Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 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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68 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2017 chain profile their meal, or a meal with their game. Other features that define the bar area include high- top seating, bar stools, two- and four-top tables and even high-top booths. The height of this seating, says Sundy, helps distinguish the bar from the dining room, which uses standard- height seating. In addition, Big Whiskey's separates the bar and dining area with a half-height brick wall topped with silver metallic poles that hold black-and-white photographs. The chain uses these pictures to tell stories about whiskey, as well as pictures of the restaurant's own past and present. These images hang from the walls of the dining area, which comprises about 60 percent of the front of the house. Like the entire operation, this area makes use of natural materials and finishes such as brick walls and wood tabletops, along with splashes of maroon. The dining room also features several televisions, as well as multiple seating options including booths for two, four or six guests; floating tables that staff can move to accommodate parties of different sizes and a round, eight-person communi- ty table. Each store also has a private meeting room that can become dining space when necessary. While these different seating options help break up the space, Big Whiskey's creates even more visual variety with multiple floor levels. In addition to the bar and dining area, the chain added a third space, an outdoor patio. In the chain's prototype store, an overhang from the building covers about half the patio seating, while red umbrellas provide shade for the other half. The space also features outdoor televisions, which allow guests to enjoy a game and good weather at the same time. Kitchen and Prep Supporting all of this is Big Whiskey's back-of-the-house kitchen. The chain's production area starts with a fry station, which sits along the back wall of the kitchen. While Big Whiskey's used to have only two fryers, it now has four due to a menu that has expanded over the years. Staff use one unit to cook fries and chips; two for chicken items, including wings and chicken strips, and one for seafood, such as fish for fish and chips. A nearby upright freezer stores frozen items such as french fries. A refrigerated table offering both undercounter refrigeration and cold wells, holds cold but not frozen items such as pretzel bites, wings and avocado egg rolls. This table sits 180 degrees from the fry station. Adjacent to the fryers is the saute station, a six-burner range where team members make items like ahi tuna steaks and pasta dishes with all sauces made to order. Beneath the range is an oven, which the chain uses mainly for prep work, such as cooking off ribs, baking potatoes and making bacon during prep periods. Next comes the grill station, which has a chargrill and a flattop, each with refrigerated drawers beneath for holding pro- teins, and a salamander attached to the wall above the flattop. Though Big Whiskey's has invested in two pieces of cooking equipment for this station, the chargrill gets the most use, cook- ing steaks, burgers, chicken breasts and more. Meanwhile, staff primarily use the flattop to melt cheese on burgers and produce hot sandwiches, as well as to cook quesadillas when orders stack up at a quesadilla press on the cold line. This approach, says Caetano, makes for better presentation of menu items, something that's very important to Big Whiskey's. "Having a nice steak with the grill marks is a nice presentation. We have built look sheets so our cook knows exactly what an order is supposed to look like. The expediter, when he gets it, knows the exact way it should go out every single time." Staffers at the grill station can turn around to find the salad table. The 74-inch mega top holds salad ingredients as well as fixings for items like tacos and quesadillas. Adjacent to this is the cold table that pairs with the fryers. While the hot line has only one more piece of equipment — a convection oven used for making bacon, potatoes and other items during prep — the cold line finishes with a four-vat steam table, which sits just below the expediting window. One of these vats holds cold items for burgers, such as lettuce, tomatoes and ● Chain Headquarters: Springfield, Mo. ● Year Founded: 2006 ● Signature Menu Items: Hand-cut steaks, salads, appetiz- ers, craft burgers, sandwiches/wraps, pastas, street tacos/ quesadillas, soups, kid's meals, desserts. ● Number of Units: Eight (six company-owned, two fran- chised) ● Unit Size: 3,200 to 6,200 square feet ● Seats per Unit: 190 (excluding patio) ● Total System Sales: $10,140,000 ● Unit Growth Projections: 6 openings in 2018, 10 in 2019 ● Check Average: $15.90 for carry out; $20.56 for dine-in FACTS OF NOTE At the grill sta- tion, the flattop is used primarily to melt cheese on burgers and make hot sand- wiches. Burgers and steaks are cooked on the chargrill.

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