Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2019

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

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Peer to Peer 2 2 • 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 9 Q&A with Larry Jones Innovation leader in construction, equipment design and process improvements, Captain D's C aptain D's needed to change things up. It wanted a smaller footprint for its restaurants, but it also wanted a more ef- cient kitchen. The result has been a dramatic change in both front and back of the house. The Nashville, Tenn.-based brand, which has 535 units across the U.S., will have more restaurants featuring its brand-new Mach 1 design and new kitchen by the end of the year. Larry Jones, innovation leader in construction, equipment design and process improvements for the chain, discusses how he went about implement- ing these changes. You worked with two different brands from a multiline foodservice equipment manufacturer to develop your new Energy Star-certied countertop electric fryer to replace your gas fryers and freezers to go under those fryers. What were your goals in working with these two separate equipment lines that are owned by the same company? LJ: We wanted more efcient fryers, and we wanted cold storage under- neath them, not …anking the row of fryers. Captain D's core menu products require frying, and I found there were no commercial-grade high-volume coun- tertop electric fryers with refrigeration underneath them, which we wanted. I wanted to reduce the overall foot- print and make the best use we could of vertical space in our kitchens; we had to gure out how to get fryers on top of freez- ers because 80 percent of what we put into the fryers is frozen, and it took too much time for employees to walk to the freezers that …anked each end of our line of fryers. We wanted to save time and labor. So, I challenged three fryer manu- facturers, and one came up with the electric fryers in a couple of years. Since we were reinventing the commercial fryer, we decided to improve the dimensions of the vessels, which had been largely unchanged for decades. We congured them to be more shallow, wider and with less front-to-back depth so employees could reach to the back of the fryers more easily. The reduced depth allowed us to design pan holders into the front bullnose of the fryers to accommodate breading and battering pans. Existing fryer design required pan holders hang onto the front of the fryers, jutting into the aisles. This caused us to build larger kitchens just to facilitate the necessary aisle width. Essentially, less than $100 in breading pans was driving thousands of dollars in kitchen construction. What efciencies have the new fryers and freezers led to? LJ: In our previous designs, we used as many as three separate exhaust hoods so cooking activities could be broken into islands with supporting refrigerated food storage. The fryers and freezer bases allow us to deploy our entire cooking platform under one continuous exhaust hood with our cold storage beneath. This created the opportunity to wrap our kitchen around our equipment and take approximately 200 square feet out of our smallest kitchen to date. Another benet is that our custom- ers are served their food more quickly because of faster fry times through improved temperature recovery and employee efciency due to fewer steps. By Amanda Baltazar

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