Mise en Place

What does “Mise en place” stand for?

It is a French hospitality phrase which means “putting everything in place”. It refers to the setup required before the opening of a restaurant and everything is ready to welcome and serve guests. In the kitchens it refers to organizing and arranging ingredients that a chef will need for smooth running of the kitchen during the shift.

Mise en place is the basic requirement for a smooth running of the service process and increases the productivity of the service staff while reducing stress at the same time.

The mise en place or preparation work depends on the type of operation, the offer, the time of day and the type of event. In a kitchen mise en place includes the preparation of the necessary ingredients and spices as well as the work utensils in the optimal arrangement for the chefs.

To make the mise en place easier, checklists are used in many companies.

Every thing in its place saves you time and half of the job is done already.

Before starting the mise en place in the restaurant, it is important to check the cleanliness of the rooms that have been cleaned by the cleaning staff. This includes the furniture, floors, carpets, curtains, mirrors and decorations as well as the entrance area outside, cloakrooms and toilets and whether the overall impression is satisfactory. Furthermore, all rooms must be aired and the lighting system as well as the sound system must be checked.

In preparation rooms away from the guest rooms, which are usually called “offices”, preparatory work is done such as checking and changing linen, cleaning work, polishing glasses and cutlery, checking and, if necessary, filling and cleaning menus, preparing sauces and condiments. Napkins, saucers, serving cups, ice and wine coolers prepared and drinks chilled.

The service stations in the guest area are stocked with the necessary utensils depending on the size and type of business. These include: Trays, napkins, food and drink menus, wine napkins, office supplies – in other words, everything that should be rather quickly on hand.

This is an example of the opening and closing duties (Checklist)
Restaurant Opening
  • Clean all tables with appropriate chemical
  • Check / Brush chairs
  • Clean mats to be placed on tables, along with full cruets, comment cards, coffee and Danish sign
  • Ashtrays to be placed in smoking area only
  • Fill sugar bowls and place on tablemat
  • Display for trolleys: doilies, ice packs, dessert plates, bread baskets
  • Fill up trolley with Danish pastries, cakes, salads, and labels
  • Place napkins on silver trays
  • Polish bill presenters
  • Set up workstations with appropriate mise en place (condiments, napkins, bill presenter,…)
  • Dust all displays
  • Ensure brass signs are clean
  • Turn on glasswasher, coffe machine, till…
  • Bring all saucers, teapots, cups etc out of the bar
  • Polish cutlery and fill up all workstations
  • Cover and date the cakes
  • Prepare display cakes for the trolley
  • Ensure that there is enough butter for the day
  • Date and store fresh products in the fridge
  • Check stock of napkins, jam, sugar etc. and replace if stock is low
Bar Opening
  • Remove grids and unlock all doors and stores
  • Unlock all fridges.
  • Turn on coffee machine and place stainless steel milk containers at their places
  • Switch on the coffee bean grinder and fill it if low
  • On bar counter, place blue paper under coffee grinder and hot water dispenser
  • Prepare teapots with hot water and spoons
  • Check tea drawer and re-stock if necessary
  • In fridge, fill one jug with milk and another with iced water
  • Check milk pack in kitchen, and if empty replace milk pack
  • Check freshness of previously opened orange juice
  • Check dates on milk packs, double cream, open juices (max shelf life – 3 days)
  • Ensure that date stickers are available at bar for any juices that will be opened during the day
  • Record fridge temperatures
  • Set up displays on bar
  • Slice lemons, oranges, limes, cover and date
  • Prepare a small container with water and appropriate chemical for cleaning cloths (blue)
  • Collect orders from storeroom
  • Re-stock fridge’s with stock from main drinks fridge
Restaurant Closing
  • At closing, remove salt and pepper from table and store in appropriate stations
  • Remove condiments, check dates, and store in fridge
  • Take sugar bowls off table and empty into correct storage containers
  • Remove comment cards and Danish pastry signs from tables, and store at appropriate stations
  • Clean mats and store at non-smoking station
  • Clean tables and bases with appropriate chemical
  • From stations, clear away bills and envelopes. Clean stations with appropriate chemical
  • Place all trays in kitchen to be washed
  • Remove napkins from silver trays and bring it to the linen room
  • Place silver trays in kitchen to be washed
  • Clean menus and store at your station
  • At closure, take breadbaskets into kitchen and throw away all left over bread
  • Take ice packs out of dessert trolley and put into kitchen freezer
  • Record all wastage on record chart
  • Ensure that all remaining food in the fridge is dated
  • Check / clean fridge and dessert trolley
  • Complete cleaning schedule
Bar Closing
  • Clean all surfaces with appropriate chemical
  • Clean coffee machine according cleaning procedure
  • Clean all bar equipment with appropriate chemical
  • Lock away all bar displays and clean bar with appropriate chemical
  • Take temperature readings of all fridges with probe
  • Clean hand basin and behind coffee machine
  • Check / clean all bar fridge’s and doors
  • Lock all coasters and maximum of bar equipment inside bar cabinets
  • Lock bar cabinets with grills, and lock all fridges
External Standards
  • Pavement – clean and clear at all times, regular checks during trading periods
  • Exterior walls -well maintained, no graffiti
  • Shop front – brass clean and shining, paint work clean – not flaking
  • Canopy – clean and in good repair, used appropriately for guests needs
  • Exterior lightning – full working order, lights on as soon as street lights are Illuminated
  • Exterior signage – clean and in excellent repair
  • Exterior planting – flowers/plants attractive, no litter in planting
  • Promotional posters – all posters launched with blue pins, Blue Pudding posters only
  • Boards – clean and well maintained, relevant promotion messages in foyer, all black boards in good condition (repaint if necessary), all black boards must be hand-written in liquid chalk, correctly spelt in English with prices clearly displayed
  • Menu display – clean, illuminated where possible, includes food menu, wine list, breakfast and specials
  • Windows – clean
  • Entrance – clearly defined, push/pull signs in use, opening hours clear visible, free from clutter, wait to be seated signs
  • Outside seating – set up before service, tables laid up with ashtrays, cruets, sugar bowls including white, brown sugar and sweetener, clean and well maintained, checked regularly for litter during service
  • Refuse area – clean, locked out of sight of customers, no overspills, cardboard boxes collapsed in litterbags, lids closed
Internal Standards
  • Floor, walls, ceilings and woodwork – clean and polished appearance, at all times litter free
  • Temperature – comfortable temperature maintained, set a temperature
  • Air conditioning – clean and in working order, vents on the ceiling
  • Waiter stations – rubbish bins clean and lined, drawers clean, display shelves clean and attractive, bread displayed in bread holders, bread carried from kitchen in clean tea towel, mise en place prepared and monitored
  • Tables – good condition, not wobbly, clean as per cleaning schedule, cutlery, glassware, cruets, sugar bowl and night-lights clean and polished to company specifications
  • Chairs and high chairs – seating is safe to sit on, appropriate chairs for internal/external use, correct number of chairs, high chairs sanitised after each use, erected securely for each guest
  • Menus – clean and in good condition
  • Brass – clean and shiny appearance at all times
  • Mirrors – clean and smear free appearance at all times
  • Pictures and posters – framed pictures in good condition, secure displayed, straight, appropriate publicity material displayed discreetly (black boards as well)
  • Lighting – all light bulbs working, lighting dimmed to the appropriate level, according to the lighting requirements, night-lights or candles in clean holders on tables
  • Music – appropriate music set to the company requirements, sound clear and not distorted, background not foreground volume level
  • Coat hooks – ensure coat hooks are secure


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