Successful Culinary Lab Management Guidelines

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Hospitality and Tourism

    Course : Culinary Arts

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student applies advanced reading, writing, mathematics and science skills for the food service industry. The student is expected to:
      • (A) compose industry appropriate documents
    • (2) The student integrates listening, writing and speaking skills using verbal and nonverbal communication to enhance operations, guest satisfaction, and professional development. The student is expected to:
      • (A) create formal or informal presentations
      • (C) write instructions for a specific restaurant or culinary procedure or the use of a piece of equipment
      • (D) attend and participate in a staff meeting
    • (3) The student demonstrates an understanding that personal success depends on personal effort. The student is expected to:
      • (A) demonstrate a proactive understanding of self-responsibility and self-management
      • (C) demonstrate positive attitudes and work habits
    • (6) The student understands the history of food service and the use of the professional kitchen. The student is expected to:
      • (E) use large and small equipment in a commercial kitchen
      • (F) develop food production and presentation techniques
      • (K) demonstrate proper cleaning of equipment and maintenance of the commercial kitchen
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • identify commercial equipment
    • identify the parts of a knife
    • illustrate different types of knives
    • understand the objectives of staff meetings
    • attend and participate in a staff meeting
    • demonstrate knife skills
    • research cleaning, maintenance and operation instructions for a commercial appliance
  • Rationale


    There are many things to learn about the culinary lab so that we will have a successful experience. We will discuss commercial equipment, knife skills, staff meetings, work stations and production schedules in this lesson. All of this will be valuable to you as you begin your career in the in the foodservice industry.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Five 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Communication: The act or process of using words, sounds, signs or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings and so forth, to someone else

    Culinary: Used in or relating to cooking

    Instruction: A statement that describes how to do something

    Oven: An enclosed compartment in which heat is applied to bake, roast or thaw food

    Range: Refers to a cooktop or a stove

    Staff meeting: A meeting attended by the members of staff of a company, school or business, to discuss issues relating to the running of the company, school or business

    Work station: An area that has the equipment needed for one person to do a particular job

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computers with Internet access (be sure to follow school district guidelines)


    • cardstock
    • cookbooks
    • magazines (cooking)


    • commercial equipment
    • cutting boards
    • knives (chef)
    • utensils (various)

    Groceries for demonstration (optional):

    • broccoli
    • cabbage
    • carrots
    • celery
    • onions
    • peppers (green, red and yellow)
    • potatoes

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)

  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Teacher note:
    Read the handout Culinary Lab Time Management Techniques (see All Lesson Attachments tab) before you begin the laboratory experience with your students.

    Research recipes that include grocery items listed in the Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed section if students will be practicing knife cuts.

    Suggested recipes:

    • cole slaw
    • potato soup
    • stir-fry

    Print and cut apart the Commercial Equipment cards (see All Lesson Attachments tab). These cards will be used in the Independent Practice section.

    For the kitchen brigade system credited to Georges August Escoffier, visit the lesson:

    For more in-depth and valuable information about lab management, be sure to read the online course.

    Display as many items from the Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed tab as you have available on a table in front of the room so that students may view as they enter.

    Distribute the handout Culinary Skills Checklist (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to find out what your students already know about culinary arts. This will give you an idea of the skills your students may already have.

    The following questions may be asked:

    • What is the difference between a standardized recipe and a recipe?
    • What is the conversion factor?
    • Why are ingredients measured by weight in foodservice?

    Discuss the answers with your students.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Select and distribute a handout or graphic organizer from the Instructional Strategies drop down menu in Classroom Essentials or instruct students to take notes in their journal books or on their own paper.

    Introduce the PowerPoint™ Successful Culinary Lab Management Guidelines (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation. Allow time for classroom discussion.

    View the following videos:

    • Restaurant Marketing – How to Manage Your Restaurant Staff
      It is certainly important to have happy and satisfied customers in your restaurant, and staff that is happy and content will help to achieve this goal. Good communications skills are one thing that will help to keep your staff happy.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • provide a copy of slide presentation

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Divide the class into their lab groups of four or five.

    Instruct students that they are in a staff meeting and will be discussing the agenda items below in this order:

    1. work stations
    2. production schedule
    3. measuring with standardized recipes
    4. parts of a knife
    5. types of knives

    At the end of the staff meeting, be sure to follow-up with questions students may have.

    Distribute the graphic organizer Work Stations (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and review the stations with the students. Explain the work stations at your school if they are different from the handout.

    Distribute the handout Production Schedule (see All Lesson Attachment tab) and inform the students that they will be using this form for each lab to help control costs.

    Distribute the handout Measuring Success with Standardized Recipes (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and explain each section to the students.

    They will be referring to this handout throughout the course.

    An important skill needed for successful culinary food preparation is knowledge of knife skills.

    Distribute the handouts Parts of a Knife and Types of Knives (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and instruct the students to identify the parts of a knife the various knives that may be used in a commercial kitchen.

    Demonstrate how to use a knife safely and how to make the various cuts for food preparation.

    Distribute the handout Knife Safety (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and discuss each statement with the students.

    If time allows, students may practice the cuts and create a recipe for a:

    • cole slaw
    • potato soup
    • stir fry

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • peer tutoring
    • encourage participation

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Place the Commercial Equipment cards (see All Lesson Attachments tab) in a basket and allow each student to draw a card. Blank cards are available for other commercial equipment you may have in the lab.

    Read the following scenario:

    The manager of the restaurant where you are employed has called a staff meeting for the employees. The restaurant is expanding and has just purchased used commercial equipment that is in very good condition but does not have the instructions to operate them. You have experience operating these appliances and your manager has asked you to write instructions for the cleaning, maintenance and operation of each equipment piece. You will demonstrate the instructions to the rest of the staff.

    Instruct students to use computers and the Microsoft Word™ template for ‘booklet’. They may use textbooks or the Internet to gather the information needed.

    A Sample Instruction Book (see All Lesson Attachments tab) is available for ideas.

    Distribute the Rubric for Commercial Equipment Instruction Book (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students will understand what is expected.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • reduce assignment
    • extra time for assignment
    • computer assistance

  • Lesson Closure

    Review terms, definitions and objectives.

    Re-distribute the student’s Culinary Skills Checklist completed in the Anticipatory Set section and ask students to review their list and possibly check more items on the list.

    Explain to students that they will be able to check all of the items on the list by the end of the course.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will be assessed with appropriate rubric.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • providing guided participation
    • extra time for oral response
    • encourage participation

  • References/Resources


    • Shutterstock™ images. Photos obtained with subscription.


    • Culinary essentials. (2010). Woodland Hills, CA: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
    • Draz, J., & Koetke, C. (2014). The culinary professional. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Willcox Company.
    • Foundations of restaurant management & culinary arts. (2011). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.


    • Restaurant Marketing – How to Manage Your Restaurant Staff
      It is certainly important to have happy and satisfied customers in your restaurant, and staff that is happy and content will help to achieve this goal. Good communications skills are one thing that will help to keep your staff happy.



  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • word wall
    • draw visual representations of terms on word wall
    • add terms and definitions to personal dictionary
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Other articles pertaining to this lesson that students may read include:

    • What Is the Objective of a Staff Meeting?
      People may dread attending staff meetings — often because the purpose or objective of the meeting hasn’t been clearly defined. It’s important to convey the meeting’s objectives in advance so that participants know what to expect and how to prepare.

    Reading Strategy
    Encourage students to “visualize” as they read. Many students are visual learners and will benefit from making sketches or diagrams on scrap paper as they read. Providing students with graphic organizers to help them organize their thoughts is also helpful.

  • Quotes

    Meetings get a bad rap, and deservedly so – most are disorganized and distracted. But they can be a critical tool for getting your team on the same page.
    -Justin Rosenstein

    Management’s job is to convey leadership’s message in a compelling and inspiring way. Not just in meetings, but also by example.
    -Jeffrey Gitomer

    Having sharp, great knives will enable you to cook very precisely. Knife skills are essential in cooking.
    -Eric Ripert

    Let me even say before I even get inaugurated, during the transition we are going to be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda for the next presidency of the United States of America.
    -Barack Obama

    I want to hold a series of meetings all over the country and get the facts before the American people.
    -Mary Harris Jones

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • Successful Culinary Lab Management Guidelines
    • Presentation Notes – Successful Culinary Lab Management Guidelines


    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout


    • Commercial Equipment
    • Culinary Skills Checklist
    • Knife Safety
    • Measuring Success with Standardized Recipes
    • Parts of a Knife
    • Parts of a Knife (Key)
    • Production Schedule
    • Rubric for Commercial Equipment Instruction Book

    Graphic Organizers:

    • Types of Knives
    • Work Stations
    • Work Stations (Key)

    Teacher Resource:

    • Culinary Lab Management Techniques
    • Sample Instruction Book

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • Staff meetings are important because …
    • Knife skills are essential in foodservice because …
    • Managing a successful culinary lab is important because …
    • A set of good knives is valuable to a chef because …
    • Knife cuts should be consistent for each food prepartion ingredient because …

    Writing Strategy:

    • RAFT Writing Strategy:
      • Role – manager
      • Audience – employees
      • Topic – staff meeting
      • Format – email

    Write an email to the employees of a restaurant requesting them to attend a staff meeting on Monday morning.

  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • Three things about staff meetings are …
    • The parts of a knife are …
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Students may organize the written instructions in a notebook to be used as reference.


    Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

    The infographic below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the image on a projector and lead a discussion concerning the information provided.

    TED Talk:

    TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).

  • Family/Community Connection

    Invite a restaurant manager to speak to the class about how he/she runs a staff meeting.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America

    • Culinary Arts
      A team event – recognizes participants enrolled in occupational culinary arts/food service training programs for their ability to work as members of a team to produce a quality meal using industrial culinary arts/food service techniques and equipment.
    • Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation
      An individual or team event, recognizes participants who demonstrate their knowledge of the hospitality, tourism, and recreation industries and ability to translate their knowledge into a hypothetical or real business. Project must relate to culinary, lodging, recreation, tourism, or event coordination.
    • Illustrated Talk
      An individual or team event – recognizes participants who make an oral presentation about issues concerning Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations. Participants use visuals to illustrate content of the presentation.


    • Commercial Baking
      Contestants are challenged to meet production and quality standards expected by industry. The contest includes both a written examination and practical exercises. Contestants demonstrate their knowledge and skills through scaling, mixing, preparing and baking six products. The products include breads, rolls, Danish, cookies and pies. The student also must demonstrate their cake decorating skills. The contestant must work efficiently to produce quality products in a job-like setting.
    • Culinary Arts
      The competition will encompass both hot and cold food preparation and presentation. Contestants will demonstrate their knowledge and skills through the production of a four-course menu in a full day competition. The contestants will be rated on their organization, knife skills, cooking techniques, creative presentation, sanitation food safety techniques, and above all, the quality and flavor of their prepared items. The high school competitors will work from one menu with standardized recipes. The college/postsecondary students will work from a market basket format and write their own menu and recipes the night before the competition.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to this lesson.

    Possible ideas:
    Students may volunteer once month at the local food bank to prepare meals for the homeless.

  • All Attachments