Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAY 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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80 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MAY 2017 FLOW FOLLOWS FUNCTION Try to avoid crossover in circulation patterns, Kuczera advises. When staff have to go to walk-in coolers and back to prep zones, they make adjustments in the aisles. "We use a zigzag com- ponent, or we might add another six inches. If this is going to be a major thoroughfare, I'm going to take a close look." "We have rules as to aisle width and workstation space that we have developed over the past 35 years," Egnor says. "One example would be that back-to-back work areas should be between 54 inches and 72 inches apart." He adds a caveat, "It is important to note that achieving the best functioning and cost efficiency often requires us to bend our design rules." When dealing with small, tight prep areas, Richards avoids using standard- sized table and sinks. "When I design a prep area, everything is custom. Maybe I can't fit an eight-foot table in a space, but I can fit a seven-foot, ten-inch table. I'll customize it rather than drop to the next standard size." AVOIDING BOTTLENECKS "To avoid cross traffic and bottlenecks, it's very important that the client com- municate to us early on how much staff they intend to employ," Richards says. "This way, I can lay out the cookline in zones, giving each cook what they need so there is little cross traffic behind the line." He also makes sure to provide sufficient aisle space where cross traffic is unavoidable. During the checklist conversations, Kuczera and her team ask how many people will work at each area in the line. Successful staffing is a result of the pro forma that estimates check averages and seats and what it will take to sup- port a resulting profit. She believes in designing for slow nights and figuring how to add staff for the bread-and-butter nights: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. "We have a formula that says, 'Depending on the station, how much can one person work successfully?' " Kuczera explains. She asks clients to name each station: veg prep, saucier, bakery, juicing and so on. "There is no sense in having more prep tables than prep people needed," she explains. "This is where a lot of people go down a wrong path. They start throwing tables in there." Also, Kuczera advises not to put stations with staff back to back. "No one goes butt to butt in their primary work station. There could be a cooling rack, a sink or a mixer behind them, but we don't want them all crammed into a space where they can't function well," she says. Corey-Ferrini also follows the formulaic approach to maximizing pro- ductivity. "It depends on the through- put. How many table turns? Are they open for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you need separate kitchen processes for menu items, like gluten free or nut free?" Design each prep area for its pur- pose. Like the other designers, Corey- Ferrini goes through the scenario of identifying each process associated with the production of menu items. Questions to ask, she says, include: Where will the items be stored? Where do you wash your hands? Where do you pick up ingredients? Where is the refrigerator? Is the walk-in closer to the receiving area, which requires another, smaller refrigerator closer to where you store your prep items? DELIVERY AND STORAGE With the present trend toward lo- cal and fresh ingredients, the ratio of cooler to freezer space has definitely changed, Corey-Ferrini says. Freezer space continues to give way to coolers. Balancing the necessary cooler space with dry storage presents another chal- lenge. The design needs to allow space to check invoices and write checks. It may just be a shelf near receiving rather than an office, but this aspect requires clear thought. Kuczera wants kitchens to be tight, so she goes vertical with stor- age. "When they go small, we go tall," she says. "Going tall in a small kitchen is one of the best things you can do to make that kitchen feel better. The smaller the kitchen, the higher we look to get the ceilings." She uses taller cool- ers, higher shelves in storage areas — anything to add additional usable space. FOOD SAFETY AND DESIGN "Food safety is of utmost importance when considering design," says Rich- ards. "One must make sure proper cold storage has been considered. Keeping chemicals separate from food storage; keeping meats, dairy and vegetables separated either by storage areas or at least separately in the same cold space are all important considerations." It is also important, Richards says, to ensure that the workflow from cold " Maybe I can't fit an eight-foot table in a space, but I can fit a seven-foot, ten-inch table. I'll customize it rather than drop to the next standard size." — Jim Richards Jr., PES Design Group, on dealing with tight prep areas KITCHEN DESIGN IS AN ART AND A SCIENCE

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