As nationally recognized foodservice consultants, we take pride in our ability to develop efficient and practical food production and service systems for commercial kitchen and dining areas. Our functional solutions are based on an in-depth understanding of foodservice operations, production and serving processes, staffing patterns and efficient workflow. Our collective experience informs our designs and recommendations that provide flexible work centers and support staff efficiency. On the customer side, we help you provide guests with exceptional foodservice experiences.
Any building project typically includes five phases of work. The first three phases are the heart of the design work. As the work progresses, the design team develops drawings with more and more detail to the plans until the final documents are issued to guide contractors through construction and installation.
Our very first step is to understand your operation and vision for the future. We may conduct focus groups or a design charrette process to develop this understanding. We focus on determining how much space is needed and where key components should be located. Relationships between the kitchen, serving areas, dining rooms, and warewashing, as well as traffic patterns for food deliveries and guests, are also key considerations. The end of this phase results in a schematic design, a simple plan showing work areas, points of service and key equipment.
The schematic plan is developed into an equipment plan created in Revit, or CAD if preferred. During design development, each work area is designed in detail to support the activities taking place. Worksessions are used to review plans and equipment with stakeholders and revise accordingly. Specific equipment, worktables, sinks, and serving counters are selected and located on the plan. Each equipment item is tracked with a number that corresponds to cut sheets in an equipment brochure. The equipment brochure provides details regarding equipment manufacturers, models, accessories and options, allowing us to monitor the foodservice equipment cost estimate. The equipment item number also corresponds to mechanical and electrical plans that are developed to allow the project engineers to complete their work. We assist the LEED consultant and/or project team in meeting the project’s sustainability goals by providing equipment energy usage information and comparisons, suggesting options for foodservice-related innovation points and specifying energy-efficient and Energy Star equipment. We also work with the architectural team to make sure our designs incorporate attractive public areas and food merchandising space.
Our Project Managers and Equipment Specialists complete the final documents to communicate key information for bidding and construction. Drawings now include elevations and sections that illustrate custom fabricated equipment. Notes, details, and cross-sections provide direction for how equipment is constructed and how the equipment will fit together when installed. Equipment specifications are written for each item describing the equipment and options that must be provided, and equivalent manufacturers that are acceptable.
On most projects, contract documents are issued to bidders for competitive pricing. We maintain a national database of qualified foodservice equipment contractors and develop a project-specific recommended bidders list based on the project size and location. Once bids are received, we are able to review the results and make recommendations for contract award.
This phase is also known as construction administration. The successful bidder now creates drawings and equipment brochures based on the exact items being provided, as well as “real world” field conditions at the site. We review the bidder’s documents against our contract documents to ensure the final project matches the design. In any project, there are always a few surprises and questions that we help resolve with the contractor, architects, and engineers. After the equipment is installed, we visit and inspect the site to confirm the completed project is consistent with the plan. Following the site visit, we produce a punchlist to identify anything that needs fine-tuning or correction.