Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

OCT 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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OCTOBER 2018 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 55 careful consideration of menus (both food and beverage) and intended service style, Shove-Brown says. Other critical issues that require up-front analyses include flow and circulation. Not unlike what takes place in profes- sional kitchens, where consultants apply industrial engineering-style methods to determine space needs, create efficient work stations and enable seamless flow, server stations call for detailed scrutiny of products, paths and processes. "The first question is really trying to understand how the restaurant or foodservice operation should function on a macro level," Shove-Brown says. "How does the kitchen operate? What's the flow? Do you have food runners, or are the servers running the food? What about bussers? Is that a separate function, or do servers handle that too? What's the circulation like, and where are people stopping or intersecting? What kind of POS system will the operation use? How about water and other nonalcoholic beverage service? All of that plays into how server stations need to be positioned and built to support each function as efficiently and seamlessly as possible and do so without detracting from the guest experience." Shove-Brown also suggests that, at operations gearing up for expansion, management spend some time analyzing sales trends to help determine the type, configuration and capacity of server sta- tions for future units. "The old tendency might have been to have, say, a point-of- sale station or two, soda, coffee and tea, ice, and it just kept growing from there," he says. "Instead of just following that 'how-we've-always-done-it' template, we try to get clients to focus hard on what they're selling and observing how the ser- vice stations are actually being used. Do they really sell enough tea to justify the amount of space or equipment they've dedicated to tea service? Can a small sta- tion in the kitchen handle that instead?" Getting operations involved early in the design phase leads to better decisions, adds Andy Simpson, a former chain restaurant design and develop- ment executive who now heads up Andy Simpson Design in Austin, Texas. "You may have always put a bever- age station here or there, but is that really the best path of travel for the waitstaff?" Simpson says. "Stations like that can often be better put in the kitchen than out on the service floor, but in order to figure that out you have to bridge the gap so that the service folks and the design folks are talking to each other. The designers should know things like how many servers and sup- port staff will be on the floor per shift, who will do what, how many tables each server will be responsible for, what the sections will be and exactly what items need to be readily available to them in order to provide good service without spending half of their shift run- ning back and forth to get things." Avoiding lines and keeping serv- ers on the floor taking care of guests becomes the bottom-line goal, Simpson says. His guiding principle: Any time servers have to travel too far or stand in a line to access what they need or perform a task — whether it's settling a check, grabbing a replacement fork, or Rather than try to hide or mask service stations, design firm //3877 opts to integrate them into the overall front-of-the-house design, creating func- tional spaces that also enhance aesthetics. Photo by Gabriele Stabile

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