Everything has its place in this kitchen

Everything has its place in this kitchen

A STROLL around the VivoCity outlet of Chinese restaurant chain Pu Tien will soon show that the managers want to take the guesswork out of the business.

Labels in Chinese and visual aids have been placed on almost everything, from the ingredients in the kitchen to the green chilli container sitting by the utensils.

There is a clear strategy behind the seemingly finicky process - intricate visual labels for food items and equipment allow space to be managed efficiently while taking guesswork out of the equation.

This is all part of 5S, a structured programme introduced by the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS).

The 5S term refers to sort (structure), systemise (system), shine (sanitise), standardise and self-discipline.

It is aimed at organising work spaces in an efficient manner while achieving standardised cleanliness.

Improving workplace efficiency and streamlining processes in turn increase productivity, according to the RAS, which has introduced the system to restaurant chains all over Singapore.

Pu Tien founder and chief executive Fong Chi Chung tells The Straits Times in Mandarin: "In the past, my kitchen was stuffed with stock, and it made me feel happy because it felt like I was doing a lot of business.

"After implementing 5S in the central kitchen, it felt like everything had disappeared. But it was for the better. Before 5S, everything was based on experience and memorising what stock you had. After 5S, it was systematic. I'd be sure whether I had three days', one week's or one month's worth of stock left."

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