Work function analysis of vegetarian entrée production.


Maloney S, Zolber K, Burke K, Connell B, Shavlik G.


J Am Diet Assoc.



Data on labor time for food production can be used as an effective management tool. It is essential for foodservice managers to know how labor time is being used (1). A continuous time study was conducted to determine total labor time for the production of eight vegetarian entrées in a hospital foodservice system. Two work areas were observed: the ingredient assembly area and the cooks' production area. Times were recorded by work function to identify how labor time was distributed. Results showed (a) observed frequency for each work function, (b) time expended in seconds per portion for each work function, (c) percentage distribution of labor time by work function, (d) total time for each employee involved in entrée production, and (e) percentage of total time in which each employee was involved in the production of each entrée. Total labor time varied by type of entrée, ranging from 39.97 to 19.33 seconds per portion. Entrées with the highest labor time required the largest amount of hand labor. A one-way analysis of variance indicated significant differences in mean labor time among the eight vegetarian entrées for direct labor time (p = .0009), and total labor time (p = .0018). No significant differences were found among entrées for indirect labor or delay time.