Wednesday, April 13, 2016

More Than Just Food Service

I am currently doing my rotation at Riderwood retirement community for six weeks. My partner and I have been very busy here and learning so much (which I could say for all of the rotations, really!). The biggest thing that we do here is prepare a large theme meal that is served in one of the restaurants at the end of our rotation. There have been other intern blog posts about that project, so I am going to focus on the more behind-the-scenes projects that we also complete while here.

When people think of food service, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the actual cooking preparation in the kitchen and then serving meals.  However, there is much more that goes on, and this rotation has a large variety of projects for us so we can be very well-rounded in case we decide to pursue a food service type career in the future. We were able to look at the binders from years of past interns, which was a great source of inspiration and guidelines for our projects.

While here, we complete SWOT analyses.  These are a broad picture analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in a situation so that managers can determine how to continue to improve the business both for profit and for customer satisfaction. I think this is a project where interns can really take initiative and produce a result that is truly helpful to the organization, so I was glad to do it. For one of our SWOT analyses, we looked at Windsor restaurant, one of the five restaurants on this campus.  We interviewed residents, employees, and managers for information as well as observed the restaurant in progress for a couple of days before typing up our report and submitting to our preceptor.  I am proud of what we created, especially since I think we identified some opportunities that they have not considered in the past.
Open source image from Wikipedia
Besides typed projects, we also learned a lot about staff management. Most days, we attended the pre-shift meetings for both the waitstaff and the chefs. We began by observing these meetings to see how the managers communicate and set expectations in order to have the best possible functioning department, with efficiency and good morale. Heading into this rotation, I only knew about the theme meal from other interns, but this rotation exceeded my expectations by teaching me about employee management and food service management also.

1 comment:

  1. thank you Maria for sharing what you have learned at Riderwood.