Efficient Workflow in a Commercial Kitchen

Interested in a career in commercial cookery?Commercial kitchens are very busy areas, and each area of the kitchen serves a specific purpose. The staff working in the kitchen must be organised and develop routine procedures that will enable them to make the most efficient and effective use of their work time. You will learn about developing efficient workflow in a commercial cookery during your Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.

The running of the kitchen is the responsibility of the head chef, but it is necessary for all kitchen staff to organize their daily tasks so that productivity is maximised, and wastage of food and labour is kept to a minimum.

Cooperation between all kitchen staff is essential in creating an effective team.  In this way, confusion is eliminated, productivity is high and the working environment is better for all.

Logical work lists and workflow plans enable kitchen staff to work effectively and efficiently within specific timeframes and in the necessary order of importance. Work plans act as a guide for staff to complete all required tasks. By planning you can check that all tasks are included, understand how tasks relate to each other, and build in efficiencies.

The objective of workflow planning is to make work easier.  Simplifying the operation, eliminating unnecessary movements, combining two operations into one where possible, or improving old methods can achieve this.  For instance, when peeling carrots, if you let the peelings fall into a bowl, the need to clean the table is eliminated.

Likewise, before you start preparing a more involved recipe, it is important to select the correct equipment and light the ovens, setting the desired temperature if necessary.

Workflow planning for the service of meal would take into consideration:

  • The type of food to be prepared and served

  • The number and size portions to be served

  • The time the food should be served

  • The method of service and the type of presentation

  • The location of the food service, e.g. restaurant, function service

Apprentice chefs must understand that workflow planning makes work easier and assists in teamwork; the cooperative aspect of a number of staff members working together to achieve targets.