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Is there a BOH Prep and Labor Software??

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Looking for software to plan all prep and work delegated out in the kitchen.  Can anyone tell me the most sophisticated system they have seen and what POS if any it was attached to if any? Stand alone is ok.  Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 19

     Excel is used by many. Creating your own prep lists and kitchen forms is pretty easy and allows individualization for your place. 

There may be forms available as part of a bigger operating system like a POS or recipe database but then the software should tell you that. 

Are you changing your POS? If you have one already, you might contact customer/technical support to see what they have available. If it isn't already part of the system, they might have an add on. 

post #3 of 19

There is no software to replace the Chef or kitchen manager that I know of.

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimyra View Post
 

There is no software to replace the Chef or kitchen manager that I know of.

 

Haha, exactly. My first thought reading this post was someone doesn't want to hire a chef, they want to pay someone $12 an hour to run the kitchen and hope some software can make up the difference. 

 

You might look into chefTec. I've never used it but I've heard its pretty good. I think it depends a lot on the type of operation you are working at. More useful for large or multi-unit outlets like resorts and hotels. 

 

That's all I got tho. 

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

With all due respect I have an exec chef and I don't want them wasting their time sequencing menial prep tasks., I would rather them focus on things more challenging like checking work quality, plating, menu revamping etc.. Keep an open mind to new ideas, the world is changing..

post #6 of 19

It might be easier to have each cook write a prep list for their station on a blank lined form you create and print in Excel. Then copy the completed lists into the program so you have a computer copy you can print out any time.  That way the chef isn't doing the lists.  

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately I have looked at many pos systems and they all seem focused on costing or recipes, inventory etc and not on planing labor for prep planning and scheduling.  I called ChefTec and I'm getting a demo but it doesn't seem to be what I am looking for.

post #8 of 19

Can you describe in more detail what it is you want to do?

post #9 of 19
There is no software that I'm aware of for prep lists.

If you have an experienced line cook, he or she can do their own station prep list. The chef should be spot checking them periodically. I would do this and do the main prep list for the prep cooks.

New cook or less experienced, chef, sous chef or a lead line cook should be doing the prep list with the cook until the chef feels they can handle it on their own.

Prep lists are not menial, they're very important. If you have a sous chef or lead line cook, that would be a good project for them to take on.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SavorFlavor View Post
 

With all due respect I have an exec chef and I don't want them wasting their time sequencing menial prep tasks., I would rather them focus on things more challenging like checking work quality, plating, menu revamping etc.. Keep an open mind to new ideas, the world is changing..

A exec chef should not be sequencing menial tasks.  He should have a system in place that provides for this.  Like a par list at each station.  An inventory sheet for everything.  A computer cannot  compute what has been received what has been served and know the inventory.  Someone has to be responsible for checking the inventory.  How can software find the lettuce that has gone bad and needs to be reordered?  Who checked the temperature of that walk in to ensure the computer is functioning.  A exec chef is responsible to make sure his system works.  Computers are great assets but they are tools just as a knife is a tool.  I would suggest viewing this site for a exec chef job description.  Is the position you call exec chef really this?  This is a good topic and deserves insightful comments. 

 

This comment is also placed with all due respect.  In my opinion there are no menial tasks in a restaurant.  Every detail is important.  Preparing any aspect of a plate is important including making sure it is washed properly.  A dirty toilet can lose a customer and points on a health inspection.  Employees all perform essential tasks.  Do view your employees as menial?  I am not being personal but asking about management style.  I try to keep an open mind.         

post #11 of 19
post #12 of 19

What factors do you take in when preparing a prep list?

 

For me the following have an impact in preparing a prep list, most importantly HOW much (ie par level) to prep for:

 

Reservations

Day of the week ( Tue vs. Sat night)

Weather

Traffic situation

Special events in the area

 

I can't wrap my head around computer program specifically for prep lists.  Does this mean cooks will require access to a computer and printer all the time during their shift?  Does it mean that the Sous or Chef should key in and  print out lists for the cooks?  

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

To me this industry screams a need for logistics management.  That gets in the way of consistently and sophistication IMO.  Everything from cleaning events, to compound rep or cooking processes or marinates for instance.

post #14 of 19
Yup, and its called a"Chef".



Prep and par levels, but more importantly checking up on those levels? Chef

Overall kitchen cleanliness? Chef

Cooking, and more importantly constant supervision of cooking? Chef

Making sure recipies are followed? Chef

Daily, hourly, by the minute supervision of the above? Chef

The point I'm trying to make is that you can have a computer spit out all the lists you want, but if those lists are not being followed, they won't do much for you. And that is the job of the Chef, to make sure any and all procedures in the kitchen--from the dishpit to the dessert plates are being done right.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #15 of 19

Let me put it to you this way. If there was a great need or market for this type of software, someone would have already come along and invented it. The reason that no one has one or has any software to point you in the direction of is because it doesn't exist (at least, I don't think it does, and if it does, it isn't used much). 

 

If there was a need for this we would already have it. 

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

  I see things nontraditional and I'm glad. Maybe you will read about what I came up with someday if I'm right.. I really thank all for you feedback!

post #17 of 19
Hi SavorFlavor

My question again, who will impliment the outcomes of these software generated programs?

If you give a bunch of print outs to a cook, someone will still have to supervise the cook's work to make sure he/she is following the procedures, and that person has to know as much or more than the cook in order to properly supervise.

Can you comment on what I just wrote?
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #18 of 19

I'll second Foodpumps' request. I still don't understand exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish. The others seem to get it I guess but can you verify if they are correct?  

I'm all for a better mousetrap but I don't see what it is about logistics you are attempting to improve. 

Are the points/questions raised by the other posters valid? You didn't really respond with specifics. 

I think we'd love to help but more information about the project is needed. 

post #19 of 19

As the chef at a summer family camp, I make heavy use of Word and Excel. All of my processes are written down, then typed into Word/Excel files so I don't have to reinvent the wheel each summer. The cooks are responsible for their own prep lists. A pad of paper works wonders. I will prepare the prep list for special events and write it onto the production worksheet (I have the 14-day menu typed into a Word-based worksheet so I don't spend my summer typing). I use technology to my advantage; however, nothing replaces constant supervision from the floor, including seeing that prep for the next meal and tomorrows meals are being accomplished.

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