Across an aisle, large hot food cooking equipment sits on wheels for easy cleaning. A stainless steel raceway contains provisions so more gas and electricity can be added if more equipment is brought in. "The wiring and plumbing are configured so if equipment breaks down at any time we can isolate it, disconnect it and the rest of the line remains functional," Galvin says.

The restaurant's hot cookline contains four main pieces of equipment to produce a menu that Pestana says offers a cross between items found in steakhouses and those served at casual-dining restaurants. "We had to design it that way to please hotel guests with a wide range of tastes," he says. Staff use an infrared charbroiler to cook beef tenderloins, chicken breasts, and marinated vegetables for steak salads and use a double-stacked convection oven to roast red-skin potatoes, bake vegetable lasagna and finish beef tenderloin when customers order it well done.

Fryers on the line allow staff to prepare hash browns and other potatoes for breakfast service. "We don't use the fryers very often for catering because fried food in warmers doesn't hold well," says Pestana. "When we do serve potatoes, we have better results just browning them in the fryer, tossing them with garlic and rosemary, and warming in an oven before serving."

A six-burner range supports sautéing of salmon filets and the daily catch, and heating mushroom risotto and quesadillas. In addition, staff use a panini press during lunch to make Cuban and grilled chicken sandwiches.

For cleanup, staff use a flight-type dishmachine, spray hoses that work with a disposer and a three-compartment sink. This area sits near the front entrance to the kitchen and helps staff avoid cross contamination when transporting dirty dishes. To the left of the dishwashing area are mobile tables for placing clean silverware, glassware and chinaware. When needed for banquets, staff take these items through a garage-style door activated electronically or by hand and transport them directly into the staging areas.

As Embassy Suites Orlando, Lake Buena Vista South, builds its reputation in this high-traffic destination city, the staff's extensive management and service training is certainly being put to the test. No doubt, the fine attention given to layout and equipment detail at the beginning of the project is paying off significantly as the culinary crew can gear up to produce 2,500 meals a day for the myriad dining options.

Design Capsule

  • Ownership: Sierra Land Group, Glendale, Calif., which owns and manages the Embassy Suites Orlando, Lake Buena Vista South; the Caribe Royale Orlando; Buena Vista Suites Orlando; and Plaza Suites Hotel, Santa Clara, Calif. Embassy Suites Hotels is a Hilton Worldwide brand.
  • Headquarters: Glendale, Calif.
  • Opened: Sept. 25, 2012
  • Hotel Occupancy: In the first partial fiscal year, in the low 60 percent range; first full fiscal year, projected up to the high 70 percent range.
  • Scope of Project: Entire hotel includes 300 guest suites; 40,000 square feet of meeting space; 2 ballrooms; 15 flexible breakout rooms; 3 boardrooms; 2 outdoor terraces; pre-function space; 10 conference suites; 3 hospitality suites; Kyngs Grille full-service restaurant; Oasis Lounge; complimentary, full cooked-to-order breakfast area that also serves as space for complimentary evening receptions; and a 9,000-square-foot kitchen with areas for Kyngs Grille, breakfast, room service, and banquets
  • Seats: Kyngs Grill, 72; The Cove (overflow areas from breakfast area), 54; complimentary breakfast area, 194; Oasis Lounge, 43
  • Daily Foodservice Covers: Kyngs Grill, 40; complimentary breakfast, 100; banquets, up to 1,000; room service, 15 to 20
  • Average Check, Kyngs Grille: $15 lunch; $27 dinner
  • Hours of Operation: Complimentary breakfast Monday to Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Kyngs Grill, lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; room service, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily; evening reception, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily; Oasis Bar and Lounge, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily
  • Dining Staff: 35, including managers and part-time staff
  • Total Hotel Annual Revenue: $8 million projected for stub year, 9 months from October 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.
  • Foodservice Revenue: Not available
  • Equipment Investment: $2 million
  • Foodservice Sales: Not available

Key Players

  • Global Head of Embassy Suites Hotels and Full Service Brands Worldwide: John Rogers
  • President and CEO, Sierra Land Group: Shirley Hough
  • Vice President, Sierra Lodgings, a subsidiary of Sierra Land Group: Eric Rosenbaum
  • Director of Food and Beverage, Embassy Suites Orlando, Lake Buena Vista South: Tom Skaggs
  • General Manager, Embassy Suites Orlando, Lake Buena Vista South: Dennis Hale
  • Executive Chef, Embassy Suites Orlando, Lake Buena Vista South: Rick Pestana
  • Architect: Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock Architects, Orlando; Mike Chatam, AIA
  • Architectural Interior Designer: Linda Snyder Associates, Torrance, Calif.; Linda Snyder, principal; Julie Darrell, project job captain
  • Foodservice Consultant: Galvin Design Group, Winter Garden, Fla., Thomas W. Galvin, FCSI
  • Equipment Dealer: Johnson Lancaster, Safety Harbor, Fla.; Brad Lancaster, representative
  • Contractor: Hardin Construction Co., LLC, Orlando.