Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 • 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 • 6 9 productivity standpoint, too." Golden Corral worked with Profital- ity , a Miami-based company that works with restaurants to attain optimum functionality. Representatives from the company visited existing Golden Corrals, ran time-motion studies, and looked at where kitchen employees took extra steps and at inefficient locations of equipment. One big thing, says Conklin, was "they saw we used too much labor, even when things were quiet." The result of the new design and the mockup is that, going forward, kitchens for the buffet brand will be closer to 2,900 square feet, rather than the former 3,700. So far, one is opera- tional, in Greensboro, N.C. Another big difference this has brought is the length of the kitchens, many of which run the entire length of a building. "With the new design, it's at one end of the building, so it's not as spread out, and now employees can share duties and move a little easier," says Conklin. "So that helped with efficiency. It's also meant teamwork is improved as employees can share work and communicate better. And employ- ees are happier because they're doing the same jobs, but they got easier since equipment is better placed. Walk-in coolers are now by the prep areas, for example." Golden Corral has also eliminated some equipment. It's forfeited its rotis- serie and replaced it with a smoker, which is about the same size. "This can do 8 to 10 different products, so we have a piece of equipment we can develop a menu platform and innova- tion around," Webb explains. "So it gives us a lot more efficiency out of one piece of equipment." It wasn't just about floor space, ei- ther. The new design reduces the linear feet of hoods by about 10 feet, which has the double advantage of also saving money both on the hoods themselves and on utilities, thanks to less makeup air and less HVAC. This was accom- plished by consolidating stations that needed hoods. Examining Equipment Johnny Rockets cut the size of its kitchens in order to allow the Lake For- est, Calif.-based concept to expand into more food courts and smaller locations. To do this, in these locations, it has an "express menu," which offers four or five core burgers. This allowed the concept to change to higher-efficiency equipment. Gone are flat griddles, and in their place are clamshell griddles and vertical toasters. Just using the clamshell griddles, says Dominic Talavera, vice president of development, increases throughput at busy times. "They also provide consisten- cy of product," he says. These clamshell griddles tend to be around 42 inches wide versus 72 inches for a flat griddle. Davis is a big fan of cutting out equipment. "I hate one-trick ponies and love multitasking pieces of equipment," After studying existing restaurants and even building a mock-up of the restaurant design from cardboard to test it out, the new prototype for Golden Corral kitchens will be closer to 2,900 square feet, down from 3,700 square feet. Images courtesy of Golden Corral

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