Those who have rented commerical kitchen space and those who own Commercial kitchen space for rent

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by geoff4, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. geoff4

    geoff4

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    I have seen many requests for people who want to rent kitchen space to start their new business or have a place to run their small catering company from. What have your experiences been? Were you able to make a go of it? What did you like about renting out space? What worked for you and what did not? How much time did you rent? what were some perks that really stood out? What were the ones you did not care about?

    For those of you who own the kitchen, how's it working out for you? What were the pitfalls? What kind of use rate do you need to keep afloat? I would love to hear of both successes and bumps in the road.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. trooper

    trooper

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    Location of most shared-use kitchens is down town or down town in ghetto ville.

    Abused, broken and filthy stations and fixed equipment is something to look for before blindly closing an agreement by phone.

    Nickel and Dime upcharges on storage/walk-in/specific equipment/non-standard hour changes (even off peak).

    Theft. Theft from lockers. Theft of food/product. Doesn't matter if you are there or not there sometimes.

    The line of roach coaches and mobile food trailers who pay 75 bucks a day to drop grease and sign-in - But really do their work at home or somewhere NOT inside the facility.

    Other people in the kitchen and some of the habits they have make me question any packaged small-business-sourced product.

    Lack of sinks, mixers, blenders, china caps or whatever else you need but don't have the room or the trust to leave there.

    Leaking chicken that's dripping from loose wax paper, one shelf above your neatly organized shelf space.

    No power above or mounted to work stations.

    The famous "One Six-burner per 12 stations" configuration.

    Commercial kitchens that call themselves commercial kitchens but don't have vents installed or major equipment like full-pan ovens.

    One that goes on the honor system that everyone will clean everything - and as a result - you have semi-clean stations left for the next guy and obvious filth under stoves, corners, walls, etc...

    Loud Mexican/Spanish music blasting outside the facility to welcome you and inside the facility to make the experience even more enjoyable.

    Lack of 2x/4x/6x group work areas or areas where a production line can be setup away from your table.

    Latrines that send a message: "Don't eat anything that comes out of the kitchen part of this establishment"

    Now for the good stuff: All things that are opposite of above.

    I like:

    Flat rate per day, no hours agreement - or gentleman's agreement on hours but no stress outside of routine because kitchen is NOT over-sold.

    Hand sink at station.

    Hand sink and at least a 4-burner at each station.

    Hand Sink, flat top/oven, 6' table and small dairy/ref-prep at station, with power, good lighting and a common line. :D

    (A Dedicated station would be ideal. But an assigned three-shift station at least, so you know who to deep fry if needed.)
     

    A dedicated facility maintenance team that actually maintains all aspects of sanitation and equipment maintenance.

    Equipment Lockers or cages that are really secure. Cages or cagebays in walk-ins.

    Mexican/Spanish/Rap-music free work environment. How about a big ol' quart deli full of Silencio?

    How about a facility that's in a good part of town?

    Segregated: Bakers, Cold Prep, Butchers, Fryers, Packagers, Cooks located in their own areas with their common equipment in those areas. I think everyone would like that idea.

    Almost afraid to see how this would really work - but maybe a shared office area? Hotels have something like this: Some common computers/printers/faxes/phones away from the kitchen for ordering/checking mail/research/whatever.

    How about some roaming kitchen grunts that take bribes/tips/free food/wisdom in exchange for fetch-n-get tasks?

    There could be a long list of wants and hates when it comes to shared use facilities. I don't think I would ever want to own/start/run one as a business. If legit business owners were the only ones who used them it would be a much better experience.
     
  3. geoff4

    geoff4

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    Trooper,

    Thanks for the great input! Ouch. Sounds like you have been burnt a few times. Can I ask if you are in a big city or a more rural area?

    I hope we will hear from some kitchen owners and others withe the good, bad and ugly...
     
  4. trooper

    trooper

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    I'm in a suburb on the far north-west corner and just outside of the city. No commisary stations or shared kitchens are within 20 miles of me, and they are all in crappy parts of town.

    Knowing chef-owners with compatable schedules is the key to happiness.
     
  5. geoff4

    geoff4

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    Has everyone's experience been like Troopers? I would really like to hear from others.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    similar....Trooper did a good job in describing issues.  If you share a space and there is no oversite or your not on site all the time, shtuff happens.

    if something breaks who pays for it?

    standard of cleanliness?

    IF you share church kitchens with the congregation, there are issues of members removing your shtuff from the fridge to put their potluck shtuff in....or using your saran/foil....or taking your smallwares.....or leaving the space unlocked when they leave....or not cleaning the dishwasher after use....or

    leaving the oven on....etc.

    There was  a theatre troupe upstairs who used to use one of the sinks for their paint brushes....
     
    trooper likes this.
  7. suechef

    suechef

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     I've been really lucky.  I rent a kitchen from a local Masonic Lodge on an as needed basis for $50 per day.  Included are all utilites and a half frig/freezer; I brought in a deli cooler that I plug in as needed.

    It's been a great deal for both of us; they've repaved their driveway and made building upgrades from my payments; I get lots of locked storage and they are respectful of my stuff.  No one is there during the day.  It's an old kitchen, but servicable and I feel really fortunate to have lucked into this.  There are alot of these social clubs in my area...most of their memberships are way down and they are basically sitting empty most of the time. 

    I did have to bring the kitchen up to code, but basically small stuff...cleaning the hood; glueing down counter tops.... it's been 15 years ago. 
     
  8. gareth

    gareth

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    I explored the shared kitchen thing for a bit. Issues no matter which way you go, but worst of all is dealing with someone that is happy to take your money but won't act on your behalf if things start going wrong. Your in a corner then, clubs etc are the way if it's shared. They need the money, most of the staff don't care what's happening in the kitchen but are interested enough to have some respect for what you do and if its something good you make they will generally strike a deal to keep out the tax man. Clubs are run by a manager and as such professionalism is the motivator.

    It might be worth looking for some other like minded people that you can go in on a shared property, or given the amount of bankruptcies contact some administrators as kitchens always sit idol whilst they wait to work out the result of administration. You might get really cheap rent and 3-4 months out of each kitchen. Administrators are generally happy to collect any money they can from any one they can. The laws certainly permit it here in Australia, but things might be a bit different in the US.

    Good luck
     
  9. simonbaker

    simonbaker

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  10. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    so your 1st post here is to bump a 20 month old thread to make that statement

    nebber wudda tott