June Bishop


The systems approach in food service administration is the initial step in analyzing current procedures to determine the effectiveness of resource utilization. Analysis begins with observation of a system to provide possible explanations of the system behavior.

The purpose of this research was to determine through work sampling the proportion of both productive and nonproductive labor time of operators on the tray assembly, the labor time and labor cost required in each position and for each meal, and to test the hypothesis that there was no significant difference between the productivity index (trays per minute) during Phase A and Phase B. The dietary service of a 408-bed hospital provided the basis for this study.

Input data for the computer generated (1) the proportion of time each operator was observed in each work function activity, (2) and the amount of labor time and labor cost expended in each position and for each total meal assembly.

Following Phase A three changes were made in trayline operation to test the effect on the productivity index.

Findings from statistical analysis showed that there were significant decreases, at the 0.05 level, in labor time and labor cost in some positions and for some meals. There was no descernable pattern evident for decreases in labor time and labor cost which could be supported by the data. No significant improvement in the productivity index during Phase B was indicated. One reason for this may have been the increased proportion of modified diet trays during Phase B. Findings showed a large expenditure of time and labor cost for the supervisory and inspection positions due to the skilled and high—salaried operators in these positions. Behavioral patterns observed as problems were (1) frequent conveyor belt stops due to missed or incorrect items on trays, (2) the large number of diverted and corrected trays, (3) lack of supplies at some positions at the time needed, and (4) extra and higher labor cost personnel in the inspection and supervisory positions.

Recommendations suggested from this research were (1) continuation of work measurement studies to provide data for developing time and workload distribution standards for each position, (2) to determine the optimal labor needs for the supervisory and inspection positions and the most effective way to accomplish these functions, (3) to study the effects of the number of modified diet trays on the productivity index, and (.4) to implement and evaluate an employee training program.

This study has made a contribution to food systems management by providing quantitative data which can be used, with additional data, to establish normal service time and workload distributions for each position of tray assembly.


Food Science


Graduate School

First Advisor

Kathleen K. Zolber

Second Advisor

Shirley T. Moore

Third Advisor

Paul Y. Yahiku

Fourth Advisor

Lydia M. Sonnenberg

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Food Service, Hospital -- organization & administration; Systems Analysis -- manpower



Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives