Spotlights the challenges and opportunities that impact the application of foodservice equipment and supplies in the real world including green and energy efficiency concerns, foodservice equipment concerns, the impact of technology on foodservice, and the state of the foodservice economy.
Times are changing. College and university foodservice operations make this clear year in and out. Though sleek serveries and fresh marketplaces continue to reign as the eatery of choice in higher education dining, students also want full-service restaurants and more mixed, all-purpose spaces to eat, lounge, congregate, study and be entertained all in one place.
While many foodservice consultants specify pieces of equipment, few actually have the opportunity to aid in designing equipment. One foodservice consultant who often assists manufacturers in developing equipment items shares the lessons she's learned over the years that can help designers make informed specifications.
After more than two decades at one of Dallas' most renowned hotel restaurants, the Mansion on Turtle Creek, celebrity chef Dean Fearing went solo in 2007, opening Fearing's, a 12,000-square-foot, 320-seat restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Designed as seven distinct dining environments — from elegant to casual to garden pavilion — the hottest spot in the house is themed "Dean's Kitchen."
Operators from all foodservice segments now use expo kitchens — once the exclusive domain of fine-dining restaurants — to add some zest to customers' experience. Here we explore the evolution of this foodservice phenomenon and offer a few tips on how to make your expo kitchen a functional element of design.
When the Culinary Institute of America expanded its San Antonio, Texas, campus in 2010 to establish an associate degree program there, part of the vision was to include a venue that would serve as both an instructional lab and a full-service, commercial-style restaurant. The result is Nao, a 4,400-square-foot restaurant that gives students in their last 12 weeks of the program "real world" experience in both the front and back of the house.
The show-stopping main kitchen at Restaurant R'evolution is something of an expo kitchen — all diners are invited to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the gleaming 2,500-square-foot space. But it's R'evoution's second, smaller kitchen that co-chefs John Folse and Rick Tramanto had designed to deliver a uniquely interactive dining experience.
Despite a tight budget, this new design will become a model other schools in the district follow as they look to enhance the quality of food and service they offer students and faculty.
Driven in part by the food truck boom, central and shared kitchens continue to grow in popularity. Here the owner of a Chicago area shared kitchen shares with us the key foodservice equipment and design implications for this type of foodservice operation.