Earlier this month, Masters of Global Food and Agricultural Business students swapped the classroom for the Intercontinental Hotel. Read below as student, Melissa Verdino, reflects on the experience and key learning points.
“Our Agricultural Markets class had the opportunity to visit the Intercontinental Hotel Adelaide last Friday (May 6th) and embark on an insightful tour of the business. The hotel itself employs over 300 staff and boasts five huge commercial kitchens. Within those kitchens is a maze of cold storage fridges, industrial ovens and winding corridors dotting the many different levels in the building.
The Executive Chef, Tony Hart, explained his role to us in detail, emphasising that running a kitchen enterprise of that scale requires cooperation at every stage of the chain.
Working for an international company of that calibre means that each dollar spent must be accounted for; strict budgets are enforced and the upmost of safety measures are implemented. To ensure these procedures are followed, the hotel utilises the services of HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) who ensure that the upmost food safety protocols are followed to reduce the very real risk of food contamination.
“My own family have been involved in the restaurant industry here in South Australia since they first migrated from Italy many years ago and to see how larger, corporate restaurants manage themselves compared to small businesses was an eye-opening experience.”
It was particularly astonishing to see how new technologies, such as ‘Purchase Plus’, an online system which connects businesses with suppliers, were used to maximise efficiency and reduce costs in a considerable way.
The cost of labour in Australia is especially high and technology is evolving in ways which allow businesses to employ smaller teams. Thankfully, though, we still need real chefs in kitchens to cook our food- they could never be replaced!
At the end of our tour we were treated to the sensory experience of being fed delicious pastries and were sent on our way with full bellies.”