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Staffing Planning Time Line

At the initial organizational meeting, where the purpose of the function is discussed, some consideration must be
given to the staffing needs for the event. Department supervisors should submit preliminary figures on staffing
requirements and forecasted labor costs.

Event Minus 75 Days. Staffing requirements should include the food production area, service and/or dining
room, bar setup and cleanup crews. The caterer should also give consideration at this time to any additional
people needed for the event, who might not be employees of the operation but are hired on a temporary, one
time basis.

Event Minus 30 Days. All staffing needs should be finalized at least one month in advance of the function. At this
time, managers must give consideration to special training requirements for employees who will assist at the
event. Accountability and responsibility for employee training is delegated to the appropriate supervisors at this
meeting.

Event Minus 14 Days. Two weeks prior to the event, the caterer reviews predetermined staffing requirements. A
list of available, substitute employees should be made. The handy reference sheet will be valuable if assigned
employees become ill or are otherwise unable to work.

The caterer should review and approve all department work schedules before they are posted. This is
done to determine that the right personnel are scheduled (skill level, regular, part time, and intermittent). This
helps control the cost of labor for the event. Once the schedules have been reviewed and approved by the
caterer, they are posted in a visible location in the production area where the employees of the department can
set them. Intermittent employees should be contacted by phone or e-mail.

Event Minus 7 Days. Seven days before the event, the caterer should be able to answer the following questions:

1. How many employees are scheduled for the event?


2. How many can assist in more than one job?
3. How much training was required?
4. Has training been completed?
5. Who will supervise in each department during the event?
6. Are back up employees and supervisors are available?
7. What are the labor costs by department?

Day of Event. At least one hour before the function starts, the caterer may require department supervisors to
submit a report (orally or in writing) that all staffing requirements have been met and that employees are at their
stations ready to assume their duties.

Event Plus One Day. One day after the event, all department supervisors submit an after-action report to inform
caterer how staffing requirements were met and how the work progressed during the function. The information
along with total labor costs will assist the caterer for projecting needs for future events. It will also help to improve
the quality of service.
Food Production Time Line

Event Minus 75 Days. In the planning the menu for the event, it is necessary for the catering manager to fully
inform the chef or food manager of the overall theme and objectives. If plans call for the function to become a
regular part of the calendar of annual events, food production supervisors must know this in order to recommend
compatible menu selections. It will be important to also provide alternative menu selections so that the event will
not become prosaic or monotonous to the guests.

The catering manager should, in planning, allow a minimum of two or three weeks for the back-of-the-
house staff to research menu selections, the product market, methods of procurement, appropriate recipes, and
for recipe development.

The chef will, during the planning stage, be concerned primarily with the menu and its development,
including the nutritional balance, taste, color, texture, plate coverage, and presentation. The chef will research the
relative popularity of the menu items, the availability of ingredients to produce the menu, and know the
relationship between the menu and the type of equipment needed for production. Recipes must be selected that
will meet the needs and wants of those attending the event. Ingredient costs and production hours are forecasted
by the chef based on the events budget (money available for their purchase).

Finally, the chef must decide exactly how many employees are needed to produce the menu. The menu
will determine the culinary expertise required of each employee in the food production area. All of these activities
must be discussed in detail before a final decision is made to proceed with the event.

The buyer or purchasing agent must have a list of specific items needed to produce the menu. At this
time, the purchasing agent will research the product make recommendations on what items must be ordered in
advance, their forecasted market price, and which products may not be available. The purchasing expert should
suggest comparable substitute that can be procured to meet production needs.

Event Minus 45 Days. At this point, the caterer will have a good idea of what products are available on the
market and their relative costs. This is a good time to meet with the chef and finalize the menu. Recipe selections
are discussed at this meeting, along with alternatives, especially if the menu is to be repeated or if products
discussed at the first meeting are not available.

At this meeting, the chef, using an appropriate staffing guide, should be able to provide the caterer with
an accurate description of personnel needed to produce the selected menus. Food costs should also be
discussed. A reasonable. selling price might be finalized. This selling price must be compatible with the
predetermined profit objectives established by the caterer.

It is during this time that the chef or food manager meets to formulate the production plan with key
production personnel in the kitchen. The chef discusses the functions with the production team. Objectives, the
menu, and staffing requirements are addressed. In addition to the menu, a production schedule is prepared. This
worksheet details the menu items, recipe, special production needs, and recorded on the production area.

The purchasing agent can be present at this meeting to provide information on product availability,
suppliers, special handling needs, and the dates and times of expected deliveries. A service supervisor should
also be present coordinate staffing requirements with the food production department.

Event Minus 30 Days. One month before the event, the chef or food manager will verify the menu. All required
products should be inventoried or readily attainable on short notice. Copies of the finalized menu, individual
worksheets, and standardized recipes are distributed to key personnel including production personnel, salad-
makers, bakers, and all those directly involve in the production process. Delegation of individual responsibility for
each menu item and its production will be verified.

Event Minus 15 Days. During this period, the chef or food manager checks with the purchasing agent to ensure
inventory is in order. All staffing and work schedules are rechecked. Assurance is made that no position of
responsibility have been overlooked, usually due to illness or employee turnover. A thorough, final verification of
all equipment needed to produce and serve the food on the menu is completed. Finally, coordination between the
kitchen and other department who provide support during the implementation of the event is complete.

Event Minus 7 Days. One week before the event, the caterer schedules another meeting. All department
supervisors must attend. At this meeting, the purchasing agent reports on action taken for the procurement of
ingredients and products. The chef or food manager will:

1. Advise the attendees of any menu or production changes made since the last meeting.
2. Brief the entire team on the production plan.
3. Explain the function, its objectives, and the staffing requirements.
4. Brief the team on the finalized menu, production techniques, and the finalized production schedule.
This worksheet will detail the menu items, recipes, special production requests, preparation
procedures, and delegated responsibility.
5. Describe the details of plate arrangement for each course, including portion size, garnishes, and
extras (appetizers, hot breads, beverages, etc.).
6. Explain if the event requires any special arrangements (such as buffet or salad bar in the dining
room).

Event Minus 1 Day. The production schedule checklist outlines the responsibility of the chef or food manager
twenty-four hours in advance of the event.

Early on the day of the function, the chef or food manager should meet with the following kitchen
personnel to review details of production: cooks, salad-makers and bakers, food service workers, ware washers,
and janitorial ( cleanup ) workers.

At this meeting, all details of production and kitchen service must be explained and final responsibility
delegated. Provision must be made for keeping accurate records ( guest counts, scatter sheets, sensitive item
inventories, sanitation procedures, customer comments and production records ). During the event, the chef, food
manager, or responsible delegate, assumes a position to inspect all food leaving the production area to ensure
quality service.

At the conclusion of food production, the chef or food manager should ensure that arrangements have
been made for the proper handling and storage of leftovers, once they have been accounted for. A quick check of
the garbage can ( to see how much and what items have been returned uneaten ) and of china and glass
breakage during the meal can be effective means of controlling costs and adding profit to future events.

Event Plus One Day. This is the time for the caterer to make sure all records for the event are complete. This
includes a final report describing the event and recommended changes in menu, production, and service for
future events.
Staffing Planning Time Line

At the initial organizational meeting, where the purpose of the function is discussed, some consideration
must be given to the staffing needs for the event. Department supervisors should submit preliminary figures on
staffing requirements and forecasted labor costs.

Event Minus 75 Days

Staffing requirements should include the food production area, service and/or dining room, bar setup and
cleanup crews. The caterer should also give consideration at this time to any additional people needed for the
event, who might not be employees of the operation but are hired on a temporary, one-time basis.

Event Minus 30 Days.

All staffing needs should be finalized at least one month in advance of the function. At this time,
managers must give consideration to special training requirements for employees who will assist at the event.
Accountability and responsibility for employee training is delegated to the appropriate supervisors at this meeting.

Event Minus 14 Days

Two weeks prior to the event, the caterer reviews predetermined staffing requirements. A list of available,
substitute employees should be made. The handy reference sheet will be valuable if assigned employees become
ill or are otherwise unable to work.

The caterer should review and approve all department work schedules before they are posted. This is
done to determine that the right personnel are scheduled (skill level, regular, part time, and intermittent). This
helps control the cost of labor for the event. Once the schedules have been reviewed and approved by the
caterer, they are posted in a visible location in the production area where the employees of the department can
set them. Intermittent employees should be contacted by phone or e-mail.

Event Minus 7 Days.

Seven days before the event, the caterer should be able to answer the following questions:

1. how many employees are scheduled for the event?


2. How many can assist in more than one job?
3. How much training was required?
4. Has training been completed?
5. Who will supervise ion each department during the event?
6. Are backup employees and supervisors available?
7. What are the total labor costs by department?

Day of Event.
At least one hour before the function starts, the caterer may require department supervisors to submit a
report (orally or in writing) that all staffing requirements have been met and that employees are at their stations
ready to assume their duties.

Event Plus One Day.

One day after the event, all department supervisors submit an after-action report to inform caterer how staffing
requirements were met and how the work progressed during the function. This information along with total labor
costs, will assist the caterer for projecting needs for future events. It will also help to improve the quality of
service.