Covers VS Cooks

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by chefloehr, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. chefloehr

    chefloehr

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    Hi Everyone

    I just started a restaurant from doing Country Clubs my whole life and seating capacity is 200 people.My question is how many customers should be sat at the opening before going on a wait? This is a steakhouse atomosphere and not quick food and closer to fine dining. We have been just seating as they come and I have four line cooks (which is crowded) and a expo. Our abilitly right now is about 50-60 every half hour. If we get more than that we run longer than 30 minute ticket times. Is there a ratio that is out there that works for the industry?

    thanks
     
  2. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Welcome, Chefloehr. We hope you find plenty to enrich your professional life, as well as some interesting food-related articles and connections here at Chef Talk. 

    Your question would be best-posted in the Professional Chefs' forum, which is where I'm moving it. There it'll get the notice it needs from the other professionals who are best-prepared to respond. We hope you'll return to the Welcome Forum to introduce yourself soon.

    Good luck in your enterprise!

    Mezzaluna
     
  3. chefchadnyc

    chefchadnyc

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    I don't think there is any real set in stone mathematical formulae.  There are so many things to take into consideration, most importantly kitchen design/layout.  If they're not set up for speed, there's not way to squeeze it out of them.

    You could also consider streamlining your menu for the sake of speed.
     
  4. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I don't think there is a right ratio as such. What works for you? How fast are you hoping to get people in and out? From your post, you are at 120 people every hour in a 200 seat, steakhouse atmosphere. What is a realistic seating time for the dining experience you offer, start (sitting down) to finish (standing up and leaving)?  How fast tables turn is dependent on various factors in both sides of the operation.  Busy times are a great opportunity to recognize where the bottlenecks are. Once you identify what slows you down when busy, you can make necessary changes. 
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    You need to be able to fill your restaurant and make good on the level of service you intend to provide.  Since you are the owner you can make changes quickly.  You cannot turn away revenue by making people wait.

    Do whatever, premake salads, suggest reservations, happy hour specials, etc.
     
  6. brandon odell

    brandon odell

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    A good rule of thumb for a well run kitchen is to expect each cook to put out about 25 plates per hour, assuming the menu is well designed.

    More important than how many covers each cook can take though is how many different dishes each cook can realistically cook for. 25 covers per hour is pretty easy when you are only responsible for 5 or 6 different dishes. It's really difficult though if your hands and pans have to be responsible for more than 10 different dishes all on your own. More menu items per cook means they will be cooking more separate dishes at once which will slow them down greatly.

    Not only that, but having too many menu items for your equipment can be a major hindrance to production speed too. Or worse yet, not having your menu items spread out evenly among your different pieces of equipment. All it takes is one overloaded piece of equipment to slow down the entire production line.
     
  7. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    The answer to this can only be determined by the type of menu . I have seen guys knock out 40 to 50 an hour.   Also depends on from what stations items are comingg from.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013