One Kitchen One Cook

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nvb
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2005/04/24 09:40:07 (permalink)

One Kitchen One Cook

I've been having a problem making people understand that my restaurant has only one kitchen and one cook, unlike the chains around here. Customers are used to getting served fairly quickly and when the big rush (25 people) hits things slow down in my kitchen. People get aggravated and don't understand why it takes me longer to serve them than Chili's.

I could use suggestions on how to make them understand, or other methods to deal with this.
#1

20 Replies Related Threads

    Adjudicator
    Sirloin
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/24 09:46:39 (permalink)
    The quality of food served should well reflect the time waited. Once your customers realize this; you have got 'em.

    #2
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/24 10:10:58 (permalink)
    I forget what kind of a restaurant you have. BBQ?
    #3
    tiki
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/24 11:08:50 (permalink)
    Hang in there Slick!--personally--i remember a sign in a great place i used to eat that said--"We had two choices -- Give you Fast food as good as we can get it to you?---or Good food as fast as we can get it to you? Sorry about the wait"
    #4
    morningglory
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/24 11:11:31 (permalink)
    If I arrived at a busy time, and the food was worth the wait, I'd sit patiently and savour the wine/water and count myself lucky.

    Take your time, and do it right.

    I am sorry that I am not more insightful, but some things in life, are not always FAST.
    #5
    rumbelly
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/24 12:01:49 (permalink)
    Look at your menu and find the items that are slowing things down. Perhaps something can be done to speed up the process, cooking some ahead etc. If you can predict your busy time and have a good idea whats going to be ordered, over time it should work. One that works for me is an enticing daily special. Design it to be fast and it takes the load off the regular menu. Best case is you sell out of that item. While I agree that good food takes time, I find those statements about being patient while we cook this to order in a diner to be arrogant. Fish and chips should not take 20 minutes at lunch.
    #6
    UncleVic
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/24 14:18:33 (permalink)
    Back in my grill work days, when I'd see a crowd comming in, I'd drop a dozen burgers and get them going. Gave me a few minute head start. Also we sold a ton of CLUBS's.. I created a "CLUB Kit", lettuce, tomato and ham stacked (seperated by wax paper) in one stack, then lettuce and turkey in another pile.. Made for a quick fix in those 50 minutes you get slammed...

    EDIT: Thanks Scallion for slowely showing my errors..
    #7
    nvb
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/24 16:54:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

    I forget what kind of a restaurant you have. BBQ?


    My main business is BBQ, but I now have a grill and have a wide assortment of other foods.

    quote:
    Originally posted by tiki

    Hang in there Slick!--personally--i remember a sign in a great place i used to eat that said--"We had two choices -- Give you Fast food as good as we can get it to you?---or Good food as fast as we can get it to you? Sorry about the wait"


    I like the sign, tiki, and even made one that said something pretty close, but my wife agreed with rumbelly and told me not to put it up.

    quote:
    Originally posted by rumbelly

    Look at your menu and find the items that are slowing things down.


    I have a 70 lb fryer and two small portables, so it's not hard to figure that out. My main problem is that every other person will want something fried. We'll get a bunch of fries going and then someone will want an order of okra. Okra goes in and takes up a basket. Then down the line someone will want another okra and that order has to wait on the fries to get ready because you can't mix it with the okra that's half done. Then stuff still keeps coming in and pretty soon all the fryers are filled and we get backed up. We tell folks that we're behind on fried stuff but they blow it off and order it anyway, then get pissed when they have to wait.


    quote:
    Originally posted by rumbelly

    Fish and chips should not take 20 minutes at lunch.


    I'd agree if you are in a big restaurant with multiple cooking stations. In my place the fries would take twenty minutes, not the fish. See above.
    #8
    rumbelly
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/24 18:52:31 (permalink)
    In my view you can either add another deep fryer or cut back on the fried items. I do a lot of stuff in the pan and balance my menu, assume the worst type of weeds WILL happen. Relaxing business eh?
    #9
    Scallion1
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/25 08:44:36 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Back in my grill work days, when I'd see a crowd comming in, I'd drop a dozen burgers and get them going. Gave me a few minute head start. Also we sold a ton of BLT's.. I created a "BLT Kit", lettuce, tomato and ham stacked (seperated by wax paper) in one stack, then lettuce and turkey in another pile.. Made for a quick fix in those 50 minutes you get slammed...




    Where's the bacon? Sounds like turkey clubs to me.
    #10
    Adjudicator
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/25 09:07:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rumbelly

    In my view you can either add another deep fryer or cut back on the fried items. I do a lot of stuff in the pan and balance my menu, assume the worst type of weeds WILL happen. Relaxing business eh?


    I think rumbelly is right. If you indeed sell a lot of varied fried items, another fryer (perhaps a separate fry station, similar say, to Wendy's) is in order. Variety is also a good option, so you may want to experiment with what your customers may or may not like as new menu items. You could always ask your customers to complete a short questionnaire as to new menu items (your choice on new menu items, though...). Another thing you might consider getting is a convection oven (again aka Wendy's). Given a choice between french fries and a hot, steaming baked potato, etc... I would also start up a hourly projection chart/log to project my sales and also specifically what products were sold, especially during peak periods.
    #11
    nvb
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/04/25 17:45:23 (permalink)
    Some good suggestions! Although, I can't put another fryer in my kitchen because it's filled to capacity already, which is why the two portables are there. I'll think about the fried items though.
    #12
    -Tricky-
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/05 09:34:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Slick

    Some good suggestions! Although, I can't put another fryer in my kitchen because it's filled to capacity already, which is why the two portables are there. I'll think about the fried items though.

    Originally posted by Slick
    I have a 70 lb fryer and two small portables, so it's not hard to figure that out. My main problem is that every other person will want something fried. We'll get a bunch of fries going and then someone will want an order of okra. Okra goes in and takes up a basket. Then down the line someone will want another okra and that order has to wait on the fries to get ready because you can't mix it with the okra that's half done. Then stuff still keeps coming in and pretty soon all the fryers are filled and we get backed up. We tell folks that we're behind on fried stuff but they blow it off and order it anyway, then get pissed when they have to wait.


    I've worked in large corporate restaurants whose kitchens have had the same problem. There is no room for more equipment, and the fryers can only fry food so fast. Fried food will hold for a short time in cardboard under a heat lamp. When you drop your fries, drop several more orders than you need. If fried okra creates problems, drop a few orders extra. Obviously you don't want to stockpile so much that you A) waste food or B) sacrifice quality, but in order to get through your weeds, sometimes it helps.

    (A grain of salt here: The kitchen in question was part of a fairly upscale seafood restaurant. It had two tiny fryers for its 300+ seat dining room, because the fryers were intended to only cook calamari and children's food. Fried shrimp, fried cod, etc... weren't supposed to be big sellers. They were on the menu, but expected to sell only a few times per night, instead of the few times per table that one particular market seemed to desire.)

    Also, limit the number of fried items on the menu. Even if some of them sell well, if people are annoyed by the time it takes to get them, those items aren't reflecting well on your restaurant. Take the fried foods that create the most problems off the menu. People will grumble, but the reasonable will accept "We needed to rearrange the menu in order to offer our guests our best level of service." The unreasonable will probably not take that well, but even in spite of best effort, some people will not be pleased.

    Keep us updated. I'd be interested to find out what resolution you find, and how it (or they) worked out.
    #13
    UncleVic
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/05 16:51:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scallion1

    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Back in my grill work days, when I'd see a crowd comming in, I'd drop a dozen burgers and get them going. Gave me a few minute head start. Also we sold a ton of BLT's.. I created a "BLT Kit", lettuce, tomato and ham stacked (seperated by wax paper) in one stack, then lettuce and turkey in another pile.. Made for a quick fix in those 50 minutes you get slammed...




    Where's the bacon? Sounds like turkey clubs to me.


    No, I mentioned the ham also... I like my bacon HOT, so while the toast is cooking, bacon is on the grill under a steak iron... (Bacon, thats been cooked earlier of course)...

    #14
    UncleVic
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/05 17:07:27 (permalink)
    Seeing an ad in Pizza Today, there's a company that makes "Ventless" Deep Fryers. I assume being ventless, means they dont have to be under your "Hood w/fire suppression".. Never seen or tried one, but if you want to investigate, their site addy is www.perfectfry.com ...

    #15
    jellybear
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/06 08:09:08 (permalink)
    Im in the same boat myself,Ive been open a week and at lunch time its insane!I do a meat and three which isnt too much of a problem but the sandwiches hold me back some.I precook about twenty burgers and that helps too but people must think that you are like Burger King and they want it in two minutes or they are outa there!Then I had a table of OLD HENS that had to show their asses yesterday insisting on tossed salads with thier lunch special,Well We probaly wont be back,they said.Lucky I didnt come out.Well anyway we are kicking some butt and my new hip is getting stronger everyday.
    #16
    nvb
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/06 09:31:45 (permalink)
    My problem is that there is no more floor space to put anything. I had to relocated a trash can in order to get my two portables up and going. Fries and okra take the longest and there's no way I can cut those out as we go through three case a week of each. My portable seems to handle my other products, but even with holding some fries and okra we still get behind.

    Vic, I have seen those fryers before. They are nice but expensive as I remember. I guess my next restaurant will have more fryers.

    Thanks for the responses.

    Jellybear, congrats on your success!
    #17
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/06 13:36:59 (permalink)
    Like I said in the "this kills me" thread, you can't please everyone! Don't let the "hens" of the world or even the cantankerous old codgers, set you off, remember there are other customers that are going to see you in a bad light and regardless of how much they liked your food won't be back because "that guy was such an .........." smile , smile , smile regardless of the situation and remember those "hens" who wanted something special have extended families that maybe new customers if you treat grannie right, or a lost segment if you don't..
    #18
    UncleVic
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/06 17:47:13 (permalink)
    Should have just grabbed a handfull of lettuce, couple tomato slices, some diced onion and tossed it on a plate. Serve it with a side of vinegar and charge them 3 bucks a head! ha ha... That would have given them something to gripe about!
    #19
    Scallion1
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/06 19:24:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    quote:
    Originally posted by Scallion1

    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Back in my grill work days, when I'd see a crowd comming in, I'd drop a dozen burgers and get them going. Gave me a few minute head start. Also we sold a ton of BLT's.. I created a "BLT Kit", lettuce, tomato and ham stacked (seperated by wax paper) in one stack, then lettuce and turkey in another pile.. Made for a quick fix in those 50 minutes you get slammed...




    Where's the bacon? Sounds like turkey clubs to me.


    No, I mentioned the ham also... I like my bacon HOT, so while the toast is cooking, bacon is on the grill under a steak iron... (Bacon, thats been cooked earlier of course)...


    I like my bacon hot also. But a BLT, to me, is Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato on toast with Mayo. No ham, no turkey. That's a club sandwich.

    #20
    UncleVic
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    RE: One Kitchen One Cook 2005/05/06 20:20:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scallion1

    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    quote:
    Originally posted by Scallion1

    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Back in my grill work days, when I'd see a crowd comming in, I'd drop a dozen burgers and get them going. Gave me a few minute head start. Also we sold a ton of BLT's.. I created a "BLT Kit", lettuce, tomato and ham stacked (seperated by wax paper) in one stack, then lettuce and turkey in another pile.. Made for a quick fix in those 50 minutes you get slammed...




    Where's the bacon? Sounds like turkey clubs to me.


    No, I mentioned the ham also... I like my bacon HOT, so while the toast is cooking, bacon is on the grill under a steak iron... (Bacon, thats been cooked earlier of course)...


    I like my bacon hot also. But a BLT, to me, is Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato on toast with Mayo. No ham, no turkey. That's a club sandwich.




    Oh man... these 12+ hour days have my brain going into DOA mode. I ment to say "CLUB" not BLT... My appologies... Jeeze, and I've re-read the post a few times and never caught it...



    EDIT: I corrected my wording in my original post.. Thanks!
    #21
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