Why is Color Coding Important in a Kitchen?

In reality, there is a lot going on in a commercial kitchen, and it is one of the busiest departments in a hotel. Kitchen staff work long hours; no sooner have they finished up with breakfast for guests, they need to start on lunch, and soon after that dinner, and all this in addition to specialized meals ordered by customers. So, staff in a commercial kitchen wearing their chef whites, chef aprons and hats are always running around, always working, preparing ingredients, cooking, cleaning.

The internal rules and regulations of a kitchen are far more complex however, and it’s through those rules that they ensure that there is a smooth operation in the kitchen, and that everyone knows what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it. There are also certain industry standards that have to be adhered to in a commercial kitchen, which are mostly in tune with safety regulations when it comes to food preparation, which help restauranteurs avoid unnecessary legal issues when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness.

One such industry standard that kitchens adhere to is color coding the kitchen, including equipment, tools etc which are used daily for food preparation. Certain properties also have different colored uniforms for their staff, distinguishing the hierarchy of the kitchen, with the head chef wearing his chef whites, and all other chefs, cooks and kitchen staff being given different colored uniforms and chef aprons in order to easily identify them according to the job they do.

When it comes to equipment and tools, the commonly used color coding are as follows:

White – bakery and dairy products.

Blue – raw fish.

Red – raw meat.

Green – fruit, salad and fresh vegetables.

Yellow – cooked meat or raw poultry.

Brown – root vegetables.

Pink – vegan food.

Purple – allergenic food.

Black – bar use.

So, what kind of equipment do kitchens usually color code?

Chopping boards – Food safety regulations state that a single chopping board cannot be used for raw meats, cooked meats, vegetables and fruits and other items, and this is why kitchens have sets of color-coded chopping boards, according to the usual color-coding system given above. This also helps kitchen staff to easily identify which board should be used for which item, and will not accidentally mix them up.

Kitchen knives – Using the right type of knife is important both in terms of the safety of the user as well as ensuring food safety. In the first instance, using the wrong knife to cut certain things could result in cuts and bruises and injuries, while it is considered to be unhygienic to use one knife to cut different ingredients (similar to chopping boards). By color coding the knife handles, it makes it easier for kitchen staff, especially trainees who are yet not proficient on which knife should be used to cut which ingredient, to select the right knife they need for the job. It is also an efficient method of training junior kitchen staff regarding the different knives in use in a commercial environment.

Tongs, brushes and Thermometers – Color coding these different types of tools is important since it ensures that each one is used only with the same types of food. Again, food preparation hygiene comes into play here, and regulations state that staff should use different tools for meats, vegetables, fruits, cooked food etc, in order to avoid contamination.

Food packing containers – Different types of food, raw food, cooked food etc should be packed and stored in different colored containers.

What are the benefits of color coding your equipment and tools?

It ensures food safety and reduces the chance of cross contamination of food.
It is convenient for kitchen staff to select the right equipment for the right food items.

When a commercial enterprise makes it a priority to ensure that they conform to industry standards and laws and regulations in their industry, then it is apparent that they are concerned with providing a good service and maintaining the highest possible standards for their establishment. Whether the staff are in their chef whites or in colored uniforms and chef aprons, it does not matter so much, but if they ensure that they are adhering to the highest level of food safety standards, then it can certainly be considered as a responsible commercial venture.

Discovering Your Authentic Presentation Personality!

I’ve always loved the rush of being onstage. I am probably one of the few people who looks back fondly on Easter and Christmas programs at church or school plays in elementary school. I even survived that momentus Easter Sunday I stood on the small stage in the basement of our family church in Steelton, Pennsylvania and realized by the look of maternal horror on my mother’s face that I had begun reciting my sister’s Easter poem instead of my own.

You guessed it: I had learned both our poems by heart….

When I first moved to Germany I worked as an EFL teacher in front of an adult audience for several years. My first professional presentation, however, came back in the late 80′s when I got a job working for a company that developed international brand names for new products, services and companies. The first client meeting I attended was held in English, so – without really warning me beforehand – our managing director decided that I – as the native speaker – should present our proposals to the client. Of course I was nervous! But the natural performer in me kicked in and I put everything I had into making those brand name proposals comes to life – and laid a further cornerstone for my future as a passionate presenter and accomplished presentation skills trainer.

During my 15 year career in advertising, I presented in front of national and international audiences on a regular basis. Because of my reputation as a strong presenter, I was soon asked to put together a workshop on presentation skills for junior and mid-level staff throughout the Middle European region. In my naive quest to cover all the bases, the written module became a virtual laundry list addressing such pressing issues as preparing for the meeting, taking notes for your presentation, writing your presentation, editing your presentation, creating your charts, what visual/audio aids to use, etc. All worthy topics to be sure!

When I began actually conducting the workshop, though, I very quickly discovered three essential facts:

  1. You can get a lot of great theoretical information on presenting from any decent book on the subject (or – in the meantime – online),
  2. BUT: Most people have no idea how they look when they present
  3. AND: Most people – even in the communications industry! – receive little or no direct feedback on their personal presentation performances.

Unbeknownst to me then, these simple discoveries became the seeds that eventually germinated into my Authentic Presentation Personality(TM) workshop series. The Authentic Presentation Personality(TM) workshops are designed to provide people with the opportunity to actually see themselves present, and – via 360 degree feedback – give them realistic insight into the impression they make on an audience while they present. In addition, they receive personalized tips on how to improve their unique impact as a presenter on a mission to sell their Big Ideas. In the meantime what began as one single mosdule hasd been based on my own experience in the workshops as well as the feedback from participatns, I’ve experienced so many resounding AHAs! during my workshops by people who have either seen some unknown side of themselves while presenting or – better still – see the huge improvement sometimes even the slightest modification in their behavior can cause that they could truly be made into a book unto themselves.

One day in the (very near) future maybe?

Of course, nothing can take the place of a LIVE opportunity to practice your presentation skills. In the meantime, though, I would like to leave you with something I share with my workshop participants:

8 Myths Standing between You and Your Authentic Presentation Personality(TM)

  • I’m not a good presenter”!

To quote American presentation trainer, Diane DiResta, “Life is a presentation”! If you ever doubt your skills as a presenter, remember the enthusiasm, wit, pathos and involvement you bring to stories you tell to your friends and family. Consider what habits/traits you have while communicating in your personal life that would enrich your business communication style and make it more authentically you.

  • I’m too nervous to be a good presenter!”

Most people deal with nervous energy before a presentation. Good presenters learn to tap into the energy that is being set free to better transport the enthusiasm and conviction they feel about their ideas!

  • I either have to memorize my presentation or read everything from my charts!”

Memorizing your presentation makes you inflexible for audience interaction, and – believe it or not – your audience can already read. That’s why it’s best to keep your charts brief and memorize the concept and “flow” of your presentation. That way complicated charts don’t distract from what you are saying, you express yourself naturally while presenting, and you can easily react to any questions or comments the audience makes.

  • I have to cover as much information as possible during my presentation!”

Concentrate on your essential message and adapt it to the timeframe available to you. People have limited memory spans, and it’s easier for them to remember what’s important (for them and for you!) if you don’t overload them with facts they already know or nonessential details.

  • I have to darken the room so people can see my charts better!”

People have come to your presentation to hear what YOU have to tell them. They can’t do that very well if they can’t see your face while you talk, or fall asleep in a darkened room.

  • I hate the fact that I move around so much when I present”

Dynamic, purposeful movement energizes you – and your audience! Remember that you’re not restricted to a space the size of a sheet of paper when you present. Use as much of the room as you feel comfortable using. Approach audience members! Point to charts, visuals, models. The more interesting you are to look at while presenting, the easier it is for your audience to pay attention.

  • I use my hands too much when I talk!”

Pay attention to dynamic speakers when they talk! Their hands dramatize and accentuate what they have to say. Of course, it’s distracting for your audience if you are swinging and waving your arms without rhyme or reason. If, however, you use meaningful gestures to emphasize your story, it will enrich the effect of what you are saying.

  • I can’t think if I am looking at someone!”

Yes, you can! Looking directly at individual members of your audience helps strengthen the relationship between you and them. They realize you are talking to – and not just at – them. It not only flatters them, it also keeps them listening more attentively. And it lets you see if everyone understands what you are saying, or if someone needs additional information or wants to make a comment. If you lose your train of thought or feel uncertain about something, simply look at someone who is encouraging you nonverbally. That’ll help relieve your stress, so you can continue with confidence!

Presentation Training and Learning How to Overcome Fears

Learning how to overcome fears of public speaking has never been so tough when you do it alone. The good news is that there is presentation training out there to help with all of your public speaking needs. This is something that a lot of people might think about joining, but then back down because it is a class and there is a fee. But both of these things are well worth it when comparing it to not being prepared in front of a very large crowd.

Learn some of the techniques used to overcome public speaking fears when it comes to the classroom, and learn how to be a wonderful speech presenter.

1. Speaking in front of your class. This is something that is going to make you nervous, but it has to be done, and it can help you overcome your fears of public speaking at the same time.

2. Concentration and relaxation. There are techniques used to calm the nerves when you have to do something scary. Learning these techniques can help you prepare for a large presentation you have coming up. This is something that will relax the mind and body and get you on the right track.

3. Writing a wonderful speech. Without a great speech, you will not feel at your best when it comes to presenting it to a large crowd of people. You want to make sure you know how to write the best speech out there so when the time comes, you’re confident enough to present it to your audience.

Presenting speeches is something a lot of people do not want to do publicly, so they tend to stay away from it. Although, there are people out there who will have to do it no matter what they have going on at the time. This is something that presentation training can help you with. Overcome your fears, and learn how to make the best speech without having to worry about messing up or being a failure.

You can be confident when the time arrives, relax yourself, and even get the reaction from your audience that you want. Some of us are born to speak in front of large crowds, while others would rather not. Getting the best help out there if you’re one of the latter group is essential well in advance to the presentation that you have to do in public.