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Module 11: High Volume Production Cooking

While there are benefits to having a central kitchen, it’s also important to consider their challenges. Read on to discover what they are.

High set up costs: space and warehousing

The space required for high production cooking is large and that means the price of a central kitchen venue can be high, especially in land-scarce cities.

High set up costs: equipment and maintenance

Equipment and maintenance of central kitchen facilities are large investments. Consider this flow chart for a point of reference of what is needed.


Maintenance for the central kitchen and equipment is important and an ongoing task. Preventive maintenance plans for the facilities need to be included in the operating budget.

Typical equipment required in a central kitchen include:

  • Storage Hot food production
    Cold food production
    • Freezers and refrigerators
    • Forklifts and pallet jacks
    • Scales of varying capacities
    • Can opener with automatic dumping
    • Steam-jacketed kettles
    • Pumps/fillers
    • Blast or tumble chiller
    • Slicers with automated weighing
    • Vertical cutter mixers
    • Wrappers
  • Bakery Assembly/packaging Sanitation
    • Mixers
    • Proofers
    • Ovens
    • Depositors
    • Conveyor
    • Fillers
    • Packaging
    • Wrappers
    • Meal baskets and dollies
    • 3-compartment sink
    • Dishwashing machine
    • Cart washers

Managing human resources

Training of employees for the central kitchen is important because:

  • It eases employees’ apprehensions about change and improves their ability to adapt to change.
  • Equipment and procedures used in a central kitchen will be different, thus initial training on equipment use is essential.

Ensuring job satisfaction is key because:

  • Each person’s role is highly specialised and strict compliance to standards and rules are necessary.
  • Employee morale needs to be carefully managed.
  • Managers need to be aware of the possibility of boredom from repetitive motions and act pre-emptively to improve morale.

Employee safety is crucial because:

  • Work is often more physically demanding, often with heavy lifting.
  • Repetitive motions may result in boredom and loss of concentration when operating dangerous machinery.
  • Provide regular breaks for employees to rest their minds and bodies.
  • Remind staff of the dangers of such equipment and have safety signs installed.

Ensuring quality and food safety

Maintaining quality in mass produced food

There is often a perception of food quality loss when cooking is moved to a central kitchen and produced through automated systems. The key to maintaining quality is to:

  • Develop and test standard recipes for mass production.
  • Ensure that standard recipes are followed.
  • Invest in equipment that help maintain freshness.

Maintaining food safety

Ensuring consistent food safety at a larger scale is even more important. Consider the following food safety precautions:

  • Ensure temperature of chillers and freezers.
  • Regular checks to maintain high levels of cleanliness.
  • Remind staff to keep up hygiene standards.
  • Invest in state-of-the-art machinery.

You can also learn more about food safety challenges in the module Food Safety.

Congratulations, you’ve completed The Challenges of a Central Kitchen topic!

Continue on to the next topic, pick a related topic from the High Volume Production Cooking module, or go back to the Chefmanship Academy modules page.

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