Staffing a kitchen

Organization chart

As we have already discussed in a previous article on planning our kitchen needs in staff, the main tool we can use is the organization chart. We are going to take again, the hypothetical scenario of the hotel’s main kitchen that serves 700 people. We know in advance that it consists of three different departments each one having a chef leading and operates in two shifts of 8 hours (based on current labour legislation and needs of the restaurant). Therefore an initial organization chart for that particular kitchen would have the following form.


On the chart above, we can see that there are no confectionery and meat processing departments and this has been done on purpose. If the company decides that purchasing ready-cut meat had a lower cost than the primal cost (which we will talk about in another article) of purchasing raw material and processing it, then there would be no reason for the meat processing department to exist. Job planning therefore, has to do with the decisions made by the company and the executive chef and have to do with the cost and the value they want to give to the product as well as any constraints that the Tour Operators have set on the business with whom he collaborates with.

Cost-related decisions

Assuming that the various costs have been calculated, let’s say that the company or the executive chef decided that the cost of operating a meat processing unit is less than the cost of buying ready-to-eat meat from suppliers. The operation of this department, does not seem to need to be done in two shifts but in one, as the processing of the meat of the various menus, has been estimated to require 6 hours of direct labour and indirect work of 2 hours. Therefore, another section will be added to the above organization chart which will operate in one shift, preferably in the morning.

Service Value and Restriction Decisions

These decisions have to do with the restrictions and requirements set by the travel agents or the various laws and legislation that the restaurant operates in on the one hand and on the other with the value that the company wants to give to the product it offers. So let us consider that the limitations that we have from the Tour Operators, is the existence of live cooking station, on all meals and an ala carte evening restaurant which will serve 70 people (10%) per day. The company, on the other hand, decides that wants to give special care on the desserts it offers to its customers as they do not like the ready-made frozen sweets that it purchases so far and customers gave some negative feedback on that matter on Tripadvisor and the internal evaluation. The final plan of the organization chart with the last decisions we took, will be as follows.

Having completed the final form of our kitchen’s organogram, our next task is to plan our final staff needs in each department and each shift. The staffing of the individual departments will be done taking into account the work required to implement the menu, the ancillary work required, the available space and machinery, etc., as we will see in the next article.