Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

NOV 2018

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60 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • NOVEMBER 2018 chain prole feet, says McCann, the prototype store measures about 3,000 square feet and has just 77 seats. Some legacy restaurants, meanwhile, measure more than 5,000 square feet and have room for three times as many guests. This smaller footprint and fewer seats mean the company must boost its drive-thru business in order to make this new prototype viable. Drive-Thru Design Instead of listing all of Nathan's combo meals, a drive-thru preview board shows only pictures of the main offerings, like burgers, chicken sandwiches and hot dogs. This encourages guests to quickly decide on the basics of their meal before they pull up to the main menu to place their order. The main menu board, meanwhile, includes the chain's combos. It does not list all of Nathan's offerings, though. Items like chicken wings and cheesesteaks, which take longer to produce, do not appear on the menu in an effort to speed service. When guests place an order that takes a particularly large amount of time to produce, team members can direct them to pull into drive-thru parking stalls, allowing custom- ers behind them to continue to move through the line. A redesigned kitchen supports both drive-thru and dine-in guests. Speedier Kitchen The previous design used a horizontal kitchen, with the production line parallel to the ordering counter in the front of the house. The new prototype's kitchen is vertical, meaning it sits perpendicular to the ordering counter. With this change, menu items now make their way from the back of the kitchen to the front expo area during the as- sembly process. This allows kitchen staffers to place …nished items in one of two places at the end of the production line: the dine-in/carry-out expo or the drive-thru expo. Both expo stations have everything staff need to …nish assembling a meal. In addition to a kitchen display monitor, napkins, sauce, packets, etc., each station also has a set of hot wells for hot dog toppings like sauerkraut and chili. A reworked and relocated french fry station supports this setup. It's now closer to the drive-thru window but is still easily accessible for staff handling dine-in service. This sta- tion features a two-basket fryer. To the right sits an upright fry dispenser, followed by a hand sink and ice machine. On the left of the fryer is the fry dump station, followed by wells holding hot toppings for fries. The changes result in a much more ef…cient space for drive-thru staff, Powers says. In the previous design, these team members had to cross over into a workspace designed to serve dine-in guests. This led to traf…c jams and wasted steps. Now, drive-thru staff have everything they need nearby. "If you look at it, it's a very small triangle," says Powers. "I stand there and get my fries, turn around, get my hot dog, top my hot dog, turn around and serve it. My drive-thru people are doing the whole thing." In addition to designing a drive-thru section, the Nathan's team also made some adjustments to the main production kitchen. This kitchen starts with two fryers, each with two baskets. The …rst is dedicated to seafood items like fried …sh, fried clams and fried shrimp. Notably, these offerings appear on the menu under the Arthur Treacher's name, which Nathan's owns. A …sh-and-chips restaurant, the majority of stores are now co-branded with Nathan's Famous. A two-drawer undercounter freezer holds these items near the fryers. The second fryer cooks Nathan's-branded offerings that include chicken strips, chicken wings and corn dogs. The split-vat fryer avoids any 'avor crossover. Precooked items share some space with the seafood undercounter freezer or sit in the two-drawer undercounter freezer immediately to the right. The surface of this freezer next to the fryers doubles as a workspace. When food is ready to come out of the fryer, staff dump the items into transfer trays sitting on that unit. This process, says Powers, prevents grease from drip- ping on the 'oor and makes the movement of food easier in a tight space. "We don't cross over with the basket. We make them use a pan to move it across [the aisle] to the holding units," which sit 180 degrees from the fryers. Back on the main hot line, Nathan's makes additional use of the space above the undercounter freezer next to the fry- ers. There, a shelf holds a microwave, which staff use to "take the chill off" corn dogs before they go in the fryer. This, Powers says, ensures the interior cooks all the way through without overcooking the breading. This undercounter freezer next to the fryers also holds proteins for the next two pieces of hot equipment. First comes a two-foot chargrill, where line workers make ham- burgers and chicken sandwiches. As with food from the fry- ers, the items coming off the chargrill go to the warming unit on the other side of the aisle. Following that piece is a two-foot 'attop where cheesesteaks cook. Because cheesesteaks require melting cheese on beef or O Chain Headquarters: Jericho, N.Y. O Year Founded: First restaurant opened in1916 on New York's Coney Island amusement area. O Signature Menu Items: Hot dogs, fries, burgers, chicken, seafood, lemonade O Number of Units: Nearly 300 worldwide O Unit Size (Prototype): 200 to 2,000 square feet O Check Average: $13 FACTS OF NOTE

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