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ChefDavid84

Kitchen space requirements

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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
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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.

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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

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

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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! 

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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.

 

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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 :)

 

 

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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)
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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. 

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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.

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    • By boilsover
      I. Introduction
       
      This article reviews the 3500W all-metal commercial induction single-hob hotplate by Panasonic, which I believe is the first “all-metal” unit to hit the U.S. market. Where appropriate, it is also compared with another commercial single-hob, the 1800W Vollrath Mirage Pro Model 59500P.
       
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      B. Safety Features
       
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      Given the differences in power setting granularity and maximum power between the two frequencies, it is difficult to assess what X watts into the pot means in, say, a copper-versus-clad or –disk showdown. What is clear, however, is that Setting X under disk and clad seems “hotter” than the same setting under copper and aluminum.

      I will need to precisely calibrate the Panasonic for wattage anyway for the hyperconductivity project, so I will obtain a higher-powered watt meter to determine the wattage of every power setting for both frequencies. Until then, however, the only way I can fairly handicap a race is to apply a reduction figure to the ferromagnetic setting (2400W being 69% of 3500W). Given that we know the wattage at the maximum settings, we can infer that Setting 14 (actually 13.8) on the 20-step ferromagnetic range iis approximately the same heat output as the maximum setting (18) for copper/aluminum.

      The boil times for 4 liters of 50F water in 10” diameter pots shocked me. The 10” x 3mm tinned copper pot’s water reached 211F in 36:41. Not an especially fast time at 2400 watts. The 10” disk-based pressure cooker bottom? Well, it didn’t make it—it took an hour to get to 208F and then hung there. So that left me wondering if the Panasonic engineers simply decided that 2400 watts was enough for copper and aluminum. I have a theory why the copper pot boiled and the SS one didn’t under the same power, but getting into that’s for another time.

      C. Evenness Comparisons
       
      The wires which generate the induction field are wound in a circular pattern; when energized, they create a torus-shaped magnetic field. The wound coil is constructed with an empty hole at its center. As matters of physics, the magnetic field’s intensity drops off extremely fast as a function of the distance from the coil; a few millimeters above the Ceran, the field is so weak no meaningful heat will be generated. This means that most induction cooktops heat *only* the very bottom of pans, and in a distinct 2-dimensional “doughnut” shape.

      All of the above can result in a pan having a cooler central spot, a hotter ring directly over the coil, and a cooler periphery outside the coil. It is left to the cookware to try to even out these thermal discontinuities when cooking. Some materials and pan constructions are better at this than others: the successful constructions utilize more highly-conductive metals such as aluminum and copper, but unless the material is very thick, there can be a ring-shaped hotspot that can scorch food.
      Until the Panasonic arrived to market, hotspot comparisons between ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper pans depended largely on comparing induction’s flat, more discrete heat ring with gas’s more diffuse, 3-dimensional one. Dodgeball-style debate ensued, with few clear conclusions. But now, for the first time, equally-powered flat heat rings in two different frequencies allow us to directly compare evenness in ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper cookware.

      The simplest and easiest way to assess cookware evenness is the “scorchprint”, which does not require infrared or other advanced thermal imaging equipment. I’ve posted on how to conduct scorchprinting elsewhere, but basically a pan is evenly dusted with flour; heat is applied to the pan bottom. As the flour is toasted, any hotspots visually emerge, giving the viewer a useful general idea of evenness.
       
      I will later post the photos of scorchprints I made of 4 different pans run using the Panasonic KY-MK3500: (1) a Demeyere 28cm Proline 5* clad frypan; (2) a Fissler Original Profi disk-base 28cm frypan; a 6mm aluminum omelet pan; and (4) a 32cm x 3.2mm Dehillerin sauté. To make it a fair race, I heated all the pans at 2400W until they reached 450F, and then backed off the power setting to maintain 450F. I did this in order not to compromise my saute’s tin lining. As you will see, both the clad Demeyere and the disk-based Fissler did print the typical brown doughnut, with a cooler center and periphery. By far the most even was the thick, all-aluminum pan, which actually was even over its entirety—even including the walls. The copper sauté was also quite even, although its larger size and mass really dissipated heat; once 450F was dialed in, no more browning happened, even after 30 minutes.
       
      I conclude that the straightgauge pans were far more effective at shunting heat to their peripheries and walls (and also to some extent into the air) than the clad and disk-based pans. The latter accumulated their heat with most of it staying in the center of the pans. Eventually, even the “doughnut hole” blended into the scorch ring because the walls were not bleeding sufficient heat away from the floor. This was especially pronounced in the Fissler, the high wall and rim areas of which never exceeded 125F. The aluminum pan, in contrast varied less than 30F everywhere on the pan.

      D. Other Considerations

      The Panasonic’s fan noise at the cook’s position was noticeable at 63 dBA, higher than with the VMP’s 57 dBA. These levels are characterized as “normal conversation” and “quiet street”, respectively. Interestingly, I found two other, potentially more important differences. First, the Panasonic’s fan stays on, even after the unit is powered off, whereas the VMP’s fan shuts off immediately when the hob is turned off. Second, the Panasonic’s fan steps down from the louder speed to a much quieter (47 dBA, characterized as “quiet home”) level until the Ceran is cool to sustained touch, at which point it shuts off completely. I think the Panasonic’s ability to continue to vent and cool itself is a great feature, especially since a cook could leave a large, full, hot pan on the glass.

      The glowing circle is useless for gauging heat setting or intensity. And while it works to indicate a hot surface, it remains lit long after you can hold your hand in place dead center.
       
      VI. Summary and Lessons
       
      The Panasonic KY-MK3500 is a solid unit, well-conceived and rugged. It is extremely easy to use. It works well with both the common 24kHz frequency used with ferromagnetic cookware, and the 90kHz frequency chosen here for copper and aluminum. It effectively and automatically switches between the two.

      In my opinion, it points the way to expanding the worldwide induction appliance market to include dual frequencies. It also obviates the need to: (a) junk otherwise excellent cookware merely to have induction; and (b) retrofit designs to bond on ferromagnetic outer layers. In fact, in my opinion, my tests indicate that, in a dual-frequency world, adding ferromagnetic bottoms may well be a drag on pans’ performance.
       
      I also consider the Panasonic Met-All to be ground-breaking in what it can tell us about *pans*, because all metallic pans are now commensurable on induction. Clearly (to me anyway), watt-for-watt, the copper and aluminum pans performed better than did the clad and disk-based pans on this unit. Boil times were faster, there was less propensity to scorch, and the conductive-sidewall pans definitely added more heat to the pans’ contents. We may ultimately find that 90kHz fields save energy compared to 24kHz fields, much as copper and aluminum require less heat on gas and electric coil.
      In terms of heat transfer, the copper and aluminum pans came close to emulating the same pans on gas. And at 2400W/3500W it has the power of a full size appliance in a relatively small tabletop package.
       
      The Panasonic is far from perfect, however. It can’t really be considered portable. There are far too few temperature settings, and what few it has are not accurate or consistent in terms of judging pan contents and attaining the same temperature in different pans (and even the same pan unless clean). The luminous ring could easily have been made a useful indicator of intensity, but wasn’t. And it lacks things that should be obvious, including a through-the-glass “button” contact thermocouple, more power granularity, an analog-style control knob, and capacity to accept an external thermocouple probe for PID control.
       
      Most importantly for me, the Panasonic KY-MK3500 portends more good things to come. Retail price remains $1,700-$2,400, but I jumped on it at $611, and I’ve seen it elsewhere for as low as $1,200.
       
      The manual can be found here: ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/commercialfoo...
       
      Photo Credit:  Panasonic Corporation

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      Before the destruction but after removing all the crap:
       

       
       
       

       
      The fridge was replaced not too long ago and is staying where it is. We had to have its alcove expanded. Perhaps not the best ergonomic location but it fits. We aren't moving the other appliances or sink very far so are hoping the plumbing and electric are no big deal.
       
      End of first day. We caught a couple of things in time. The fume hood and cupboards over the cook-top were set too low. They were going to set the sink as an over-mount when we had bought and under-mount. Apparently it could be done either way but silly us for not making it clear that the sink described as an undermount should be under the counter top. We decide the cupboard to the right of the oven should open the other way so we can get in there when cooking. Our mistake but I hope we can keep the oil, salt, pepper, etc. there rather than cluttering up the counter. The cabinet guy insisted that the cook-top couldn't be centred over the oven. I still don't understand why but not a big deal. It will be easier to get around the island when someone else is cooking but harder to squeeze past into the pantry.
       
      It seems to me that the walls should have been re-done before the cabinets went up. I think this was easier on the cabinet guy who is doing most of the coordination but probably will be a pain for the plasterer. And we have some trim issues to work out.
       

       

       

       
      Day 2 fixing things, electrical work, and measuring for the countertops. Now we wait for them to be finished before much else can happen.
       

       
      Spock is not impressed.
       
       
    • By Bernie
      I have a nice recipe for Lamb shanks Rogan Josh. The recipe uses Greek style yogurt and stock along with the various spices and a long slow braise (3 hrs plus)
      7 out of 10 times the result is that the sauce has the appearance of having split the yogurt from the stock.
      It does not seem to affect the flavor at all, its just the appearance.
       
      Is this the result of cooking at too high a temperature at some stage during the cook?
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