Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Betty L. Beach

Committee Members

Mary Jo Hitchcock, Frances E. Andrews


Hospital foodservice productivity is an area where improvement is important, particularly in light of the current emphasis on cost containment in the health care field. In a foodservice system productivity is measured by input/output ratio. Resources are the system's inputs. There is little information on the effect on productivity of variation in quantity of resources and sequencing of operations, the basic aspects of scheduling.

The COST ARREST model was recommended as a tool for management decision-making and productivity monitoring in a foodservice system. The program was used to study the effect of varying labor time and activity sequencing on entree production in a cook chill foodservice system. Results were compared with conventional scheduling.

Data from an existing foodservice operation were used to determine available labor and equipment and to analyze entree production formulas. Formulas were broken down into activities having definite time and resource requirements. Patient entree production for six days was evaluated on the basis of labor cost and labor and equipment time requirements including delays using two levels of labor and different criteria for scheduling priority. The results were compared with conventional scheduling, that which was done intuitively by production personnel.

The production plan, Plan I, using most labor resulted in greatest labor cost and delay. In the plan, scheduling priority was given to items requiring long production time.

Two plans using less labor, plan II giving priority to long preparation time and plan III to short labor requirement, were similar in results as to labor utilization and appeared to be more labor efficient than plan I. Different sequencing did not demonstrate major differences in production duration.

Conventional scheduling was similar to plans II and III in results. It was not compared with plan I because of dissimilarity in labor level. Plan I resulted in shorter duration of oven use and was believed to be more energy efficient than plans II and III. Conventional scheduling resulted in more efficient use of the slicer than COST ARREST plans. The COST ARREST scheduling algorithm provided a useful tool for management decision-making and productivity monitoring in a cook chill food production system.

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