Operational efficiencies for the dietary department may be provided in a variety of ways. Assistance with budget development and oversight for the dietary department are a prime tool.
This might involve reviewing staff allocation and responsibilities along with salaries with the dietary manager and/or facility administration in order to help achieve the best operational efficiency.
Menu review to consider menu choices.
Food acceptance, nutrition requirements, state and federal regulations and food costs would be another effective cost control tool as it could result in improved portion control and reduced food waste.
The menu review would look at recipes allowing for food purchasing recommendations reflecting increased food quality and decreased food costs.
Each food will be evaluated to determine:
● If it is being purchased in the most appropriate form (fresh, frozen, canned)
● Food cost, to produce the highest quality food product
An overview of purchasing will look at food items needed as determined by the menu and its accompanying recipes. Each food will be evaluated to determine (1) if it is being purchased in the most appropriate form (such as fresh, frozen, canned) and (2) food cost, to produce the highest quality food product.
Food purchasing recommendations will accompany newly written and revised menus.
Available vendors may be reviewed to determine which vendor(s) may provide the services that most readily meet the needs of the facility.
Items reviewed may include available food items, food costs, quality of food purchased and weekly days and time span in which the food may be delivered to the facility. Ease of food purchasing is also reviewed.
Items reviewed may include:
● Available food items
● Food costs
● Quality of food purchased
● Delivery days and time
● Time span for deliveries
And most significantly for cost control would be a look at inventory control. Does an inventory control system exist or does it need to be developed? When there is no inventory control system in place one needs to be implemented. If an inventory control system is in existence, where are food items and dry goods stored, and over what period of time? How many and how much of each item is retained for backup? What type of technical or paper record keeping is used to keep account of the amount of food and dry goods in storage? Is this method accurate and effective? Is there an effective security method in place for stored items?
Keeping a reliable secure inventory of foods available will assist with food purchasing and will help decrease the possibility of pilfered foods.