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What’s On The Menu?

by Andrew Thomson on March 3, 2021

‘It’s Time’.  

For health service organisations to intiate effective change with their kitchen operations. Real improvements can be made by making detailed lists of what is currently happening in the Kitchen and covering-off on future planning for the next 2- 5 years and beyond.

Having the involvement of senior leaders working with their kitchen teams in this exercise may provide a fresh perspective and assist with the identification of gaps, risks and opportunities. Many of us working in this space already know the mixture of elements of main concern – matters I have previously discussed in a published industry article and blogs. Food safety and allergen management still remain of concern. Technology is becoming more widespread in kitchen operations with cooking and monitoring equipment. Recruiting skilled employees and retaining them remains a challenge. This is not a box ticking exercise. These issues are reflected across the health services sectors.

Other key questions remain unanswered in this post COVID period:

  • Who are our customers?
  • Has our customer base changed?
  • Has the role of kitchen operations changed? 
  • How can service be improved?
  • What improvements have been made to food flavour and plated meals?
  • How effective is our multi-team approach?
  • Do we have in-house the necessary expertise to conduct a review and effect real change?


Answers to these questions and others will vary for each kitchen operation.

We often forget that catering is a large part of quality of care.

Some kitchen operations are making change while others will need to step up to meet patient/resident preferences, demands and expectations.

Quality and nutritional standards and relevant legislative requirements must be met.

Image courtesy of Sydney Chef John McFadden

Where to start?

Leaders must share their overall business strategy with their employees because it provides a glimpse of your intended goals and direction for your organisation.

Leaders can also shape the future of their operations by improving the learning experiences for their employees.

Employee learning is an important part of your organisation and is critical for employees to perform their job. More learning lets them excel at what they do, it motivates them as greater understanding helps engagement, it encourages employees in a way that creates a relationship that is based on respect, it rewards with greater employability and it gives your kitchen operation the edge.

Nobody in business would disagree with the cliché that a company is only as good as the people in it. How good are you? How much training do you need?

Related articles: Unilever Food Solutions Food Safety In Aged Care Kitchens, The Box Ticking Pandemic

Want to know more? Contact Andrew Thomson on 0422285720 or

Think ST Solutions helps protect and grow new and established foodservice business through innovation and risk reduction strategies.

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