Student Feedback ~ Fall 2009

"Tigers love pepper... they hate cinnamon."      -A. Garner from "The Hangover"

If you require assistance reading any of the menus below, please feel free to contact us at and we would be happy to provide an accessible menu 

October 8th
Cosmopolitan   menu
Food Sales $769.85, 77 Guests
The large amount of support we received from our classmates to prepare for our restaurant greatly affected the success of our operation. Our Kitchen Manager prepared detailed prep lists which we were able to conquer with the help of our peers. We received help in the kitchen on our prep day, as well as on the morning of our restaurant day. The improper design of our menu affected our food sales in a negative way. The design of the menu did not particularly promote any items we were trying to sell, such as the specialty drink, the bruschetta, the soup or the dessert. As a result, we sold less of these items than we had forecasted. Our food prices were listed on the back of the menu, separate from the food descriptions. This may have been confusing for some guests, and most likely contributed to the low sales of our appetizers, specialty drink, and other items. When service began, we found that the Chicken Parmigiana did not appear exactly the way we had hoped it would. The amount of sauce we had allocated for each serving did not look like quite enough, and the dish was lacking a vegetable. Our recipe for tomato sauce was poorly chosen and did not yield an adequate amount for the number of Chicken Parmigiana we had planned to sell. Although we did not have extra sauce to add to each serving, Simon decided we should add a side salad. This alteration greatly improved the visual presentation of the entrée, and the overall value of this dish.
October 9th
Nourish   menu
Food Sales $817.65, 79 Guests
Our week preceding restaurant opening was spent preparing the official purchase order according to an unapproved menu mix of predicted sales.   Without realizing a mandatory meeting with Simon was needed to confirm accurate menu sales BEFORE creating the P.O., we wrongly overestimated sales of most menu items and prepared a very inaccurate purchase order on our own.  Once sorted out with Simon, we completely revised our original P.O., negating hours spent on the first one.  Informed of our pot washer’s sickness an hour before service resulted in only one assigned employee manning the dish pit.  The sight of Simon helping with dishes clearly indicated a problem, but pre-occupied KM did not notice this or the dishwasher’s struggle.  In hindsight, balancing the number of employees doing dishes AND food preparation before service could have proactively prevented this situation. 
October 13th
Healthy Harvest     menu
Food Sales $744.75, 76 Guests
Lacking a prep day because of the long Thanksgiving weekend forced us to be extremely prepared on the day of our restaurant. We created a preparatory list on Bristol board for the entire kitchen to see and handed out prep instructions in an orderly fashion as students came into the kitchen to help. Our organization was critical to the success and efficiency of our restaurant. In addition, our restaurant had excellent communication between managers which contributed to the success of our restaurant. The GM continuously checked in with the KM and reported which items were running low to the FM and the servers. This allowed servers to stay informed of what items we were still offering. One of the top five critical instances was the unexpected number of students who came to our lab extremely early to help prep everything. Students realized we were in a tough situation with having no prep day and they showed an overwhelming amount of support. This was indispensable to the success of our restaurant. We quickly sold out of items such as the pork loin because portions were not weighed out by the line cooks. This lack of precision resulted in getting 12 servings out of what we thought would give us 18 servings. This resulted in less selection for our guests who came later.
October 14th
Fall into Satisfaction  menu
Food Sales $819.20, 84 Guests
Health inspector – When she came in it caught many staff off guard and they became nervous about it.  Although both job packs and the job descriptions provided online the bartenders neglected to follow some specifics and in turn were written up by the health inspector (because the ice scoop was left in the ice machine).  Even thought they failed to read the job pack carefully, we as management should have double checked and made sure they were doing their jobs correctly.  Team work – Our service ran so smoothly because our staff was so great.  Without even asking almost all of the staff showed up early in the morning to help prep and get ready for our service.  As the management team we did not expect so many classmates to show up early and help.  This was a big part of why our service ran smoothly.  Being there early it allowed us as a class to create a positive group dynamic which then lead to the smooth running.  Throughout the service hours, everyone pulled together really well.  The staff communicated very openly and was there to help each other out in any situation that arose.  When the restaurant ended, everyone worked very quickly and efficiently to clean up the kitchen.  Our restaurant would not have run smoothly without such an enthusiastic and efficient staff.
October 15th
Come Together     menu
Food Sales $845.40, 82 Guests
From the start of our restaurant planning, we had a lot of trouble with Purchasing. We forgot to order certain ingredients, and we miscalculated the amounts of other expensive ingredients, such as meats and cheeses.  We were not fully prepared for ourreceiving as one of the team members was not on time. This put extra strain on the other group members because it was harder to keep track of what had been received and marked off and what hadn’t. As a result, we neglected to notice that we hadn’t received several items on our Purchase Order. Prepping on both days was extremely efficient as we had a lot of help from our classmates. This contributed to the overall smoothness of our restaurant operation because so much of the prep work had already been done. However, about half an hour before service time, the KM had trouble transitioning from a prep worker to a manager. It would have been better for the KM to take a step back and delegate tasks to people instead of trying to do it all herself. Another very helpful thing we did was ask for the reservation list the day prior to our restaurant.  This allowed the FM to create seating plans for the various seating times the day before so that on the day of our restaurant, she only had to add the last minute reservations. It saved a lot of time, reduced stress and enabled the management to be more involved in other tasks and training prior to opening.
October 16th
Aloha Eh     menu
Food Sales $564.60, 55 Guests
Team communication (amongst the managers) was severely lacking. We needed to increase synergy and organization in order to be a more effective management team. An example of this was that the general manager and floor manager failed to inform the kitchen manager that our service had begun. A major downfall of our group was the abandonment of the kitchen manager at 10:30, thus creating many problems in the kitchen. Service never would have occurred with the help of Cindy (thankfully she was there to help). We left too much of the prep until the morning of our restaurant. We should have been more effective Wednesday and Thursday, which would have reduced the level of stress on Friday. A key example of this would be the Poutine sauce. Since we left it until the last minute, we followed an incorrect recipe and the Poutine ended up being removed from the menu because the sauce was not edible. We should have used every available minute we had to prep. Our menu became a little too adventurous and items were poorly prepared, which led to problems in the kitchen.  The mahi mahi was very expensive and didn’t end up selling well. The logistics of the deep-fryer (in particular, the beaver tail) became very hectic as well. We should have requested the use of the second deep-fryer, since we had so many items to deep-fry (French fries, onion rings, fish, beaver tails). We under-estimated the amount of brown rice we would need and as a result ran out during service.
October 20th
Escape    menu
Food Sales $862.45, 85 Guests
A key element to our group’s success was our preparation and organization prior to the restaurant. To-do lists were posted on Bristol board and copies were printed so that people could sign what they were working on and check off when they were completed. A lot of preparation was done the day before service, so that on the morning of service we were nearly ready to go at 11am. This reduced the stress level of the team. We had some problems with the purchasing of certain items, particularly chicken legs. Our yield on chicken legs was significantly lower than what we had accounted for which meant that we were very short on chicken. Fortunately, none of our purchasing issues affected service, because there were items in stock that we were able to use. Despite being very organized, at times our expo was overwhelmed when the kitchen manager would put up multiple orders at once. This is probably due to the inexperience of the kitchen manager and expo. This created some confusion and slowed service down. Good communication between mangers was a key to our successful running of the restaurant. The kitchen manager and general manger would monitor the number of dishes being sold.  The general manger kept the servers and the floor manager informed so that menu items could be suggested and guests were aware of what items were available.  Good teamwork in the kitchen meant that no station was overwhelmed because the line cooks helped each other stay on top of things.
October 21st
Fangtasia     menu
Food Sales $680.85, 82 Guests
Many members of the class showed up during our prep days to help us out, many didn’t even let us know but their support and hard work was crucial to the successes of our restaurant. On the Monday after we did our receiving we had a lot of extra hands. This allowed our team to complete our entire Mondays prep list as well as some of Tuesdays. If we were given a second chance to run our restaurant we would work on communication. The floor manager would have read and better understood her job description, by doing so our communication from the front of the house, to the GM and KM would have been greatly increased. Letting the kitchen manager know when large tables are being seated or when more then one table has been seated will allow her to better prepare the kitchen staff that large orders may be coming in. Our menu was very visually stimulating, but it failed in describing the items in a manner that may have allowed us to sell more. For example no where on our menu did it state that the bruschetta was actually a bruschetta, instead it just described what was on it. We as the management team realize that out menu may be partially to blame in the low sales of food items.
October 22nd
Sundance     menu
Food Sales $721.75, 75 Guests
The Sundance Restaurant management team received an enormous amount of support from their classmates on the day and morning before operation. Specifically the day before, the management team had planned many tasks to complete in order for the next day to run smoothly. A constant check in on the tasks set out for the day allowed the team to be aware of how everyone and everything was doing and in turn maintaining good organization.
October 23rd
Ki-So    menu
Food Sales $770.10, 81 Guests
Just days and even hours prior to our restaurant operation we discovered numerous changes that had been made to our recipes but never to our purchase order. Although the changes improved the quality of our dishes, the miscommunications resulted in us missing ingredients we needed to meet our recipe requirements, causing some confusion between the management team. Two members of Group D were unavailable on the day of Ki-So’s operation, resulting in us being short in kitchen staff. Although they let us know in advance and we rescheduled, this caused some last minutes worries and doubts. This also may have been a factor in few tables being flipped on time or dish preparation being delayed. At the 12:30 time frame, we had difficulties bussing and flipping the tables we planned, as approximately half of 11:30am reservations stayed much longer than anticipated. Most of them were successfully allocated to other empty tables, but we came across another issue when a guest who had been seated at the bench near the entrance went unnoticed and complained about late seating. This caused more stress to staff (hosts) and some customers as it disturbed the smooth flow of operation. A final incident we came upon during our restaurant operation, was overcooking the burgers as we were tricked by the colour of the meat, even after it was finished cooking (180°F). Had we known this we could have communicated to the customers that the meat was indeed cooked and that it was safe to eat.
October 27th
Timber     menu
Food Sales $1126.75, 90 Guests
Teamwork was the most critical incident at TIMBER! The support we received from classmates who came the day before and the day of our restaurant, to help prep and setup, was positively overwhelming. Without this great support, the restaurant would not have been as successful. A great marketing campaign including word of mouth advertising, posters on campus, post card hand outs, a Facebook group and even an ad on the campus radio station, helped to attract the 90 guests that attended our restaurant. Our ability to get add on sales helped push our total sales to $1126.75.  This was accomplished by selecting a popular appetizer, dessert, and specialty drink. Use of table talkers and a well laid out menu also helped to achieve this. Purchasing was initially a challenge for us for a couple of menu items. However, after our purchasing meeting, we re-grouped and reviewed the areas of concern and met with Simon again to ensure we would have enough of the items we needed. This helped us to adequately serve all of our guests.
October 28th
Carnival     menu
Food Sales $731.15, 70 Guests
The most significant contributor to our restaurant’s success was the overwhelming support from our class. During both prep days many people showed up to help which allowed us to get ahead in terms of our prep.  The number of class mates that showed up early on the day of our restaurant was also a key factor in the success of our restaurant. There was more we could have done in terms of marketing to try to get more guests, however a lot of students had scheduling conflicts and were unable to attend. We also had a large amount of no-shows. Finally we had some difficulty with staff transitioning to servers. Some had not previously used the system and/or had no serving experience whatsoever. By the end of the day, most of the servers became confident, but we got off to a slippery start in terms of confidence and quality of service.
October 29th
Spooktacular Feast    menu
Food Sales $829.20, 86 Guests
The hours spent on organizing and preparing prior to the actual operation, greatly affected the success we experienced on the day of our restaurant. Right from the start, we were in Simon’s office asking questions (and questions and questions…). Despite being very organized, we unfortunately did not have as much help as we had planned for our prep day so we had not accomplished as much as we had wanted to. However, once we notified our class through an e-mail, many showed up the next morning and their support and hard work allowed us to be prepared in time for service. This was critical due to the fact that the majority of our reservations were booked early, as the restaurant became completely filled very early on. Great teamwork in the kitchen and in the front of the house was crucial during this time, which allowed the operation to run smoothly under pressure. Our specialty drink and dessert were well advertised through table tops resulting in a successful sale of those items. In comparison, our menu was too dark and failed at selling our appetizers, which resulted in lower than expected food sales. Exceptional communication between the managers greatly influenced a successful day; however we could not have done it without great staff.
October 30th
Oufti     menu
Food Sales $825.75, 88 Guests
We had issues with purchasing, items were overlooked multiple times most were caught prior to prep however, during prep we came across items that were not ordered which further threw off our costs. The night prior to our restaurant we had a large number of reservations, which took us from about 75 guests to being more than sold out. This translated to have a large number people leaving and coming in at 12:30, we struggled with this turnover both at our end with organization and with guests not leaving. Thankfully, there were no complaints and the guests did not realize the slip up.   At the beginning, the KM struggled with the timing of items on the line, particularly the sandwiches, however by the end he managed efficiently run the line and guests commented on “speedy” food delivery. We were well organized for our three days of prep which allowed the morning of our restaurant to run smoothly. Thanks to our organized prep list we had enough time to adjust our counts to have sufficient food for a sold out restaurant. Teamwork and communication contributed the most to the running of our restaurant. The management team communicated throughout the entire operation and updated staff frequently on any changes or pertinent information for service or food prep. 
November 3rd
Belissimo    menu
Food Sales $830.80, 80 Guests
One critical incident that affected the flow of Belissimo! was the last minute increase in reservations. We also had a problem with party size changes at the door, further affecting our seating plans, as well as the entree count in the kitchen. Not only was the KM left scrambling to accommodate these extra people, the flow of service was affected when the FM needed to re-organize. Secondly, conflicting messages from each manager and the lack of communication between managers resulted in slower preparation, station set-up, and the efficiency of the morning. The managers were getting frustrated and overwhelmed, and some classmates were confused from being told the same thing, from each manager, but in different ways. When completing our food prep lists, we we’re faced with significantly more items being prepared on Monday, instead of Tuesday morning before service. Because we had great employee support on Monday and early Tuesday, some members of the team did not have tasks to complete and ended up standing around, uninterested.  Not only does this reflect badly on the management teams’ planning ability, it also degrades from the enthusiasm of the kitchen we were hoping to attain first thing in the morning.
November 4th
Canadian Puck    menu
Food Sales $822, 81 Guests
Planning and organizing of the restaurant made it easy to deal with the 81 guests. There were a few big tables and tables were not turning as fast as expected but we were flexible and able to manage all the changes. Having a great group of people in this class really helped in the operation of the restaurant. Everyone showed up early to help with preparation and set-up.  Without the help in the morning and the day before it is unlikely that we would have been ready to open at 11:30.  During service, as well, everyone worked very well together and had a great attitude throughout the whole time. 
The kitchen manager was uncomfortable in her position. This affected the flow of the food because the line cooks were a little confused and not managed as well as they should have been. The menu mix was incorrect. Quesadillas were sold out before 12:15pm, and soon after, the burger and chicken fingers were sold out. The dessert was sold out as well, the brownies should have been cut smaller and then we could have sold more, however, there wouldn’t have been enough ice cream to change this the day of the restaurant. The staff left a lot of dirty dishes stacked up and went to eat the staff meal. This became a hazard in the kitchen and should have been organized before eating.
November 5th
Seasoned to Taste   menu
Food Sales $852.05, 89 Guests
The large amount of support we received from classmates to prepare for our restaurant really helped the success of our restaurant. Without these people we would not have gotten nearly as much prep work done the day before our restaurant, allowing us to leave much earlier than anticipated. Not checking the meat when it came in the day before caused us to have the wrong cut of pork when we went to prepare it the morning of our restaurant. Thanks to Simon and his connections, he was able to get us more pork loin than needed in time to have it prepped and ready to go for 11:30. Taking an extra 15 seconds to check the day before would have saved a lot of stress for us on the day of. An inaccurate picture of our specialty drink and dessert on our table tents resulted in us being unable to put them out on tables because guests would expect to get what they saw on the table tent. Although we were unable to use the table tent, we still managed to sell out of both of these items due to our servers encouraging these items to guests. During conference one, it was suggested to us that we add more sauce to our vegetarian lasagne. We took this advice when preparing for our restaurant day, but it was still not enough sauce. This was not brought to our attention until service had started, which resulted in service being stopped for a few minutes to allow Cindy to prepare additional sauce to put on top of the lasagne, before any food could be taken out to our guests. While this slowed down service temporarily, it greatly improved the product.
November 6th
Suessville   menu
Food Sales $984.95, 87 Guests
Our team worked hard to ensure we were organized before we began to prep for our restaurant. We created lists of what needed to be done, to ensure everything would be completed in a timely manner. All of the prep time given to us was used, and we had as much done as possible before the day of our restaurant. Our team made an effort to keep communication in mind throughout the entire operation, updating one another throughout service to make sure there was no confusion for management or our servers. A mistake made by a server with the POS machine caused some confusion during service, and forced the GM into a serving position for a period of time, making it difficult to overlook her manager duties. We created a detailed survey which was taken by over 100 people and in return, we found our menu mix was fairly accurate and our guests received the dishes they wanted, without extra costs or leftover food for our team. One item that was not considered on the survey, fries, ran out during service and forced one of our line cooks to leave their station and make more. This created more work for the rest of the line and slowed it down a bit. In the end, the combination of preparation, organization and communication contributed to the success of Seussville.
November 10th
Canuck Cuisine     menu
Food Sales $903.25, 83 Guests
Our number one critical instance was purchasing. We had difficulty getting costs down, which resulted in necessary items being cut from our PO. Another significant critical instance was the stress level in the dining room. A last minute change in manger positions resulted in our GM trying to do too many things, such as the floor plan. This affected the quality of the POS and Open Table training that was provided to our front of house staff. On a more positive note service from the kitchen went fairly well. Food came out of the kitchen at a good pace, this despite our fourth critical incident which was equipment failure. During pre-service preparations someone accidentally turned off one of the convection ovens. This was discovered 30 minutes before opening the doors, with raw pork, chicken, salmon, and uncooked lasagna in the oven the stress level in the kitchen escalated. That said when the first order came in all menu items were cooked and ready to be served. The equipment failure incident could have been avoided if the ovens were checked every 20 minutes or so at the same time that the internal temperatures of the food in the ovens were monitored. A fifth critical incident was the amount of add on sales we were able to get. We achieved this by offering server incentive to up-sell our appetizers, dessert, and specialty drink. Our ability to get these add-on sales allowed us to increase our food sales and achieve a food cost below 45%.
November 11th
Lazy Days Cafe     menu
Food Sales $830.65, 91 Guests
A key element to the success of our restaurant was the teamwork between all class members.  Two students were sick for the restaurant and all the other students worked extra hard to make up for this.  There was “one vision” in the kitchen during service, with all students pitching in to ensure a smooth operation.  For example, if there were no French Toast or Monte Cristos to be made this line cook would go and put a load of dishes through the dishwasher.  Getting food out of the kitchen and to the correct tables in a timely manner was a challenge during our restaurant.  The expo sent servers to the wrong tables on two occasions, which resulted in the rest of these tables waiting for their food.  This individual also had difficulty getting the attention of servers to carry food.  Food sales for our restaurant were relatively low for the number of guests we had in the restaurant.  This could be attributed to two main factors.  Firstly, many of the guests we had in the restaurant did not order main courses.  We sold 8 sides each of salads and fries, and many people only had soup and bruschetta.  Secondly, the design of the menu could have been better to highlight some of the more expensive menu items.  The distribution of work between the managers was poor during the operation of the restaurant. One of the managers did not participate as fully as they should have in the managing aspect and was often found doing menial tasks that she should have delegated to others.  She was not very vocal and her full potential was not realized.  Finally, the distribution of work between the servers was not even.  Due to tables not being flipped as quickly as we had hoped, guests of the second seating were not seated at the tables we had planned.  Some of the servers had twice the amount of guests they were supposed to (which resulted in slower service) while other servers had only two tables.  This issue could have been minimized if the servers and general manager were told about this change by the floor manager, but unfortunately this was not communicated until the very end of the service.  Those servers with no tables should have been moved to assist those with many tables.           
November 12th
The Lodge    menu
Food Sales $822.85, 77 Guests
There were many factors that explain how The Lodge ran on Thursday, November 12th. The Lodge, overall ran smoothly with a good atmosphere. There were some downfalls however that occurred during the day of the restaurant. Before service began, there was a fair amount of un-organization in the kitchen. There was confusion as to when certain food should be cooked and where items should be placed in the steam table. It was difficult to determine when food would be ready which affected our promptness for service. The presentation of food could have been improved during our restaurant. This includes the brownie as well as the Avocado Turkey Clubhouse Sandwich. The Avocado Turkey Clubhouse Sandwich was not presented consistently which meant it was not set to standard, although our garde manager worked hard. Our KM began to get discouraged of our guests count, which affected his performance. Our KM is known to be hard working, full of energy and an excellent leader, however with this downfall of unexpected guests his performance was not was what was expected and communication was lacking. In contrast, The Lodge had a significant support system with awesome staff.
November 13th
Across Canada in Sixty Minutes     menu
Food Sales $971.30, 87 Guests
One of the most important aspects to running a successful restaurant is having a team that communicates and works well together. From our dishwasher to the expo, all of the team members communicated with each other and helped one another. Every kitchen staff read their job packs before arriving to lab and they showed they were all very competent with their job duties and menu items. During service, there were times that required multitasking and delegation of tasks. We had a couple setbacks during our pre-prep on Wednesday and Thursday.  Unfortunately, the recipe for the ice cream was retrieved from the internet, instead of Simon’s ice cream recipe on Courselink. Another mishap occurred during pre-prep on Friday morning.  The spinach was washed in the three compartment sink, instead of the back sink which is supposed to be used to wash the spinach.  Simon still let us use the spinach, so it worked out in the end.  However, if we had to throw out the spinach, we would have had to take the spinach salad off the menu. The University of Guelph has a very multicultural student body, especially in the Hospitality and Tourism program. While creating our job rotations, we noticed a trend in managers’ selections of employees for their restaurants. It seemed as if the people in our class who didn’t speak English as their native language were chosen first for positions such as dishwashing, hosting, and bussing. Being one of the last groups, our selection of employees were limited and we used it to our advantage. The point of this critical incident is in choosing employees.  Many of the line cooks we used had never been line cooks in the previous weeks.  We felt as though previous restaurants were hesitant of the language barrier, and decided to use them for some of the more unappealing positions.  We provided all line cooks with adequate information to do their specific tasks.  Tammy took a couple minutes having a one on one meeting to ensure everyone knew what was required of them.  In the end, the line cooks worked closely together, to produce high quality dishes in a timely manner.
November 17th
The Hungry Librarian    menu
Food Sales $836.90, 82 Guests 
The first critical incidence was the tremendous amount of support we received from our classmates during the Pre Prep day and the morning of our restaurant, which contributed to the success of our operation. This allowed us to be very organized on the day of service and we were able to open our doors earlier than scheduled. Although the three managers had a good working relationship since the beginning of the course and bonded throughout the course, during the actual service of the restaurant, there was alack of communication between the front and back of the house, and this affected the smoothness in the running of our restaurant. Additionally, the managers should have kept ‘managing’ until the end of the very restaurant – this caused a longer clean-up time at the end of the restaurant than usual. With respect to the marketing of our items, we were too adamant with our theme and neglected several important descriptions of our menu items (i.e. the smoked salmon was made in-house and the cobbler was actually a crisp).
November 18th
Big City, Big Taste    menu
Food Sales $815.30, 74 Guests 
As a management team we changed positions late in the semester as we realized our strengths did not match up with our job positions. Rather than suffering through the rest of the semester we did something about it and switched. We thought through and did some pre-planning while staffing, focusing on strengths and weaknesses of staff. This served well as we had two sick classmates on the day of execution but prepared for this by putting flexible team members in mobile spots. A prepared prep-list and lots of staff help on Monday allowed us time to deal with challenges on the morning of our restaurant such as prices on the menu being incorrect. Fortunately Simon caught this error before we opened our doors, and Brenda in the office helped us out tremendously, but it elevated our stress level to cataclysmic proportions. This increased stress poorly affected the rest or our management performance as communication (in the kitchen especially) became more brisk and urgent. Stress affected the performance on the lineas key staff became unmotivated due to a pessimistic atmosphere and fewer undeserving compliments being given by the KM. However, the holding of pre-meal meetings allowed us to address all pertinent information for the day including peak times and number of guests expected. This communication helped staff to realize what issues that arose pre-service were over and we could move on from there to execute a guest friendly restaurant. Overall a high level of no-shows negatively affected sales, however wesold out of more specialty drinks and desserts than we had forecasted which had a very positive effect on our food cost percents.
November 19th
The Very Hungry Caterpillar     menu
Food Sales $891.30, 87 Guests 
Marketing is a key factor for the success of any restaurant. It was important to start this process early as students and faculty only have so much disposable income to spend on going out for lunch. Developing a unique theme to allow for differentiation is the first step in creating a good marketing strategy. Our restaurant used mass e-mails, Facebook, posters, and personal phone calls to a network of friends, faculty, and family to advertise and gain popularity. This strategy appeared to work well as we were at our target guest count of 90 people several days before our restaurant opened. The Chocolate Cake dessert was a critical incident on the day of our restaurant. Our dessert sold well; however, customer feedback and comment cards indicated that the cake was low quality and not satisfactory. Unfortunately, this reflects poorly on The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In addition to a poor quality dessert, we could have done better with portion control of the cake. Prior to service, we simply made small indents in the cake that showed where slices were to be cut, when ideally we should have weighed the slices to ensure uniformity. Focusing on consistency over speed would have helped with portion control. Looking back on this experience, we realized that we should have definitelyspent more time on our purchasing. Accurate purchasing is absolutely critical when trying to run a smooth and well-prepared restaurant. Each group member calculated the amount of ingredient that is needed for 3 different dishes, then we all gathered and added all the information together onto the Purchase Order. Although this might be a fast way to complete the Purchase Order, it is by no means an accurate way. When the ingredients were added together, it became very confusing, therefore many ingredients were not ordered or the amount was miscalculated.
November 20th
From the Heart      menu
Food Sales $867.15, 89 Guests 
Teamwork is an important part of running any operation and unfortunately our team did not work as well together as we should have. If we had come together more as a group and improved our communication our restaurant may have run more smoothly. The paperwork aspects of our restaurant should have been taken more seriously and we should have put more time into them. The GM neglected to send Simon the job rotation until the day of service which was a careless mistake. Also the KM neglected to send Simon our most up to date purchase order on the day of our PO meeting leading to some confusion on what needed to be ordered, some of our items were missing and others we had ordered way too much. There were even more problems with our PO when we discovered that we did not plan for enough ice cream and that  our mayonnaise had to be remade several times because the recipe directions weren’t being followed. In the end we were able to sell back some of our items however had we put more time into our purchase order we would have ended up with a lower overall food cost. A major incident at our restaurant was that two tables unexpectedly informed us that they wanted to sit together. The floor manager insisted that the group would be out by 12:15 so the table could be flipped however the group was not finished their meal in time and this resulted in the next reservation waiting ten minutes to be seated. Although we had a large number of guests at our restaurant, many of who ordered an entree and a dessert or starter, we ended up with relatively low food sales. This was due to the fact that almost all of our food items were inexpensive (including two of the least expensive standard menu items).
November 24th
Gusto Gondolier     menu
Food Sales $798.75, 74 Guests 
The great deal of help the management team received during prep, a combination of organization and teamwork, was paramount to the success of the restaurant. In addition to the detailed prep lists, the KM was quick to delegate tasks, and the team was eager to help. A critical instance was our ability to operate efficiently when our dishwasher arrived late and was unable to participate. The kitchen was highly motivated to help out when they were available and dishes did not pile up, as clean up was completed in a timely manner. On the day of service, the KM had accidently disposed of our bunch of basil needed for the basil mayonnaise in our Chicken Salad Sandwich. In order to avoid compromising the integrity of our dish, we used dry basil. This was an acceptable solution, but it cost us time and frustration. With regards to food cost, our Chicken Salad Sandwich did not sell as many as forecasted. This could have been due to there being two chicken dishes on our menu, with the other being Chicken Parmesan. With a greater variety, we could have increased our sales and lowered our food cost.
November 24th
PJ's Down Under     menu
Food Sales $858.85, 81 Guests 
Being organized was a very important key to the success of our restaurant. We created lists of tasks that needed to be completed during the week of our restaurant, and the timing in which these tasks should be completed. This organization assisted on the day of our restaurant as both staff and management were calm and prepared.  Furthermore, the communication between both management and staff was very effective during the running of the restaurant. We had a discussion with each of our kitchen staff to make sure they knew exactly what their tasks would be, along with asking them for any questions they may have. A front of house and a back of house meeting was held to clarify our busiest times, special requests and a question answer period. We believed this meeting assisted in lowering the amount of errors during service. The lasagna was priced incorrectly (too high) on the menu, and therefore may have lowered the sales for this item. We had a culinary mishap where the shrimp for the beer battered shrimp was not deveined prior to serving. This led to a few unsatisfied customers for this particular menu item. We sold more desserts than expected, and we believe this is due to our excellent internal marketing. The table tents made for our restaurant were large and caught the attention of all guests. We believe these table tents increased the sales of our desserts which boosted our total sales for the day.
November 24th
Arctic Cove     menu
Food Sales $936.46, 84 Guests 
Marketing is the key to the success of any restaurant as getting guests in the door is the most important factor in running at the correct food cost. Our restaurant conducted surveys, sent mass emails, Facebook invitations and used word of mouth to attract guests. This strategy worked well as we sold the restaurant out with 97 booked reservations and ended the day with 84 attending guests. With 84 guests, the restaurant was very busy, but operation was smooth due to excellent communication between the front of the house and the kitchen. Better organization would have been really beneficial during both receiving and prep, ensuring all ingredients and the right amount of ingredients were obtained. Furthermore, stronger leadership and management during kitchen prep would have prevented costly mistakes such as over cooked pasta and burnt alfredo sauce minutes before service.
November 25th
The Gold Medal     menu
Food Sales $777.90, 78 Guests 
There was a lack of communication between the three managers. Issues in the front of the house that were perceived as minor were not shared with the back of the house.  Similarly, issues in the back of the house that were perceived as minor were not shared with the front of the house. This exclusion of detail resulted in confusion among staff and managers. Issues of major concern were communicated between the front and the back of the house. However, the timeliness in which this was done was questionable. Physical counts of food were not always taken. One particular count of remaining rosemary vanilla chicken that was not taken was exceptionally detrimental. Restaurant employees were under the impression it was sold out when in fact it was not. As a group we did not utilize our time and experience as well as we could have. As our restaurant was the last restaurant to operate in our class, we had a unique opportunity. Of all the other restaurants we had the most experience going in to ours, as did our peers. Unfortunately, we did not take full advantage of this. It is worth noting that we may have approached this more as a project than a legitimate restaurant. This was most apparent during our PO meetings.
December 1st
The Hungry Gryphon     menu
Food Sales $864.65, 86 Guests
Purchasing was our weakest point in the managing of our restaurant. We had difficulties with estimating certain items on the purchasing order sheet which left us short on some food items (eggs, onions, apple and turkey). In hind sight we should have focused more on the big picture rather than getting caught up in pricing and numbers. Being the last restaurant left us very little choice on where each student could have been placed. The lack of choice in regards to servers in particular resulted in some negative comments from our guests about service at the front of the house. Our overall guest experience could have been improved had we had more experienced and confident servers.
December 2nd
Aquavita     menu
Food Sales $982.35, 88 Guests
Although many of our guests arrived early, we were reluctant to open the doors early to get the guest seated as they arrived. This caused a delay of 10-15minutes right from the start that snowballed into a late turnover rate as the day progressed.  The amount of large parties helped achieve our 88 guest count and certainly contributed to our $982.35 high food sales. Unfortunately, this had a negative affect on our seat turnover rate, as the parties consumed more time that allotted during service and with separating the bills.  Food preparation was well organized and planned out with a detailed schedule for each menu item, however, our portion sizes were not accurate as we ran out of frozen yogurt during service. On a positive note, we did have enough produce left over to boost our caponata bruschetta filling and increase our entrée numbers from 18 to 21 salmon dishes, 24 to 27 spaghetti dishes, and 10 to 12 servings of frittata.