Originally Posted by greekexpress
I'm trying to avoid a holding cabinet for three reasons. 1) Space; We're looking to add more equipment to our kitchen. Add that to what we already have, and any equipment has to provide very good value to be included. 2) When it is steady, it will not be feasible at all to use it 3) when it is busy, we will increase food cost via added waste.
I went to visit one of our competitors. I was waiting in line, ordered, and received my order within several minutes. I know he precooks the meats in the morning, but i don't know exactly what he's doing. This is why i'm so insistent on doing it this way as opposed to using a holding cabinet. It took him several minutes to prepare what we prepare in at least 15. The food did taste good and you can not tell it was precooked and heated.
How do you think our competitor is doing this?
I think you have your answer. You visited the competitor. He's precooking the meats in the morning and you observe that as a customer you can't tell it was precooked. I greatly admire and respect your desire to avoid loss in quality. I wish more restaurants would feel this way. But I think you are now over thinking the situation and overlooking the obvious. Precooking the meats doesn't necessarily mean a loss in quality. You thought it would, you now know it does not. His precise methods may not be your precise methods.
Take five or ten or fifteen or twenty orders of your meats, pre cook them, cool them, then heat and serve in what ever way works for your operation. In other words, run a test. Find the flaws if there are any. Try it again with any adjustments. Develop your own system. At some point you have to stop analyzing and start doing. Then analyze the results. This experimental process may cost you a bit in product but with your focus on quality I'm sure you won't let the customers feel the effects of your experiments.
Buying expensive equipment may simply be unnecessary.