The following write up is the design of a new conference centre called ‘The Royal Conference and Banqueting centre’ and is centrally located in the heart of London. This banquet hall and restaurant has the capacity of holding more than 300 people at any time and has a good capacity kitchen facilities with excellent staff and chefs with good experience in serving food from different countries.
In the essay the following points related to the design of the conference centre have been stated such as the design of the kitchen, the kind of equipment to be used, the operating times of the centre; an organisational chart has been designed and also the different kinds of menus offered. For efficient operation a control system has been designed. Latest inventory management techniques have been used in the design of an efficient system. Also the principles of ISO 9000 have been implemented. Apart from this special attention on budgeting and cost analysis have been shown.
Design of the Conference
centre The conference centre has been designed keeping the fundamental aspects of efficiency as top priority. As per the new construction standards in place, sustainability has been an important feature in the design of the conference centre. The design is based on the Eco-homes standard for sustainability. Based on this standard, the walls of the conference centre has been made using pre-cast concrete. Pre-cast concrete ensures that the heat with in the conference centre is retained during winter and in summer allows easy flow of the air and keep the area well ventilated. Also the lights used with the conference centre are energy saving and are certified by environment agency. These things help the conference centre in saving costs on gas and electricity.
Design of lobby area
From the above design of the conference centre, it can be seen that basically the large dining area for customers can be sub-divided into 3 smaller areas depending on the number of people. The whole of the conference centre as per health and safety norms has fire doors at every point and are coded in bright green colour. The kitchen is located along with the delivery area and the kitchen has open mark ways for porters and waiters to move easily. As the area is huge and plenty of walking space, there is very little chance for congestion. In the design of the conference centre there are three sizes of the tables used. The smaller circular ones are used to serve customers ranging from 3 to 5 customers, the bigger circular tables used to serve customers from 6 to 10 groups of customers. Finally groups from 10 to 20 there are big rectangular tables that are used to serve them. Based on the capacity of expected customers the areas with in the hall can be used. Also there are facilities for the tables to be moved away if the customers expect to hold a buffet.
For the convenience of customers toilets are located conveniently also there are toilets for special circumstances.
Design of Kitchen: The kitchen basically consists of 4 areas
1. Cooking area
2. Trolley area
3. Racks area
All areas in the kitchen are easily accessible and for safety purposes there are more than one route to reach different areas. The areas marked in red are to be kept clear always and serve as paths during emergency. There are two main areas marked as incoming and outgoing and in these areas are the orders placed by the waiters and when the orders are ready they again come back to pick the order up.
- Cooking Area: The cooking area basically consists of two cooking areas and mainly consists of stoves. The plates of the stove are made of hard steel and they take about 5 minutes for heating up when started. The stoves can be used for various purposes of heating. The maximum temperature it can reach is about 210 C. There are different areas in the stove where the temperatures are low for slow cooking. These areas are those which are just about 100 C. Only chefs and their assistants are only permitted to use these machines. These stoves have been classified as dangerous machines. The cooking area also consists of clay over which will be used to bake Nan breads etc. There are also general oven and 2 microwave oven facilities. There are dual plated heaters that are used for heating buns and bread and are based at about 210C and are operated for about 30 secs everytime. Depending on the number of guests and the order the stoves are used. If very few people are turning up then one stove can be used and the other switched off and at full capacity two stoves can be used. All appliances and tools used are Energy star rated indicating they are energy efficient. The other machines that may be used with in the conference centre are the card board recycle machines and compactors. Most of the products arrive in card board boxes.
- Fridges: The fridges mainly consist of 2 chillers and 2 main freezers. The chillers mainly hold items such as eggs, milk, sundae mix, different kinds of cheese, vegetables, salads, etc. The freezers are bigger in size compared to the chillers and hold frozen items such as meat, frozen items such as doughnuts, pancakes, etc.
- Trolleys area: The trolleys area holds 2 different kinds of trolleys; one is the trolleys for customer’s orders and the other for conducting deliveries and moving heavy boxes. The customers’ orders trolleys are designer trolleys with the company’s logo and can have three racks and can hold many items. If there is a big order then more than 2 trolleys can be used. As per the health and safety and manual handling techniques when moving any objects is difficult then trolleys are to be used.
- Racks area: The racks area is mainly used for storing items that do not need fridge etc. Items such as dry flour, pasta, tea, coffee, etc. Also bottles of wines are stored in this area.
Operation of the conference centre: The conference centre has two modes of operation
- Unique order mode: In this mode of operation, the order has been placed a while back by one customer who represents all the customers and hence the chefs have a plan of operation and the items needed are partly prepared and saved in the chillers section of the fridge. In this mode of operation there will only be delivery from the kitchen to customers and very less incoming.
- JIT order mode: Just in Time order mode is the mode of operation where any customer can order from a varied set of menu of the conference centre and once the orders placed the chefs need to prepare the order and deliver it in a particular set of waiting time.
Management of the conference centre: The operations with in the conference centre are stated as follows
- Organisation Structure: There are 52 members of staff working as shown in the organisation structure. One of the main elements of the company is that it expects every member of staff to work as a team and support any department at any time in need. The managers are responsible for their individual departments. The front floor manager maintains the lobby area and receives the customers and presents them with the right customer service. The Accounts manager maintains the main accounts and financial information related to the company. The kitchen floor manager mainly manages the deliveries and operates more as the logistics manager maintaining the smooth flow of operations. The kitchen floor manager’s is a very important role to be satisfied. This department is supported by 6 porters and effectively stay on top in maintaining smooth flow of logistics (Peter, 2000). The chef is the main team leader in the kitchen and distributes orders to the cooks for the preparation of the order. He arranges the team according to the orders and distributes the tasks evenly and expects the whole team to operate under multitasking environment. If there are many more orders then the assistance from other staff such as porters is undertaken. But considering the present level of staff this need may not arise (Donna, 2000).
- Operational control system: Whatever is the mode of operation, all the orders placed pass through a central point of contact where the orders are logged and the price is calculated. There is generally one particular member of staff who records this and prepares the bills on the completion of the order.
Control system design
The order recording and management team generally uses the latest IT technology in recording the orders in the form of a database. Also this department keeps a track of the number of tables empty in the conference centre also the customers.
Inventory Management: This is the main task of the Kitchen manager and his main tasks are precisely maintaining the inventory and satisfy the demand. To achieve this accurate scheduling is important. Apart from this all the products should be easily available and delays should be reduced. The manager must ensure that there is maximum floor space utilisation undertaken.
Management of inventory: The manager at the end of every day conducts a count of the inventory present in the fridge section and records it. Also a waste count is done. Waste count generally means that the amount of waste is recorded. It is the task of the managers to keep the waste to the minimum (Juline, 2006). Also the waste needs to be disposed off by using special sections of waste. It is expected that of all the spending the waste is kept at less than 2% of the turnover. The maintenance of quality and quantity is an important issue and the conference centre needs to satisfy that the quality is maintained at all times.
The manager also checks the stock and maintains that all the stock is in date (John, 2006).
FILO: All the stock in the fridge is arranged in the First in Last out order. The product whose due date is the earliest is supposed to be used first. All the stock is arranged in this order. Stock rotation must be ideally done.
Maintenance: All the areas are to be maintained clean by the use of materials such as bleach. The stoves and pans need to be cleaned by using degreasers that can effectively remove grease at high temperatures.
Costing and Budgeting in conference centres: The restaurant industry has the familiar traditional planning procedure: output is planned in relationship to sales, resources are planned in relationship to planned output, and costs are planned from planned resources. About the only critical difference in planning is that, in the restaurant industry, resources are over planned to meet peak level demand. Despite this difference, traditional planning techniques should be readily transferable to the conference centre industry (Catherine, 2003). The costing is an important part of the conference centre and it’s an important business function. The rising and the falling of the costs affect the pricing and inflation has an effect on the pricing as well (Catherine, 2003).
From the records maintained, orders need to be placed and for this there need to be fixed contracts with the suppliers that needs to be maintained. As per the contract the suppliers must deliver the requested goods with in the requested time limit and they are expected to be reliable. The suppliers can only review their costs after the agreed contract term expires (Catherine, 2003). Now depending on the rise of the costs the prices on the menu can be varied.
By effective forecasting, the prices and the rise of the costs can be increased accordingly and at one particular time. Generally, if the overall costs of the overheads rise by 10% then the cost of the menu needs to rise.
Budgeting: Budgeting and allocation of funds for the raw products is an important aspect of the conference centres. Also allocation of funds for labour is an important aspect. Generally it is seen that the labour spending must not exceed 14% of the overall cost. Also the kitchen manager must order the products according to the demand. Over-planning should be cut down and efficient planning methods need to be adopted (Catherine, 2003).
Menu design: One of the menu’s designed for the plated service has been shown below (Juline, 2006)
Health and Safety (STL, 2006): The health and safety is one of the important aspects that all employees in the firm must follow. Regular health and safety training sessions and monthly assessments for all staff must be conducted by the management. Also the management must undertake regular health and safety audits of the conference centre to make the place safe not only for customers but also for employees working.
The conference centre has been designed to keep the health and safety risks to a minimum. All the equipment used has passed the safety test and all the employees are trained to use the equipment. Employees who do not have training about particular equipment are not allowed to operate it under any circumstances.
To keep a track of all the accidents that happens to employees or customers, an Accident Log book is maintained and as per law an Incident report form is filled up after conducting investigation by a nominated and trained Health and Safety Co-ordinator, generally. The Health and Safety co-ordinator generally is the manager of each department. Also apart from this the managers need to be provided with First Aide’s training. Some members of staff who are basically involved with helping and serving customers need to be trained as First aid’s to support customers in case of accidents.
First Aid boxes need to be placed at different locations in the conference centre and they should be easily accessible. In case of an incident the first aid trained person must immediately assist the victim to safety and in emergency must call the emergency services without delay.
Keeping the customer’s health and safety in mind all employees must follow the health and safety rules and they must be in context with the vision of the company. It’s the organisation’s duty to provide safe and secure environment. The health and safety rules to be followed by the employees are
- All employees must wash their hands up to the middle of their hands with the soap provided. They must wet their hands first with warm water provided then apply soap and wash it clean. Then they must air dry their hands. Every employee must wash their hands every half an hour.
- No employee is allowed to touch food or the material to make food dishes with their bare hands. Always use the right food handling procedure to prevent contamination. To handle food all employees need to use the spoons or tongs provided. To prevent contamination leading to ethical issues, all vegetarian food must be handled with equipment and tools marked in Green colour. In certain circumstances touching of food may become inevitable and in such cases always use plastic gloves provided. Once the use is over the gloves need to be dropped in the waste bin to prevent contamination.
- All employees are provided with manual handling training. The posters explaining manual handling are displayed at every section of the delivery and kitchen areas.
- When there is a spillage on any part of the conference centre, immediately one staff member must stand at the location of the spillage and prevent any other person to walk through the spillage. Next they need to call the other member of staff for assistance. The other member of staff must immediately get a mop and a bucket along with a “Danger” sign clearly indicating the spillage area and then perform a clear up.
- The COSHH assessments must be up to date and a copy of the assessments must be placed in an accessible area. All employees must be aware of dangerous chemicals used in the company. Chemicals such as degreasers are used for cleaning purposes.
- All employees must be trained to fire evacuation procedures. They must be trained to use the fire alarm and also fire extinguishers. All employees must also be made aware of dangerous machines such as compactors, heaters, stoves, high temperature plates, microwave and ovens. They need to be trained to use equipments safely.
- At various places in the conference centre there are fire extinguishers placed to prevent the hazard of fire. All the staff must be trained to use a fire extinguisher.
Conclusion: This write-up is the basic design of a food production unit and a conference centre and a banquet hall that effectively serves more than 300 people under two modes of operation. Also suggestions have been presented for effective working of the conference centre in an efficient and cost effective manner.