Chef Forum banner

Kitchen smaller than dinning capacity.

1041 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  kuan
I have recently taken on a Sous Chef position and one of my fist of suggestions was to shrink the menu. We currently have 48 menu items. We have a walk in cooler that is very cramped due to sharing with kegs and bottled beer (we are a Gastro Pub). We do not have a walk in freezer but one freezer on the service line and three others elsewhere.

I was told by the Chef that they upgraded the capacity in the dinning room without upgrading the kitchen and that the kitchen is capable of servicing about two thirds of what the dinning room can hold. Even our pick up window is very small compared to many other kitchens I've worked in and salad pantry and desert building is done far from the main line, which leads to much line crossing as well as frustration.

What would a typical menu size with a change of menu every 3-4 months be for a kitchen able to service 175 or so guests?

This is my first Sous Chef position after 8 years line/prep/supervisor, culinary school and I'd like to make a good impression.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 2 of 13 Posts
You have to look at the total square feet of real estate like a pie to be divided up. The spaced dedicated to dining room seating brings in money while kitchen spaces eats up room that paying customers could be sitting in. That's kind of short sighted but that's the calculus for most owners. Looking at it with chef's eyes we'd all like more kitchen space than dining room and all the cool toys./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif And no matter how "impossible" they layout he expects the kitchen staff to 'make it work' somehow.

A bit smaller and more streamlined menu would help.
See less See more
It's an old saying that a huge sprawling menu is hallmark of an amateur.  Cheesecake Factory can have 150 things on their menu because they do $10 million per location per year and have a ton of staff.  Most restaurants, especially smaller ones that are limited in space and labor budget, are better off sticking with a small menu expertly executed.  When you do have more items at least try to riff on a few ingredients you already have. For instance, if you already do a reuben then adding a corned beef sandwich or corned beef hash would be easy.  If you serve burgers it's easy to have a half dozen different versions (eg mushroom & smoked gouda, onion & ale, "goo burger" with the works, etc).  You need good cross utilization to minimize inventory and storage concerns and to enable you to crank stuff on quickly when it gets busy.

It would also help a lot if you have some steam table/bain marie space.  I do a steak stroganoff at lunch where I keep the gravy base held hot; with the steak sliced really thin like stir fry it lets me bang out a dish in about three or four minutes.  For that matter if your volume is predictable you could have it completely made up and held hot, ready to serve over noodles, spaetzel, mashed pot, etc.  If you hold gravy hot you could rock out a platter of poutine PDQ, too.  You don't want to overload fry station but french fries are super fast.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.