Richmond Lim, Executive Chef, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre shares effective ways to boost team productivity
Productivity is defined as a measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc.; in converting input into useful output. According to Richmond Lim, Executive Chef, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, “it’s no different in the kitchen, except being productive increases your ability to minimise challenges. Anticipate challenges instead of overcoming them are essential in the fast-paced banqueting environment.
“To achieve this, you must first ensure the entire culinary team − from your kitchen helpers to your Chefs − are well trained. Product knowledge is also vital for the team to be productive and to execute their respective day-to-day roles and responsibilities seamlessly.”
Emphasising that catering for a banquet is not a one-man show and it’s impossible to achieve success without a hard-working and committed team, Chef Richmond highlights the importance of setting team standards that emphasise on working together, sharing ideas and understanding each other. “We encourage team members to set their own goals, so we can move forward collectively and achieve greater productivity.
” He elaborates, “When you are dealing with largescale banquets catering to thousands of guests, be mindful of and avoid making ‘assumptions’ in order to ensure a successful event. This is something I always stress because if the team assumes everything is fine, we will not anticipate potential challenges or plan how best to overcome them.
“For example, if we assume the number of guests will remain as per the organiser’s brief, we are not anticipating the possibility of an increase in numbers at the last minute. Therefore, if we are busy preparing additional dishes at the eleventh hour, it not only affects our productivity but also the event flow as that process slows down our service delivery.
” While knowledge, training and preparation affect productivity at work, Chef Richmond suggests these ways to spur productivity at work:
Maximise the use of technology: this helps tremendously because you are able to develop very precise cooking methodology that ensures a great product which can be delivered consistently.
Talent development and training: equipping team members with the right skills and product knowledge is essential to productivity in the kitchen.
Creativity and innovation: a chef’s willingness to explore, experiment and experience continue to drive productivity. We are continuously developing techniques and methods to save cooking time whilst retaining flavours, texture and taste