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5 6 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 7 10 Kitchen Design Best Practices design process. Since so many people are involved, you will want everyone to be on the same page about what's been discussed, decided and changed. Also, make sure everyone always has updated versions of blueprints and equipment selected. And keep the financial analysis up to date with every plan. Otherwise, the process is like the old game of gossip, and incorrect information gets passed along from person to person." In addition, Ricca suggests mak- ing sure the information appears in a language and form various team members understand. For example, the language of architecture is very different than the language of engineering or culinary arts. Detailed hand drawings or 3-D depictions can help team members see every facet. 2. Select the menu. "In the old days, we used to begin the kitchen design process by consider- ing the flow from the loading dock to production to the customer. Now, it's just the opposite. We begin by deciding the menu concept," says Steve Carlson, FCSI, LEED AP, president, Rippe As- sociates in Minneapolis. "The menu may change over time, but you must decide the overall theme and determine initially which menu items will be hot and which will be cold. How much will be made in- house from scratch? And will the menu change seasonally to incorporate locally sourced ingredients or to refresh the menu with new choices?" 3. Estimate the quantity of food produced daily. After defining the menu concept, the project team must determine the quantity of each menu item necessary for the estimated customer count. "The type of menu and the quantity of food will inform decisions about how much room is needed for food storage or if food must be prepared at an off-site commissary and shipped in," Ricca says. "After all, some products travel well and some don't." 4. Determine the service style. Will the restaurant feature table service? Will customers order from a service counter? Will they select ingredients and watch while a chef cooks them? Will customers interact with culinary team members? The sooner the project team decides, the better because it will drive the size of each functional area and determine how much and which pieces of equipment the kitchen will need. Moving back-of-the-house action to the front so customers can watch meal production continues to top the list of the most popular restaurant design trends. The restaurant's service style will determine the size of the cooking space. Restaurants with table service allocate space differently than those with counter service. All styles must allow for good communication and supervision. Assembly line layout allows restaurants to serve large numbers of customers quickly. Many casual res- taurants feature a variation of this style and allow customers to pick and choose ingredients as they walk along the line. An island-style layout, which is open and encourages communication and close A long counter at Dean Fearing's restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dallas allows guests to watch culinary action in the kitchen designed by Ricca Design Studio. Photo courtesy of Ricca Design Studio