A Change Log Your Chef Will Love!
So how best to communicate those changes? The old-school way was always to print a fresh copy of the BEO (often on colored paper - and why pink?!), stamp it "Revised" and then distribute it.
You see, what happens is that when the operations teams receive the revised BEO more often than not they just pull the old BEO out of the binder and replace it with the revised one. Yes it certainly is true that a good Chef of Banquet Manager will go through the BEO and read the changes but not all are so fastidious. Even if you circle, highlight, star etc the actual changes, nothing can really force them to read actual change.
Many a time I have had a chef complain at the last minute that they didn't know that I had switched out pastries for donuts for the continental breakfast, even though it was on the revised BEO. Yes this was their fault, but surely this is conflict best avoided...
I love this method as for the following reasons:
1. It actually forces the departments to read the changes at the time you are communicating them.
2. The departments may not want a new copy of the BEO as they may already have their own notes written on the original BEO.
3. It is easy to see how many changes each catering manager is making each day, which in turn may help identify learning opportunities for catering managers to prevent so many changes.
4. There is a paper trail of all the changes and when they were made (CYA).
5. It cuts down time and paper.
So here is how I win over the kitchen!
My compromise on the change log is to start each entry on the change log by typing in CAPS the abbreviation of the section of the BEO that the change relates to. For example when I replace the danishes with donuts I type the change as follows:
"FOOD - replace danishes with donuts"
One final point on the change log - be consistent with the time that you distribute it, especially if sending it via email. If the operational departments know that the change log comes out promptly at 4pm each day then they are not wasting time going back and forth to their computer to see if it has arrived. This also means that you should send an email notification at the same time if there were no changes for that day, so they are not left wondering if they didn't get the change log.
Perhaps it's true that the operational departments will never be completely happy unless there are no changes at all - but at least with these little tips in mind then the relationship between catering and operations might be just that little bit more harmonious!