Delicatessen – Ascot Vale

Delicatessen – Ascot Vale

Consultancy case study

Rely Culinary Services offers kitchen consultancy to customers wanting to assess and maximise their operations. In this consultancy case study Robert was contracted for six months in 2016. He then complete an additional contract in 2018 for three months.

The overarching requirement of this consultancy was to bring the delicatessen department (which served ready made meals and fresh salads) into profit.

The requirements…

To begin with Robert assessed and highlighted current activities that caused economic stress. The outcome of this identified some key areas for improvement, these included;

  1. Most items were purchased from a third party for resale including;
    • Salads
    • Savoury pastries
    • Some meat dishes
  2. Dishes made on premises were not made in any sequence, or to a particular recipe.
  3. No food costings were produced on any dishes
  4. Staff were not instructed how to produce food in a timely manner
  5. Leadership was lacking
  6. Preparation space was very limited and equipment was not suited to production, as they were domestic machines in a commercial space

Following this, Robert made some key recommendations to improve the production process. Robert repositioned the workspace and, with the owner, purchased a new commercial oven, blast chiller and food vacuum machine. These three things enabled staff to make food in bulk and ahead of time. This allowed for peak customer periods (where staff needed to serve) and ebbs in sales. This enabled the kitchen to reduce costs such as labour and wastage.

Once the kitchen processes were optimised, Robert set to work on developing a recipe base for staff. He implemented a software package (resort software) and trained all staff. This allowed all staff, even new or lesser trained personnel, to work exactly to a recipe. By doing this he ensured that the standards set, were easily adhered to.

Finally, with processes and structures in place, Robert worked with and trained key staff to better implement work : time ratios. This allowed Robert and the team to inject new dishes with a low food cost.

The results…

Ultimately, the kitchen made a significant move away from third party products, to ‘make your own’ which can increase costs. However, the flow of extra clients, who were now enjoying fresher, tastier and more consistent products. As well as an increase in revenue, due to time efficiencies and cost tracking, ensured that the minimal increases in staffing were required and costs were offset.

Within six months the Delicatessen had a totally new look and feel. Staff were happy and enjoyed the more streamlined environment. The costs:revenue ratio was much lower. The department started to make a profit.

During 2018, the shop underwent a complete refurbishment and Robert was responsible for the design and implementation of the new department kitchen.

The kitchen work space doubled in size, as did the display section. Robert and the owner installed new equipment such as a combi oven, another blast chiller and a dishwasher. Revenue picked up and now the department contributes profit to the supermarket. New dishes, that mirror demand, are always on the menu and staff are happy to change an item if it’s not selling. Food is fresh and delicious and all made on the premises.