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New Bar and Grill - what would you want in the kitchen?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

HI everyone,

 

I'm in the costing up stage for a new bar and grill and would really like to pick your brains on what a chef would consider a well "fitted out" kitchen.

 

So if you were to be my head chef, what would you want in your kitchen?

 

As I will be taking over a shell unit, I can do whatever I want, but I would like to be responsible to the kitchen staff who will hopefully be producing some stonking food.

 

The menu will be very much soup / sandwich / burger / steaks / chilli. Some breakfast fare - read pancakes / Full English / omelettes and ideally some simple but amazing deserts.

 

Any advice that you could possibly provide will undoubtedly be a huge help to the chef who will eventually take charge of this kitchen.

 

Thank you in advance for any help.


Edited by Kickstart - 10/16/12 at 1:27pm
post #2 of 17

Step one: Ask your head chef!

 

Oh, you're looking for a universal bar and grill kitchen, right? See Step one.
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Pete,

 

Apologies if I wasn't clear - but as the business doesn't exist apart from on paper - I'm in a catch 22.

 

I can guestimate from my research - the reason for the post is because I thought that I was being responsible / getting ahead of the curve by asking professionals because I can see quite a few of you struggle in under equipped kitchens - and I didn't want to become another horror story.

 

If you can help that would be lovely - if not I tried and I can try again on a different forum. As they say - it never hurts to ask.

 

Thanks again.

post #4 of 17

The problem is that you are not going to get any answer that's useful from here or any other forum. How big is the space? What shape is it? How many covers for each meal?  how much staff do you expect to have in the kitchen? What does your food supply and flow look like for breakfast/lunch/dinner? What does the menu look like specifically? Approximately how much of each type of item do you expect to be moving? These are just a small sample of the questions you'd need to answer before you can expect reasonable answers on here.

 

We could all list off tons of equipment you need, but the size, placement, etc. are shots in the dark. You need to hire someone that knows the food side of the business to answer those questions before you can begin to get an intelligent design that works for your place.

post #5 of 17

My apologies if I seemed flippant.

 

The point? Most cooks/chefs are able to make do with what is available but each one has specific preferences.

 

The one aspect in common is that the most efficient kitchen is menu driven.

 

Example: you mentioned grill, obviously you will need something along the lines of:

  • a charbroiler, OR
  • a gas fired grill, OR
  • maybe a salamander, OR
  • a wood fired grill

 

Depending on what would be grilled, each would have advantages and disadvantages. On top of that, consider sizing:

  • 12"
  • 24"
  • 36"
  • 48"

 

Again, menu driven as well as expected production capacity, how many covers per shift or per hour peak?

 

You mentioned soups. Scratch made, starting with stock, or shake the box/bottle premade and heated? If the former, then consider stock pot range(s), plumbing to provide water spigots over the range(s). If the latter, your regular cooktop will suffice.

 

Basics?

  • Range/cooktop (6, 8, 10, 12 burners depending on projected capacity)
  • Conventional oven(s), maybe as part of range/cooktop or separate
  • Deep fryer(s), probably two, maybe three if fish is on the menu, size depends on projected capacity
  • Salamander(s), helpful for broiled dishes or as a cheese melter, can be replaced with a cheese melter if no broiled menu items
  • Work tables, the more the better, can be combined with pass through
  • Microwave(s), um depends, can be useful for heating, not too useful for cooking, not really useful for scratch cooking
  • Stock pot burner(s), essential for scratch soups in quantity, frees up cook top
  • Stand mixer, really dependent on menu
  • Meat/cheese slicer, depends on approach, not needed for pre-processed deli meats and cheeses, essential otherwise
  • Panini press, useful for panini/cuban/toasted sandwiches, can produce on cook top if minor part of menu
  • Walk-in/Reach-in refrigerator, size really depends on menu, deliveries, scratch or pre-processed food, the larger the better
  • Walk-in/reach in freezer, optional in most cases, good for many pre-processed products, menu dependent
  • Pizza oven/speciaty oven, strictly menu driven

 

That should give you a starting point. From there, you're beginning to encroach on what consultants like me do for a living. wink.gif

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #6 of 17

Expanding on Chad's accurate points, the way its done is, ideally, after youve figured out exactly what you'll be serving

and at what volume, what is called a kitchen planner (someone who's preferably worked from both the building and cooking

perspectives, with somee knowledge of health codes as well) does a walk thru of the space, a sketche of dimensions,

then works up what you need, taking into account your budget as well) . That's ideally. Less ideally

would be someone who's not in the area, but it CAN be done from an initial sketch of the space etc.)

And health codes vary by area (although lesss and less these days) so look into that as well.

One more thought--getting input from a potential chef is fine, but not always wise to let one individual who may or may

not work there actually design your kitchen. This vision needs to mainly come from YOU.

 

-Meez

 

 

ETA: Good post Chef Pete, I didnt see it til I'd already posted. chef.gif

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all of your answers so far - especially you Pete. I do appreciate you taking the time for your second post - I only wish you were based in the UK!

 

I have my architects in place - and will now look to add a specialist kitchen planner in response to your advise.

 

Thanks again

post #8 of 17

Kickstart,

 

I do have a passport and no fear of flying lol.gif, and I'll do almost anything legal for $$$$bounce.gif
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #9 of 17

Let the chef come in , talk to you show him menu. Let him tell you what he thinks, as he is the one going to produce it. This way if something missing he can't blame you.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #10 of 17

Let the new chef you are going to hire see menu and get his input. This way if something amiss he can't blame you. And be careful about these artchitecs and kitchen planners  as they have never worked in a kitchen when busy. Go look at places tthey have done and get owners reactions to their work . Good Luck with it  Chefedb

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #11 of 17

Kickstart,

 

Let me re-emphasize one more time, the kitchen design is DICTATED by:

  • WHAT you are going to serve, and
  • HOW you are going to prepare what you serve, and
  • How MANY you are going to serve, and
  • How MUCH you can afford.

 

Until you have a business plan that identifies:

  • What you are going to serve, and
  • How many you plan to serve

 

you cannot even start interviewing for a chef, let alone estimating the cost of equipping your kitchen!

 

A kitchen designer/architect/planner is a waste of money until you can clearly answer the above.

 

A residential kitchen is designed to handle any food prep task in small quantities with little concern for efficiency.

 

A restaurant kitchen is designed to handle a very narrow range of food prep tasks in high volumes with major concerns for efficiency.

 

If you are attempting to create a universal restaurant kitchen, you will fail! Save your time, energy, and effort and find another project.

 

McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, and all the other big chains learned that lloonngg ago. An efficient, speedy, low cost kitchen is specifically designed to produce a narrow, restricted range of food products.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #12 of 17
Quote:
And be careful about these artchitecs and kitchen planners as they have never worked in a kitchen when busy.

Umm...that's a rather blanket statement, and as such is not true. Ive planned/designed  a few commercial kitchens,

Ive also built them out, made alterations, etc...  and have defintely worked/cooked in kitchens when slammed.

 

But to say that these are things to LOOK for in a planner, I agree completely.

Too many "experts"  including and not limited to, those connected with equipment outfitters dont

know the first thing about USING that kitchen. They'll create you a beautiful and expensive kitchen full of bottlenecks

for instance, with no mind to, or knowledge of, expected work flow.

 

Also absolutely correct is the NECESSITY for knowing what your kitchens gonna do as said several times above

before you even THINK about designing something.

post #13 of 17

You only verified my answer in the fact that you are a sous chef and have workerd in kitchens where they have no. Yo classify yourself as sous first that has planned. They claim kitchen planner first or arc first not cooks or chefs. I have layed out many kitchens but am not a kitchen planner.  In all my years in the business I have met two that were both former chefs that went into planning, and they were good.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #14 of 17

Ok Ed I think I see what you're saying here....you seem to be separating you and I from

what you're referring to as a kitchen planner. Which is someone running around charging to

plan kitchens who prob doesnt know a saucepan from a skillet. If that's what you mean,

then yes, I would have to agree with you, and yes, it seems I did just verify your point. biggrin.gif

 

So with that in mind, it  would also seem we're verifying Chef Pete's point about the chef

helping to plan the kitchen, which is also valid. I was just pointing out that experienced cooks,

while knowing what will work in practice, dont aways know what will work in terms

of construction, codes, health restrictions etc. I've run in to it now and then, a perfectly

planned out work space that had to be redesigned to satisfy building codes, heath, ADA, etc.

So while a "two-hatted" planner is ideal, more typically it's a sit-down meeting between owner,

Chef and the builder, with the builder consulting with Health for the preliminaries.

And of course this should all occur and be approved before any equipment is even ordered.

post #15 of 17

Perhaps this will clarify (muddy) the waters:

  • Chef knows WHAT is needed, equipment, floor plan.
  • Contractor knows HOW to get the building done
  • Equipment rep knows HOW to install equipment
  • Building/Health inspector(s) know WHETHER it is legal
  • Owner/investor knows how MUCH can be afforded.\
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #16 of 17

The waters are clearing!

Nice succinct accurate formula.

'Cept you have two HOWS in there. tongue.gif

post #17 of 17

Pete and I have been at this a long time, and we are on same planet. Only trying to help you from what we have seen already and been through.

Pete has West Coast perspective(California) and I have East Coast(New York)

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
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