. Teams need roadmaps. A team leader should discuss the logistics of the project with team members. Breaking the process into smaller steps and assigning duties will help build team collaboration. Team should continue to review and revise these plans as they move toward reaching their goals.

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Management versus Leadership?

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Managing in the restaurant industry can be a multi-tasking juggling act at times. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows that it can be, and most likely is fast-pace and requires organization and communication from everyone in each department.

Management is the ability to plan, organize, direct, staff, control, and evaluate the many functions in a foodservice organization for the purpose of serving organizational goals. A manager’s task is to perform all these functions with the finite supply of resources available. These resources include:

          Labor

          Money

          Products

          Equipment

          Time

          Processes and tools

          Energy

When managing a business like a restaurant, the person in this position could demonstrate different styles of management. There are four common management styles:

          Autocratic: Domineering individual who has ultimate authority over employees

          Bureaucratic: Regular procedures, division of responsibilities, hierarchy, and impersonal relationships

          Democratic: Considering and treating others as equals, more participative in the tasks performed

          Laissez-faire: noninterference, letting people do as they decide

But, being an effective manager does not always mean that makes you an effective leader. The roles are much different. Leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire employees to behave in accordance with the vision of an organization and to accomplish the organization’s goals. Good leaders demonstrate these behaviors:

          Provide direction

o   Leaders communicate clearly and ensure that employees know what is expected of them. One of the ways to accomplish this is to discuss roles and responsibilities with everyone in the operation. This way everyone understands the direction given.

          Lead consistently

o   Using the organization’s mission, vision, and values as checkpoints, leaders maintain standards by holding themselves and other accountable for their actions.

          Influence others

o   Gaining cooperation through caring acts, using persuasion to convince others of appropriate behavior, and offering constructive feedback are ways that leaders influence others. Leaders also examine how to build consensus through a “give” and “take” dialogue as well as encouraging superior performance by relating employees’ actions to the organization’s vision.

          Foster teamwork

o   Leaders create functional work teams that build members’ skills. They also establish cross-functional teams to monitor, standardize, and improve work processes across the company. Assigning problems to temporary groups of selected employees is one way to begin developing these teams.

          Motivate others

o   The importance of communication cannot be overstated. Leaders give pep talks, ask their employees for advice, and vocally praise people’s work. It is also really important to keep employees informed and provide them with a sense of belonging by allowing them to solve problems and contribute ideas.

          Coach and develop employees

o   Leaders instruct employees on better ways to perform a task, offer insights to high-potential workers, and ensure that every employee has a development plan. They also seek out learning opportunities for the staff and encourage them to enroll in these programs.

          Champion change

o   Anticipating the need for change, looking for better ways to do things, understanding the link between change and learning, and communicating the benefits of new processes and procedures are all actions of a leader.

So, overall here are the differences you will want to remember:

          Manager:

o   Plans and budgets

o   Oversees staffing

o   Solves problems

o   Maintains order

o   Write reports and other types of materials

          Leader:

o   Charts a course that provides direction

o   Offers guidance and counsel

o   Motivates and inspires a call to action

o   Creates an environment for change

o   Trains and teaches

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Management1

A SWOT Analysis for a Marketing Project

 

SWOT-Analysis

A useful method that organizations use to help them determine which goals to establish at the departmental level is called a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a tool used to identify strengths and weaknesses and to examine opportunities and threats employees face in the organization. Conducting a SWOT analysis helps management to focus on specific activities and set goals for those areas where the organization is the strongest and has the greatest opportunities to achieve success at.

This type of analysis is best conducted by a team, but can be directed by individuals as well. But, as I’ve stated in previous blog entries- “Two heads are always better than one.” Performing a SWOT analysis requires the team/individual to complete three tasks:

          Gathering facts– research what you’re doing

          Reviewing facts– go over your research you’ve compiled

          Sorting facts– organize and discard/keep useful information

Once these three activities are completed, the organization will need to answer questions about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Consider strengths from your point-of-view, as well as from the points of view of the organization, customers, and stakeholders. Also, think of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to your competitor. A way to determine opportunity areas is to look at strengths with an eye for building on them, or to look at weaknesses to determine whether eliminating any of them could create opportunity.

For this rotation within the Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP), graduate students/dietetic interns are required to review the Management Quality and Process/Performance Improvement (MQPPI) objectives. We are to discuss breakfast sales with the General Manager(s). Then, with information from these 2 sources, we are responsible to for the development of a marketing campaign to improve breakfast sales. The undergraduate students in our groups are also contributing to the project by applying the 4 P’s of marketing (Price, Product, Place, and Promotion). Overall, this project will count towards the 80 hours for my MQPPI project(s) section within this rotation.

The objectives for the ISPP MQPPI project include:

          Creating a Quality and Process/Performance Improvement analysis based on data of quality and process indicators

          Creating a Quality and Process/Performance Improvement plan based on indicators

          Managing the implementation of Quality and Process/Performance Improvement procedures

          Evaluating new Quality and Process/Performance Improvement procedures for effectiveness

          Producing a Quality and Process/Performance Improvement Report:

o   A study report of the Quality and Process/Performance Improvement project and the related culminating experience

My first plan of action for this project is to apply a SWOT analysis of the breakfast sales at Taziki’s Mediterranean Café in the WVU Mountainlair. I aim to address what the strengths and weaknesses are within the breakfast menu and its targeted audience. In addition to this, I will also address what opportunities that the breakfast menu could potentially have and how I could assist in that happening. And lastly, I will also investigate and report what the potential and/or existing threats are to the sales of breakfast. The final report is due the week of July 22nd, 2013.

Questions to ask in a SWOT analysis:

Strengths

          What does Taziki’s Mediterranean Café (including breakfast sales) do well?

          What advantages do they have?

          What relevant resources can they access?

          What do they do for their customers that exceed their expectations?

          What do they do better than their competition?

          What do other people see as their strengths?

Weaknesses

          What does Taziki’s Mediterranean Café (breakfast sales) do badly?

          What could they improve?

          What should they avoid?

          Where are they lacking in customer service?

          What does their competition do better than them?

Opportunities

          What trends do they see that could boost demand for their products/services over the next five years?

          What opportunities do they think will emerge because of what is going on in the community?

          How might technology help them?

          What change could occur in the future that could benefit Taziki’s Mediterranean Café?

Threats

          What trends do they see that might hurt demand for their products/services over the next five years?

          What obstacles are they facing?

          Do they have cash flow problems?

          What might threaten them because of what is going on in the community?

          What change could occur in the future that would hurt Taziki’s Mediterranean Café?

swot analysis marketing