How much dough could a prep cook stuff, if a prep cook could stuff dough?

Joined Jun 14, 2002
I'm costing out a new scheme for the catering/banquet guys for making dumplings etc from scratch. Right now, I've hit a bump in trying to get a handle on labor costs and staffing needs for this project. Based on a description of a charity event and prep over at egullet, I calculated that they had at production rate of 80-110 pieces of shu mai per person/hour. They were using mostly unskilled kitchen volunteers and store bought wrappers.

A key point of difference for the scheme is that we will be making our own wrappers from scratch. Freshly made wrappers are faster and easier to stuff, cheaper FC wise, and better quality. You also have more control (Spinach-tumeric-chipotle wrappers? Sure thing chef. /roll eyes) Unfortunately, you make up for it in labor cost


Also wondering about staffing and skill levels. I'm hoping we can get away with cheaply hiring naifs from the Culinary Schools, and jobbers from the Vatos' extended family as needed without paying too much of a penalty on efficiency. I would hate to make the boss have to balance out the dumpling skills of the crew on top of everything else when it comes to staffing.

Anyone got a good idea on what's a realistic base line figure for pieces per hour? I think I'm going to go get a stopwatch and start timing myself and others, and those dumpling makers on YouTube.If you have them, I'd also like to get some figures on skewering meat for sate like items. Right now we buy them already skewered and ready for you to marinate and cook them. I'm wondering if it might be worth in-sourcing.

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