Help me to set up my kitchen, please!

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by kulizaio, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. kulizaio

    kulizaio

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    Hello everybody,

    Me and my friend are planing to open a new restaurant here in Cyprus.

    I have a 8 years experience in the restaurant business (front of house). Have been working in Chicago, England and am in Cyprus now. Since we are looking for investors a  business plan is a must and here is where I need your help...

    I am quite puzzled about what is the absolute minimum I need in the kitchen to start with in order not to overspend but to operate in a professional manner and efficiently.

    The restaurant is about 100 seats large and we are aiming to offer to our costumers a menu including traditional Mediterranean dishes, pasta, steaks to contemporary fusion cuisine and seafood.

    In particular I am puzzled about the choice of oven. Do I need one of this combi-steamer ovens or a regular oven with 6 burners on the top is enough. Do I need a pasta cooker or I can manage without one. What would be a relevant size of the fryer for such a place.

    Can you help me with some essentials about the brands available in Europe and if you know where I can find used equipment.

    Any suggestions are very welcome and much appreciated.

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    To start, discuss the matter with your Chef, you DO have one, correct? If you don't, find one QUICK!

    The Chef's menu dictates what equipment is essential. Not necessarily specific dishes but types, i.e. grilled steaks require a grill, deep fried food(s) require a deep fryer, etc.

    When it comes to your choice of ovens, what will the Chef be cooking in the ovens? Once you know that, the selection is greatly simplified. Baking bread and pastries is a little different than roasting and oven braising. Depending on the Chef's menu, you may not even need an oven or you might need one under each cook top plus a convection/combi as well.

    A six burner cook top may be a trifle small for a 100 top restaurant. Say a three hour meal period (180 minutes) and two turns, that's 200 plates or slightly over 1 plate per minute. I'd be happier with a ten or twelve burner cook top or maybe two six burner cook tops. Any plans for a grill or griddle? What about a salamander? If the Chef is planning on sandwiches, think about a panini press, again, what are the Chef's menu plans?

    Don't forget refrigeration, walk-in(s) and reach-in(s), and, of course, freezer(s), what will the Chef require?

    Hm, as BDL would say, notice a theme here? Your Chef should be a great help in selecting kitchen equipment.

    What is that? You don't have a Chef? GET ONE QUICK, before you spend any more time, effort, or money!
     
  3. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

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    So you're starting to work on a business plan.  Next step will be finding investors.  Ok, cool.  You're probably over a year away from opening a restaurant so you've got PLENTY of time before you need to hire an Executive Chef.  I think that finding and hiring a chef for consulting purposes now, who may be able to either become your executive chef when you're closer to opening or who has relationships in the business which will make it easier finding a properly qualified chef will be very helpful to helping you with the kitchen aspects of your business plan right now and will also instill confidence in any potential investors.

    In my opinion you do not NEED a combi-oven.  Call it a luxury.  Call it a necessity because maybe the chef you hire will  consider it to be.  Call it a very expensive underutilized piece of equipment because the chef you hire will be old-school and won't have the desire to learn just what it can do.  It can go either way, but many many well-run kitchens putting out awesome food don't have a combi-oven.  Develop a mock menu and figure out if it would be beneficial.   See, that's why you need a LOCAL consulting chef right now.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. kulizaio

    kulizaio

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    To Pete McCracken and Chef Dave 11...

    Tank you very much guys for the suggestions in in your replays.

    I think both are very logical, detailed and helpful.

    I cant afford to hire an Executive Chef know, since I am planing to open on the coming September but for sure I can get someone for consulting purposes.

    One more thank you for the ideas and your time.

    Good luck to you!
     
  5. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Keep in mind, can you afford to go ahead without the input of someone you will have to hire for a successful operation?
     
     
  6. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

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    The executive chef that Kulizaio eventually hires might work for him for 2 weeks or maybe for 20 years.  In any non-chef-owned restaurant, the chef is rather interchangeable.  The most important thing is to put a system in place that ANY professional chef can walk into and feel good about, and as the executive chef puts his roots down and becomes a stable part of the restaurant he can make subtle modifications to the menu and equipment, etc.
     
  7. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    True, but, IMHO, it takes a Chef to set up a kitchen that has a reasonable chance of being adaptable, hence the need for a Chef's input in the very early stages of the business plan, let alone the physical layout plan or equipment selection.
     
    chefdave11 likes this.