Menu for espresso bar/roastery

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Joined Jan 17, 2018
Greetings all.

Been many years since I interacted on this site...recession and burnout put me off the extra duties of breakfast, lunch etc.

Anyhow, I'm desiring to start a breakfast, lunch and dessert menu. And due to the lack of a true kitchen hood system, I need to be a little more creative in the use of appliances.
I have (relative to food prep/cooking):
-an older 1/2 sheet Blodgett convection oven;
-a large proofer;
-micro of course;
-Star panini grill;
-3' True sandwich prep reefer;
-small, older Kitchen Aid stand mixer;
-assorted small appliances.
My bakery case is a dual zone True 4'.

*Some of these haven't been used in several years : (

Currently, my customers stand in line at the register; a few text or call in.
Half are quick grab folks...on way to work. I lose some of these folks when they need food- colder weather.
I'm the only real coffee bar in a rural southern city population of 8k; middle class demographic. We make drinks people really like. No powdered coffee drinks; all fresh stuff.
Seating for 50. Outside seating area in Spring will probably add 25+.

My kitchen is two rooms connected (upside down and inverted L shape):
Main: 20.5'x10.75'
Side: 13'x8.5'

Various tables, reefers, freezers, counters on all walls currently.

Looking for a menu that can be efficiently produced in this kitchen. If new devices like rapid cook ovens can help with a methodology, that is quite ok...within affordability of course. My thoughts for breakfast and lunch run to quiche, breakfast burritos, wraps and paninis pertaining to breakfast and lunch. I'm assuming that a lot of prep would be done like in a quick serve application.

Being ignorant of basic, (and newer technology advances) in kitchen appliances, and not currently employing food knowledgeable people, I don't want to run ahead and buy tools without seeking wisdom. So I turn to you folks and hope you can provide some ideas.

Thank you
John
 
4,580
806
Joined Aug 21, 2004
I would start off with what you got. There is plenty that you can do and offer with your present setup. You can make changes as you figure out things as time goes by and the direction of the business model develops. The one purchase that I would look into would be a food well or two.
 
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Joined Jan 17, 2018
Thanks for replying Layne.
I think what I'm trying to discern is if I can do fresh items that can be prepped for a fast, and with little waste, finish. That's why I brought up the rapid cook oven. Some are convinced that one of those ovens and pre-made stuff from suppliers is a better fit for me. I dunno. I'm a coffee roaster and espresso bar worker; I like the idea of better foods and being creative. But I have limitations. My plan is to develop a plan and slowly roll out a menu; hopefully complete by mid-late October.

My shop is going through so many changes; I'm doing many areas at once.

Thanks
John
 
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534
Joined Oct 31, 2012
There is a top for the food well with round holes so you can keep bain maries in it. Basically a piece of sheet stainless with the edges folded over. So you could keep sauces hot for service.
In addition to the paninis, etc. you could add special egg dishes. Egg sandwiches for breakfast. For summer you could use the prep reefer for salad ingredients then top the salad with an egg. The microwave can be used to poach eggs or bake them in the blodgett.
There are all kinds of sauces you could make with mayonnaise or vinaigrette to add some easy variety on any of the products.
They make all manner of pre portioned dough so the proofer could come in handy. Then bake as needed.
There are all kinds of equipment choices depending on your gas/electric power setup so I would visit a restaurant supply and go through a few catalogs. You may discover something you didn't know existed.
There are sheet pan extenders that will raise the edge of the pan to allow you to increase the size of the sides. That makes sheet pans available for making layered dishes. A bit of phyllo dough for something like spanakopita or crust for a rectangular quiche.
I'll try to think of more later.
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2011
I agree with ChefLayne. What you have works and a hot well or two wouldn’t hurt. However, if you are looking to do something new, I believe you can dive into the sous vide world.
 
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Joined Jan 17, 2018
Thanks for sharing all. Definitely going to use what I have; failed to mention the sous vide- Joule. Thinking of the egg bites and custards; I've made those at home. I've also contacted a local person who does catering and food truck business to talk consulting. Meet with her next week. Just decided to reach out to her last night. I'll know a lot more, I presume, by mid to late next week.

Keep you apprised.
John
 
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Joined Oct 1, 2006
Hi John,

First thing I thought of was pork shoulders, whether oven prepared or smoker, at least your kitchen help can tell the difference between fat, bone and meat! Right? Flavors are an open book for many combinations of paninis, southern quiches, grilled cheese, burritos, etc. (Spicy Cajun Brown gravy, using coffee, went over well for me) I also favor Asian flavors with fresh ginger, Jamaican Jerk, Breakfast Cubano variations, etc. A whole planet of flavors the pork works with. (Besides BBQ!)

More cost effective than a good ham or bacon, freezes well if needed. Since you can put on low heat before you leave and take out the next morning, efficient use of existing equip.

Then again I like making Ganache truffles too! Good mark-up for profits. Make a large batch, divide into separate bowls for flavoring and chill. Grand Marnier rolled in toasted Coconut, Amaretto w/ Almond, Bourbon w/Cocoa powder, etc. I use a scoop and don't bother with making them perfectly round, because the flavors makes people not care if they are flat on the bottom! This cuts labor by 2/3. (Biggest issue with these is the number that the help eats!)

Good Luck and have fun!
 
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Joined Jan 17, 2018
Thanks for sharing folks. My consultant is coming Monday at 11am. Hoping she can help me with suppliers to semi-quick serve efficiencies. While I'm certainly aware of my deficiencies in restaurant food menus, etc., I can't help thinking that a Turbochef like machine with quality food prep could be a winning idea...along with some of the above mentioned basics...especially during peak times.

Thanks Mike for the coffeehouse menu. Many wonderful ideas there.

John
 
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Joined Jan 17, 2018
I agree with ChefLayne. What you have works and a hot well or two wouldn’t hurt. However, if you are looking to do something new, I believe you can dive into the sous vide world.
I've been experimenting with SV eggs to imitate poached- place on nice toasted bread. My hope is to figure out how to have eggs SV cooked, cooled til needed and heated properly over fresh toasted bread. The reheating on demand (fast) is one reason I wonder if a rapid cook oven (TChef, Merry Chef, etc) is a good investment. Egg bites is another consideration.

John
 
10
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Joined Jan 17, 2018
Thanks for sharing folks. My consultant is coming Monday at 11am. Hoping she can help me with suppliers to semi-quick serve efficiencies. While I'm certainly aware of my deficiencies in restaurant food menus, etc., I can't help thinking that a Turbochef like machine with quality food prep could be a winning idea...along with some of the above mentioned basics...especially during peak times.

Thanks Mike for the coffeehouse menu. Many wonderful ideas there.

John
The consultant was nice. Not experienced enough in breakfast...and is used to a certain methodology...which is fine. But, we're not going forward at this time. Sad.

John
 
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Joined Jan 17, 2018
Think I'm going to visit a food supplier kitchen soon; talking with Rhinehart now. Til then I'm going to experiment with SV, (which my local laws state that you must have written documentation of how what you cook will be safe to serve), and discover some baking latent baking skills, lol. I built a workspace for that years ago; gone unused due to the burnout of many other duties. Need to learn how to use this old Blodgett to make some quiche too.

I'll be back soon with updates; a menu is going online some time this year.

John
 
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