Foodservice Equipment – Commercial Food Peeler

Why Buy a Commercial Food Peeler

Commercial Food Peelers, commonly known as Commercial Potato Peelers or Potato Rumbler Machines, are the best solution for foodservice operations that produce high quantities of product and need to majorly save on labor cost.

It takes on average around 10-15 minutes to peel a 5 lb bag of potatoes by hand. At this quantity, using a quality hand peeler is a perfect option as your labor cost is only around $3.75 per batch (assuming labor cost $15 an hour). To break this further down into the cost of labor per serving, we use a serving of 5.3 oz., or the size of a large fry according to McDonald’s. So, 3 servings per pound or 15 servings total come from a 5-pound bag. That puts us right about $.25 a serving in labor to peel potatoes by hand.

Sammic Corporate Video for Food Peelers

Five pounds of potatoes is an extremely small quantity in some cases. A restaurant featuring fresh hand-cut french fries will need to determine how many servings a day they will go through. Sammic rates their Commercial Food Peelers in a few convenient ways. Down below is their selection guide to help you choose what is best for you. The different examples are by Capacity per load (how many pounds are being peeled at once), Production / Hour (this is if you were living in an unrealistic world and loading/unloading times were nonexistent, none the less, it gives you a good idea of how many spuds you can send through these things), and my favorite, by Covers (notice they give you a minimum amount of pounds of product. They want you to be sure that you get in the sweet spot of production to maximize the value of the machine. In other words, don’t buy an expensive machine that is designed for more than you need).

Sammic Food Peeler Selection Guide
Old-school military punishment

Let’s knock down some of that labor cost from before now that we have a better idea of how many servings and pounds of potatoes we’re going through. At 300 servings or 100 lbs (two 50 lb bags) of potatoes, that would take 5 hours of labor to do by hand and $75 of labor cost. This isn’t a huge problem for the old school military punishing system, but for employees that are getting more and more expensive, you might find that their time and your money is better spent someplace else. Especially if you add this to a yearly cost of $27,375!

Using a Commercial Peeler, such as the Sammic PI-30, you can knock out 66 lbs, or one of the 50 lb bags, in about 3 minutes. Let’s call it 5 minutes a load and make that 100 lbs a total of 10 minutes. Now we are doing 100 pounds of potatoes in around the same time it takes to hand peel a 5 lb bag. This new labor cost for the entire 100 lbs is $2.50, or per serving, is now less than $.01. That’s a new yearly labor cost of $913 and a savings of $26,462 every year.

These peelers are not just for potatoes though. Many concepts use them for just about anything that needs peeling, such as bulk ginger for ginger beer, loads and loads of carrots, and really any of the globe vegetables like beets, and radishes. If your looking for a better way to get the peel off your produce, look no further.

Foodservice Equipment – Operator Challenges and Solutions

Source: Food Industry News Oct. 2018

Our industry operators are facing a common challenge and they have been echoing similar questions: How can we do more or keep up, with less help and money, without sacrificing our brands quality? Foodservice manufacturers view these challenges as their inspiration for developing new solutions. Keeping up with equipment trends helps operators by giving them the resources to know what innovations are being designed for them. Just one example of how a tool has been created to help with all three of the challenges is the highly mobile turbo-mixer called the TRX-22.turbo-liquidiser-trx-22

The manufacturer Sammic, whose brand is known for quality and innovation, saw a need to expand on their popular and proven immersion blenders in order to provide a large-scale solution. The TRX-22, a blending workhorse of the kitchen, was born from the need to provide operators with a tool that would both reduce the expense of attached kettle blenders, while also being flexible enough to be used in almost any environment or container. The mobility of the machine saves tens of thousands of dollars by reducing the number of blenders needed in a large production kitchen. It also saves on labor by processing in bulk. With 3 easily interchangeable attachments, there is not much it can’t handle.

Sammic Kitchen Bridge

Sammic kitchen bridge

Recently I had the truly amazing privilege to be a part of a culinary culture “bridge”, put together through Sammic, a worldwide manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment and innovations.  As Sammic says in their blog about the event, “A bridge is the nexus that links two paths, two worlds or two cultures; it is an element of communication that brings two distant or opposing points closer together”.  In this case, they successfully built a bridge between the Basque culinary culture, American Chefs, and European manufacturing.

As the name of the program suggests, the goal is to form stronger relationships between industry partners.  The participants of the program ranged from acclaimed chefs, powerhouse foodservice design consultants, to manufacturer representative professionals.  Everyone involved is a culinary leader or trendsetter in the foodservice world.  And here I was, soaking up everything I could under the warm Spanish sun, many times with a cool sweet Bodega K5 Txakolina (Spanish white wine) in my hand.

Sammic HeadquartersSammic began the program with a tour of their factory headquarters in Azkoitia Spain, a small town of about 11 thousand people, located in the autonomous community of Basque Country.  The first impression you have is how absolutely stunning the views are that surround the building.  I’m more familiar with factories in the locations that are less desirable for residential building thus being a bit less attractive in nature.  Location may not have the same impact on actual production as many other factors do, however, with Sammics average length of employment being 20 years, the retention rate sure does show how enjoyable it is to work here.  The employees here have a lot of pride in the products they manufacture,Sammic Sous Vide Training and to ensure a high standard is kept up, the workforce is self-managed and has employee ownership.  As the group strolled through the many areas of the building, showroom, R&D labs, production, engineering, and sales offices, it was very apparent that the culture of Basque Country lives strong at Sammic.  The employees here are proud hard working professionals who find joy in providing quality equipment around the world.

Once the formalities of the tour ended, the fun began.  Chef Enrique Fleischmann heads up the culinary team at Sammic, he is the executive chef of two highly rated local restaurants and a leading culinary resource for Sous Vide cooking.  Chef Fleischmann greeted the team in the culinary innovations center of the building.  Sous Vide circulators, vacuum machines and an assortment of Sammic food preparation equipment was being operated by his team of professional chefs who are integrated with the development of new Sammic products.  Their chefs engaged with demonstrations on sous vide techniques and gastronomic techniques.  The food was incredible and the education was second to none.  Many times, when cooking via Sous Vide, chefs become almost hyper-focused on a particular way of doing things.  Enrique and his team showed a plethora of ways to accomplish refined menu ideas.  As the demonstrations were winding down, Sammics management team presented the acclaimed chef’s, Josiah Citrin, Paul Kahan and Ilan Hall, a gift of custom engraved Smart Vide 8’s, the most top of the line Sous Vide calculators available.  The circulators have Bluetooth HACCP tracking capability, remote wireless operations, precision probe capability, and the most durable stainless steel design on the market.

Sammic

Now that the appetite has been peaked, it was time for lunch.  The group was now shuttled through the beautiful Basque countryside to a Gastronomic Society in Azpeitia.  The theme of sharing good food and enjoying time with family and friends is at the center of everything here in the Basque Country.  A Gastronomic Society reminds me most of something between a midwest supper club, and a classic cigar club.  A small kitchen and dining area are owned by a privet group of people, usually men, who share in cooking together and enjoying each others company.  It’s almost like a Sunday dinner with the family but rather than just mom cooking, everyone is in the kitchen sharing in the experience.  Since food is so important in this region, sharing it with guests is so very intimate of a process.  As we sat down to a large table that was filled end to end with delicious bite-sized portions of food called Pintoxs, more commonly known as tapas in the states.  This was the first time we all as a group of chefs, consultants and manufacturers had a chance to sit down and get to know each other.  You could not dream of a better icebreaker than wine, fresh anchovy, and my new favorite food, tortilla.

TortillaA tortilla in Basque Country isn’t the same as you expect from the US, it’s actually a Spanish omelet.  These omelets are most commonly made by softly cooking, almost boiling, onions and potatoes in oil until they are soft rather than fried.  Once they are finished you remove them from the pan and remove most of the oil, leaving just enough to cook a load of beaten eggs and the potato and onion mixture.  Again, cooking at a lower softer temperature unit the eggs begin to set.  Once they have reached this point, about 5 minutes in, you flip the whole omelet over using a plate to cover the pan and slide the omelet back into the pan from that plate.  Finish cooking for a few minutes and cut it into small shareable servings and you are ready to present your first pintxo!

The pintxo experience is one that will live with me forever, it is as welcoming of a way to eat than you will ever have.  Just like our tortilla pintxo, these small servings are easy to pick up and eat, a common statement in Spain is “eat little bites, a lot!”.  The restaurants and bars in this area all have pintxos out ready for people to enjoy.  This is how it goes, you walk into a small three or four table place with a tiny bar, a few chairs, and are warmly greeted.  You order a beer or wine for a couple of euro, more than likely unable to keep your eyes off of the plates of food displayed out over the bar.  If a particular item looks good, you ask for one and they hand it over.  Each is only a few bites so you can inexpensively taste so many great things while sipping your wine.  The key and I can’t stress this enough to anyone new to pintxos, is to find the best of many places.  You don’t need to spend all of your time in one place, get one or two pintxos and a glass of Txakolina and head next door to the next place.  Meet and greet everyone you see and bathe in the loving culture of Spain.

martin berasateguiAfter our long lunch and tours around the local area, filled with laughter, wine, and bite-sized local delicacies, it was time to get ready for dinner at the three Michelin star restaurant Martin Berasategui.  By this point, our group has been tasting our way through Basque Country only to end up at one of the worlds top restaurants.  In fact, only a few days later, it would be named No.76 on the Worlds Best List, ahead of the famed Perse, and French Laundry.  What was even more special about the meal wasn’t that it luckily landed on my birthday, which it did, but the menu was The Great Tasting Menu 25 Year Anniversary featuring the best and most popular signature dishes of the last 25 years.  13 courses of incredible plates that pushed the boundaries on all of the senses followed by three incredible desserts to finish.  The meal included some amazing personalized touches from the chef such as signed chef coats for our famed chef guests presented by Martin Berasategui himself and a special birthday dessert for me.  An absolutely incredible culinary experience I will cherish for life.

The Kitchen Bridge Program was an extraordinary industry experience that helped build lasting partnerships and friendships while educating us on so many facets of the hospitality world.  I thank Sammic for this experience and look forward to one day returning to Spain to enjoy some more of the culture!

martin berasategui

NRA Show: Forming new relationships and strengthening old ones

Source: Sammic Blog NRA Show: Forming new relationships and strengthening old ones

40467569870_24e8fc5881_c

Thousands upon thousands of hospitality industry professionals, from operators, chefs, purchasers, and even enthusiast, gathered in the city of Chicago for one of the worlds largest trade shows featuring foodservice products. At the 2018 National Resturant Association trade show, the Sammic sales professionals and chefs greeted new and current customers. With open arms, they formed new relationships and strengthen old ones.

A common comment was heard around this years Sammic booth, “I have Sammic equipment in my kitchen, and I LOVE IT!”. The word is out about Sammic and our National Restaurant Association booth proved it. Our quality brand brought many people through the booth, where they were able to get a hands-on feel for what makes Sammic so special.

Sammic Chefs Cooking

If seeing is believing than tasting must be even more reinforcing. The Sammic chefs, Devon Shires, Jason Pruett and their assistant Lorene Wilson, worked hard all week long presenting exquisite food. They cooked everything from Ribeye Steak Street Tacos, to fresh Arctic Char. The Sammic booth was filled with the intoxicating aromas of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables as well. The food that was prepared left attendees of the show unable to resist coming in and seeing what was hot and new this year.

IMG_2089

IMG_2092

If while you were at the booth, or if you were unable to stop by and see us this year, and wanted to learn more, please contact us at usa@sammic.com.  We would be happy to speak with you more and welcome you to the Sammic family.

The NRA Show 2019 is less than a year away, we can’t wait to do it all again!

Thank you for such good days! You can see all the pictures of our booth, here.

Foodservice Equipment – Vegetable Preparation

The Good, The Better, and The Best

Sammic’s five-model range of Vegetable Prep Machines are ideal for all slicing, dicing, julienne cutting, shredding and grating applications.  These dynamic food processors have an hourly output of up to 2,200 lbs. an hour, that’s suitable for kitchen operation serving 1,000 covers per day.

However, these products have a variety of applications, as well as prices, that should be considered before an educated purchasing decision can happen.  So, allow me to share this chart with you to break down some of the many options, into just a few simple ones.

Sammic Food Preparation Equipment

CA-311 – Good

  • Very intuitive controls with only a simple ON and OFF function
  • Enhanced Dicing feature for more yield and less loss
  • Product output can be increased from 1,000 pounds to 1,300 pounds or even as high as 2,200 pounds by upgrading them to a larger hopper. These high capacity hoppers are found on items CA-411 and CA-611
  • Best quality product at the best price

CA-311VV – Better

  • Removable lever, lid, and base, for easy cleaning purposes. Cutting top can be completely removed from the motor mount and sent to the dish cleaning area
  • Electronic, user-friendly control board with 5 speeds
  • The versatility of cutting speeds and cleanability of this machine makes it a must-have for large chain operations

Combi CK-311 – BEST

  • The best machine with all the bells and whistles plus more
  • 2in1, easily switch to a stainless-steel food processing bowl
  • Hopper, lid, and bowl easily detachable for interchanging or cleaning
  • 5-speed adjustable control for chopping and 10-speed adjustable control for emulsifying
  • Amazing value and space saver for operations that need both vegetable preparation and food processing and emulsifying

Foodservice Equipment – Sammic

The first frozen flakes of snow have already begun to fall for some of us in the chillier states.  On my recent business trip out to the intermountain states of Idaho and Utah, the mountain tops were beginning to wear their beautiful caps of pearl white snow.  I would get a good chance to view the unique scenery as I joined my local Sammic representative

vacuum sealed potatoes
Diced potatoes vacuum sealed for freashness

Chef Zach Barker of IFE Intermountain Food Equipment, on a four-day sales seminar that was loaded with cooking demos.  Being the new guy on the block at Sammic, I had a lot to learn about all of the unique solutions that the global leader provides the restaurant and hospitality industry.  I could think of no better person to learn some of the more advanced cooking skills for vacuum sealers, sous-vide, and vegetable preparation equipment, than from Chef Zach.  Our first order of business was prepping our food for our first demo scheduled for lunch the next day.  This is where Sammic first stepped in to make my life a whole lot easier.  By using the right tools for the right job we were able to get things done fast and consistent.  Setting up our CA-311 vegetable preparation machine with a dicing grid and slicing disc made fast work for our potato sides we were making.  What really made me happy was the fact that once all of the potatoes were cut, in a matter of seconds, I didn’t need to add them to water or spray them with an acid like lemon juice to keep them for oxidizing.  Nope, all I had to do was bag them up and vacuum seal them.

IMG_3671
Orange infused carrots

That was a huge timesaver alone, but what we really needed to do was precook, or par-cook, our root vegetables.  We were also going to serve infused carrots for lunch and those needed a little longer cook time than we were going to be able to pull off on site.  That’s where Sous Vide cooking really came through for us.  We had two options, cook and chill the food the night before, essentially softening the product enough to where we just needed to get it back up to serving temperature, or cooking the product the day of service by dropping it in the sous vide bath well in advance of the lunch where we would only need to remove it and serve it at our convenience later.  Because in this case, we were acting more like caterers, we went with cooking the day before and reheating for service the day of service.

We made Pork Roulade, infused carrots, roasted potatoes, sous-vide pineapples, and they were ready at a drop of a dime.

IMG_3667
Sammic SousVide in action

The combination of quick prep work with the vegetable dicing and vacuum packing, mixed with cook-chill cooking and sous vide retherming, really made for an exciting lunch that could be pulled off for a large group of people in a matter of minutes.  Now that I knew the ropes, we started cooking for the rest of the demos where we served everything from stuffed chicken breast to BBQ ribs, and all of our sauces and sides.  All of our guests were very happy to enjoy the wonderful food that Sammic had to offer.

IMG_3684
Sammic demo in action!

Needless to say, I had a great time and owe special thanks to Zach and all of the team at IFE for all of their hard work.  They have been Sammic representatives for years and do a great job spreading the word about how Sammic solutions can help save time and money in a kitchen will upping the food game to whole new levels.  I look forward to my next journey and will definitely come hungry… Thanks for reading!

 

-Nate Sanford; CFSP

 

 

IMG_3658
Chef Zach and Nate getting ready to hit the road

 

IMG_3651
Nate preparing for a presentation

 

 

 

Foodservice Equipment – How a Garbage Disposal Works

How a Garbage Disposal Works

Source: InSinkerator.com

Many people think a garbage disposal works like a blender, with spinning blades chopping and breaking down the waste. In reality, garbage disposals work in a different way – and there are NO blades involved.

Instead, impellers, or lugs, mounted on a spinning plate use centrifugal force to continuously force food waste particles against a stationary grind ring.

The “grind ring” breaks down the food waste into very fine particles, virtually liquefying them. After they’re ground, the running water flushes the particles through the “grind ring” and out of the disposer and into your waste water pipe.

From there, it flows to a wastewater treatment plant or your septic system.

The Story Behind Will It Blend?

Source: http://www.blendtec.com/blog/the-story-behind-will-it-blend/

By: KELS GOODMAN

The honest truth is that Will It Blend? started with us fooling around. I mean, we had an objective, but YouTube was brand new and at the time we didn’t really see the “marketing” side of people posting silly videos on the Internet.

George Wight, the marketing manager at the time, asked me to set up a shoot where Tom would blend a bunch of things (marbles, rake handle, can of Coke, Big Mac meal, etc). George got that inspiration from watching Tom test the power and durability of blenders by blending 2x4s down to sawdust. My job was to film Tom and make it interesting.

If you watch the first 10 or so Will It Blend? episodes, you’ll see Tom with almost no comedy, no lines, no gags or sound effects. Tom basically said, “Here are some marbles; I think we’ll blend these.” That’s it.

The “don’t breathe this” line came from a joke I did during the first shoot. Tom had blended a ton of items the first few days we were shooting. I think we cranked out 6–10 episodes. When Tom got around to blending marbles (the first blend we posted), he joked that we shouldn’t breathe the demolished marbles because they were made out of pure glass, and if we were to breathe in the particles, we could get silicosis.

To be funny, I copied Tom’s warning from the marbles video and pasted it into the following episodes. It was an inside joke but eventually became a staple of the series.

img_0878

What is a consultant – Foodservice Consultants Society International

Source: What is a consultant – Foodservice Consultants Society International

WHAT IS A FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?

Generally speaking, a foodservice consultant is an independent professional advisor who, for a defined scope of work and related fee, works as an advocate for their client in achieving their goals through the design and implementation of foodservice facilities and/or operations/management systems. Consultants provide expertise, knowledge and experience to provide assistance that does not exist in-house, or by providing resources not available at the time. As independent professionals their primary focus is the welfare of the client organization that they serve.

  • Very knowledgeable in the foodservice and hospitality industry
  • Provides specific/specialized expertise
  • Usually involved for limited, specified period
  • Brings high degree of industry experience
  • Advises and educates clients on wide range of topics
  • Provides independent, objective advice
  • Facilitates between project team and foodservice operations professionals
  • Acts as an advocate for foodservice operations
  • Enhances client’s business

COMMON FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT SPECIALITIES INCLUDE:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Beverage System design
  • Capital Budgeting
  • Compliance Certification
  • Contract Management
  • Dietary & Nutrition
  • Due Diligence
  • Equipment Surveys
  • Facility Assessments
  • Finance Raising
  • Food Safety & Hygiene
  • Human Resources
  • Interior Design
  • Kitchen Design
  • LEED Planning/Design
  • Mgt Recruitment & Development
  • Master Planning
  • Operating Procedures & Systems
  • Operator RFP Selection/Monitoring
  • Revenue Generation
  • Strategic Financial Analysis
  • Training
  • Workshops and Education
  • Architectural Design
  • Business Strategy
  • Code Compliance
  • Concept Development
  • Culinary Development
  • Distribution/Procurement
  • Energy & Environment
  • Executive Coaching
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Food Production Systems Design
  • Franchising
  • Imagineering
  • IT Systems, Sourcing/Mgt
  • Laundry Design
  • Legal Advice/Litigation Support
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Menu Development/Engineering
  • Operations Review & Re-Engineering
  • Quality Management
  • Space Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Waste Management Design
  • Workstation Ergonomics/Design

HOW CAN I TELL IF I NEED A FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?

  • A decision has been made to undertake a development/design project involving construction of new foodservice facilities.
  • Ownership/Management have made a decision to renovate existing foodservice facilities
  • Ownership/Management had identified a need to have an evaluation of existing facilities conducted as part of a long range capital budgeting process
  • Ownership/Management has identified the need for a master planning exercise
  • A decision has been made to develop or re-engineer a foodservice operation/concept
  • Ownership/Management believes that operational performance could be improved but is not sure what to do to make those improvements
  • Ownership/Management does not have the specific knowledge and skills necessary to solve an identified problem
  • Ownership/Management has the necessary knowledge and skills but does not have the time necessary to solve the problem
  • Ownership/Management requires an independent, third-party opinion, either to confirm a decision or to provide alternatives
  • Ownership/Management’s efforts have not produced the desired long-term results

HOW DO I FIND A COMPETENT FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?

You can seek referrals from a variety of sources for help in finding and selecting a competent foodservice consultant. Your network of professional colleagues, your trade association and the local restaurant association are all good sources of information. You may also choose to turn to the Foodservice Consultants Society International for assistance. We have an online consultant search function on this web site or you may contact one of our administration offices closest to you.

WHY CHOOSE AN FCSI MEMBER AS YOUR CONSULTANT?

When considering a foodservice project, a FCSI consultant should be your first choice. FCSI is the only such consulting society that operates on a worldwide basis. FCSI maintains a global focus with members in over 45 countries dedicated to providing the highest quality of service. FCSI consultant members must abide by a strict Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. They work efficiently to achieve total client satisfaction and always maintain independence from the supply side of the industry.

The FCSI Code of Conduct is guided by three master principles (in order of priority):

  • The Client’s Interests
  • The Public’s Interests
  • The Profession’s Interests

Consultant members are required to participate in the FCSI Continuing Professional Growth program by attend educational seminars that focus on cutting edge developments in the foodservice industry. Members also have the benefit of networking with other professionals in the foodservice industry during Society sponsored events and activities. In order to gain acceptance into the Society, members must meet strict criteria assuring their experience and over all professionalism.

 

HOW DOES AN FCSI CONSULTANT OPERATE?

Foodservice consultants operate as independent business people with firms ranging in size from one person to large operations with multiple offices around the globe. Some consultants work primarily close to their home base while others are spanning the globe with projects on several continents.

– Independent of the supply of goods to the industry

  • Does not supply/sell equipment
  • Does not work for a commission
  • Serves only the best interests of the Client

– Negotiates a fixed fee for a defined scope of work prior to beginning an assignment

– Could work directly for owner, operator, developer, or architect

– Normally has several clients concurrently

 

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE:

There are a few factors to consider when selecting the correct foodservice consultant for your undertaking:

  1. Ask colleagues and other well-informed industry executives for several referrals. Check each one’s credentials and give each candidate the same criteria for your project.
  2. Ask for references and follow up on them, asking:
  • Were you satisfied with the services performed?
  • Would you hire this consultant again?
  • Did they meet your deadlines?
  • Did the consultant coordinate properly with other specialists on the project?
  1. Ask each consultant to describe their best approach to your situation. This isn’t asking or details – just a general description of the problem-solving process.
  2. Visit and inspect some of their projects. If that’s not possible, call the operators and talk frankly about their level of satisfaction with the consultant’s performance.
  3. Attempt to interview each finalist in person. Face-to-face meetings are invaluable.

The Essentials to Consider When Designing and Equipping Your Restaurant

Source: The Essentials to Consider When Designing and Equipping Your Restaurant

OCTOBER 12, 2016

The following excerpt is from The Staff of Entrepreneur Media’s book Start Your Own Restaurant and More. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

The two key parts of your restaurant are the produc­tion area, where the food is prepared, and the public area, where your customers either dine or make their carryout purchases. The major factors to think about in terms of a restaurant’s design are the size and layout of the dining room, kitchen space, storage areas and office. Dining space will occupy most of your facility, followed by the kitchen and preparation area and then by storage. If you have an office on the premises — and you should — that will most likely take up the smallest percentage of your space.

The customer service area is important because it determines the first impression your restaurant will make on your guests. It must accurately convey the atmosphere of the restaurant in a way that takes advantage of the space available. Your customer service area should include a waiting area for customers, a cashier’s station, public restrooms and a bar, if you choose to have one. Other than fast-food or quick-serve establishments, most restaurants have bars or at least serve beer or wine.

Most upscale restaurants don’t have a cashier area where patrons walk up and pay. Instead, the waitstaff typically collects the payment at the table and takes it to the bar cash register. They then bring the change back to the table or return with the credit card slip to be signed.

You can use your cashier’s station as the host or hostess station, or you can set up a separate station at the threshold between the customer service and dining areas. A host or hostess stand usually consists of a small wooden podium with a ledger or computer keyboard and monitor for recording the names of waiting guests.

Related: What You Need to Know Before Starting a Food Service Business

The waiting area itself should have a few benches lining its walls. Don’t skimp on these seats. They should be cushioned, unless your theme dictates otherwise, so your customers are comfortable during their wait. If the wait turns out to be long, and if your seats are hard and uncomfortable, chances are you’ll lose customers and generate some bad word-of-mouth.

In many restaurants, a bar will generate a good portion of the operation’s revenue. Generally speaking, you should have one bar seat for every three dining seats. For example, if you have 150 dining seats, your bar should have about 50 seats, including bar stools and seats at tables. Allow about 2 square feet of floor space per stool. Your tables should have about 10 to 12 square feet per customer.

A bar also provides an additional waiting area for your restaurant. It’s a good place for your customers to relax and enjoy themselves while their table is being prepared. You can also serve food at the bar, which is especially beneficial when you have a long waiting list. Also keep in mind that many restaurants either take a guest’s cell phone number or provide an electric electronic pager to contact their waiting guests.

Dining area

This is where you’ll be making the bulk of your money, so don’t cut corners when designing and decorating your dining room. Much of your dining room design will depend on your concept. It might help to know that studies indicate that 40 to 50 percent of all sit-down customers arrive in pairs, 30 percent come alone or in parties of three and 20 percent come in groups of four or more.

To accommodate various party sizes, use tables for two that can be pushed together in areas where there’s ample floor space. This gives you flexibility in accommodating both small and large parties. Place booths for four to six people along the walls.

The space required per seat varies according to the type of restaurant and size of the establishment. For a small casual-dining restaurant, you’ll need to provide about 15 to 18 square feet per seat to assure comfortable seating and enough aisle space so servers have room to move between the tables. People don’t like being crowded together with other diners. Keep in mind that while you want to get in as many people as possible, you also want return customers. It is often said that 80 percent of business comes from return customers. If people are crammed in and don’t enjoy their dining experience, they won’t be likely to return.

Related: How to Start a Restaurant

The furniture and fixtures in your dining area should match your concept and be appropriate to the market you’re trying to attract. For example, a family-style restaurant needs to have comfortable tables and booths that can accommodate children’s booster seats and highchairs. A fine-dining establishment should be more elegant, with tables situated to provide your patrons with privacy.

Regardless of the type of operation you choose, the quality of your chairs is critical. Chairs are expensive, and how comfortable they are — or aren’t — is the second most common source of environmental complaints in restaurants (the first is noise). But while your seats should be comfortable, they shouldn’t be too soft, either — you don’t want customers falling asleep. They should also allow for ease of movement. Diners should be able to get up and down easily and slide across seating surfaces without tearing clothing or hosiery. And they need to be sturdy. When an overweight customer sits down or even tips a chair back on one or two legs, the chair shouldn’t break. Also, choose materials that can tolerate abrasive cleaning products as well as the abuse of being stacked and unstacked.

Develop a uniform atmosphere all through the public areas of your restaurant. That means the décor of your waiting area, dining room, bar and even restrooms should match. Also, be sure your waiting area is welcoming and comfortable. Whether your customers are seated immediately or have to wait awhile for their tables, they’ll gain their first impression of your operation from the waiting area, and you want that impression to be positive.

Production area

Too often, the production area in a restaurant is inefficiently designed, and the result is a poorly organized kitchen and less-than-top-notch service. Your floor plan should be streamlined to provide the most efficient delivery of food to the dining area.

Generally, you’ll need to allow approximately 35 percent of your total space for your production area. Include space for food preparation, cooking, dishwashing, trash disposal, receiving, inventory storage, employee facilities and an area for a small office where daily management duties can be performed. Allow about 12 percent of your total space for food preparation and cooking areas.

Keep your menu in mind as you determine each element in the production area. You’ll need to include space for food preparation, cooking, dishwashing, trash disposal, receiving, inventory storage and employee facilities, plus your office area.

The food preparation, cooking and baking areas are where the actual production of food will take place. You’ll need room for prep and steam tables, fryers, a cooking range with griddle top, small refrigerators that you’ll place under the prep and steam tables, a freezer for storing perishable goods, soft drink and milk dispensers, an ice bin, a broiler, exhaust fans for the ventilation system and other items, depending on your particular operation.

Arrange this area so everything is only a couple of steps away from the cook. You should also design it in such a way that two or more cooks can work side by side during your busiest hours.

You’ll want to devote about 4 percent of your total space to the dishwashing and trash areas. Place your dishwashing area toward the rear of the kitchen. You can usually set this up in a corner so it doesn’t get in the way of the cooks and servers. Set up the dishwashing area so the washer can develop a production line.

To make your production area as efficient as possible, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Plan the shortest route from entrance to exit for ingredients and baked goods.
  • Minimize handling by having as many duties as possible performed at each stop — that is, at each point the item or dish stops in the production process.
  • Eliminate bottlenecks in the production process caused by delays at strategic loca­tions. When things aren’t flowing smoothly, figure out why. Be sure your equipment is adequate, well-maintained and located in the proper place for the task.
  • Recognize that the misuse of space is as damaging to your operation as the misuse of machinery and labor.
  • Eliminate backtracking, the overlapping of work and unnecessary inspection by constantly considering possibilities for new sequences and combinations of steps in food preparation.
  • Set up the dishwashing area so the washer can develop a production line. The per­son responsible for washing dishes should rinse them in a double sink, then place them into racks on a small landing area next to the sink. From the landing area, the racks full of dishes are put through the commercial dishwasher, then placed on a table for drying. The size and capacity of your dishwasher will depend on the needs of your operation.

Receiving and inventory storage spaces will take up to about 8 percent of your total space. These areas should be located so they’re accessible to delivery vehicles. Use double doors at your receiving port, and always keep a dolly or hand truck available. Locate your dry-storage area and walk-in refrigerator and freezer adjacent to the receiving area.

Related: The Ingredients of Restaurant Success

Because most food-service businesses require employees, you should also have a private room for them that includes a table, a few chairs, a closet or garment rack (to hang coats and street clothes after staffers have changed into their work clothes), lockers for safe storage of personal belongings and valuables and a restroom. The staff facility should not take up more than 5 percent of your total space.

You’ll also need a small area where you or your manager can perform administrative tasks, such as general paperwork, bank deposits and counting out cash drawers. This space is essential even if you have another office at home where you do the majority of your administrative work.