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Thinking about Catering Systems

Thinking about Catering Systems The operational analysis of catering operations is constrained bythe lack of an internationally accepted taxonomy and the seeminglyinfinite variety of operations. The development of catering operationsis described and a flow chart of ten distinct stages that constitute anysuch operation is proposed. These stages provide the basis for apossible taxonomy. It is suggested that currently there are ten genericcatering systems that can be clearly identified, each of which has aunique combination of some or all of the ten stages. Such analysis isthe highest level of a hierarchy of possible analyses, i.e. Level 1. Thesecond level of analysis considers the range of subsystems in use toachieve the function of each stage. The range of alternativetechnologies varies from two to five in each stage. The theoreticalnumber of combinations of subsystems is in the thousands, but many aremutually incompatible with each other. There are therefore approximately100 types of operation in the industry when considered at Level 2.Finally, there is a third level of analysis that considers the specificapplication of the basic technology applied to any given operation. Itis at this level that there is the almost apparent infinite variety ofoperations that appears to typify the industry. These three levels andthe ten stages are then combined into an analytical model which iscalled the CateringSystem Pentahedron. The pentahedron enables theclassification of any given catering operation and establishes a meansof evaluating innovation and proposals for performance improvementwithin operations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Operations & Production Management Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0144-3577
DOI
10.1108/01443579010137573
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The operational analysis of catering operations is constrained bythe lack of an internationally accepted taxonomy and the seeminglyinfinite variety of operations. The development of catering operationsis described and a flow chart of ten distinct stages that constitute anysuch operation is proposed. These stages provide the basis for apossible taxonomy. It is suggested that currently there are ten genericcatering systems that can be clearly identified, each of which has aunique combination of some or all of the ten stages. Such analysis isthe highest level of a hierarchy of possible analyses, i.e. Level 1. Thesecond level of analysis considers the range of subsystems in use toachieve the function of each stage. The range of alternativetechnologies varies from two to five in each stage. The theoreticalnumber of combinations of subsystems is in the thousands, but many aremutually incompatible with each other. There are therefore approximately100 types of operation in the industry when considered at Level 2.Finally, there is a third level of analysis that considers the specificapplication of the basic technology applied to any given operation. Itis at this level that there is the almost apparent infinite variety ofoperations that appears to typify the industry. These three levels andthe ten stages are then combined into an analytical model which iscalled the CateringSystem Pentahedron. The pentahedron enables theclassification of any given catering operation and establishes a meansof evaluating innovation and proposals for performance improvementwithin operations.

Journal

International Journal of Operations & Production ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 1, 1990

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