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sidebar text ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 68 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MARCH 2017 chain profile cheese with pickled onions, maple sriracha, Vermont cheddar, griddled ciabatta and a red wine jus. Refrigerated drawers below the hot units hold the uncooked proteins. After the grill comes the fry station. In addition to three to four fryers, this space features a breading station, refrigerated wells for holding sauces, dips and gar- nishes that accompany fried items, and a work surface — an important but perhaps underappreciated element on cooklines. "What you have to do is give somebody enough work surface," says Harron. "What you can easily do is give them enough refrigeration and firepower, but you don't have enough space for them to actually set up their plate. It can cause them some real difficulty." Burtons' pantry station follows the fryers, at least in the existing design. While Burtons may decide to relocate the pantry station in future restaurants, the equipment will likely stay the same: refrigeration and refrigerated tables for desserts, salads and the occasional cold appetizer. While such a station may have different setups, says Harron, "you need counter space, and you need to limit the amount of moves someone makes because a lot of salads and things have multiple ingredients." While the pantry sits at the end of the production line, the prep area sits next to it, space permitting. If not, it is located along the kitchen's back wall. As Burtons is a scratch-cooking concept, prep sees a lot of activity. The station typically has three staffers who start work around 8 a.m. Depending on customer traffic, prep could end in the early afternoon or go all the way to closing time. The prep area contains worktables, sinks, an oven and a range top for making sauces, soups and other items. The exact setup of this hot equipment varies depending on each store's exact menu. "If you have ranges or griddles on top of ovens, convection sometimes is a problem. It doesn't operate as well. If we're going to use a lot of oven prep, we're going to go with a simply stand-alone convection oven," says Harron. Future Oriented, Future Growth So far, three Burtons restaurants — all new builds — feature this new design. The most recent opening was in Charlotte, N.C. That store, says Harron, is doing "very, very well." Transitioning to a new layout always comes with un- foreseen growing pains. Harron, though, remains content to let the team work though any issues. For example, once the kitchen staff gets used to putting their tongs in a particular spot, they won't waste any more time looking for those tongs. Burtons plans to open three more locations with this design in 2017. At the same time, the chain plans to remodel its older locations to match the new prototype. This, admits Harron, is a challenge, with recent remodel estimates coming in 70 percent above where the chain started. Beyond that, Burtons continues to look for partners to open new stores across the U.S., with a particular focus on Florida, North Carolina and the Washington, D.C., area. The company is first looking to form joint ventures but remains open to franchising. Any partners that do sign with the company will get a restaurant designed with the future in mind. "I clearly see a younger customer base in there," says Harron. "That was a desired result. I expect to see that in our restaurants we open this year. We're reasonably optimistic our changes are working." FE&S One of the new pro- totype's three zones includes standard booth and table seating along with a gallery wall. ● Facts of Note ● Chain Headquarters: Andover, Mass. ● Year Founded: 2005 ● Signature Menu Items: Burtons Maxx Burger, Burtons Butcher Block Steaks ● Number of Units: 12 ● Unit Size: 6,200 square feet (75 percent allocated to the front of the house, 25 percent to the back) ● Seats per Unit: 200 seats inside; 50 on outdoor patio ● Location Type: Endcap ● Total System Sales: $43.3 million for 2016 ● Unit-Growth Projections: Three new units in 2017 ● Check Average: $54.47 ● Equipment Package Cost: Approximately $350,000 FACTS OF NOTE