The Great Hall
By Chef_Mars (Chef_Mars) on Friday, September 01, 2006 - 07:31 pm: Edit

I started to read some of the very informative articles by Lee Simon posted on this web site. The ones I have read are very good and I think all users of this forum could benefit from them.

However, in the article "DEFINE THE SPACE, THEN FILL IT", Lee says "So here is the approach I propose: establish the flow and the areas available for equipment, and then determine the quality and type of equipment to fit the layout and available budget."

I disagree in that before you can "define the space", you have to define the menu...the type of food you will be serving, therefore the type of customer/market you propose to sell into.

First the menu, then all else follows.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Friday, September 01, 2006 - 07:50 pm: Edit

Menu before market? That is a particularly chef point of view.

By Chef_Mars (Chef_Mars) on Friday, September 01, 2006 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Wrong on all counts.
It is a business point of view.
Menu is market.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Saturday, September 02, 2006 - 11:29 am: Edit

My question to you would be thus Chef Mars regarding your view on this issue.

So you have defined your menu....thus your market. Now it is time to define your space. Yet in the process you run out of room to support your menu. What to do now?

I have always been taught that space defines menu....but less so than target market defines both.

P.S. Just another view point.

By George (George) on Saturday, September 02, 2006 - 12:11 pm: Edit

Menus hopefully change.

The space allotted to a kitchen is normally an owners last concern,unless it is a Chef/Owner. Revenue production- seats for customers- bar areas- catering room- come first.

Making the most out of the allocated space and keeping the flow reasonable is the key.


By Chef_Mars (Chef_Mars) on Saturday, September 02, 2006 - 04:44 pm: Edit

Let me look at this from another perspective, perhaps the one you all are championing:

Questions about market and concept start that process
You ask who your customers are now, who do you want your customers to be, who you want to attract, and perhaps why are you not getting them. Market is what you establish first, and then move into determining the concept, check average and design.

Here is my problem with the above based on an example of a white table cloth restaurant:
Your customers are the one who can afford to buy the products you kitchen manufacturers, or the menu items. So your kitchen is not manufacturing $.89 hamburgers, but towering creations of Kobe beef, etc. When did you decide what kind of manufacturing you would do, or the menu you would serve? After you had attracted or marketed to people who could not afford to pay more than $.89 or before?

Market is simply another way of saying who it is you want to advertise to, who you expect to be able to purchase what you manufacture. However, in the concept creator's mind it goes something like this; We have the knowledge and skills to produce these great food and drink items and serve them in a very unique way - we will make sure we market and advertise to those people who we know will be interested and have enough disposable income to buy our products. Now let's make it happen.

Menu and menu items are two related but different concepts. You do not offer Kobe Beef Burgers on the Macdonald's menu, but then in a place that serves Kobe Beef Burgers, you don't have a bank of deep fryers either. Perhaps next year when Kobe burgers are no longer in demand, you change the menu item and start to serve Musk Ox burgers for the ame price. A menu item has changed, not the "menu".

That is it for now. Gotta move on. Thanks.

"a pretty plate of food does not an artist make"

By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 05:13 pm: Edit

Chef Mars says "Market is simply another way of saying who it is you want to advertise to, who you expect to be able to purchase what you manufacture. "

There are quite a few people who would strongly disagree with you. Advertising is only a very small part of marketing. Understanding market is really about understanding the community of people in a specific locale and their wants and needs. You then tailor your service to meet the needs of a specific segment of that market. It's naive to think you could draw absolutely everyone from a given market.

Marketing starts with solid market research which asks several questions like:
Who are the people who live in this specific area?
What is the socio-economic make up of this group of people?
What are their work/leisure habits?
What needs do they have that are currently being filled by a service provider?
Does that provider meet those needs and make a profit?
What needs are not being filled?
What segment of this market is currently not being serviced?
What type of business would meet those needs and could it make a profit?
How far will people in this segment travel to meet their dining needs?
How often will they patronize a dining establishment?
Then you get to the menu bit---
Given the answers to the above questions, what kind of menu can we design to meet the needs of our target market?
What is the best way to communicate what we have to offer?
Can we meet these dining needs and still make a profit?

Of course, all those other sticky questions about overhead, staffing, suppliers and turnover need to be addressed. But basically, I'm saying that the success of a restaurant does not rely on menu or kitchen space or equipment. If you think you're a terrific chef with some great recipes and that you can just open a restaurant anywhere, you have a 90% chance of losing your house and your shirt, too.
Nine out of every 10 restaurants go out of business in the first year-mostly because hothead egotistical chef/owners don't bother to do the basic market research needed to know who their customer base is and what they want and need.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 10:27 pm: Edit

so if you have room for a stove and other stuff and not a broiler, is that wrong,
or does that mean you just can't have broiled items.
is'ent everything either........
those are the three main kitchen pieces of equipment, no?
how can you not have one of those?

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