Proper Planning Prevents Stress
at the very least, you need the following at your disposal:
- master item list of what is in season at any given time
- master recipe books with any preparation and portioning guidelines
- prep list with par amounts
- if you don't have a pre-written prep list, your chef can use the master item list as a guide to make the daily prep list
- the prep list for the following day should be written and/or ready to go half way through the PRIOR day. this is critical for us so we can look at the following day and say "well, there's too much on the list". there should be a buffer on that list, and perhaps 1 or 2 things could be "optional" so if things go smoothly, they can be done, if there's some disasters, the optional things can be moved. for my bakery, the buffer is key...it means we're actually always a day ahead of schedule.
- shopping list with par amounts for each vendor. I try to order certain things from certain vendors, and then put a little note for certain products that can be ordered from different vendors. (say you run out of tp and you aren't doing your paper order until next week, perhaps your dry goods supplier might be able to hook you up)
- waste log (depending on the business, this should be tied into the prep list. Say you always toss 5lbs of chopped onions. you need to know about that so you can adjust your par.
- chore list. we have certain chores due each day. we also have monthly things like clean the fridge that we put on the calendar.
- maintenance schedule. This is something I dream about, but have yet to implement. i think it's extremely important to know when equipment is purchased and when it needs repair.
Right now, i have a lot of these in just printouts; however, I would love to move this into a database (especially shopping) so I could run reports to see how much we're purchasing and perhaps work budgeting into my weekly shopping.
Start there. the above are great tools to track the progress of your staff. Revisit your tools at least every month to start and then every quarter after things are rolling. And most importantly, make sure your staff understands the importance of filling out paperwork.