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Taking load off of the kitchen

1084 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  chefwriter
Hey everyone,
Just wondering if anyone has dish ideas that would help me tackle a problem in our restaurant: too small of a kitchen for the size of the restaurant. We have several trade shows in the area and during these times of year our restaurant is absolutely slammed. I thought of creating a special menu that is geared toward the people that attend the shows, more limuted so the kitchen can keep up. The owner thinks that limits the options too much and says people come back for certain dishes. Our menu is too large to begin with, but any ideas for dishes that can take a load off the kitchen. Obviously salads and quick items but just looking for other ideas as well, our kitchen has two standard convection ovens, a flat top (small), 6 fryers, and a 6 burner range. Very limited oven space and we are serving a 150 seat dining room, filled to the brim with a 45 minute wait for seating.
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That's tough! Owners always see space from the point of view that used for more tables it makes money but when used for the kitchen it costs money. It's obviously very difficult to crank out a high volume of food from a small kitchen. Obviously anyone you can hold hot is a plus. Maybe crepes made ahead with a filling that you can hold hot? Maybe hold sides hot (eg baked potatoes, mash, roasted veggies or even rice for short periods) along with poached fish. You could keep a pan of court bouillon hot on the flat top and poach quite a bit of fish at once. I know you said oven space is at a premium but having fish en papillote is another way of cranking out a pretty good volume with minimal space. Various stews and Bouillabaisse-type items could also be held hot.

Deep friend entrees might also help if you have four decent sized fryers. Again, not really sure what your check average is or what types of things will sell but battered and friend fish and shrimp items might work for you. Using the flat top for fish might be viable if you don't do too many sandwiches at a time.
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