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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7 0 • 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 • J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 How To he says. He's a proponent of high- temperature grills and six-burner ranges or French tops, "which are very effi- cient." Conversely, he avoids charbroil- ers "because of how limited they are and how much space they take up." Instead, he recommends a steakhouse broiler, "which gives you twice the space — it's like a charbroiler on ste- roids." You can even double stack these and still only have a 36-inch footprint. But Davis' absolute favorite piece of kitchen equipment is the griddle — to replace the grill — because it's extreme- ly versatile. Chains such as Five Guys, In-N-Out Burger and Chipotle have all switched to these, he says. "It's a multi- use item, and you can cook more things faster and more consistently." Also popular are combi ovens instead of convection ovens. "They can do everything a convection oven can with the same footprint, but they can do more," Davis says. "They are more accurate, faster, use steam so they keep things moist, and can have recipes programmed in." And there's cook-and-hold ovens, which can braise and hold food and, most important, don't need a hood, which takes up a lot of space. Multifunctional Spaces By changing how kitchens function, they can be made smaller, says Ted Doyals, principal with Ricca Design Studios in Fort Worth, Texas. If all prep work is done early in the day, it can be done at the chef's counter as opposed to requiring a separate space, he says, which requires a little reconfiguration to give the area some more room. Likewise, a beverage area during dinner can convert to a station for wrap- ping and rolling silverware and prepar- ing table settings before service. Doyals says, "We also tend to try and design in more mobile prep tables, as well as refrigerators and freezers on casters, in lieu of stationary pieces, so the space can be reconfigured as needed for different functions." Prep tables on casters can be converted into room service carts in the evenings for hotel restaurants, Doyals points out, and the moveable cold storage can make it easier to plate for catered banquets. And if food deliveries — dry and refrigerated — can occur multiple times a day instead of once, there can be huge savings in storage space, Doyals explains. "In smaller kitchens, dry and refrigerated storage tend to be the first areas reduced since they typically have a large footprint." And while aisles are impossible to do away with, they can become smaller, Doyals says, bringing significant space savings. If they drop from 72 inches to 48, overall a kitchen can shrink by about 15 percent. This space typically goes back to the front of the house, he says, which also helps save on back-of- house construction costs. Overall, Doyals points out, opera- tors need to think long-term since a small kitchen may initially cost more, but the savings in terms of utilities, staffing, refrigeration and even just air conversion make an impact on the bottom line — not to mention the extra space given to revenue-generating tables in the front of house. + Johnny Rockets cut the size of its kitchens in order to expand into more food courts and other smaller locations. In the smaller unit, the chain offers an express menu, with four or five core burger offerings. Images courtesy of Johnny Rockets

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