- Cook-Chill Foodservice System was a new alternative foodservice
system in the 1960s. Food items in Cook-Chill Foodservice Systems are
prepared and chilled in advance of service, stored in inventory, and then
rethermalized before consumption.
The purpose of this research was to evaluate Cook-Chill Systems from
the foodservice manager's view. The objectives of this study were to: (1)
identify effects, advantages and disadvantages, and decision making factors
for selection Cook-Chill Systems as perceived by managers, and (2) determine
if the demographics influence managers' assessment.
A survey questionnaire was used to collect current information of
Cook-Chill Systems. One hundred thirty-four surveys were mailed
nationwide to foodservice managers with 95 (71%) valid responses. Data were
analyzed from the 74 respondents who currently used Cook-Chill Systems.
The results indicated that the perceived meal quality, quantity control
and personnel satisfaction was equal or better, and labor cost was decreased
and equipment cost increased were most often reported by managers in
comparing Cook-Chill Systems with prior systems. Managers identified
seven advantages: good working conditions, high productivity, labor savings, consistent quality food, good quantity control, nutrient retention,
and safety. One perceived disadvantage was high capital cost of equipment.
The five most often cited factors for selection of Cook-Chill Systems were labor
savings, good working conditions, consistent quality food, safety, and high
productivity. Factors most often cited for not selecting Cook-Chill Systems
were the limited menu and types of products produced, complaints of bad
food, and high capital cost.
Most Cook-Chill Systems have been installed in the past ten years
with previously centralized production flow. Cook-Chill Systems
accommodated small to large numbers of meals with both blast chiller and
tumbler chiller equipment and many reheating methods. Half of the
managers were involved in choosing, designing or implementing
Four significant outcomes were: (1) microbiological control was the
highest of meal quality contributes; (2) manager satisfaction was higher than
customer and employee satisfaction; (3) meal quality and personnel
satisfaction differed among reheating methods; and (4) management
experience for design or implementation influenced managers' willingness
in choosing these systems again.
Four recommendations were drawn from this research.
Recommendations were: (1) studies to identify factors contributing to success
of reheating methods, (2) standard models for cost recording, (3) approaches
to analyze capital cost, create menu items, and find causes of food quality
complaints, and (4) a Cook-Chill Information Center to share knowledge and
support the further development of Cook-Chill Systems.