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Food production and food and beverage service systems

Updated on July 1, 2017

There are various processes involved in the production of food and the services involved in the food and beverage industry. These processes can be categorized into various systems which a business can adopt with relation to the customer base it wishes to target and the business model to be adopted. Hence, it is critical to have a clear comprehension of the various food production and food and beverage service systems so as to have an informed business model in the hospitality industry that will ensure that the business makes profits. The system adopted will have an impact on the food to be produce, the menu to be used and also the pricing of the products therefore making it important to use the most suitable system. This hub will look into the various food production and food and beverage service systems as well as factors that affect recipes and menus, staffing and cost implications, and the importance of financial statements.

Food Production Systems

These are the systems used in the production of food and are mainly categorized according to the location of production and how much equipment and staff is required. These include centralized, assembly, cook and chill, cook and freeze and conventional.


This system is based on the location of food production. The food is prepared and produced at a centralized location away from where the food will be produced. The food is then transported from the central location of production to the place where the food will be served. The food is then transported either already pre-packed in portions ready for consumption or it is delivered and served at the location of the consumption. A good example is the production system adopted by caterers, the food is produced at a centralized location and then it is transported to the various places for consumption.

This system of food production is highly suitable for mass production of food because it requires less labor and is cheaper as compared to other system.


The system works like a manufacturing assembly line where the pre-prepared components of a product are assembled together to create the final product. The food components are bought when they are already prepared and then they are assembled together to create the final food product ready to be served. The components of the meal are sourced from various sources when they are ready to be assembled and the final assembly is mainly done at the location where the food will be consumed. The system of food production also requires little labor and little equipment. The only downside of this system is that since the components of the food are sourced when already prepared, the menu options are quite limited.

Cook-Chill and Cook-Freeze

As the name suggests, the system employs the use of chilling or freezing food and the main aim is for preservation. The food is produced and then it is either chilled or frozen and it is warmed later when it is supposed to be consumption. This system is suitable for instances where the food is not to be consumed immediately it is produced or it is not to be consumed at the location of production. The chilling or freezing serves the purpose of preserving the quality and taste of the food from the time of production to when it shall be consumed. This system of food production is not labor demanding therefore few staff will be used however there is the need for chilling and freezing. This system is suitable for use in restaurants or hotels. This is because food consumption peaks at particular times and therefore food can be prepared earlier and warmed on demand.

Sous Vide

Sous vide is a method of cooking in vacuumized plastic pouches at temperatures which are relatively controlled. This system of food production produces food that is already portioned and also seeks to enhance the shelf life of the food and is suitable for producing food for later consumption. Vacuum sealing increases the food’s shelf life by eliminating the risk of recontamination during storage (Baldwin 2011). It uses specialized equipment and therefore it can be expensive though it does not require a lot of staff. The main cost for this system is the cost of equipment.


The conventional system of food production is the traditional way in which food has been produced over the years. It entails food being produced at the location where it will be consumed. The ingredients are sourced and brought to where the food will be produced. The food is produced where it will be consumed and this system of food production is costly as it requires a lot of staff, as well as equipment if it is meant for a large population. The food is served at the same location where it is produced and this is the main system of production for most restaurants and hotels as food is produced within the hotel or restaurant.

Food and Beverage Service Systems

Once food has been produced, it has to be served and this is where the food and beverage service systems come in. There are several systems of food and beverage services such as plate service, silver service, counter service, table service and trolley service.

Plate service is whereby food is served from the kitchen while already on plates. The food is bought per plate by the consumer and once ordered the food is placed on plates in the kitchen and delivered to the customers table by waiters.

Silver service is a type of plate service whereby the food is served onto the plates at the table. It is taken to the table while on a serving dish on trolleys and then served onto the plate while at the table.

Counter service system entails food and beverages being served to clients through the counter. The customer gets their food at the counter before proceeding to a table or any other place so as to eat. This system does not employ the use of waiters.

Trolley service is also known as geuridon service and is a system where the food production is done in the full view of the consumer. The food is prepared while the consumer is watching and is usually done on trolleys which are equipped with various food production utensils.


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