Incubator/Rental Kitchens?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by foodnfoto, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    I have noticed that although EVERYONE seems to be looking for commercial kitchens to rent time in, a good number of large ones set up to do just that are going out of business.

    Hudson Valley FoodWorks in Poughkeepsie, baled out a few years ago and now another in NJ is calling it quits too.

    Does anyone have an idea why this seems to be happening? Especially since there are now so many food trucks, caterers, small food producers etc?
     
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    To me it sounds like the economic rule of supply and demand in action. Food truck dreamers might want to ponder on this point and not just on the rainbows of self employment.
     
  3. lagom

    lagom

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    Self employeement isnt always what its cracked up to be. For example, 2 weeks ago in just 3 days I had 5grand in repairs to one of my rational systems, 2 grand for rhe walk in freezer and new winter tires for my lift truck. Oh and now its payroll on the 25th.
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I feel your pain. Thankfully I have been cured of ownership.
     
  5. lagom

    lagom

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    The Raven. Great tale, Poe was truley insane, to our reading pleasure.
     
  6. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    I think I was unclear in my original post. The rental kitchens are closing. I was not referring to the small, food-oriented start-ups.

    Hudson Valley Foodworks had big production kitchens that could be used my several operators at once with dry and refrigerated storage available too.

    The one in NJ had several small production kitchens available for rent.

    With all the demand for commercial kitchen space, why are these sources of such space closing?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  7. redbeerd cantu

    redbeerd cantu

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    They just might be charging too much, in my opinion, anyway.

    Here in San Antonio, there's an commercial kitchen rental company that charges about $30/hr (if you purchase minimum 10-hour block, during peak hours).  That's 300 buck for just 10 hours.  Prep alone takes more than 10 hours in about 3 days with the limited menu I have planned.  PLUS, when you enter into an agreement for block hours, they require a $500 deposit.  Even thought the deposit is refundable, It's going to cost me $800 just for the first 10 hours of use of that kitchen.  I need to mention that fridge and freezer space is available, as well.

    I don't know what the pricing schemes are like elsewhere, but that's steep for a startup in my opinion.

    Another factor may be that because of prices like these, food truck owners are finding other kitchen arrangements for better prices.  Like renting the kitchen of a small restaurant that's only open until the lunch rush is over.  Renting space in the kitchen of a church is another option that was presented to me, as well.

    It's understandable for rental kitchens to charge such prices, though.  These places are gleaming and sparkling with all the brand-spanking-new stainless steel surfaces and equipment and people on-hand to teach you how to use the stuff if you need that kind of help. 
     
  8. crepelover

    crepelover

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    We rent our kitchen out on occasion - we're mostly a bakery (no flat top or fryers, just induction burners) and I turn away more people than we can fit into the place.    We'll charge $25/hour for just a few ourse a week, down to about 12.50 for up front blocks of time.  We've also traded for dishwashing, etc. 

    We are thinking of moving to a new larger spot where people could have locking storage, more freezer space, hood system and flat top, etc.   I'm concerned that we would have to have a kitchen supervisor to make sure nothing was stolen or damaged.  That would bump the cost up even higher.  And then we still have our baking schedule to deal with.

    Any opinions?

    Richard
     
  9. chefmadison

    chefmadison

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    As a small operator I find that my schedule is very unpredictable and would not offer many commercial kitchens a stable income base.  Now if there are many of us like myself a kitchen would have great difficulty predicting and leveling income throughout the year.  Not everyone who caters chooses to use a commercial kitchen (a whole other issue).  For myself for most jobs using a commercial kitchen creates such a large expense that in many cases it was cost prohibitive for some clients (I work with mostly non-profits and charities).  Many people also kitchen share for example when I had my restaurant I used the bakery next door for additional kitchen space.

    Currently, I have been fortunate to work with a few non-profits that have had commercial kitchens, and since I do some regular work at a greatly discounted rate I am able to use the kitchen for no cost at other times.   Since I am aware of the expenses and limitations of working without a dedicated space,  I am completely aware of what I can and can't do and do not get myself into situations where I force myself to provide a service which is only going to get myself into a place requiring more offsite meal prep than the establishment can handle or the mobile equipment I have can provide.

    At one point I did think of opening a commercial kitchen and even looked into one that was for sale.  But -- operating expenses were high (rent, etc.) and unless I went back into catering full time and used the kitchen as an extra stream of income it would be a hobby business, nothing more.
     
  10. chefhow

    chefhow

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    For my "popup" I use a kitchen incubator and its so busy I'll have to book my entire 2014 year in the next few weeks.

    They charge $25/hr for general use, if you need cooler space beyond your hour its an addition charge, shelf space is a charge and they offer 2 different packages, you can pay a flat $75 to walk away and not have to scrub down or you can clean up yourself when you are finished.  If you are renting for more than 4hrs or are renting regularly they offer discounts, I do "volunteer" work for the manager and she cuts me a deal.  There are 2 full lines in the kitchen, an assortment of pots and pans, a nice sized walk in cooler and freezer, plenty of shelf space and 4 table stations.

    The kitchen currently has 45-50 full time businesses that use it and during the holidays you cant get a spot in it because of all the cookie people who are renting for 3-4 hrs at a time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  11. canacheeliee

    canacheeliee

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    HI, I NEED TO KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN FOR RENT IN SAN ANTONIO TX. THANK YOU
     
  12. the novice

    the novice

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    WHats the difference between using your kitchen at home and using a commerical kitchen, other than space and availability of brand new SS equipment?
     
  13. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Can you prep food at home and bring it to your restaurant to sell? Answer........ wait for it............NO
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  14. the novice

    the novice

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    Seeing as its my restaurant, yes. 

    Of course i haven't looked into provincial guidelines, but even then, they wouldn't have a way to find out anyways
     
  15. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    You have a lot to learn.
     
    flipflopgirl and like this.
  16. redbeerd cantu

    redbeerd cantu

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    He said, "provincial". I think he's from the Provinces. The might be able to prep and cook there, and stock their restaurants with the pre-made food there...
     
  17. cbuen

    cbuen

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    Hi! Contact me, we are in the process of launching a commercial kitchen in San Antonio that will be available for use starting July 1. Email me at [email protected] if you would like more info!
     
  18. leigh landry

    leigh landry

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    ​We are a small startup that will be selling gourmet popcorn at PicaPica Plaza. We are looking for a commercial kitchen to rent some during the week. Do you offer this and are you interested? thank you. Leigh Landry 210-730-0893