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www.apfoodonline.com

Food Service & Hospitality SECOND EDITION

Supplement

A PREMIUM PRODUCT OF ASIA PACIFIC FOOD INDUSTRY

Kitchen Equipment

Cooking Up The Future Presentation & Taste

Tantalising The Senses Using taste, sight, smell and sound to create a pleasurable experience

Food Safety

Halal Food For Thought Hospitality & Services

Satisfaction Is Served Logistics & Storage

Stay Fresh Without Wastage


Supplement

A Premium Product of AsiA PAcific food industry

A CUT ABOVE THE REST Gain an edge with industry insights • Presentation & Taste • The Human Touch • Food Safety • Kitchen Equipment

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www.global-tek.com.sg

Your partner in designing and manufacturing the machine for daily cleaning and sanitizing needs in Crates, Trays, Cages etc. Accredited by CE, CSA, HACCP & ISO GT-CR1

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2 Contents 12 11 The Sensitivities Of Food Safety

06 Catered For Change

The food service market in Asia Pacific is rising to the fore as the region is becoming increasingly globalised and the consumers more affluent. By Natasha Telles D’Costa, New Zealand GIC, Frost Sullivan

18

24

Tantalising The Senses

08 Stay Fresh Without Wastage

Food wastage is becoming a serious problem that hits hard on restaurants and hotels, especially from an economic point of view. Point of sales (POS) data can offer insights on consumption behaviour that will help business owners make more sound supply procurement decisions.

11 12 14 18

The Fluidity OF Food Logistics

Good logistics service is not as simple as bringing food items from one point to another. There are many factors to consider to ensure that the items arrive at their optimal conditions. By Edward Lim, Ciza Concept

Cooking Up The Future

24 Tantalising The Senses

Automatically Productive

Study: Making Healthier Dishes A 28 Case Tasty Choice

Although we are still very far off from achieving a completely automated kitchen, advancements in equipment have offered convenience and cost savings. What does the future hold for food establishments?

The setting up of central kitchens can help optimise operation for food services companies with a large number of outlets. Automation and the use of specialised kitchen machines can help streamline the process further.

The Sensitivities Of Food Safety

Food safety is no longer limited to keeping food hygienic and free of pathogens, but also making sure that it is suitable for individuals with food sensitivities.

22 Halal Food For Thought

As the Halal market grows, how can restaurants make sure that their offerings are suitable for Muslims? By Dewi Hartaty Suratty, Islamic Religious Council of Singapore

www.apfoodonline.com

A great meal is not just about exciting the palate, but also stirring the other senses of sight, smell and sound to create a pleasurable experience.

With the help of Unilever Food Solutions, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel has unveiled a healthier Chinese banquet menu without compromising on appeal and taste. By Ng Seow Ling, Unilever Food Solutions and David Toh, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

32 Satisfaction Is Served

Excellent customer service is a boon for restaurants, resulting in greater customer value, retention and loyalty. However, this can only be attained by developing the heart of every establishment—its people.

34 Product Higlights

Products to watch out for in the region.


Golden Bridge Foods Manufacturing Pte Ltd Manufacturer and supplier of processed meat and seafood products. Provides contract pack services and customised products. The range of products includes

• Chinese Waxed Sausages • Taiwanese-Styled Sausages • European-Styled Hams & Cold Cuts • European-Styled Sausages and • Canned Processed Meats Golden Bridge Food Manufacturing PTE LTD 30 Senoko South Road, Singapore 758088. Tel: (65) 6572 9200 Fax: (65) 6758 8580 www.golden-bridge.com.sg

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16-19 May 2013

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Booth number: 3F-601 7-10 May 2013

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Booth number: 2BB-06 22-26 May 2013

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Best Variety & Quality Halal Processed Meat Products ● Retail & Food Service Pack Size Offering ● Convenience One-Stop Services ● New and Innovative Products ● Chilled • Frozen • Shelf Stable • Dried Products

ELLAZIQ PTE LTD

30 Senoko South Road, Ellaziq Hub, Singapore 758088. Tel: (65) 6758 7530 Fax: (65) 6758 6430 Email: enquiry@ellaziq.com Website: www.ellaziq.com


4 Editor’s Note Food Service & Hospitality A Premium Product Of Asia Pacific Food Industry

managing director Kenneth Tan

Serving

editor Wong Tsz Hin wongtszhin@epl.com.sg assistant editor Sherlyne Yong sherlyneyong@epl.com.sg

editorial assistant Audrey Ang audreyang@epl.com.sg

For Pie F

assistant art director Ahmad Halik

ahmadhalik@epl.com.sg

ood service and hospitality is a dynamic sector that has seen tremendous growth in the past few years. In 2013, the global food service industry is estimated at US$2.5 trillion, with Asia Pacific accounting for the largest share of the market at US$1.1 trillion. The Chinese food service industry alone is estimated to be worth US$400 billion with an annual growth of eight to 10 percent. (pg 6) There are many factors that have to be considered in running a successful food establishment. These range from the hard work at the back end, such as logistics management, to front end services that deal directly with the source of revenue—the customers. Business owners can consider the adoption of automation processes or procurement of specialised machines to optimise their processes and increase productivity. A restaurant group from Singapore has implemented these to great results. (pg 14) More than just the taste of food items that are being served, customers also look for other elements that have a significant impact on their dining experience. Ambience and dish presentation can go a long way in tantalising the senses of patrons. (pg 24) At the same time, customer service is what many establishments would be judged upon. There are a few things that managers have to train employees to do or not to do in order to uphold the reputation of the company. (pg 32) Beyond these factors, diners simply want to enjoy themselves and have a good time. Restaurants and hotels can achieve that by optimising their processes, so that their staff can focus on addressing customer needs. As the affluence of the people in the region increases, the food service and hospitality sector will continue to prosper. Businesses will have to serve their best dish in order to grab a share of the pie.

Wong Tsz Hin

publication manager Peh Sue Ann sueannpeh@epl.com.sg advertising sales manager Johnson Tay johnsontay@epl.com.sg senior circulation executive Brenda Tan brenda@epl.com.sg contributors David Toh Dewi Hartaty Suratty Edward Lim Natasha Telles D’Costa Ng Seow Ling

Executive Board chairman Stephen Tay group executive director Kenneth Tan

etm

Eastern

TradeanMedia Pte Ltd Eastern Holdings Ltd company

Head Office & Mailing Address Eastern Trade Media Pte Ltd 1100 Lower Delta Road, EPL Building #02-05, Singapore 169206 Tel: (65) 6379 2888 Fax: (65) 6379 2805 Email: apfood@epl.com.sg

MICA (P) 022/11/2012 PPS 1566/05/2013 (022945) ISSN 0218-2734


Food Service & Hospitality

FOOD SERVICE & HOSPITALITY ADVERTISING INDEX ENQ NO

ADVERTISERS

PAGE

1309

CHINATOWN FOOD CORPORATION PTE LTD

1307

FHM 2013

IBC

1308

GLOBAL-TEK (SINGAPORE) PTE LTD

1310

GOLDEN BRIDGE FOODS MANUFACTURING PTE LTD

1302

HKTDC FOOD EXPO 2013

17

1305

HOFEX 2013

29

1313

LACTO ASIA PTE LTD

1312

LEO SATAY FOODSTUFF MANUFACTURE

1303

MULTIVAC PTE LTD

1306

R&D ENGINEERS

27

1301

SIAL CHINA 2013

23

1304

THAIFEX 2013

31

1311

WIN WIN FOOD SINGAPORE PTE LTD

21

36 1 3

For Advertising Enquiries Please Call

65-6379 2888

5 15 OBC

This index is provided as an additional service. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions.

HEAD OFFICE

SINGAPORE EASTERN TRADE MEDIA PTE LTD 1100 Lower Delta Road #02-05 EPL Building Singapore 169206

Contact Peh Sue Ann Johnson Tay Tel: 65-6379 2888 Fax: 65-6379 2805

MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES CHINA Wan Xin Xian Tel: 86-20-3411 4806 Fax: 86-20-3411 4805

JAPAN Ted Asoshina Tel: 81-3-3263 5065 Fax: 81-3-3234 2064

TAIWAN Tom Lin Tel: 886-22619-2798 Fax: 886-22619-2799

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5


Catered For Change

The food service market in Asia Pacific is rising to the fore as the region is becoming increasingly globalised and the consumers more affluent. By Natasha Telles D’Costa, research manager, New Zealand GIC, Frost & Sullivan

While for centuries the west has dominated the world’s food markets, today a new ‘big spender’ has taken over: Asia Pacific. As Asian economies emerge as the flag bearers of a struggling global economy, the entire western world looks to this region to buoy their sagging economic situations. In no industry has this been more apparent than that of the food service industry. Encompassing a region that accounts for over a third of the world’s population and two of its most populous nations (China and India), it is indeed surprising that the industry has taken as long as it has to focus on this region. In 2013, the global food service industry is estimated at US$2.5 trillion with Asia Pacific accounting for the largest share of the market at US$1.1 trillion.

waferboard

Key Countries China: The Chinese appetite for convenience food has grown in line with its flourishing food service market. As Chinese consumers witness a constant rise in their disposable income, the trend towards eating out is slowing turning into a lifestyle choice as it is seen as a symbol of affluence. In 2013, the Chinese food service industry is estimated at US$400 billion, growing at eight to 10 percent year on year. Growth is being driven primarily from the fast food sector, though there is a rising demand for fine dining restaurants and cafes as the population becomes increasingly cosmopolitan.

Consumer demand for convenient, on the go food is skyrocketing with increased urbanisation.

India: The Indian food services industry is estimated at US$110 billion, with less than five percent being that of the organised segment. While the fast food industry is growing at 30 percent year on year, there is much demand arising from the casual dining segment with growth rates at around 28 percent in 2012. With over 60 percent of the population under the age of 30 and an increasing migration of youth to the

Kirti Poddar

With global brands tumbling into Asia to food retail landscape in Asia Pacific changes

LWY

Key Market Drivers Growing disposable income: The increasing middle class population in Asia and the constant migration into urban areas have resulted in higher disposable incomes and less time in the kitchen. As a result, more Asian consumers are moving towards food service options to satisfy their hunger pangs. In 2012, China’s

Increasing Globalisation: The influx of newer cultures and westernisation into Asia has resulted in a highly cosmopolitan population willing to constantly challenge their taste buds. This scenario has become a gold mine for the catering industry, especially in countries such as India where catering for parties and weddings is considered a highly profitable market. The latter is one of India’s most profitable business options where celebrations last for over seven days in certain regions. In 2012, the Indian wedding catering industry was worth US$25 billion, growing at 22 percent year on year.

karendotcom127, Hong Kong

Market Overview The food services sector in Asia Pacific consists of the restaurant segment, catering and the fast food sector. Fast food chains account for one of the key growth areas in Asia Pacific as consumer demand for convenient, on the go food skyrockets with increasing urbanisation and growth of a cosmopolitan outset. In 2013, the food service business covers sales of food, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks through cafés, restaurants, catering businesses, drinking places and fast-food retail outlets. Fast food accounts for the leading segment within this market, growing at explosive rates across Asia Pacific. As the Asia Pacific population becomes increasingly affluent and shows a definitive willingness to pay for quality, increased demand for restaurants and catering businesses are expected. The rising nouveau rich populations of China and India are primed to be key growth drivers of this sector.

catering industry was estimated at US$384 billion and growing at a healthy 12 percent in 2012-2013.

Michael Hays, Seattle, US

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Food Service & Hospitality


Food Service & Hospitality

Ismar Badzic, Sheffield, UK

Australia: In 2013, there are over 40,000 food service outlets in Australia with a market revenue of over US$20 billion. Fast food growth is the largest in this area with over 60 percent of volume sales coming from fast food consumption, unlike China and India where fast food consumption is still a much smaller market as compared to the restaurant and catering industry. Australia is expected to continue to be a fast food dominated country, accounting for the world’s fourth largest consumer expenditure on takeaway products in 2012. Indonesia: With its tourism-focused economy and increasing affluence, Indonesia is poised as the next big country in the region for food service. While most growth is concentrated around Java and Bali, the world’s largest archipelago nation is witnessing continuous demand with growth rates at over 10-12 per cent; particularly in the hotel and fine dining segment. The Indonesian hotel industry is currently the country’s second largest real estate market as global hotel chains and restaurants continue to invest in the Indonesian economy.

claim a portion of this profitable pie, it is only a matter of time before the completely. urban areas, the trend towards eating out, especially in the metros, is an integral part of daily life. However, unlike China where fine dining restaurants are in demand, the Indian populace prefers a more casual and price effective approach to restaurants. The high vegetarian percentage of the population is also a key concern that has restricted the influence of international chains in most sectors, except the hotels and fast food joints. The catering and casual dining industry is completely dominated by Indian owned chains.

The influx of newer cultures and westernisation into Asia has resulted in a highly cosmopolitan population willing to constantly challenge their taste buds.

In 2013, the Indonesian food service sector was estimated at US$30 billion. Restaurants account for over 70 percent of these sales, but increasing westernisation has resulted in high growth for cafes and quick service industry sectors as well. Conclusion As global food service growth slows and even recedes in countries like the US and Germany, emerging markets are the key growth engine for this sector. With global brands tumbling into Asia to claim a portion of this profitable pie, it is only a matter of time before the food retail landscape in Asia Pacific changes completely. However, the key to success lies in the three strategies of local portfolio adaptation, raw material relationships and supply chain excellence. As evident, the companies that have succeeded in this market are those that have taken on a multi-faceted view of the region, understanding that each country’s cultural and physical challenge is different. FSH

7


Stay Fresh Without Wastage

Food wastage is becoming a serious problem that hits hard on restaurants and hotels, especially from an economic point of view. Point of sales (POS) data can offer insights on consumption behaviour to help business owners make more sound supply procurement decisions. In recent years, food wastage has become a serious problem. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), about a third of global food production (around 30 to 40 percent) is lost or wasted annually. For hotels and restaurants, this is a pertinent issue as any form of wastage will translate directly into operational cost. A research from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has shown that the average restaurant in the UK produces five times more food waste than an average household at around 0.48kg per diner per meal. In an ideal situation, establishments should only hold and produce the quantity of food products that are just sufficient to service their customers’ demands. However, this is often very difficult to achieve. There are a lot of factors at stake. No business would want to turn its customers away simply because of the lack of stock. Every additional sale brings in more profit. In addition, business owners prefer to upkeep their reputation by providing customers with maximum satisfaction. Sometimes, consumer behaviour can be erratic and unpredictable as well. A restaurant may suddenly see a spike in demand for its fish items on a particular night, simply because a celebrity had hyped on the benefits of seafood during a popular talk show earlier. Forecasting the future to make sound procurement decisions must be impossible then. Or is it? Point of Sale Systems Advancement in technology has enabled businesses to track the movements of their goods easily. Point of sale (POS) systems have already been widely adopted by business owners to track their sales and adjust their strategies accordingly. In fact, POS systems can already be found in many restaurants and hotels. For restaurants, the technology has been used for accurate order placement and easy synchronisation between the front end service, kitchen and cashier. As for hotels, it is used to provide a seamless integration of guests’ expenses into their bills.

Initially, these systems were used to create convenience in the form of cross platform synchronisation, where data received at the front end terminal (order register) will be distributed directly to the kitchen and cashier, reducing human errors, such as bad handwriting or the loss of order slips. In recent years, establishments have been exploring the idea of using the information they have consolidated in their POS systems to monitor customer behaviour and make procurement choices. Active Logistics Tracking Establishments can create an active supply tracking system using their POS data, by logging each item with the ingredients required to make them. For example, under a salad dish, there should be information such as the types of vegetable and meat ingredients as well as dressing used and their rough quantity. Having a detailed breakdown will help eliminate the amount of manual labour involved in the monitoring process. Once the infrastructure is in place, the POS system can begin linking sales to supply consumption and generate reports on over and under stocked items in the inventory. Unlike other retail businesses, most of the fresh produce that food service operators place in storage are restricted by a very narrow freshness window. Establishments cannot afford to let ingredients idle in their fridge for too long. Besides notifying managers when certain items are running low, sales records can offer insights on behaviour trends that allow businesses to create a more accurate forecast. Knowing the average monthly sales of each dish can help with the logistics planning ahead, but understanding when order peaks occur during the week or within a day is important as well. For example, the demand for dairy items may be the highest during mornings, but drops drastically as the day progresses. In this case, there is no need to replenish milk within the day itself and the establishment can afford to wait for the supply to arrive early next day instead. There are cultural elements at play as well. For example, a restaurant may experience a weaker

Antti T. Nissinen

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Food Service & Hospitality


Food Service & Hospitality

9

Just-In-Time Sourcing A freshness monitoring system also makes it possible for establishments to plan ahead and practice justin-time (JIT) sourcing strategies. JIT procurement

In an ideal situation, establishments should only hold and produce the quantity of food products that are just sufficient to service their customers’ demands.

US Department of Agriculture

lunch crowd on Fridays due to Jumu’ah if it is in a country with a sizeable Muslim population, or have fewer diners on the first and fifteenth of each lunar calendar month as Buddhists go on a vegetarian diet. In addition, monitoring data that details which ingredients are approaching their expiry dates allows establishments to come up with creative solutions before they go to waste. For example, if the Buffalo wings have been selling slower than expected for a particular month, then the manager can decide to offer a discount or bundle it with other dishes in a set to increase their appeal to customers. In more extreme cases, hotels and restaurants can even consider the removal or replacement of items on their menus that have been struggling in terms of sales. These dishes can be taken out altogether or the ingredients can be used to formulate a new dish so that supply orders will not be affected. For example, the cod fish with cream can be modified into fish and chips that may go well with children.

Jer Thorp, Vancouver, Canada

A freshness monitoring system makes it possible for establishments to plan ahead and practice just-in-time sourcing strategies.


10

Food Service & Hospitality increases logistics efficiency, so that produce will not waste time sitting on the storage shelf and can be delivered as fresh as they can be to customers. In an attempt to automate the entire JIT sourcing process, the Centre of Innovation-Supply Chain Management (COI-SCM) of Singapore’s Republic Polytechnic has been developing a cloud-based software monitoring process with two local drinking water distributors. The system in place allows the water suppliers to gain access to real-time water consumption data from water dispensing machines and can trigger an order with considerations given to the rate of consumption and expected delivery time.

make it easy to enter shipment specifications into the system, it also helps to facilitate the first-in-first-out (FIFO) principle and ensures traceability. For establishments with big storage facilities, it is crucial to distinguish the newer ingredients from the older ones. In order to achieve this, the storage facility must have the necessary infrastructure for easy access, rearrangement and identification of different inventory items. Some facilities enable users to bring forward older stock items and store the newer ones behind them, so that older ones will always be used first. Other establishments use colour coding or other visual representation to categorise items according to their

Restaurants and hotels are dynamic places and the advancement in technologies has matched their activity levels. The principles of the system can be applied to restaurants and hotels as well. Instead of tracking water consumption, the system can be modified to monitor the consumption of food ingredients. Throw in the average consumption rates of the ingredients and the time taken from order placing till the fresh supplies arrive at the doorstep of the establishment, and you have a functional system that requires little manual intervention. Supply Source Information On the supply end, most shipments these days come with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag or barcode with information, such as the origin, date and other relevant data, on the product. Not only does this

shipment dates. The idea is to ensure that the older items are always used first to prevent spoilage. Restaurants and hotels are dynamic places and the advancement in technologies has matched their activity levels. POS systems can be leveraged on to provide valuable consumption information that establishments can use to refine their supply procurement decisions. The potential of these systems extend further to a possible realisation of true JIT sourcing. In future, restaurants and hotels may not need to hold ingredients overnight and customers can enjoy fresh produce without any wastage. That vision may not be too far away. FSH

Kojach

jam_232

POS systems can be used to help establishments refine their supply procurement decisions.


11

Stewart Butterfield, San Francisco, US

Food Service & Hospitality

The Fluidity Of Food Logistics Good loGistics service is not as simple as brinGinG food items from one point to another. there are many factors to consider to ensure that the items arrive at their optimal conditions. by edward lim, manaGinG consultant, ciza concept

handling food is not easy and storing and moving food can be even trickier, according to nicholas ng, md of logiXtics, a singapore-based food logistics firm. “we must understand the local market and its idiosyncrasies. food logistics is a very fluid business where we have to account for a variety of factors and take into account customers’ likes and dislikes,” he added. food logistics involves the storing and moving of food. when it comes to storing, food items must ensure the first-in-first-out (fifo) process is adhered to. most food logistics service providers store thousands of different items in their warehouses. Keeping track of the date each product arrives and each expiry date is a daunting

task. food logistics service providers need to ensure each product has a sufficient shelf life and is used before its expiry date. food logistics service providers must also make sure that deliveries are at the correct temperature, and completed on time and in full with no damage or mistake. “it’s not simply about bringing food items from one point to another but to deliver them in an efficient, effective, and timely manner,” said mr ng. to overcome these challenges, the company has employed a hazard analysis and critical control points (haccp) system to ensure that all food items are of acceptable standard. using haccp as a template, the firm ensures that regular maintenance is done, including

vehicle maintenance and warehouse cleaning. the firm has a warehouse with chilled and frozen capabilities and an air-con space to keep products that are more temperature sensitive. its fleet of 24 trucks—ranging from dry to refrigerated—is capable of handling most types of food six days a week across singapore. having such resources is important as it makes a difference in the clients’ business—whether the client is a small café or a large chain. “whether a client is small or big, the last thing they want is to have is an unreliable delivery company. we allow them to focus their energy on what’s most important—making their customers happy so that they return again,” said mr ng.


Cooking Up The Future

Although we are still very far off from achieving a completely automated kitchen, advancements in equipment have offered convenience and cost savings. What does the future hold for food establishments?

Running a food establishment is hard work. Ask any veteran chef and you will be flooded with stories about late nights and early mornings just to ensure there are proper ingredients for the next day. It does not help that many food preparation processes, such as marinating and stewing, require special care and are time consuming in nature. In today’s competitive business environment, time is of the essence and so is manpower. Asia is facing the challenge of growing labour costs. This applies to developed, as well as developing, countries in the region. As economies of cities and countries develop, the traditional avenues for cheap labour are slowly evaporating. The situation is intensified with new government policies, like in the case of Singapore, that restrict the hire of foreign workers to safeguard the local population. Fortunately, new equipment technologies can help remove some of the hassles of certain processes and streamline business operations to bring about greater productivity. Process Automation Automation is nothing new. In fact, a fully automated kitchen has long been envisioned, but its application and adoption have been questionable. To a certain degree, some establishments have already begun replacing manual food preparation with automated processes. Many Japanese restaurants around the world are now using rice-making machines to produce the base for their sushi. However, the argument has always been that the end product does not taste as good, although advancement in technologies have begun to challenge such claims. While few food establishments have taken the plunge to rely on automated cooking, many of them have found other means of reducing costs and labour. It is becoming more common to walk into a restaurant and be served by a computer screen or tablet computer. Such an automated order taking system not only reduces the number of waiters required on the floor, but can also increase customer satisfaction by offering an immediate response and more accurate order placement.

Danny Hope, Brighton and Hove, UK

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Food Service & Hospitality

Many food preparation processes, such as marinating and stewing, require special care and are time consuming in nature.

Another area where automation is adopted is washing. Developments in warewashing equipment enable the machines to be more flexible and allow energy savings through heat recovery components and ventless technology. Ventless technology, in particular, is an emerging trend because steam can be cut to minimal levels within these machines and additional expenses for venting, exhaust fans and duct work can be removed. Swedish company Granuldisk claimed that its washing machines can reduce the water, energy and chemicals required for pot washing with a technology that uses tiny, blue plastic pellets in combination with water. The blasting power combined with high temperatures is said to be able to wash wares hygienically clean in minutes. Some new washer models are now equipped with intelligent systems that can monitor the cleanliness of the wares and dirtiness of the wash water, and then make adjustments accordingly. Cooking Equipment Automated cooking may have remained as a taboo for many business owners, but that does not mean that the cooking processes cannot be optimised through kitchen equipment. Combi ovens have become a common fixture in many food establishments. The versatile machine can


Food Service & Hospitality

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Food Service & Hospitality

Automatically Productive The SeTTinG uP oF CenTRAl kiTChenS CAn helP oPTiMiSe oPeRATion FoR Food SeRviCeS CoMPAnieS wiTh A lARGe nuMBeR oF ouTleTS. AuToMATion And The uSe oF SPeCiAliSed kiTChen MAChineS CAn helP STReAMline The PRoCeSS FuRTheR. For food services companies with a sizeable number of outlets, the setting up of central kitchens enables them to achieve substantial benefits. That was exactly what Tunglok, a Chinese Restaurant Group from Singapore, had in mind when it established its 15,000 sq ft central kitchen. The facility consolidates a large portion of the food preparation process from procurement to logistics, resulting in better control of quality, higher productivity, cost savings and better utilisation of manpower. More than 75 products are prepared daily at the central kitchen, including semiprocessed food, sauces, soups and dim sum. The high volume of food production made it more economical for the group to invest in automation. This has subsequently enabled the food preparation processes in various outlets’ kitchens to be simplified and less labour-intensive. As a result, more employees can be redeployed to better serve customers. An example of automation is the ‘Char Siew Bao’ maker, which can produce close to 1,000 buns per hour with only six employees. Previously, the manual method, by hand, required 20 skilled employees to produce the same quantity and quality. The group also used specialised equipment to cut down food preparation time. For example, it only requires two hours to boil soup using a

The ‘Char Siew Bao’ maker can produce close to 1,000 buns per hour with six employees, as compared to the manual method that required 20 skilled employees.

pressure cooker, compared to the conventional way which takes eight hours. Automatic cookers with robotic stirrers are able to prepare large volumes of sauces and soup broths with minimal human supervision. other equipment used by the group include a cooling machine that can bring down the temperature of hot sauce and soups to 20-30 deg C rapidly, a vacuum tumbler that can marinate meat in 15-20 minutes without any loss of juices, an automatic cooker for sauces, a grinder for food requiring fine textures and a combi steamer/ oven. in addition, the group has also introduced automation to restaurant under its wings. A number of automation solutions have been introduced at Ruyi Chinese Fast Food, which can be found at Resort world Sentosa and Changi Airport Terminal 1. These include an automated wok, an automated noodle boiler and a gyoza machine. The automated wok is able to prepare a bowl of fried rice in

four minutes, which is half the usual time required manually. As its name suggests, the automated noodle boiler can cook noodles automatically and lifts them out from the boiling water at the pre-set cooking time to ensure consistency. The gyoza machine is able to prepare 1,000 pieces of gyoza per hour, doubling the number possible with manual methods. According to Andrew Tjioe, executive chairman of the group, automation can provide consistency, since the food can be prepared within the pre-set time, speed and temperature, allow the chef to prepare for other dishes while the machine is cooking, and reduce the reliance on manpower since food can get to diner faster. he added that while adoption in the uS is slow, these technologies have already found their ways to establishments in europe and Japan. The key is for small and medium enterprises (SMes) to change their perception that machine prepared meals are inferior to human made ones. “our operations and bottom line have improved greatly since our central kitchen was set up. This has helped expand production capacity to look for new business opportunities,” he said. “overall, manpower cost has also come down and we now enjoy savings on production time, utility consumption, improvement and consistency of product quality.” Currently, the group has three central kitchens that cater to different cuisines and outlets.


handle different cooking operations depending on the requirements. It is flexible enough to cook meat, fish and vegetables, bake and reheat pre-cooked or chilled food without compromising on texture and taste. Foods can be left in the combi oven to cook overnight without the risk of them drying out by the heat. For items such as meat and fish, steam can be injected into the oven so that they do not lose the juice and tenderness.

Leon Brocard, London, UK 2

ChefSteps, Washington, US

Food Service & Hospitality

vacuum sealing food items with seasoning is not as messy and the method also quickens the flavour absorption process.

The pressure bratt pan is another versatile equipment that chefs can rely on with its ability to perform eight cooking functions: braising, boiling, steaming, poaching, stewing, roasting, deep-fat frying and shallow frying. The difference between the pressure bratt pan and the ordinary bratt pan lies in the additional lid that can be clamped to function like a pressure cooker. This enables quicker cooking and the cooking of tougher meat cuts. For establishments that produce large quantities of soups and sauces, a centrifugal strainer can provide easy separation of oil and unwanted elements. Another machine that is growing in popularity in the kitchen is the vacuum sealer. Partly motivated by the sous vide movement, where food ingredients are vacuum sealed with seasoning before they are cooked in boiling water, chefs have found more practical applications for the machine. One obvious use is in the sealing of food to keep their freshness. This can be extended to the storage of opened cans and unused sauces. Many have also found it to be a useful tool in marinating food. Vacuum sealing food items with seasoning is not

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procuring sophisticated barista coffee machines, higher quality beans and more skilled personnel. However, the trend is actually moving towards the opposite direction. The emerging coffee movement has created a group of enthusiasts. This has provided incentives for companies to invent and develop household coffee machines that can offer better quality coffee than what users enjoy at home. As a result, the capsule coffee machine was developed. According to Nestle, about 30 percent of the 2,400 Michelin-starred restaurants in the world are now partners of their Nespresso brand. This is understandable from a price point of view when you consider that a decent espresso machine will cost you over US$10,000, while a top of the line pod-

Changjin Lee

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Food Service & Hospitality

In the last few years, Asia has experienced a coffee renaissance of sort as the Third Wave of Coffee spreads into the region. A top of the line pod-coffee machine eliminates the hassle of procuring good coffee beans and the need for special barista staff.

GoToVan, Vancouver, Canada

Coffee Machines Many diners like to round off their meals with a nice, hot cup of coffee. In the last few years, Asia has experienced a coffee renaissance of sort as the Third Wave of Coffee spreads into the region. This is apparent with the sudden surge in cafĂŠ establishments even in developing countries. As the coffee culture hits out among the different demographics, the demand on quality has increased as well. Many would expect reputable food establishments to make a greater investment in

Tim Lossen, Berlin, Germany

as messy and the method also quickens the flavour absorption process.

coffee machine would only cost a fraction of that. In addition, a capsule only costs around US$1. On top of that, this arrangement also eliminates the hassle of procuring good coffee beans and the need for special barista staff. A capsule coffee machine can be easily operated without much training required. It also helps that the Nespresso brand has been marketed as a trendy product, and a machine that can hold its own even in a classy restaurant. Even though a completely automated kitchen will continue to remain as a vision for the future, current advancements in equipment technology have already brought about convenience and benefits such as cost saving. More manual processes will be replaced by machines and evolution in applications, but there will always be a place for trained kitchen personnel at the heart of a food establishment. FSH


The Sensitivities Of Food Safety

Gluten, peanuts, eggs and shellfish are some of the top food items that trigger a reaction in people with food sensitivities.

Allergens Food allergies have predominantly been associated with the Western part of the world, where stories of reactions to peanuts are common. However, such stories are becoming closer to home as a greater number of individuals in Asia Pacific are developing allergies as well. According to the Australian Food and Grocery Council, one to two percent of the Australian population is estimated to suffer from a true food allergy. This number is even greater among children, about five to eight percent, some of whom eventually grow out of their allergies. A local study conducted by the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore has revealed that while peanut allergies were almost non-existent a decade ago, they are now the top food trigger for food anaphylaxis in Singaporean children. This is closely followed by egg, shellfish and bird’s nest. Other less common food triggers were also found to include cow’s milk, tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes and jackfruits, fish and tree nuts. Contrary to what some might believe, allergies are a real and serious condition with dire consequences. Afflicted individuals who have consumed contaminated food may experience respiratory problems like throat swelling, or gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, diarrhoea and cramps. That however, is only the tip of the iceberg. The nature and severity of symptoms differ amongst people, but the worst case scenario is an anaphylactic reaction, which results in a rapid loss of blood pressure, obstruction of the airways, generalised shock reaction, multiple organ failure, and may even culminate in death.

Robert Young, London, UK 2

component that should never be neglected, the changing foodscape has also made it time for food operators to widen their nets and accommodate other issues involving contaminants, such as food sensitivities. This includes serving foods that are suitable for people with food allergies, food intolerances or catering to those who follow an alternative diet.

Neil Conway, Toronto, Canada

In the food service industry, the issue of utmost importance is in making sure that the food served is suitable for consumption. The key to achieving this is ensuring that foods are free from contaminants and prepared in a safe, hygienic environment. Pathogens are the most common sources of contaminants that every establishment aims to eradicate. Microbial contamination could lead to foodborne illnesses and deliver costly consequences. Essentially a public health issue, having measures in place to prevent such contamination is a basic requirement expected of every company in the food industry. For instance, the government in Singapore has mandated all caterers to include a time stamp for buffets or pre-packed meals. Customers are encouraged to finish the food within a four hour time frame, as bacteria multiplies quickly when stored in temperatures of five to 60 deg C. All food operators are also encouraged to adopt Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) as a tool to prevent cross contamination during food preparation. The FSMS is a program used for identifying and controlling food safety hazards at every stage of the process, including food storage, preparation, cooking and delivery. For a long time, pathogens have rightfully been the focus of food safety efforts. While it is a core

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Food safety is no longer limited to keeping food hygienic and free of pathogens, but also making sure that it is suitable for individuals with food sensitivities.

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Food Service & Hospitality

Food allergies by region and age group

Asia South America north America Europe Oceania Africa Middle East World

00-04 17,795,546 2,210,391 2,211,746 3,055,058 110,047 6,896,807 1,671,382 33,950,977

05-09 11,928,610 1,481,569 1,470,643 1,990,401 72,504 4,059,250 1,055,038 22,058,015

10-14 9,231,687 1,097,382 1,110,930 1,508,167 57,415 2,681,118 742,726 16,429,425

15-19 6,605,509 744,962 833,513 1,183,501 45,144 1,693,247 533,183 11,639,059

>19 38,913,820 4,279,787 5,193,824 11,429,671 371,102 5,904,340 2,334,217 68,426,761

Total 84,475,172 9,814,091 10,820,656 19,166,798 656,212 21,234,762 6,336,546 152,504,237

Source: Elucidare

Dietary Habits Apart from food allergies, which are an immune system response, some people suffer from food intolerances as well. The latter occurs when a particular food item irritates or is unable to be digested by an individual. Some common intolerances are against lactose (eg: milk and dairy), dyes, food preservatives, and even caffeine. While there are higher instances of people suffering from food intolerances, its symptoms are delayed and less fatalistic than those of allergies. Celiac disease is another instance where a strict diet has to be followed, as afflicted individuals are

Even though researchers may still be trying to explain why food allergies and intolerances are becoming more prevalent in Asia Pacific, it is an indisputable fact that these cases are on the rise.

John Loo, Sunnyvale, US

While it is true that only a small section of the population is at risk of such events, it must also be noted that all it takes is ingesting a minute amount of allergens for these effects to occur. This also includes consuming food that has had accidental contact with the allergen, such as in the case of removing the culprit ingredient from a dish and then re-serving tainted food to the patron.

unable to eat gluten. Gluten is a compound found in wheat, barley and rye. When ingested by those with celiac disease, it reacts with the small intestine and triggers an autoimmune response. The only treatment for such individuals is to remain on a lifelong glutenfree diet. Biological predisposition aside, an increasing number of individuals have also been opting for alternative diets due to their lifestyles, beliefs and religion. A common example would be the halal

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Being Sensitive Even though researchers may still be trying to explain why food allergies and intolerances are becoming more prevalent in Asia Pacific, it is an indisputable fact that these cases are on the rise. In light of the global phenomenon where people are dining out more for convenience, accommodating such sensitivities to food becomes even more pertinent. Allergies are a growing concern that deserves greater attention. Despite the need for a greater awareness on serving safe food to people with food sensitivities,

Robert Young, London, UK

diet, where Muslims consume only items that are permissible according to Islamic law. Going kosher would be the Jewish equivalent. Likewise, some have also adopted a strict vegan or vegetarian diet.

An educated team of people is possibly the most important and best safeguard a restaurant can have. respondents also thought that allergens would be destroyed by fryer heat. Contrary to these myths, trace amounts of an allergen (even if it is just a minute particle) can be fatal to food allergic individuals. Without proper precautions, food can be easily contaminated and pose a danger to the affected patrons. If someone is allergic to eggs for instance, he can still get an allergic reaction even if his potatoes were fried in the same pan used for eggs. Managing cross contact contamination is therefore crucial when serving individuals with food sensitivities. Education & Awareness An educated team of people is possibly the most important and best safeguard a restaurant can have when serving individuals with food sensitivities. Most mishaps occur when personnel are ill-informed about what allergies truly are and how it affects the individual. As such, brushing up on employees’ knowledge of these conditions will go a long way in controlling the risks of cross contamination.

Matt MacGillivray, Toronto, Canada

Sho Kuwamoto

most wait staff remain inadequately informed about approaching this issue the right way. In a telling study conducted by researchers at the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, food service personnel (including managers, servers and chefs) displayed a relatively high confidence in providing allergic consumers with safe meals. Of the 100 people interviewed, 70 percent guaranteed a safe meal and 42 percent reported to have undergone food allergy training. Yet when tested on their knowledge, 24 percent mistakenly believed consuming a small amount of allergen would be safe, while 25 percent thought it was safe to remove an allergen from a finished meal. 35 percent of the

Managing cross contact contamination is crucial when serving individuals with food sensitivities.


Food Service & Hospitality

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Such special orders should be highlighted to kitchen staff, so they know to start ‘fresh’ in their procedures. This comprises washing their hands thoroughly, changing gloves and aprons, as well as cleaning and sanitising the surfaces that may have come into contact with food. Workspaces like grill tops, preparation counters and cutting boards, pots and pans should all be cleaned, while newly cleaned utensils should be used. This is done to prevent cross contamination.

Leon Brocard, London, UK 2

To minimise the risk of illness and death due to accidental consumption of allergens, restaurants in Massachusetts, US, are required by law to prominently display food allergy awareness posters for the employees’ benefits. Those establishments are encouraged to include notices on menus for patrons with allergies and provide allergy training for certified food protection managers. A voluntary ‘Food Allergy Friendly’ program has also been developed. While not compulsory, restaurants in Asia Pacific will benefit from following Massachusetts’ example. Some other helpful precautions would be preparing a master list of ingredients for all dishes, so that front line service staff will be able to pinpoint and direct diners with food sensitivities to a suitable dish. This also helps waiters in identifying potential allergens that are hidden ingredients, such as the link between lactose and butter. Menu displays can also include footnotes that indicate if a dish contains common allergens. According to the Iowa State University, these include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, soybeans and wheat products.

Communication Communication is the most effective weapon against food sensitivities. Patrons need to know that restaurants are there to provide support. This includes taking the time to understand which ingredients or items the diner cannot eat, and then communicating that urgency and knowledge to the kitchen staff. On the back end, chefs and management should work together to devise alternatives or solutions for patrons on a strict diet. For instance, a restaurant in the US has completely reworked its recipes to substitute flour with corn starch, so as to be entirely gluten-free.

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Halal Food For Thought

AS THE HAlAl MArkET GrowS, How cAn rESTAUrAnTS MAkE SUrE THAT THEIr offErInGS ArE SUITAblE for MUSlIM dInErS? by dEwI HArTATy SUrATTy, ASSISTAnT dIrEcTor (HAlAl cErTIfIcATIon), ISlAMIc rElIGIoUS coUncIl of SInGAPorE 1. observe good hygiene and sanitation practices as Halal food must be wholesome and safe for human consumption;

amrufm, Shah Alam, Malaysia

2. Ensure that the food does not contain any ingredient and/or derivatives from non-Halal sources, animals not slaughtered in accordance with Islamic requirement or human body parts. Examples of non-Halal materials include pork, lard, frog, cooking wine, alcoholic beverage, filth and gelatin from porcine origin; 3. Ensure that the food does not come into contact with nonHalal food at the points of storage, preparation, cooking and display; ‘Halal’ is an Arabic word which means lawful or permissible. Any food or drink which falls under this category is permitted for Muslim consumption. Muslims believe that consuming Halal food is a religious obligation that forms an essential aspect of their faith. Halal has now emerged as one of the fastest growing business sectors in the world. The global Halal market is reputed to be worth more than US$2.3 trillion, while the Halal food sector is valued at approximately US$700 billion annually. If you are considering tapping on the Halal market and providing Halal food options to your customers, you may want to take note of these important guidelines:

Halal has now emerged as one of the fastest growing business sectors in the world.

Communication also involves working with suppliers to identify potential allergens in raw materials, or working internally to identify critical control points where contamination may occur. At the end of the day, information acts as a linchpin. To customers with food sensitivities, dining out is always a risk. Assurance is achieved only

4. Ensure that the equipment, crockery or utensils used in the handling of Halal and non-Halal foods are separated. It is a good practice to clearly demarcate the equipment, crockery or utensils using different colour codes and labeling; 5. Avoid misleading food description such as bacon, ham or any other terminologies that relate to a food that is traditionally known as non-Halal in the local context. If you need to use the term ‘ham’, you are strongly advised to prefix it with the meat type such as ‘turkey ham’ or ‘chicken ham’; 6. do not make Halal claims or display Halal-related signages unless your premises are Halal-certified and serve only foods and drinks that are Halal. you may be committing an offence if your claims or signages are found to be misleading. In Singapore, misuse of Halal marks or use of misleading Halal-related claims constitutes an offence under the Administration of Muslim law Act and the Sale of food Act; 7. claims such as ‘no Pork, no lard’ or ‘Vegetarian food’ are not equivalent Halal alternatives; 8. do apply for Halal certification to provide greater assurance to your consumers. do note that the Halal certificate is not transferable. you are not allowed to pass off your premises as Halal-certified even though your suppliers are endorsed as Halal.

in knowing that the restaurant fully understands their predicament, and is willing to take steps to accommodate them. By catering to food sensitivities, restaurants are not only extending a lifeline to affected consumers, but are paving their own path into a future where alternative diets are only going to become more common. FSH


Tantalising The Senses

A great meal is not just about exciting the palate, but also stirring the other senses of sight, smell and sound to create a pleasurable experience.

Food is undoubtedly the star in any dining establishment. More than just taste, people judge food by its holistic appeal, including colour, smell, presentation, and how different textures and flavours are melded into one appetising looking dish. Interestingly, perceptions of the dish can be further enhanced by the environment in which it is presented. Nonetheless, taste is by far the most important factor contributing to the appeal of the dish. This indirectly implicates the quality of ingredients, which in turn, has a direct effect on flavour and mouth feel of the eventual dish.

has led to an increased demand for taste and quality. Additionally, globalisation and the surge in travelling have further developed discerning taste buds that are shaped by an enhanced exposure to international cuisines. This also goes beyond food to include beverages, where The Harris Poll has shown that coffee and tea buyers purchase their drinks based on taste, with the majority willing to go out of the way to get their favourite cup, as opposed to settling for a more convenient alternative.

Greater affluence has led to an increased demand for taste and quality.

A Whiff Of Pleasure It is extremely easy for one to deem a dish satisfactory or unsatisfactory within the first bite itself. However, taste is in reality, a complex concept that depends on the successful delivery of multiple components. What it comprises is smell, a balance of flavours, the presence of umami, a combination of textures, as well as high flavour richness. Smell is often the first

Robert Young, London, UK

Discerning Taste Buds Together with greater affluence and globalisation, consumers are also becoming more educated and involved in the food that ends up on their plate. Some diners have developed a penchant for knowing the origins of their food, opting for exotic ingredients that are touted as a healthier alternative, or consuming food that has been prepared by new and experimental methods. Despite this quest for novel dining experiences, taste still comes out on top. The San Diego State University and the University of Guelph interviewed twelve Michelin-starred chefs, who said that seasonality and the quality of ingredients were the two most common considerations in the development of a new dish. Further highlighting the importance of pandering to the tastes of customers, the chefs indicated that new dishes will be rolled out only if they think it will be accepted by consumers. One even said that because his customers have a conservative taste, a conservative filter is always used before advancing with a new idea.

Matthew Hine, Texas, US

A Taste For Quality In the 2012 Food & Health Survey conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation, respondents indicated that taste had the largest impact on their food and beverage choices at 87 percent, followed by price and healthfulness (73 and 61 percent respectively). The same study also revealed that as people age, they develop a greater preference for taste and healthfulness with a reduced sensitivity towards price. With price being more important to consumers under 50, this suggests that older consumers who have a higher purchasing power are more willing to pay for quality and health. Likewise, this phenomenon can be extended to the burgeoning middle class, where greater affluence

Matthew Hine, Texas, US

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other ambient conditions like temperature, music and lighting are also capable of influencing customer behaviour.


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Food Service & Hospitality trigger that whets an appetite. Providing a prelude to the taste of a dish, attractive smells have the potential to enhance palatability as it provides depth and variability to flavour richness. As the olfactory system is closely linked to the part of the brain where emotions and memories are processed, smell could potentially be the path to pleasure and palatability. For instance, smells from roasting meat, beans and baking have been shown to whet one’s appetite. Putting this to the test, Dunkin Donut employed an advertising tactic in South Korea where the smell of coffee was released in buses as their jingle played, resulting in a sales increase of 29 percent.

glutamate. Commonly termed as the fifth taste, umami is found in foods such as kombu, mushrooms, meat and is the strongest when foods are slow cooked or fermented, as the amino acids are released. Variety in the form of textures, when done right, uses mouthfeel to increase the depth of the dish. Several Michelin-starred chefs have also emphasised that the taste experience is heightened when different textures are present. For instance, crispiness is often paired with something smooth and moist to prevent the dish from being one-dimensional. This influences choices like cooking methods and the perceived freshness of ingredients. For instance, crispiness is used to identify the freshness of fried

When pairing different components together, it is vital that there is no particular note that overpowers the rest. items, while juiciness is used for that of meat, and crunchiness could be used for vegetables. As more restaurants dish up wine service, chefs and sommeliers should work together to explore how food and drinks can complement one another. Some sommeliers might recommend for slight changes to be made in the dish so that the customer’s wine choice can be enjoyed better. Apart from wine, restaurants can also leverage on other beverages like coffee to round out the flavours of a meal. With the rise of specialty coffee, otherwise known as the third wave, there is a growing appreciation for beans with characteristics that are as nuanced as the region it comes from.

Margaret Noble

Robert Young, London, UK

Harmony & Balance Maintaining the balance of flavours is pertinent during the creation of a dish. When pairing different components together, it is vital that there is no particular note that overpowers the rest. For instance, overcooking food masks not only the original flavours, but also removes the complexity of the dish. This also includes being careful with sauces and condiments. Too much can lead to dominating the taste of the entire dish, while too little might lead to the lack of contrast and harmony. It has also been found that consumers prefer dishes that are umami—a savoury and flavourful aftertaste that occurs due to the presence of

Several Michelin-starred chefs have emphasised that the taste experience is heightened when different textures are present.


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Leon Brocard, London, UK

serve as its ‘packaging’, which are used for enticing diners to try a particular dish for the first time. This works in tandem with taste, on which repeat orders are dependent on. Plating A Story Apart from the art of words, chefs are also armed with a selection of plates and techniques to increase the value and ultimate taste of the dish. It is common for a chef to have as many as 20 to 30 different plates in his or her repertoire. These plates act as a canvas, which are meticulously chosen to create the best presentation when combined with food. Choice of plates will be influenced by the layout of the dish, the colour combination, number of components involved, and most importantly, the way customers consume a particular dish. Conversely, certain plates or platters may be chosen to subtly influence the eating sequence. This comes into play as most times, dishes need to be eaten in a certain sequence for it to have the best taste result. In eating sushi for instance, diners should start with the lighter flavours before going onto richer ones, so that their palate will not be affected.

Advertisement for Asia Pacific Food Indus Size: 85mm x 114 mm June_2013 Handling Expectations For a great dining experience, it is important that all the relevant cues are harmonised. Apart from taste, this also includes how a dish is presented, both on plate and paper. The crux of achieving customer satisfaction is matching, or going beyond, the customers’ expectations. This starts with ensuring that the name and presentation of the dish matches the customer’s expectations. Dishes should be described adequately on a menu, such it does not result in false expectations. If it is a specialty dish that has been on the menu for a long time, pains should be taken to ensure that there are no huge deviations in ingredients, taste or presentation. Menu descriptions are a tool that can be used to manage expectations. This lies largely on whether images of the dishes are included, and the types of description used. For instance, research by Unilever Food Solutions has indicated that healthier options often have the misfortune of sounding less appetising. Certain words may be associated with qualities such as blandness, therefore affecting the overall appeal of the dish. Instead, small changes to descriptions on a menu can make the healthier option sound just as tasty, more satisfying, while creating the perception that it is better value for money. In particular, it is the naming of flavour notes, such as how fresh and ripe the food is that influences diners most. These descriptions augment the dish and

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Food Service & Hospitality Case Study:

Making Healthier Dishes A Tasty Choice

WITH THe HeLP OF UNILeveR FOOD SOLUTIONS, GRAND COPTHORNe WATeRFRONT HOTeL HAS UNveILeD A HeALTHIeR CHINeSe BANqUeT MeNU WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON APPeAL AND TASTe. By NG SeOW LING, MD, UNILeveR FOOD SOLUTIONS AND DAvID TOH, exeCUTIve CHeF, GRAND COPTHORNe WATeRFRONT HOTeL In recent years, Grand Copthorne Waterfront (GCW) Hotel has seen an increase in the number of diners requesting for healthy dishes as they become increasingly health conscious. Requests for healthier options are especially common amongst wedding couples, as dishes served at Chinese wedding banquets are known for being sinfully rich in fat, sodium and calories. In order to improve guest satisfaction, the hotel’s culinary team wanted to look at introducing a healthier and more wholesome approach to developing their Chinese wedding banqueting menu, while still retaining its appeal and taste. Small Changes With Huge Effects To develop a healthier menu, the hotel’s culinary team worked with Unilever Food Solutions (UFS)

to make small, yet impactful changes to their banqueting menu. This was achieved with nutritional advice, and support in menu writing to make healthier dishes sound appetising and ‘seductive’. Words which described the origin of the ingredients, how they have been prepared and their textures were included to make the dishes more appealing. examples include “Braised Seafood and enoki Mushrooms in Fragrant Spinach Broth” and “Chilean Sea perch fillet steamed in with tri-coloured capsicums, green zucchini, marukome soybean paste and garnished with alfalfa, white spring onion, cilantro.” One of the first challenges was reducing the sodium levels and calories of the dishes while retaining its original taste. The hotel’s culinary team worked together with a chef and

nutritionist from UFS to ensure that the nutritional values and salt levels of the dishes were improved, while the taste and flavour profiles were retained. Flavour was maintained by using alternative seasoning such as herbs and lower sodium sauces. The healthier dishes were renamed to include more information on the sources of the ingredients and the cooking process. Research by UFS has shown that a well-written menu can have extra appeal for guests. According to the World Menu Report 3, dishes using descriptor words like ‘succulent’ and ‘fresh’ proved more popular with respondents in nine out of the 10 countries surveyed.

The outcome Catering to health-conscious diners, the menu has been given the official stamp of endorsement by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board for its reduced levels of sodium. By making small, yet impactful changes to recipes and menus, chefs and restaurateurs will not only keep guests satisfied and coming back for more, but they are also providing healthier options and helping to improve the health and wellbeing of diners.

Top Left: Oceanic Steamed Sea Perch Fillet in Shiro Miso Sauce Top Right: Deep Sea Scallops Lightly Stir-Fried with Green Asparagus and Honey Pea with Crunchy Macadamia Nuts

Far Left: Braised Seafood and enoki Mushrooms in Fragrant Spinach Broth


Matthew Hine, Texas, US

Balance is an important component in plating, be it in terms of colour, textures, or even height.

Creating Congruence At the end of the day, the dining experience goes beyond how a meal tastes, to include other quality cues like service, ambience, and above all, a smooth transaction. Creating seamlessness requires a full integration of services and offerings within a restaurant, such as making sure that the décor and table setting matches the cuisine and scale of the restaurants. Things like the type of cutlery used (eg: setting a fish fork in addition to a dinner fork), glassware, china, and linens (eg: napkin presentation) are all visual cues that influence the perceived quality of a restaurant. Other ambient conditions like temperature, music and lighting are also capable of influencing customer behaviour. When a restaurant is too cold, it discourages patrons from lingering. Music on the other hand, has the potential to increase excitement levels and set the pace of consumption. The choice of lighting can also vastly affect how welcoming an establishment is. People tend to

Dinner Series, Massachussetts, US

Plating is also a good opportunity to highlight the features that make a dish special. Plates can be used to bring out the texture of the food when used contrastingly. Depending on how the various food items are placed on the plate, chefs can also play up qualities such as crispiness or creaminess. There should be a focal point drawing attention to the main item of the dish. Garnishes can be used for this purpose, as well as through straight or curved lines, which can be created using sauces, or achieved through the design of the plate. Most importantly, there should be balance on the plate, be it in terms of colour, textures, or even height. It is important that the entire layout of the dish is cohesive enough, such that it is viewed as one entity—a sum of parts that make up a whole.

Dinner Series, Massachussetts, US

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Food Service & Hospitality

associate upscale restaurants with dimmer lighting, with yellow/orange lights providing a warmer atmosphere while white/fluorescent lights portray the opposite. However, note that no patron walks into a restaurant only to assess those environmental factors individually. The customer consumes the entire experience as a whole, and notices the individual component only when it goes awry. This marks the importance of congruence. Supporting the need for integration, a study conducted at the University of Guelph demonstrated that when a restaurant plays music that matches the décor, customers intend to return or recommend the place to others more. In fact, creating a holistic experience has been shown to increase overall satisfaction. Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Pennsylvania State University conducted a study in a Japanese restaurant in Taiwan to explore whether it mattered for food and décor to match each other. They discovered that when various cues matched, the customers had a more pleasurable experience, resulting in greater satisfaction. What this ultimately implies for food service operators, is the need to provide diners with a seamless experience, where every aspect of service has been accounted for. This requires the integration of both tangible and intangible cues, starting with the taste of food, its presentation, décor, ambient effects like lighting, music and temperature, and ending off with the meticulousness and friendliness of the wait staff. FSH


www.worldoffoodasia.com/www.thaitradefair.com

Savor the Best in Asia 22. - 26.05.2013 IMPACT Exhibition Center Bangkok, Thailand THAIFEX - World of Food ASIA covers • Food & Beverage featuring HALAL & ORGANIC Food • Foodservice • Food Technology • Retail & Franchise Online

2013 EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

pre-registration is now open!

Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge

Roasters’ Choice Award

2013 - we extend our warm welcome to the Indochina Teams from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The competition will be opened to regional teams from the Asia Pacific region.

The Asia-pacific region has become one of the most important coffee growing regions in the world due to its tropical and subtropical climates making it an ideal environment to grow coffee. Some of the most unique and highly desired gourmet coffee beans in the world are produced from this region.

• 500 contestants • 20 judges (7 WACS endorsed judges) • Featured category – Mekong Culinary Challenge • New category – World Ocean Seafood Culinary Challenge Endorsed by internationally recognised World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and supported by Thai Chefs Associations (TCA), Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge will bring you a larger and more impressive competition. If you are up for the challenge, join us to display your culinary skills at the next Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge!

In 2013, THAIFEX-World of Food Asia will host the inaugural Roasters’ Choice Award. Top international and local judges will be invited to examine, grade and crown the Best Coffee Bean from Asia at Roasters’ Choice Award. The first official collaboration with Barista Association of Thailand is set to create greater industry awareness in the growing Coffee business in Asia. The award is open to contestants from Asia Pacific. Meet and learn more about the best coffee bean producing countries in the Asia region. Source for quality coffee bean and build new business relationships. Find out more at www.worldoffoodasia.com.

Jointly organized by Koelnmesse Pte Ltd Ms Lynn How Tel: +65 6500 6712 Fax: +65 6294 8403 l.how@koelnmesse.com.sg

The Thai Chamber of Commerce


Satisfaction Is Served CUSTOMERS are inarguably the key focus of any company—they are the reason why businesses exist. As long as a company has customers, it is in the people business. It should not come as a surprise then that managing customer relationships helps businesses grow. This holds particular relevance in restaurants as dining is ultimately an emotion-driven activity. People eat out for more than just convenience; restaurants are often places where special occasions are celebrated. Customers are paying for how the experience makes them feel. According to the Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/ RightNow, nine out of 10 US consumers would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. Providing A Personal Touch A large part of a satisfactory experience comes from customer service, which can potentially make or break a visit. The attention placed on good service was highlighted by Genesys Global Survey in ‘The Cost of Poor Customer Service’, where ‘better human service’ was the most requested improvement. This increased emphasis on humanisation is notable, especially in an age that promotes automisation. While technology speeds up processes and makes for a more efficient and productive environment, it does not provide the personalisation and emotional connection customers seek. This is where employees come into the picture. Employees serve as a bridge between a company’s philosophy and its customers, and are ultimately the main contributors to the dining experience. In a study conducted by researchers at the Texas A&M University, employee behaviour was found to be the most influential factor in shaping the customers’ preferred brands. This includes their dressing, body language, enthusiasm, as well as language cues, such as choice of words and tone of voice. Humans crave social interaction and like to feel that they matter. These cues deliver recognition, which goes far in building customer loyalty.

Joi Ito, Massachussetts, US

Excellent customer service is a boon for restaurants, resulting in greater customer value, retention and loyalty. However, this can only be attained by developing the heart of every establishment—its people.

Employees serve as a bridge between a company’s philosophy and its customers.

The Unique Selling Point As the market becomes more saturated, restaurateurs are hard pressed to differentiate themselves from competitors. Some choose to lower their prices to stand out, while others may use service as a differentiating factor. Providing quality and tasty food is no longer sufficient, but a core requirement expected from any decent restaurant. Instead, food operators have to explore other avenues of enhancing their appeal. Service is one such example, which when done right, results in loyal customers and higher revenues. According to the 2011 American Express Survey, seven in 10 Americans were willing to spend more with companies that they believed provide excellent customer service. Creating a positive and memorable experience often leads to greater benefits, like enhanced publicity due to word of mouth recommendations from customers. This is highly valuable as people trust recommendations from friends and family much more than they do third party sources. The same survey further highlighted that good experiences are shared with an average of nine people, while poor experiences are shared with an average of 16 people. This indicates the detrimental effects that service lapses have on a restaurant’s branding, where stories of bad experiences reach twice as many people or

Joi Ito, Massachussetts, US

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Food Service & Hospitality


Food Service & Hospitality more. In today’s digital age, it is even more pertinent for restaurants to provide adequate and consistent services. Technology has birthed the effect of online reviews and instant information sharing—once a negative review is out on the web, it is there for all to see. Consumers are also increasingly reliant on such reviews to help them decide whether a dining establishment is worth patronising. Less than stellar reviews could potentially lead to a huge loss in potential customers. Serving Up Smiles ‘Service with a smile’ is a common motto given to wait staff and often considered the basic in making a customer feel welcomed. However, this may very well backfire if the employee’s heart is not in it. According to research conducted at the Pennsylvania State University, sincerity plays a huge

For instance, authenticity can be easily achieved with positive leadership, which will help to inspire positive emotions in workers. Increased autonomy will also provide employees with a greater sense of responsibility while also showing that they can be trusted to deliver. This in turn leads to reduced turnover, which is integral as experienced staff are better equipped with the skills and knowledge that are required for satisfactory and quality exchanges with customers. Training is another factor required for achieving customer satisfaction, as it eliminates inconsistencies in service quality. This also ensures that employees ‘get it right’ the first time, which works towards enhancing customer confidence. Contrarily, inconsistency and poor service recovery alienates customers instead. To prevent this, training should be provided for all employees, be it kitchen or wait staff. Apart from

Sincerity plays an important role in forming impressions and making emotional connections, with authenticity boosting overall satisfaction. role in forming impressions and making emotional connections. Authentic displays by wait staff create more impressions of trustworthiness, calmness and confidence, while perceived false smiles are seen as manipulative. Authenticity was also found to boost overall satisfaction with the experience, even in busy environments. Managing these impressions will be beneficial in mitigating some of the effects caused by pace. Several studies have indicated that satisfaction generally increases along with pace, until it reaches a certain point where more haste will only have a negative effect. This affects satisfaction as it disallows customers from savouring the experience at their own pace. It is therefore useful for service personnel to be aware of such contributing factors, so that satisfaction can be better managed and delivered. Managing Satisfaction Customers’ dining experiences may be largely dependent on the staff’s performance, but it is ultimately the management’s responsibility in upholding service levels. Authenticity, personalisation and emotional connectivity—three qualities that diners look for—can only be attained when employees are sufficiently happy and motivated. It is all about following the service culture that the management sets.

maintaining product and service quality, training also equips employees with the knowledge and autonomy required for making recommendations and catering to the unique needs of each customer. Ultimately, it is knowledge and preparedness that allows food operators to surpass the expectations of their customers. FSH

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Food Service & Hospitality

Product Highlights

GOLDEN BRIDGE FOOD: LUNCHEON HAM

CHINATOWN FOOD: HEALTHIER RICE BALLS Tha 2CCifex -13

Tha 2BB ifex -06 HOF 3F-6 EX 01

Chinatown Food, known for its glutinous rice balls, has made the Asian dessert healthier. The manufacturer has come up with a solution for removing the hydrogenated fats from the dough, and uses canola oil in its place. This is done without compromising on the flavour and texture of the rice balls. The glutinous rice balls are available with various flavours for its fillings, such as black sesame, white sesame, peanut, red bean, and yam paste.

LEO SATAY: FRESH & FROZEN SATAY

The 100 g portion pack luncheon ham under the Kelly’s brand comes in recyclable aluminium trays with easy peel lids. Made microwave safe for added convenience, it is available in the four different flavours. The ‘Picante Pork’ is a spicy, smoky option with a coarse meat texture, while the ‘Chicken lyoner’ is made of European spice flavoured lean meat. For the ‘Beef Pastrami’, spices like pepper, bay leave, and garlic are blended into ground lean meat. Meanwhile, ‘Bacon Bits’ combines back bacon with luncheon ham and crunchy bacon bits.

LACTO ASIA: CHEESE PRODUCTS

Tha 2CCifex -13 HOF 3F-7 EX 08

To experience the sumptuous Singapore Satay, Leo Satay has done all the groundwork in advance. The meticulous preparation of marinades and choice meats is something you need not concern yourself with. With meat choices of chicken, pork, mutton, beef and ostrich, Leo Satay’s HACCP certified manufacturing process still uses the same secret family recipes that were created by its founder, retaining the same authentic satay taste enjoyed since the 1960s. Apart from the convenience being offered in pre-cooked form, it is also available as raw marinated meat. Considered to be the best satay all across Singapore, Leo Satay is distributed internationally to hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, food courts and caterers.

Lacto Asia provides a wide range of cheese products starting from Block Type (as a basic shape), then Diced Cut (4 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, 12 mm and 16 mm cube), Cheese Spread, Processed Cream Cheese, Liquid Cheese and Natural Shredded Cheese. All products are made from carefully selected natural cheese using Japanese technology and are produced with special characteristics (Melty, Standard, Heat Stable) and unique taste and colour (Plain, Red, Chilli, Fruits, Nacho and so on), under very strict hygiene conditions and environment.


Food Service & Hospitality

Product Highlights

WINTERHALTER: DISHWASHING MACHINE

SAN FOOD: HALAL SATAY Tha 2CCifex -13 HOF 3F-7 EX 08

SAN Food has grown to become one of Singapore’s largest manufacturer, distributor and exporter of Halal satay. These Halal offerings include the Singapore Traditional Satay and Japanese Yakitori, which are distributed internationally to hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, food courts and caterers. The traditional satay is available in meat choices of chicken, beef and mutton, while the yakitori uses choice cuts of chicken. Both the satay and yakitori have been marinated for extended hours in special blends of marinades and mixes. Apart from the convenience of being offered in precooked form, it is also available as raw marinated meat. This allows resident chefs to employ their own creative juices, be it in food presentation or tailoring the food to suit local tastes.

The MTR rack conveyor dishwashing machine is designed for high volume catering kitchens. It is simple to use, energy efficient, and economical to run. The smallest machine in the range is capable of processing up to 155 racks per hour, while the largest can process up to 350 racks per hour. Saving on water, power and detergent consumption, the machine’s Mediamat washwater filtration permanently reduces the amount contaminating particles in the tank water. For greater energy efficiency, it is also equipped with an exhaust air heat recovery system that utilises warm exhaust air from the machine to preheat incoming water.

WIN WIN FOOD: POTATO CRACKER

WMF: COFFEE MACHINE

T Hall haifex 2/CC -07

This snack is one of Win Win Food Singapore’s best selling products. Made from potatoes, the crackers are baked, not fried, contain no trans fat and are said to be cholesterol free. With three flavours to choose from—BBQ, tomato, vegetable—these potato nibbles can be enjoyed by the young and old.

The WMF 8000 S is a coffee machine that is also suitable for milk and steamed drinks. Its ‘Man Machine Interface’ provides users with intuitive and easy-to-use features, such as a timer function for activating the machine, or individual functions. It has four product hoppers, three presettable hot water temperatures, and provides users with two different ways of preparing milk foam or hot milk. The machine can be cleaned automatically with its rinse function, and is further equipped with a HACCP-compliant patented Plug+Clean milk cleaning system that cleans all the parts that come into contact with milk.

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ap

afe & Quali

ty F oo d

in S i ng

e or

-B

in S t s e

Made

Visit

Begedil (Potato Cutlet)

t

Tha 2CCifex -13

Glutinous Rice Ball

Potato Cheese Stick

Us A

Roti Prata

Layer Cake

Chinatown Food Corporation Pte Ltd 中华食品厂有限公司 No. 1 Senoko Road #04/05-00 Annex Building Singapore 758134 Tel: (65) 6382 0500 • Fax: (65) 6382 0600 • Email: chinatownfood@pacific.net.sg

Yam Cocoon

Golden Sesame Ball Join us Chinatown Food

www.chinatownfood.com.sg


Vacuum packaging made easy

BASELINE Chamber machines

The compact dimensions of the BASELINE chamber

BASELINE product range

machines means that they can be used anywhere and are therefore an ideal packaging solution for butchers, restaurants, hotels, direct sellers and farmyard shops as well as for a wide range of consumer goods. Successful and high quality vacuum packing is simple with BASELINE chamber machines. A long lifespan, a high level of reliability and the best service are guaranteed. To complete your packaging needs, MULTIVAC offers quality sous-vide vacuum pouches which complement our BASELINE chamber machines.

MULTIVAC Pte Ltd 25 International Business Park #01-61/63 German Centre Singapore 609916 Office: (65) 6565 3919 Fax: (65) 6566 9798 Email: mulitvac@sg.multivac.com www.multivac.com

Type

Design

Usable volume

Pump output

P 100

Table-top machine

290 x 205 x 90

4 m続/h

P 200

Table-top machine

305 x 300 x 310

8 m続/h

P 300

Table-top machine

420 x 420 x 170 20 m続/h

P 400

Floor machine

420 x 420 x 170 60 m続/h


Food Service & Hospitality Supplement  

Asia Pacific Food Industry

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