The intricate art of Mise-en-Place

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A sophisticated – if slightly pretentious term for the preparation of service areas, Mise-en-Place encapsulates efficiency in the food service industry, presenting a host of potential benefits to café owners.

Used by coffee shops and restaurants the world over, Mise-en-Place involves doing exactly as the translation says; having ‘everything in place’. In doing this, staff can operate in the most efficient way possible and monitor the active element of preparation more intently, improving both the quality and speed of service. Chef Keith Schroeder who abides closely to this says: “Multitasking is not possible as the human brain has just a single processor, meaning that we can only focus on one task at a time.

“So, to achieve the best possible result in a dish, everything must be organised so you can focus on a single element at any one time.”

Mise-en-Place can be applied to more than just the food and drink preparation areas of coffee houses to improve operations. Providing customers with the additional items they require in logical, easy-access locations increases the speed at which they can get in-and-out by up to 30 percent. As a result of this, the number of covers a café has available is increased and the que length is sufficiently decreased.Related image

Through having a more efficient production line with easily accessible ingredients and equipment being in convenient locations, staff stress levels are much decreased, improving the quality of service with greater customer interaction and a superior end product. Mental-health charity Mind states: “An organised workplace can decrease employee stress, increasing their productivity and a causing a fall in the number of staff needing time off due to mental health issues caused by a stressful work environment.”

The drawbacks to implementing Mise-en-Place is that setting up preparation areas is highly time consuming, meaning that coffee shops may have to extend working hours in the morning to allow for this. Space limitations in some cafés makes this very difficult as counter space is a valuable commodity, so items must be stowed away until needed.

Organisation undoubtedly improves any business’ operation; however, this is a wide spectrum which coffee shops can fall in, based upon what is best suited to their environment and staff.

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