Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm David. I'm in the process of starting a new venture, and need some advice. I'm starting a catering company to cater to 4 golf courses, and hope to expand into other offsite catering after a year or so. I'm looking for a space to put a central kitchen to cook everything, and truck it out from there. We will be serving about 1200 people per weekend. Im having trouble visualizing how big of a kitchen space I'm going to need, and am having trouble finding anything online to help calculate the size of said space. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. 
 
Thanks in advance,
 
Chef David
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need 1500 square feet.

Plus or minus 1000.  :D

 

Much depends on your menu.  Are 1200 people all getting the same plated meal, all at once?  Or is it smaller snacks with more variety that people may or may not buy? - I.e. sit-down banquets for 1200 actual butts in seats, or concessions bar for 1200 potential customers.  What are the max numbers you've done out of previous kitchens?  Can you imagine extrapolating those?  Are you baking a lot of bread and making everything from scratch or using more convenience products,, frozen items, and mixes?

 

As with so many things, it's not the space so much but how you use it.  You'll probably want a decent sized walk-in, but how many ovens and burners do you really need?  You can get a lot done with 12 burners and  couple of ovens.   Do you need a grill and a deep-fryer?  Find some spaces that you think you can afford, then start sketching out equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are very brave. Sounds like you have never worked for someone in the same business before. May be I am wrong.

 

Legal liabilities, Health laws, local building codes, financial and time investments -------------!!!!

 

dcarch

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might try to visit som other caterers and see what they have, then tweak to your needs. For the most part, everyone under estimates the amount of storage needed for dry goods, and most companies would love to have just one more storeroom.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PastryGIrl, I have done 2-3000 people events. I work in the catering department of a university. It's about 1200 people over the span of a couple days. I will have a central kitchen, and truck everything to the sites in hotboxes etc. All events are off site. I will not be doing any bread baking, but most everything else is made from scratch. dcarch, I'm not sure what you mean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, ChefDavid84 said:

dcarch, I'm not sure what you mean.

 

I misunderstood your first post. It sounded as if you had never done this before. I am glad you clarified.

 

Every year, I go to more than one golf outings, some small and some big, some hamburgers and hot dogs, and some fine wines and lobster cocktails.

 

Most golf courses have their own commercial kitchen setups. Have you consider using theirs?

 

Most outings involve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts. Will you be doing all?

 

dcarch

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ChefDavid84 said:

PastryGIrl, I have done 2-3000 people events. I work in the catering department of a university. It's about 1200 people over the span of a couple days. I will have a central kitchen, and truck everything to the sites in hotboxes etc. All events are off site. I will not be doing any bread baking, but most everything else is made from scratch. dcarch, I'm not sure what you mean.

 

Ok, so how big is your university kitchen?  What would you change?  I thought every chef was constantly planning their dream kitchen!  I know I am :)

 

Are there any commissary kitchens you can get started in?  Because there is also the question of real estate.  What is available & what can you afford?  How far from these customers and your home are you willing to travel every day?  You can't just put a commercial kitchen anywhere ... 

 

2 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

You might try to visit some other caterers and see what they have, then tweak to your needs. For the most part, everyone under estimates the amount of storage needed for dry goods, and most companies would love to have just one more storeroom.

 

Things always seem to expand to fit the space available - more space means more stuff! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PastryGirl: the university kitchen was huge. it was the central kitchen for the entire campus. There are no commissary kitchens close. All 4 courses are within 10 miles of each other. I would ideally like to find some warehouse space to convert to a kitchen. Build a large walk in, and install some equipment. I'm in a pretty rural area of Ohio.

 

dcarch: The gentleman who hired me owns all the courses. One of the recently acquired courses has an 80 seat restaurant that I have reopened. Its going very well, but the kitchen space is big enough to serve the restaurant, but little else. They outsourced all of the catering up until now. We are moving it all in house in order to capitalize on all the built in business. 90% of the outings are lunch at the turn, and buffet dinner. We will have a few nicer events with plated dinners, but not much. After this first year, we would like to expand the catering to any and all off site events that come our way, not just golf outings. So, I'm taking the expansion of business into account  when thinking of kitchen size as well. My boss is a very successful man, and will spend whatever we need to in order to make it happen. I was just looking for a little direction from some of my fellow chefs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, ChefDavid84 said:

My boss is a very successful man, and will spend whatever we need to in order to make it happen.

 

well in that case, the higher end of my previous number :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ChefDavid84 said:

The gentleman who hired me owns all the courses.

 

The Donald T? :D

 

Do you do weddings?

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should have a grasp of which equipment, and how much of it, you need in order to execute your menu in a given volume within the necessary time frame. From that, you can look up the square footage of each given piece, add 'em up, and then rough out an allowance for working space in between them. That gives you a rough amount of floor space, give or take. Add in what you need for walk-in coolers and a freezer, and you should be good to go. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once shared a kitchen with a catering company; the kitchen was the cafeteria  in an office building that once had approximately 500 staff in place and they offered breakfast and lunch.  (we rented it after the building was converted to different use but the kitchen was still operational)  The caterer was a full service catering company; the largest events they did were bag lunches for 1000; and gala dinners for 700.  The kitchen was 3000 square feet; this  included an 8x10 dry storage, the two huge walkins (one cooler, one freezer, both were about 10x8 or  10x10 as I recall.  There were four double stacked convection ovens, a steam kettle, a tilt skillet and a flat top.  We also had a 6 burner range and another 10 burner too.  There were two dish pits; one wall had a huge three bay with very long drainboards and the other part was the automatic dishwasher.  I don't know that this is helpful information for you but I would venture that you need that much space at least.  If these golf courses have buildout capability, you might want to consider adding social events (weddings) at some point in the future; but you will never regret building a bigger kitchen then you think you need if you have the space to expand.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By weinoo
      I've started a few topics about various renovation related subjects (here and here), but figured I'd put the overall project in its own. Pix often tell the story even better...
       
      It helps to have these. Well, you need to have these if you expect to get anything done in your coop.
       

       
      Then stuff can start...
       

       

       

       
      And then start getting rebuilt.
       

       

       
      A little better electrical system.
       

       

       
      New pipes have to be done in the walls.
       

       

       

       

       
      This Started on September 8th. They've had approximately 25 days on which work was done.
       
      Proceeding along nicely, I'd say.
    • By secast1992
      So I've been experiencing cracks on the foot of my bonbons that I've been unable to find the cause of, hoping to reach out to the community to get to the bottom of this costly problem. 
       
      I work for a small chocolate company that makes our own bean to bar couverture. We use a continuous tempering machine with enrobing belt attachment. 
      The process: ganache is made and then piped into round silicone molds, which are then footed with tempered chocolate before being placed in the freezer until frozen enough to pop out of the molds. They are then set up right and left to thaw and dry out overnight on a equipped with fans aimed at the bonbons. The next day we send the bonbons through the enrober, and then they are transferred to a speed rack to set up, either at room temp (generally around 68-70 degrees F) or in a homemade cooling cabinet (an insulated box equipped with an air conditioner + dehumidifier + fans) that generally fluctuates between 50-56 degrees F (I know, large range). 
       
      Problems occur with both milk and dark couverture, with bonbons kept at room temp or in cabinet, thickness of foot doesn't seem to make a difference (we've tried thicker and thinner). Crack doesn't immediately appear; it usually takes a couple of minutes after being completely set before showing. It looks as though the foot is popping out, cause a hairline crack between the shell and the foot. I've attached pictures. You'll notice in the photos, that when the bonbon is cut in half, the foot separates from the shell pretty significantly. 
       
      Thoughts? Suggestions? Similar experiences? 
       





    • By Trufflenaut
      I'm a small-scale hobbyist candymaker (making things for myself and friends, not for sale), and I'm interested in learning more about sugar panning (mostly soft sugar panning, but also interested in hard panning).  I recently made myself a panning machine, and understand the very basics of the process, but I'm finding it difficult to find thorough information on the process that is useful for home candymaking - most of the information I have found so far has been of the sort "here is how to use this product that you can only buy in 100-lb quantities", or "this $200 industry manual has a section on panning techniques that may or may not be useful, but you can't tell until after you buy it".  Is there a good book/website/other source that thoroughly explains all parts of the panning process with enough detail to figure out how to do things with the materials at hand, and more importantly how to know at each step if things are going right?  I have access to the book "Confectionary Science and Technology", which has been a HUGE help, but there's still quite a bit that it doesn't talk about.
       
      I also have a couple of specific questions, and would appreciate any info:
      1. How do I add color?  Adding gel food color to the syrup only provides slight coloration, and I have food color powder but am not sure if I should add it to the syrup, to the sugar, or just it to replace the sugar.
       
      2. I have some carnauba wax to use for polishing, but I can't find any info on how to use it - do I just pour a small quantity of melted wax to the centers in the pan?  Do I need to mix it with anything?
       
      Huge thanks in advance for any information you can provide.
    • By emmeyekayeee
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1keOm7TxIn19oaw2KPxT4avaFeBGiTEMd/view?usp=drivesdk
       
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g6UlqTLcKlO7JXKVv6KGbbabrIOU5O44/view?usp=drivesdk
    • By Tropicalsenior
      This probably sounds like a strange subject to bring up when most of you, as @CantCookStillTry would say, are up to your knickers in snow and ice  but some of us right now are in a heat wave. Although Costa Rica is in the northern hemisphere, Central America only has two seasons. Wet and dry. Wet season is from sometime in April to sometime in November so that puts us in the dry season right now and our two hottest months are March and April. CCST is in Australia and going through a real hot time. We'd like to know what you do to beat the heat.  What are your favorite hot weather recipes? How do you cook in the hot weather to keep from heating up your kitchen? Any and all suggestions and anecdotes are welcome.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×