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Management Advisory Services

  • Client assistance in project development including tender bids and evaluations
  • Drafting technical specifications and tenders
  • Selection of suppliers in general
  • Assistance with terms and conditions of contracts
  • Assistance with tender evaluations
  • Creation of studies evaluating "value for money" in various areas of foodservice operations
  • Food and beverage control evaluations and advice on creating improved profitability
  • Advice on labour schedules and costs in relation to sales
  • Hygiene and Health & Safety audit controls
  • Creation of studies to evaluate outsourcing both Foodservice Operation (Contract Caterers) and/or Commodities
  • Project Management and Contract Monitoring service

Operations and Overviews

  • Feasibility Studies, Personnel
  • Training Programmes
  • Quality Control and HACCP Control Implementation
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Operational Briefs and Appraisals
  • Specific Training Programmes involving practical implementation of systems within foodservice operations

Design & Planning and Contract Management

Scheme Design

  • Design Brief development
  • Initial space requirements
  • Space relationship drawings (CAD generated)
  • Schematic layouts (CAD generated)
  • Full colour perspective drawings (artists' impressions)
  • Interior design schemes
  • Materials sample boards
  • Briefing documents for Architects
  • Briefing documents for Building Services Engineers
  • Preliminary schedules of services
  • Preliminary schedules of finishes
  • Budget costs Liaison with Building Control
  • Liaison with Environmental Health Officers
  • Liaison with Fire Officers

Detailed Design

  • General arrangement drawings (CAD generated)
  • Cut sheets
  • Building services termination drawings (CAD generated)
  • Builders' work requirement drawings (CAD generated)
  • Shopfitting drawings (CAD generated)
  • Catering equipment specifications
  • Builders' work and finishes specifications
  • Signage and graphic design
  • Furniture schedules
  • Contract documentation
  • Competitive tendering

Tender analysis Construction

  • Project management
  • Drawing approvals
  • Payment application certification
  • Site inspections

Defects surveys Post Contract

  • Project monitoring
  • Diagnosis and ongoing operational advice

Operational and Systems Training

  • Test Kitchen training and equipment assessment
  • Theory and Practical training
  • HACCP systems implementation

The re-designed Kelvingrove creates a more accessible and visitor friendly attraction, with better and larger shops, café and toilet facilities. There are more objects on display than ever before within the 22 major galleries and a wide range of educational and learning facilities for all age groups.

While housing some of the finest works from antiquity, Kelvingrove also displays original wiring going back to the earliest days of electricity.

“The building was becoming increasingly unsuitable to cater for the needs of our visitors,” explains Anthony McReavy, Project Coordinator for Glasgow City Council.

“This is the most visited museum outside of London and catering is critical in determining the quality of the visit, from the state of the toilets to the value of a cup of tea. Approximately half of our visitors are repeat customers – this is a community museum on a national scale.”

Robert Croft FIH - senior consultant for RC Associates was called in to detail the design
brief which included a café and a 500-seat banqueting hall and kitchen: “This is the premier facility for Glasgow City Council and a major social space for the city, as well as a key provider of income for the Museum,” says McReavy

“We identified a new area for the café – but it was not big enough to cope with the numbers at peak times. Robert Croft worked with the architects Building Design Partnership and caterers Encore Catering to produce a proposal for an external pavilion to provide the extra space”.

“We were looking for a mixed use of space and Robert gave us various options.

To increase the quality of the visit, the role of the catering operation is quite crucial.

We are now able to look at running a cash café during weekdays with a fine dining restaurant in the evenings, so catering for most visitors.

“Because it was a Victorian building, a lot of our food had to be prepared off site. We have taken out of the building all stores and offices to generate extra space – for the entrance, café and in particular, the main onsite kitchen incorporating a state of the art Cook-Chill system which allows us to substantially improve our offer.”

The refurbishment programme removed all the non-original features of the building as well as repairing and restoring those original features. At the same time all the heating, electrical and IT systems will be brought right up to date.

There is a new entrance at ground level but more importantly the display space was increased by 35 per cent. A redesign of the space allows the museum to increase the number of objects on display by 50 per cent as well as improving the way they are displayed and giving more information about the collections and the items.

Of the £27.9 million needed for the refurbishment of Kelvingrove, £22.4.million was pledged by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund and Historic Scotland. The remaining £5.5million was raised through the work of the Kelvingrove Refurbishment.

Appeal. Kelvingrove Museum www.glasgowmuseums.com

Sous-Vide Systems

We use 2 different cooking methods in the kitchen… the traditional prepared meal process and another less familiar method called sous-vide.

The following information explains what exactly sous-vide is and what its benefits are.

Sous-vide literally means under-vacuum.

It was developed in the mid 70s by Georges Pralus for the restaurant Troisgros in Roanne, France. Originally developed for Foie Gras, the process reduced cooking loss from 30% to 5% and led to a better texture and appearance.

The simplest explanation of the process is that food is cooked in airtight pouches placed in hot water around 60°C.

The other pioneer of sous-vide is Bruno Goussault, Chief Scientist at Cuisine Solutions (USA) who has developed the parameters of cooking times and temperatures for different foods (also called cryovacking in the USA).

How does sous-vide differ from standard prepared meal production?

Sous-vide cooking

  • Cooking time/temp is controlled so the ingredients are cooked to perfection.
  • All ingredients for each portion are in the sous-vide pouch.
  • Start to finish, the dish is in the pouch ensuring all flavours remain intact.

The benefits of outsourced sous-vide to the customer

  • Minimal wastage/improved cost control by controlled portions
    • Several meals can be reheated in the same bath (starters, mains and desserts) without cross-contamination
    • Minimal training/skill required
    • Garnishing of plates etc. can take place while a dish is reheating
    • Extra long refrigerated defrosted shelf life means no wastage vs. fresh proteins – no additives or preservatives required
    • Less freezer space required
    • Reduced no of deliveries to the pub/restaurant/store
    • Can be held hot longer with no evaporation or spoiling
    • Less power/fuel used to produce meals. Cheaper cuts of meat can be used as sous-vide technology improves tenderness
    • Minimal loss during cooking and • Consistent results every time

The benefits of sous-vide to the consumer

  • Flavours and aromas are enhanced/preserved
  • Colours are retained
  • Little or no salt is required
  • Nutrients are preserved (highest retention of vitamins vs. steaming and boiling)
  • Little additional fat is required
  • Enhanced textures and meat tenderness

Vacuum Packing

Vacuum packing is a method whereby food (or other product) is packed and then sealed in an airless environment, usually in air-tight pouches, to prevent the chemical process known as oxidation and in the case of food, growth of harmful micro-organisms.

Unlike normal atmospheric conditions (1000 mbar), a vacuum environment has little or no oxygen, and can be held at as low as 0.5 mbar (in other words a 99% vacuum) by many but not all vacuum packing machines using vacuum pouches. 

Indeed food held in an airless environment is protected from spoiling by limiting the growth of what are called aerobic bacteria i.e. bacteria that grows in oxygen, as well as mould, fungi and yeast.  In addition an air-tight pouch also prevents both the evaporation of ingredients and the cross-contamination of flavours, aromas, moisture and bacteria from one piece of food to another.

How long food will remain durable after vacuum packing depends on more than just the degree of reduced oxygen.  Factors such as temperature, pH, nutritive content, degree of oxygen reduction, time (age and condition) and moisture content also control the speed and level of food deterioration.  However, it is a well established fact that vacuum packed food kept in the fridge at 3° C can keep food fresh for up three to five times longer than afforded by refrigeration alone.  In addition, cold frozen vacuum packed food does not suffer the effects of freezer burn.

It is little wonder then that the vacuum packer has become an essential piece of kitchen equipment for many chefs and caterers.  The reasons for this are not only for extended shelf life and better food preservation but also other elevated food quality and operational benefits, as follows:

Food Benefits

Operational Benefits

Portion Control

Advanced preparation

Reduced Wastage

Spread the workload

Safer Storage

Sous vide (or water bath cooking)

A very high standard of hygiene

 

How does it work?

  • “When you cook at home you get a lot of flavour in your kitchen, when you cook sous-vide, all that flavour is inside the bag” (Goussault).
  • Food is cooked at relatively low temperatures (well below boiling point - e.g. 70°C) for extended periods of time that maintain the integrity of the ingredients.
  • The sous-vide pouch works as a hermetic seal, keeping in both juices and aroma; and by cooking in water, you get better heat transfer than you would in an oven.
  1. NEW EU LEGISLATION AFFECTING THE FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY HAS BEEN IN FORCE SINCE 2006
  2. The new regulations for the EU including the UK came into effect on 1st January 2006
  3. One of the biggest changes is the need for all food businesses to have a working HACCP system
  4. The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system (HACCP) MUST be based on the requirements of the Codex Alimentarius Commission of the EU/WHO
  5. Caterers who do not know about this legislation and do nothing are not complying with the law and as such are working without due diligence
  6. What should be done? Provide knowledge in the following formats:-

Priorities:

  1. Create awareness through the industry media in form of interview exchange.
  2. This will promote the RC Associates initiative as the KEY
  3. Organise the possibility for company visits to explain the legislation and offer consultancy – for a fee!
  4. Provide Seminars on a Regional basis in conjunction with Hotel groups and Industrial/Institutional Caterers.
  5. Combine the legislation with the existing company operational guidelines so that they work as a practical guide for Caterers in combination with each other.
  6. Create a simple method of HACCP introduction as a first step to comprehension and implementation by all Caterers.
  7. Establish a method of consultation for independent companies.
  8. Establish a Helpline to provide advice and guidance in relation to consultancy and/Equipment use that can complies with the legislation.

Confused?    We can help!

RC Associates – can provide you with all you need to comply.

*Good Earth Group, London - Management/Design Consultancy (Chinese Restaurant group)

OANDO Plc – Lagos, Nigeria - Management/Design Consultancy 16 Floor Office Blocks – 2016/17

*Volkswagen Kaluga Russia – Design, Training and Audit Consultancy - 2012/14/15/16/17

Temooljee Co.Ltd, Victoria, Seychelles -  Management/Design Consultancy from 2012/13/14/17/18

We also have further projects under review following proposals submitted that have not yet been awarded. Decisions about these projects will be known in mid 2018

Existing and completed Project File

RC Associates were appointed in 2002 as Consultants to Winterhall AG, Libya for their Camp Jakhira in Libya with responsibility for the implementation of a major new Foodservice operation feeding 200 people 3 times daily, 7 days per week. The client requested that RC Associates implement the whole operation to EU standards.

Apart from the responsibility of training all the contracted staff about the practical day to day foodservice operations, all relevant employees were trained in Basic Food Hygiene to UK CIEH standards.

A re-design brief was completed by RC Associates prior to final build and the complete project was commissioned and put into operation in November 2002.

The final project cost was in excess of €2,500,000

Robert Croft won a second project to a neighbouring site – Camp Nakhla - for the same client. He has the responsibility to design a new containerised Camp Kitchen feeding 20-30 Employees 3 times daily, 7 days per week. Design for containerised living accommodation was also being provided by RC Associates.

This project was finished in November 2005.

Click to see Plan

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Client:

Wintershall AG Libya 

Senior Consultant & Project Manager:

Robert Croft FIH

Design Consultant:

Heiko Uelze

Project Value:

Euro 3,000.000

Completion:

11/2005



RC Associates were appointed as Foodservice Consultants to BA Clubs to develop, expand and refurbish the existing Concorde Centre, Hounslow, London.

The project involved major renovation and extension of the kitchen and service areas. Improved food cost and security of facilities were major concerns to the client, which Robert Croft was able to address successfully and with the provision of a tailor-made "Operations Manual" to ensure maintenance of standards. The new facilities had to provide a seven day week service in the restaurant plus functions from 25 to 350 covers. The project was completed on time with full training given to all relevant staff and to the satisfaction of the client.

Client:

British Airways Clubs Concorde Centre

Project Manager:

Vector Management

Senior Consultant:

Robert Croft FIH

Architects:

Gebler Tooth

Project Value:

£350,000

Completion:

1997

Robert Croft was appointed as Foodservice Consultant to Aberdeen City Council with the prime responsibility for development of thirteen different food service operations within the City of Aberdeen under the project heading of Aberdeen Leisure.

The project involved a major feasibility study in conjunction with a complete design and planning brief for the development of a new centralised production facility and a capacity of approximately 6,000 meals daily.

Of the thirteen locations involved with this project, one was a major banqueting facility, The Beach Ballroom, which accommodates 650 covers.

The project was managed by the City Architect and was successfully completed ahead of time and within budget, to the satisfaction of the Client.

The remaining locations involved leisure facilities and parks including bowling clubs, art galleries and The City Music Hall, all of which are able to offer a wide range of food service to their customers in a standardised and cost effective manner.

Client:

Aberdeen City Council

Project Manager:

GRM Kennedy & Partners

Architects:

Aberdeen City Architects

Project Value:

£950,000

Completion:

1991

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