Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JAN 2019

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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M E N U F I R S T JANUARY 2019 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 55 esign of the kitchen, as well as the front of the house, results from execution of the concept. The more attention paid to both in the design process, the greater the chance of success. But which drives the design: menu or concept? Here, a restaurateur, a consultant and a designer all weigh in on the topic. The restaurateur: Marc Jacobs, execu- tive partner and divisional president of Let- tuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), says, "The menu should always come first. It all starts with the food. For me, it's always first." The consultant: "Concept develop- ment is the first step," says Karen Malody, owner and principal of Culinary Options. "No sensible menu can be developed with- out the concept first having been defined." Two differing views about what is the critical first step that drives design decisions about space and equipment. But, wait — there is a third opinion. The designer: John Egnor, principal of JME Hospitality, says neither the menu nor the concept is the first step in design. He first acts to determine what the owner is trying to achieve. What is the ultimate goal? D J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J M E N U F I R S T "If the menu is not first when designing a kitchen, you see the sacrifice," Jacobs says. "There is so much detail that goes into designing a kitchen, designing the line, making sure you have the right pieces to produce the menu you want. If you don't have the menu, you get a generic floor plan, a generic footprint, and it's not as good." If you don't design to the menu, he says, you run the risk of having to go back to make changes. "You would have not just the cost of equipment but the cost of associated fees with designers, engineers and so on." Jacobs points to LEYE's four-unit concept Beatrix Market as an example of a menu-driven design. Beatrix Market offers a quick grab-and-go experience. The menu features a large food bar with self-serve salad, soup and hot items, plus rotating chef-prepared salads, sandwiches and snacks. "We analyze and plan down to every pan size. We count how many pans will go into each bar. This dictates storage in the coolers, cooking equipment and production. We look at which ones come off the grill, which ones come off the fry and griddle, which ones come off saute. They work to balance it out so they don't have too many coming from one station." Another factor is whether the grill unit will include breakfast. If yes, a breakfast menu requires more griddle space and more burner space for cooking eggs. Menu also drove design for LEYE's Mediterranean concepts, Aba (the word means father in Hebrew) and Ema (which means mother in Hebrew). Both con- cepts make bread from scratch on-site, driving the need for the design to allow space for bread production even beyond prep and cooking. Related questions that helped LEYE drive design included: ● Where does the bread go after it comes out of the bread oven? ● Is there a bread station where staff add za'atar spice and brush it with oil? ● Where should the bread baskets sit when not in use? Marc Jacobs , restaurateur At Beatrix Market, key decisions were made about the menu first. Photo courtesy of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.

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