Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUN 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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52 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES JUNE 2019 When segregating on-site orders from off-premise orders into two production lines, labor becomes an important factor, Martinez says. Operators who create two separate production areas will need two sets of staff at peak times. As off-premise continues to grow, kitchen design will evolve to the point of having no front of the house, Martinez predicts. This phenomenon has already occurred in a number of urban areas. Largely dubbed ghost kitchens, these production kitchens commonly supply food for delivery only. Goldin goes one step further and envisions several independent opera- tors joining together to use a com- missary for prepping fresh and local products for scratch cooking. He notes that this will take bold thinking. It would also require constant manage- ment to ensure that quality is main- tained. Food safety would also have to be at the top of the agenda. Most operations with a large com- mitment to delivery will have an area dedicated to taking off-premise orders. This also serves as a pickup point for delivery companies. Shrinking Kitchens Pentallect's Goldin says the urbaniza- tion of new restaurants causes opera- tors to reduce their back-of-the-house space. The freestanding suburban restaurants from yesteryear are fast becoming a memory. And, with the move to urban and revitalized areas comes higher occupancy costs. "You can't compromise on guest seating, as that is what brings in revenue," Goldin says. "So you have to work with less space in the kitchen." Shrinking the kitchen can enable staff to do double duty on some of the prep and production processes. Whether it is to save on rent or save on labor, restaurant kitchens continue to steadily shrink their footprints. Noncommercial facilities such as hospi- tals and schools usually have legacy space, meaning they have resided in the same space for a number of years and that space is traditionally fairly large. Since the menu is what pays the rent, the challenge for restaurant oper- ators becomes reducing the footprint but still supporting the menu in terms of food quality and food safety. If an operation previously occupied 3,000 square feet and moved to 2,500 square feet, it has to shrink the kitchen to make the revenue numbers work. Shrinking kitchens force design consultants to maximize the use of every inch of the back of the house, Richards notes. Designers have been dealing with the space challenge for a while now, says Los Angeles-based Min An, FCSI, LEED AP, principal of Ricca Design Studios. Their solution? Mobility and •exibility. "We put –xed equipment requiring plumbing, utility connection or venting around the perimeter of the wall," she says. This leaves the center of the kitchen for portable tables with drop cords. In the morning, culinary staff can use these tables for prep. Then, staff can put the prep equipment away under the tables and use this space for production. This provides the •exibil- ity to use the space ef–ciently. Martinez agrees with this approach and adds, "You can use different pieces of equipment for prep in the morning. Say there is an oven that's on the line. You could use it in the morning to prep the cooked chicken or vegetables and in the afternoon when the restaurant opens, it is dedicated to production." flow go with the Mobility and exibility are critical when dealing with the space challenge, says Min An of Ricca Design Studios. Students make the most of the compact, ecient prep space at Bistro 502 at Suncoast Technical Col- lege Culinary Arts Center in North Port, Fla. Photo courtesy of PES Design Group wokflow secret Sit down with a sharpened pencil to answer this question: How much space do we really need? Find the most e•ective way to make each process more •exible and mobile, from receiving to service.

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