Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

FEB 2018

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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46 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • FEBRUARY 2018 fresh and hot when it reaches patients. "A server delivering a meal to a table of four is the same as delivering a tray to patients. They both are providing a de- livery service," Egnor says. "Anything you can do in a hospital to make it more like a restaurant setting will be a plus." As for next steps, Billings says, "I recommend that, if you are going to reuse any of the equipment, besides getting your equipment supplier in, bring in a service technician. Get one who knows how to fix the equipment if need be and have him evaluate it from the standpoint of whether it is worth reusing. This is especially true of high- tech equipment, such as combi ovens." BUDGETING MAY BE MALLEABLE "Developing a proper budget is under- standing the renovation plan and how it is affected by all the operational and physical external influences," says Egnor. He adds that owners may change things — or try to change things — along the way. They may want a new piece of equipment, which can add expense to the budget. This will require a feasibility decision. "The more info you have up front about the conditions, the better the budget is going to be," Shockey says. This is why it is smart not to rush through the early investigative stage. Schwarz even creates alternative budgets — sort of a Plan A, B and C — in case decisions need to be made on what to keep and what to give up. HIDDEN ISSUES AT PINCH CHINESE The plan was for Pinch Chinese to open soon after the new owner got the keys. Since a Chinese restaurant had been operating there, the transition appeared simple. But because it was continually operating, designer Billings couldn't get in ahead of the owner- ship transition to check out potential problems with the infrastructure. "The kitchen had dishwashing in it, basically everything except storage," Billings says. However, it turned out that the equipment was not serviceable, so they had the landlord remove it all. "The owner's program required a lot more hood and a lot more produc- tion space, so we moved the dish room to a hallway that was not being used," Billings explains. "We expanded the cooking area by adding about 10 feet of hood." They replaced the water heater and updated the HVAC, but the gas mains and ductwork were okay. The problem came when they pulled out two walk-in coolers below the kitchen. The wood floor joists that were below the original dish room had rotted out. The floor load was actually bearing on the top of the walk-in boxes. "When we ripped out the boxes, the whole ceiling caved in," Billings says. The restaurant has been open for a year now and is a neighborhood draw. CHALLENGES Continuously educating the owner and the team about every detail of the process will always present a challenge, says Egnor, as will keeping every- one going in the same direction. "All the things we've uncovered that will support the original purpose of the renovation have to be understood. The architect, the engineers, the contractors — their role is getting to the end goal." Getting the operational plan- ning right in the first place represents another key challenge, per Egnor. He believes it is the most supportive aspect of the renovation process. Finding contractors to do nighttime work and stay within a reasonable budget represents a key challenge for Glen Davis of RPM. Given the scope of RPM's 187-unit project, making sure supply meets demand serves as another challenge that can keep project managers awake at night. "Some of the vendors can't keep up with the demand, resulting in having to find new sources," Davis adds. Billings notes that a client's unreal- istic expectation of the schedule tends to consistently pose a challenge. "A lot of times they think they will be done in four months, and it takes four months just for the design," he says. "It's the un- knowns that can change expectations." Shockey lists the situation of having to renovate a hospital in phases rather than being able to move the production to a nearby site as her biggest challenge. With every renovation comes an op- portunity to reinvent, recreate and reimag- ine a foodservice operation. In the end, that's the biggest driver of them all. FE&S The renovation plan at Carolinas HealthCare System included relocating production of the 50,000-square- foot kitchen to temporary trailers. Seen here are the main cookline and storage area pre-renovation. Photos courtesy of Ruck-Shockey Associates Inc.

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