Chapter Seven A production plan lists the types and amounts of finished foods and beverages needed, when they must be ready, and when they should be produced The chef and banquet manager must have copies of the banquet event orders (BEOs) so that they can incorporate them into the daily production and work schedules. The chef needs to requisition foods from the storeroom If the kitchen staff needs something unusual that the catering operation does not normally carry in stock, he or she will need to prepare a purchase requisition a few days before the meal function and for the purchasing department The purchasing agent will then have enough time to shop around for the product and get the best possible value. The amount of food that must be requisitioned and produced depends primarily on the: Number of guests expected Style of service Expected edible yields. You should plan to prepare enough foods to handle the guaranteed guest count, plus a set percentage above that amount Generally speaking, if the guarantee is 100 guests, you should plan for 10 percent more If the guarantee ranges from 100 to 1,000 guests, you should plan for 5 percent more If the guarantee exceeds 1,000 guests, you should plan for 3 percent more. With a sit-down, pre-plated meal, it is less difficult to compute the food-requisition amounts as you can control portion sizes If the main course is roast bottom round of beef, the serving size is 6 cooked ounces, and the expected edible yield percentage for the raw roast beef is 75%, you will need to requisition approx. 55 pounds of raw beef for a party of 100 guests Fifty-five pounds will serve 110 guests, 100 plus an extra 10 guests. Divide serving size by edible yield percentage. Divide 16 ounces by the amount of raw product needed per serving ◦ This will tell you how much raw product you need per serving. ◦ 6 ounces/.75 = 8 ounces ◦ This will tell you the number of edible servings you can get from one raw pound of roast beef. ◦ 16 ounces/8 ounces = 2 servings Divide the number of guests by the number of edible servings per raw pound ◦ This will give you the amount of raw roast beef you must requisition. ◦ 110 servings/2 = 55 raw pounds It is much easier to determine how much alcoholic beverage you will need than it is to forecast your food requirements Unlike food, beverage is a standardized, manufactured product You do not have to worry about spoilage and quality and yield variations As long as your liquor storeroom is well stocked, you will never run out of product. Usually the banquet and reception bars are set up with a par stock of beverages, ice, glassware, garnishes, and other necessary supplies about a half-hour to an hour before the catered event is scheduled to begin The normal par stock used is influenced by the: ◦ Number of guests expected. ◦ The caterer’s experience with similar events ◦ Amount of storage space available at the bar. Type of Spirit # of Liters Blend 1 Canadian 1 Scotch 2 Bourbon 1 Gin 1 Vodka 3 Rum 2 Brandy/Cognac 1 Expect liquor consumption to average at least 2 1/2 drinks per guest during a one-hour reception, particularly if the event attracts a mixed-company crowd Average consumption tends to drop at very large receptions and it usually increases at male-only events If you schedule enough help and stock enough inventory to handle 2 1/2 drinks per hour, you should be able to accommodate any type of beverage function adequately. Usually you will estimate 2 ½ servings of wine per guest for the typical dinner banquet In this example, you will need to order enough wine to serve 275 glasses ◦ 110 X 2.5 Since the standard wine glass holds a 5ounce portion (approx. 148 ml), you will need to order about 55 750-milliliter bottles of wine. Divide the amount of liquor per 750-milliliter bottle by the serving size ◦ This will tell you how many potential drinks you can obtain per container ◦ 750 ml/148 ml = 5.07 potential drinks per bottle Divide the number of servings needed by the number of potential drinks per container ◦ This will tell you how many containers you will need to special order ◦ 275 servings/5.07 = 54.24 750-milliliter bottles, rounded to 55 ◦ 750 ml bottles needed. If you take into account over-pouring, waste, and the fact that usually you cannot get all of the liquid out of a bottle (some of it will stick to the sides), you will need to increase your order size If you assume that you will lose 1 ounce (approximately 30 ml) per 750-milliliter bottle, your order size will be about 57 750-milliliter bottles of wine The calculations are: ◦ 750 - 720 ml/148 ml = 4.86 potential drinks per bottle ◦ 275 servings/4.86 = 56.58 750-milliliter bottles, rounded to 57 750-milliliter bottles needed. Finish cooking involves cooking to guest order The chef must wait for the guest to order a rare steak; he or she does not prep it in advance. Finish cooking is the most difficult part of the food production plan It is also the most labor intensive You need to schedule a lot of worker hours Worker hours must be provided by highly skilled food handlers who can work under the demanding conditions that accompany most finish-cooking activities. A chef working at an egg action station must be quick, efficient, and accurate as he or she will be producing two or three guest orders at a time and will need to remember them as well as those that are coming in from other guests waiting in line. In general, the number of food production work hours needed for a catered event will depend on the: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Number of guests Amount of time scheduled Union and company policy Type of service style Amount of convenience foods used Amount of scratch production Amount of finish cooking needed (Continued) Continued ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Type of menu items offered Number of last minute requests Number of special diets Accuracy of meal time estimates Types of service personnel: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Maitre d’hotel (floor manager) Captain (room manager) Food server Cocktail server Sommelier Food runner Bus person Napkin folds Placing table pads and tablecloths Table settings Presetting foods Greeting/seating guests Taking food/beverage orders Serving food and beverage Opening wine bottles, pouring wine Hot and cold beverage service Crumbing and bussing tables The number of service personnel needed to handle a given number of guests, are usually established by management These ratios are the heart of the service staffing guide. The number of service personnel needed depends on many factors, including: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Number of guests Length of the event Style of service Menu length and complexity Timing of the event Room location Room setup Probability of overtime Extraordinary requests Union and company policies The number of servers can vary from one staff member for every 8 guests to a high of one staff member for every 40 guests. Industry experts suggest that the minimum service ratio for conventional sit-down meal functions with American-style service with some foods pre-set, is one server for every 20 guests. If you are using rounds of 10, you should schedule one server for every 2 dining tables If you are using rounds of 8, two servers should be scheduled to handle 5 dining tables. If the conventional sit-down meal function includes Russian, French or poured-wine service, you normally will need one server for every 16 guests You should schedule one server for every two rounds of 8, or two servers for every three rounds of 10 One busser for every six rounds of 10, or every eight rounds of 8 The banquet manager usually sets aside one day each week to prepare the service work schedules for the following week Each week, he or she must prepare a fixed work schedule and a variable work schedule Fixed employees usually have steady, predictable work schedules Variable labor is incremental labor, it fluctuates with the volume of catering business. The work schedules will be based primarily on the: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Types of functions booked that week Expected lengths of each function Number of guests anticipated Styles of service required Allowable labor costs Employee availability Degree of guest satisfaction required Allocate a sufficient number of work hours to cover the pre-opening and tear-down periods Stagger your servers so that some arrive and leave earlier than others You should aim to have the maximum number of workers available when the catered functions are in high gear, and fewer scheduled at function beginnings and endings. About 15 minutes before you want the meal service to start, you should begin calling guests You can start the music, dim the lights in the pre-function area, ring chimes, or make announcements to signal guests that it is time to enter the dining room for dinner Servers should be standing ready at their stations when guests walk into the room, not against the wall talking with each other. For most conventional meal functions, the salad course will usually take about twenty to thirty minutes The main course, about thirty to fifty minutes, from serving to removing of plates Dessert can usually be handled in approximately twenty to thirty minutes The entire meal will be about 1 1/4 hours for a typical luncheon and 2 hours for a typical dinner. Food and beverage production and service must be carried out in a safe and wholesome manner Anyone handling foods and beverages must be trained to practice basic safety and sanitation procedures to ensure that employees and guests do not fall victims to accidents or food-borne illnesses. In most locations in the U.S., all food-contact equipment must display the blue seal of the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) Equipment that does not carry this seal usually cannot be used in commercial food and beverage operations. Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) and the American Gas Association (AGA) inspect and certify equipment compliance with generally accepted safety standards A gas oven displaying the AGA seal is safe to use in commercial production Most local building codes usually require all equipment and permanent installations to meet or exceed safety standards promulgated by these types of independent inspectors.