Onsite Insights Especially for school nutrition managers, assistant managers and employees TIPS MANAGING in School Foodservice for Creating Happy (Efficient!) Staff Members As a manager, you can improve workplace efficiency by fostering a happy work environment, motivating your employees and encouraging them to feel invested both as an individual and as a member of your team. Ask yourself, as manager, are you creating an environment that fosters the following: • Communication: Are you clearly communicating your expectations and goals? Are you listening to your employees’ concerns and ideas? It’s your job to facilitate efficient communication with and between your employees. • Trust: This doesn’t just mean knowing your employees will do what they say they will do—trust means creating decision makers who are empowered to take ownership of their daily tasks. • Appreciation: It’s a good idea to go beyond a simple thank you—but it’s also a good start. Show appreciation for a job well done with detailed praise (“I noticed participation is up at breakfast, and love your enthusiasm with the kids in the morning.”) rather than a generic, “Great work!” • Connection: Efficient work communication is essential, but it’s also important to connect with your staff in a meaningful way. Get to know your employees, learn about their personal and professional goals, and make sure everyone has some fun on a regular basis! • Encouragement: Be a leader and create future leaders by helping your employees pursue their personal and professional goals by setting standards and providing opportunities for professional development. MANAGING Labor Efficiently in School Foodservice Calculating Meals per Paid Labor Hour (MPLH) can help you monitor efficiency and make staffing decisions in school foodservice. Many factors affect MPLH, from size and type of service to number of serving lines to employee skill level and menu complexity. Test your knowledge with this True/False quiz. 1) Labor costs include salaries and wages but not employee benefits. (T/F) 2) Volunteer labor should not be included in any calculation of MPLH, and should be calculated separately. (T/F) 3) Your Average Daily Participation (ADP) is unrelated to labor costs. (T/F) 4) It’s more important to make big, systemic changes than small tweaks when trying to maximize efficiency. (T/F) 5) Cross-training staff so they can comfortably work in several different stations or work areas can help keep overall labor costs down. (T/F) Answers: (1) False. Labor costs include salaries and wages, including administrative office salaries, as well as employee benefits. (2) True. (3) True. Understanding your ADP can help you prevent food overproduction and overscheduling of labor hours. (4) False. Even small changes to existing processes can impact your bottom line; for example, eliminating unnecessary portioning and packaging for faster distribution. (5) True What is Mise en Place? 5 Steps for Making It Work for You There is a reason chefs around the world use the mise en place method—it’s efficient! A French term used by culinary professionals, ‘mise en place’ translates to “put in place,” and simply refers to the steps you must take to prepare for cooking—organizing and arranging ingredients (and equipment and utensils) required to cook the items on the menu that day. Practicing mise en place has several benefits: • Any missing ingredients can be spotted before it’s too late. • Special preparation for ingredients—such as toasting nuts, letting certain ingredients come to room temperature, etc.—can be handled before cooking rather than in the midst of another preparation step when time delays may affect food quality. • There is time to clean the preparation area as you go along rather than face a counter full of mixing equipment when you’re done. • You can group ingredients or place them in the order used to assure all recipe steps are included. • It makes complicated recipes more fun to prepare when you’re no longer doing a juggling act, trying to complete several tasks simultaneously. When you organize your mise en place into production stages, you save staff time and effort otherwise spent on leaving a work space to retrieve an ingredient or utensil. Don’t limit mise en place to food items; assign permanent spaces to kitchen tools and equipment and store them properly in the same place every time. 1) PLANNING Each day begins with staff reading and discussing both the menu and standardized recipes, so each employee understands their role (preparation, cooking, serving, etc.). 2) EQUIPMENT PREP All tools and equipment should be gathered and placed in the preparation area, and should be properly cleaned/sanitized. 3) INGREDIENT PREP Ingredient prep—each recipe ingredient should be measured and gathered in the preparation area; unused/unneeded items should be returned to storage. 4) FOOD PREP Using proper (efficient) culinary techniques, food should be prepared according to the recipe by using the gathered ingredients. 5) SERVICE Serve prepared food to your customers! RECIPE Standardized Recipes Maximize Efficiency Using standardized recipes has many benefits, from reduced administrative burdens to labor cost control—and the results reveal improved efficiency across the board. How can standardized recipes benefit your school foodservice operation? Consistency: Food quality and nutrient content are consistent with standardized recipes, which leads to increased customer satisfaction. You will also enjoy predictable yields, which can reduce overproduction. Cost control: Inventory, food costs, and labor costs are controlled when using standardized recipes, which results in more efficient use of time and money. Plus, purchasing is more efficient because food quantities are easily calculated. Reduced record keeping: Food production records become more efficient when you use standardized recipes. Donna Myers SNA School Nutrition Employee/Manager Representative Working Smarter, Not Harder FOR ME, IT’S THE TIME OF THE SCHOOL YEAR THAT MEANS VERY FAST-PACED SUMMER FEEDING! I’m thinking about how to give advice on working smarter and reflecting on my experiences as a monitor of this program. I have the opportunity to meet so many different employees within the Osceola (Fla.) County School District as we all come together to work in a central kitchen to feed over 2,000 students, serving breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the summer. What a great time of the year to give (and get!) advice. When speaking to my coworkers this summer we came up with some great ideas for working smarter: » Toledo Jones, manager at Pleasant Hill Elementary, believes that prayer and meditation before the start of her day is very helpful. She also likes to have mini check-ins with staff and talk to them throughout the day. » Regina Walker at Parkway Middle School stated the importance of teamwork for working smarter. » Rebecca Reed at Koa Elementary echoes this with emphasis on working together and helping one another. » Carmen Guerra, manager of the summer feeding program at Kissimmee Middle School, has had the most success with working smarter with her methods. She takes time to train employees who are “waiting for their children to grow up,” because she knows that when they are ready in their personal lives they will become managers of our programs. Guerra recommends looking for people who “want your job” because these people are most likely to be the go-getters and will give you 100%. By training one or two of these over-achievers to do some of Guerra’s job duties, they can take over when she is away, which also helps these employees when they are going through manager training. Another rule Guerra practices is staying organized. She finds this is crucial to keeping the operation running smoothly, and helps her to find short cuts to streamline some processes. The most important thing Guerra likes to do, however, is to make employees comfortable within their jobs. She likes to find employees who have talents in cooking, cashering and baking. Carmen Soto, assistant manager at Kissimmee Middle School, shared how Guerra really pushed her to become a manager and gave her the confidence she needed to go into the manager training program. Soto states, “Carmen and I have worked together for many years now and I can truly attest to her working smarter in the programs that she runs for the school district!” Reflect on how you and your team take steps to work smarter and implement them as you all dive into SY 2017–18 EFFICIENT FOOD HANDLING: Multiple Choice How efficient are you in the kitchen? Proper food handling techniques make you faster and more efficient—take the quiz! 1) To make them easier to handle, tortillas and pitas should be warmed __. a. In the microwave b. In an oiled pan c. In a dry pan d. In the oven 2) A full sheet pan (18” x 26”) will accommodate how many slices of sandwiches? a. 18 b. 20 c. 22 d. 24 3) Where should protein be placed in a pita or taco? a. On the top b. In the middle c. In the bottom d. Anywhere 4) Which is not recommended for applying butter to bread? a. Brush b. Spoon c. Roller d. Spray Answers: 1. c, 2. d, 3. c, 4. B Explore Efficiency: Additional Resources for Managers • School nutrition and/or kitchen and/or organization consultants: If you have the budget, hire an outside consultant to come in and do staff training. • District architect: Consult with your district architect on how you can utilize existing space more efficiently, and get suggestions for potential renovation/expansion. • Ask around: Can’t afford a consultant? Reach out to your fellow managers, and your directors. Open the lines of communication and begin fostering a sense of empowerment by gathering your staff and brainstorming ideas for improving efficiency. Additional resources include: • School Nutrition Association: Visit our website (www.schoolnutrition.org) to find Webinars On Demand on this topic, as well as ANC 2017 presentations. • Chef Cyndie’s Culinary Solutions: You may have recognize Chef Cyndie from SNA’s Webinar Wednesday trainings—did you know she has a YouTube channel with short instructional video for school foodservice staff? www.youtube.com/channel/UCs_9JFgRrwAD_IjnJkWT5Jw • Institute of Child Nutrition: ICN’s trainings and online resources include information on standardized recipes, mise en place, and more: www.nfsmi.org
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/Focus+On+%3E%3E+Working+SmarterEfficiency/2874606/435695/article.html.