Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

FEB 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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44 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • FEBRUARY 2018 THE SHUT-DOWN DECISION Most designers recommend the operation shut down, if possible, during a renovation project. In a standalone restaurant, however, several factors keep operations open, such as lost income when not operating, the risk of losing good team members or having to pay staff during the closure. The amount of cleanup, including food safety concerns, presents a problem with doing a renova- tion in phases while remaining open. In some instances, this may require com- pletely sealing off the work area to keep dust or other contaminants from escap- ing into the cooking or storage areas. In the case of a hospital, the kitchen needs to remain in operation. The project team can consider two options: move the operation to mobile units outside the building or work in phases. Shockey and Egnor worked on a large renovation for the Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C. While the retail operation remained open throughout the renovation, all production in the 50,000-square-foot kitchen relocated to temporary trailers attached to the building. That setup lasted 14 months. Egnor explains that while renting the trailers presented a significant cost, having the ability to close the main kitchen saved time and money on construction. Temporary kitchens must still pass health department inspections before they become operational, Shockey adds. "You have to have your processes in place," she says. "If the health department asks how you are going to do something, you can show them on paper. They come back and inspect after you're up and run- ning. They either say okay you told me you were going to do it this way and I can see that you are — or now you're doing it in a way that doesn't fly." Temporary kitchens come with an advantage, explains Ralph Goldbeck of Kitchens To Go, which facilitated the setup at the Carolinas HealthCare System. Mobile units, he says, offer an opportunity for staff to train on new equipment specified for the new space. Shockey and Egnor also worked on the The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center renovation together. The work was done in phases. They would close down one area, finish it and close another. This job took around 31 months compared to the 14 months at the Charlotte facility. OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW Deciding whether to keep any equipment from the existing foodservice operation can prove difficult. When making these decisions, though, Egnor harkens back to the desired outcome. "What is the purpose of the new design? Renovation of the physical space also requires renova- tion of the operation, which may drive the need for different equipment," he says. If the desired outcome is to modern- ize the kitchen, the answer becomes fairly clear: in with the new. Schwartz says deciding if any equip- ment stays depends on the operation. "If it's a 50-year-old hospital kitchen, there isn't going to be much left that shouldn't be replaced. If it's 25 [years old], there might be something that could be salvaged." On the new side of equipment, Schwartz frequently adds more hand-washing stations to meet operator's current food-safety goals. "We are prob- ably guilty of putting in more hand sinks per square foot than any facility [designed by others], even more than the board of health requires. If you don't put a sink at a functionally necessary point, it won't be used," he explains. Cook-chill equipment is also making more inroads today to avoid improper chilling of cooked food. The equipment to support this process is more than likely going to be new. Egnor advises that equipment needs should change out according to the life of its usability, which can also translate into creating a better system. For ex- ample, while working on the renovation of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Egnor designed a way to decentralize delivery of patient trays. Instead of heating food in the kitchen only to have it arrive lukewarm at patient rooms, the hospital set up hos- pitality centers on each floor for plating and heating, enabling the food to be BEST PRACTICES Practical advice from designers when undertaking a renovation: ● Determine the owner's desired outcome — everything flows from this. ● Go slow. Don't shortchange the planning stage. ● Be a detective. Investigate every aspect of the site. Discover un- knowns. ● Be flexible and willing to adapt. ● Involve essential staff. ● Know local health department rules and regulations. ● Stay with it until the end. Top: Prior to renovation, the prep and production area at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was dark, with low ceilings. The renovation helped improve sightlines and brightness. Bottom: The cook-chill kettles were sent out for resur- facing before being reset in the new cook-chill area. Photos courtesy of Ruck-Shockey Associates Inc.

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