Document Type



6.2 CULINARY ARTS, Food and Beverage, Food Studies

Publication Details


This paper explores the consequences of food production failure (FPF) and its handling in foodservice operations from the perspective of chefs. A phenomenological epistemology and qualitative methodology were followed. Fifteen semi-structured interviews with chefs working in independent restaurants and hotels were carried out using purposive sampling, and employing an emic posture. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, read repetitively, and coded. Thematic analysis yielded themes on the consequences of FPF, on operation and staff, handling failures with kitchen staff, front of the house (FOH), and management. The findings revealed that the major ramification of FPF is financial through food loss. Representing both internal and external failure costs, FPF costs were classified into four tangible types: bin cost, rework cost, lost sales cost, and recovery cost. However, the serious intangible cost of staff demoralization was also identified. Handling failure is a complex task involving different parties and the management of various emotions (anger, frustration, etc.). Furthermore, the phenomena of failure ownership, secrecy, and historic marginalization of chefs, coupled with doubts over management competency, can all obstruct learning from mistakes, the much-cherished by product of FPF, thereby negating the notion of the “learning organization.” Moreover, error management training (EMT) seems to be a potential approach to combat FPF.



No funding was received for this work.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.