Unfortunately, it is not possible to create a cheap kitchen using traditional solutions from popular catalogues and at the same time pay low bills while maintaining high efficiency. On the other hand not all the innovations that can help us lower the costs e.g. by 30 % are worth using because the return on investment takes too much time.
The beginners in the field often start with full admiration of their own exceptional idea. The starting point is, of course, the name and the logo, the decorations, the kind of cuisine and the menu. Many people crazy about their dreams of their own restaurant say that their food and beverages are going to be exceptional. But we all know how it ends: only 1 in 10 places has a chance to survive and make money.
My second observation is that many years ago restaurants were opened by rich people with no passion for foodservice; today, restaurants are opened by passionate people who have very limited resources.
When you start your own business with real zest , you usually forget about the down-to-earth and economic side of running a business on a daily basis. The surprise comes like a cold shower together with the first bills to pay, necessary operating costs, unexpected expenses or underestimated losses and decreasing turnover after consuming the bonus that the restaurant earned because it was a new place (if it has a good location).
Many entrepreneurs don’t take into consideration the architectural and technical limitations at the early stage of selecting, designing and equipping the restaurant. We have beautiful places with tasty food, but most of restaurants don’t deal well with the ventilation, thus leaving their customers with a nice taste on their palates and much less desirable smell on their clothes that needs to be washed after a visit at the restaurant.
So what do you need to take into consideration when designing a restaurant?
First of all, the efficiency per square meter. What is the considerable fixed cost in foodservice? The rent per square meter. So the less surface we devote to the technological part keeping its functionality, ergonomy and efficiency, the smaller and cheaper place we can rent at the same time increasing the space available for tables. I know from experience that the smaller the place, the more challenging it is to make a good design of foodservice technology that ensures functionality and efficiency. It’s like reaching 200 KM with an engine of a 1,4 litre capacity at the same time wishing that it doesn’t cost much and that it’s a car for 5 people with a 550 litre trunk, air-conditioning, heated steering wheel and using no more than 5,5 l of gas per 100 km.
Inevitably the market strives to implement the most innovative solutions. It is not worth, however, to use all them at the same time. You have to select them wisely and implement them individually for every kitchen technology design.
The market is becoming more and more aware of the necessity of taking into consideration the operating costs, return on the investment in a certain period of time, careful selection of the equipment. The concept of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is becoming more and more noticeable not only in big organizations and other fields but also in the field of foodservice. TCO is the total cost of the equipment, not only its purchase price but also the operating costs i.e. the maintenance cost, the servicing cost over a certain period of time, exchanges of parts, everyday time and cost of cleaning the device and the cost of its disposal. Investors also ask the same questions when it comes to selecting the key devices in the kitchen technology. Should the device be electric, gas or inductive? Should it be equipped in heat recovery system or is it not worth investing in it? Should I choose the cheap but not very effective hoods or should I select the more expensive ones that pick up the particles of fat more effectively? What is it connected with and what are the costs that are going to appear while using the device?
Equipping a restaurant is a system of connecting vessels. If we save in one place, it will bring about a higher cost in a different place. If we spend too much in one place, it will turn out that we needn’t have done it because in reality the return on the investment is not that big. For example, we buy a three-group coffee machine because it looks very nice and it’s big but we have a dishwasher that is not efficient enough or a badly-chosen combi oven or the other way round.
Due to some innovations it will be possible to introduce the concepts of foodservice in places where so far it hasn’t been possible, others will allow the existing restaurants to broaden their field of activity, make preparing ordered dishes easier and faster. The selected solutions enable you to cut the kitchen costs significantly and control the process of preparing dishes more easily.
There are more and more hybrid restaurants which serve breakfast in the morning, then they turn into cafes and/or patisserie, then they serve lunches and in the evening they serve a short menu chosen for the particular day accompanied by wine and soft music. For such restaurants we have dedicated innovations where one button changes the technology depending on the time of the day and the customer.
It seems that the market is becoming more and more radical not only in terms of ideas for the place and menu but also in terms of technology design approach, its flexibility and a wise selection of equipment that guarantees bigger profits than the competition, which may in turn make our place the one in ten that will not only survive but also give us satisfaction and a possibility to develop.