Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAR 2017

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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sidebar text ● ● ● ● ● 66 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MARCH 2017 chain profile relevant to what they're cooking, displayed on the line." To add color to the space, the pony wall in front of the open kitchen is clad in long, narrow tiles of taupe, cream and blue. Next to the open kitchen sit several high- top walnut tables. Among these stands a communal table with seating for ten — a feature the Burtons team hopes will draw younger customers. Above the table, a large dome light with a gold interior and blackened bronze exterior measuring more than five feet in diameter helps define the space. One of the most eye-catching aspects of the open kitchen is the stone hearth oven, which sits on the end of the produc- tion line and almost juts into the dining space. An impressive piece of equipment in its own right, the oven stands out even more thanks to the tile on the wall behind it. While Burtons initially intended to place counter seating right up against this area, that plan was scuttled when leader- ship realized the board of health would require some sort of food shield between customers and the kitchen. Instead, a large table for food presentations now sits in front of the oven. This choice supports the company's long-term plan to offer cooking demonstrations and classes. These could focus on some of the dietary restrictions and choices the chain caters to, such as paleo, vegetarian, and gluten-free, Harron adds. Back of the House The stone hearth oven serves as more than a showpiece, however — it represents the most significant change to Burtons new kitchen, both in terms of design and operation. Paired with a new plancha grill, the equipment forms what Burtons calls the "whim station," as in chef's whim. The chain now encourages its chefs to use this space to experiment and innovate. According to Harron, this station allows for "a lot more innovation at the restaurant level, where individual chefs can create their own items or pull from a pool of recipes and ingredients that allow them to be a lot more local and creative." Chef's whim items so far have included a swordfish kebab with jasmine rice, herb and pineapple salsa and a sriracha sauce; a pear and blue cheese naan bread with pesto, bacon, pecan and cranberry relish and a balsamic glaze; and a pumpkin, butterscotch and pecan torte. The menu, and the station that enables it, have been such big hits that the whim station is going to change soon. Part of the reason is that the oven, with its visible flames, is in Harron's words, "a sexy piece of equipment." He explains, "We have it, so we want to use it." In doing so, the chain has found that some of its core items, such as a buffalo chicken dip and breadcrumb- encrusted fish entrees, turn out better in the oven and have been moved there more-or-less permanently. The oven's popularity means that the chain has to be careful to limit what items its culinary team cooks there. If too many dishes make the move, the workloads at each station will become unbalanced and, says Harron, "somebody's going down." Factoring this in, the oven originally specified by the restaurant is smaller than what Burtons actually needs. In future stores, the chain will order a larger unit. What's more, the pantry station, where staff assemble deserts and salads, will merge with the whim station to help balance and control labor loads and costs. Finally, the plancha, which the culinary team uses to sear some proteins and make flatbread dishes, might be eliminated entirely. "I can't tell you we've had near- ly as much success with the plancha as the oven. … We're not totally convinced that's a necessary piece of equipment because it's very expensive. That might go," Harron says. While the whim and pantry stations will change in future stores, the rest of the kitchen is more-or-less stable. Designed on a straight line, to the right of whim is the saute station. Team members use the 12-burner range to produce dishes such as lobster and shrimp pasta made with tomatoes, snap peas, parmesan, fettuccine and tomato cream sauce, as well as risotto Provençal with artichoke hearts, roasted tomatoes, spinach, basil, feta, olives, lemon butter sauce and pesto. Below the range is an oven for preparing short ribs, crab cakes and other items. Next to the saute station sits the grill station, which con- sists of both a flattop and a gas-fired chargrill. The culinary team uses this equipment to make steaks, seafood, chicken dishes and various sandwiches, from classic cheeseburgers to more innovative offerings like the braised short rib grilled ● CEO: Kevin Harron ● Vice President of Operations: Denise Herrera ● Interior Designer: Niemitz Design Group ● Kitchen Design Consultant: TriMark United East ● Equipment Dealer: TriMark United East KEY PLAYERS Burtons' new open kitchen includes a stone hearth oven and a display counter, which the operation plans to use for cook- ing demonstrations and classes.

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