Student Feedback ~ Fall 2012

A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths- Steven Wright

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

October 9th
The End of the Tunnel @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $495.80, 49 Guests
Due to the fact that our restaurant was run the day after Thanksgiving, we requested assistance from classmates early in the morning to help with preparation, and to our excitement, many people arrived. Out of our 14 staff members, more than half of them came in a few hours before our scheduled lab time and immediately asked what they could do to help. Without the extra help of our classmates, the restaurant would not have been able to open on time. We were very prepared the morning of our restaurant. We had all of our recipes printed and organized systematically in a binder, this helped us to stay calm and organized before the restaurant opened. In regards to the actual running of the restaurant, it would have run a little more smoothly had each line cook been given their single-serving recipe so they knew exactly how to assembly each dish. This caused the first few dishes of our BLT sandwich to be served without cheese as improper instruction was given. We thought that verbal instructions would suffice, however it proved to be inadequate. When receiving our groceries, we could have been more confident with our ability to convert between pounds and kilograms. This caused us to become flustered and make miniscule mistakes on weighing our ingredients, if we were to repeat this day, we would have had the conversions of each ingredient on the PO sheet ready to work with, as well as, wrote down a list of ingredient that had yet to arrive as we received food.
 
 
 
October 10th
Downtown Tony’s at Pj’s    menu
Food Sales $485.55, 53 Guests
Beginning with the second conference, we suffered from a lack of organization from which we could never quite recover. From haphazard recipes to unsystematic recording of yields to unawareness of cost, we struggled with knowing what was required at each stage and why, and this informed the remainder of our restaurant planning and execution. It especially impacted our purchase ordering, where our delay in obtaining the menu mix, unfamiliarity with the task at hand, and inattention to clear and repeated instruction (“it’s a grocery list, not a math quiz”) led to numerous mathematical errors and oversights in Conference 3. This ultimately hindered us during our pre-prep, and we had to adapt our recipes accordingly. A communication breakdown between group members resulted in unfamiliarity of responsibilities and inefficiency in planning. Due to a miscommunication between the kitchen and front of house managers, we missed the opportunity to prepare the ice cream needed for our dessert as well as our signature beverage – a milkshake that we were really excited to have on our menu. Time management also proved to be an ongoing problem for us throughout the course of our restaurant, which was particularly evident as we struggled to complete our tasks for pre-prep. As a result, we did not have as many menu items prepared in advance as we had planned, and even with some standard menu items leftover from the previous day’s restaurant, we were still very rushed on the day of service. Thankfully, we had an incredible group of classmates helping us whose energy during prep, expertise during service, and effort during cleanup made it possible to run a restaurant that we could ultimately be proud of.
 
 
 
October 11th
Breakfast for Lunch @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $661.65, 71 Guests
We may have a smaller lab group than usual, but everyone works together so well and are really dedicated to making each and every lab a success. Our communication as managers did not start out very solid in the beginning of the planning stages, but we both realized that good communication is key to running a smooth operation and we pulled it together the day before and the day of and built solid teamwork with a good flow of communication between the front and back of house. With having prep the two days before, when other groups were running their restaurants, we were able to observe their experiences with being the first groups of the semester to go and were able to learn from what we saw. This helped to give us ideas on how to run our kitchen prep on the morning of our restaurant. In addition, our organizational skills really paid off in giving us a successful result. We were very organized with our prep the day before as we had all our recipes printed off and were then able to work efficiently and effectively. On the day of our restaurant, we also had all the recipes that needed to be prepared printed out and simply delegated jobs to our fellow classmates as they arrived in the morning. 
 
 
 
October 16th
Fuel Your Brain @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $573.11, 49 Guests
Communication was key to the successful running of our restaurant. Our communication throughout the project, including the day of, was great. We knew exactly where and what each other were doing throughout the duration of the lunch period. There was also great communication between us and our staff, contributing to the overall success of the restaurant. Most of our success was due to that fact that we were extremely organized. We had a prep list that listed everything that had to be completed and at what time it should be completed. This was useful to help us keep on track and to know if we started to fall behind. It also helped to reduce stress since we knew exactly when everything should be done. As a result of being organized, we were able to complete everything in really good time. We had most of our menu items prepared by 10:00am giving the staff ample time to clean up. Also, all our orders were in by/around 1:00pm, so we had the staff start the final clean up before eating, which allowed the staff to leave earlier.
 
 
October 17th
The Angry Beaver @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $406.20, 38 Guests
The number of guest that we had come through the restaurant was a little disappointing, but ones that did come through got to taste two of the more original and creative dishes this semester. Our poutine was a sell out, but also an indication on where we could have improved our management assessment of ordering the right amount of food, or better portioning the chicken for each dish. The restaurant can take pride in saying that our dishes were a hit and a favourite amongst guest and employees. A positive to draw from this day was the organization and the food preparation that was done before hand. Our classmates were very compliant and more then generous in donating their time to help run our restaurant. From an operating standpoint, the FOH duties could have been more planned out, and executed with more fluidity. However, the result was an increase in the communication in the wait staff as everyone was proactive when an issue was brought up. Our back of house was a strong team which would have been able survive had the restaurant been busier. As a result of this efficiency, we spent some of our down time cleaning to reduce post restaurant chores. 
 
 
 
October 18th
The Great White North Lodge @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $875.05, 85 Guests
We started the day of our restaurant off with some minor hiccups, but these were luckily handled quite well before they turned into more serious problems. Better attention to details could have helped us avoid these issues, as well as improved communication between the Front of House Manager and Kitchen Manager during the hour prior to service. However, despite the problems that arose, the team worked well together and with the help of our staff, the restaurant ran smoothly once it got going. Staff members were efficient and very willing to help; preparation the day prior to service went very smoothly due to our dedicated peers. On the day of service, little mistakes in terms of quantities ordered on the Purchasing Order form caused some problems, as we were required to order more items of which we had originally ordered too little of. Luckily, the costs of these ingredients were not too high, and therefore did not affect the PO drastically. Good advertising made the restaurant a great success –most signature dishes were sold out by 1:00 p.m. 
 
 
October 23rd
Eat Like There’s No To-Maya @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $645.15, 62 Guests
One of the main rules we have been taught from the beginning of this course is “you have to happen to this course, you cannot let it happen to you”. Unfortunately, in some aspects this happened to be our downfall as we ended up letting controllable factors affect our performance as a group. We have identified five main critical incidences that we believe posed the greatest detriments to our restaurant day. There was good communication between the KM and FOH in regards to tables being seated and food counts, but there was some miscommunication between managers and line cooks during prep which cost us time having to go back and fix errors. We should have paid more attention to detail when completing assignments, more specifically our menu insert that was completed incorrectly. As a result we had to rely on our wait staff to deliver our daily specials. In the BOH it took time for the KM to restate to the Expo that there should only be one main voice giving orders to the rest of the BOH staff. This is because it creates many lines of communication instead of one distinct one, which could have confused staff and the process as a whole. 
 
 
October 24th
Curry Up @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $862.28, 77 Guests
Our two signatures were popular, especially the spring rolls, however some incidents did happen throughout the operation. First, lack of communication between FM and KM, managers and staff, managers and instructors was a big issue. Management team could have interacted with each other more frequently to figure out problems such as extra order by mistake, back-tracking, sold out items and so on. Since English is the second language for us, it became more challenging to communicate with our staff. Second, we were less organized. During the first peak time around 11:45am, we were a bit flurried. Since different dishes for one table were not finished at the same time, we could have waited until all dishes were done then sent out to serving table. KM needs to be clear what is made first and what should be waiting. FM needs to assign enough servers to present those foods at one time. A third incident was lack of training. We did not make it clear about everyone’s responsibility so some staff got confused about what they were supposed to do. For purchasing part, we were just dealing with numbers but not taking care of running a real restaurant. Some orders did not make sense or were either too more or too less. Last but not least, inaccurate menu description brought us in trouble. We did not match what ingredient says on the menu and what we actually made in the signature item. So we could not provide menu insert to our customers. 
 
 
October 25th
Fresh Autumn Harvest @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $796.88, 81 Guests
The Kitchen Manager was disorganized with regards to the “flow of food” on the line. This was evident when he failed to coordinate the assembly of the specialty items – example with the burger: he was found moving to multiple locations in the kitchen to locate garnishes; the buns were placed too far from the arugula, and the garlic aioli. Being proactive, as opposed to reactive could have helped service run more smoothly. Another incident was a lack of the Kitchen Manager’s “one clear voice” on the line. When Michelle (line cook), indicated that we ran out of fries, instead of delegating a kitchen staff to prepare more fries, the KM had gone over himself. As well, when chits had come through “the pass” from the expo, the Kitchen Manager had not been as loud and assertive as he should have been. The previous incident leads to another critical point. The Kitchen Manager should never leave the line. It is essential to stay at the line so chits can be read and assign to the appropriate line cook to prepare the required food. As well, by staying on the line the kitchen manager can assist as required when an overflow occurs. Lack of communication between the Kitchen Manager and the Front of House Manager. Throughout most (two-thirds) of the service there was no communication between the two parties. This communication was extremely important during service. It would have allowed the kitchen to constantly update the FOH manager on how many meals remained so that the FOH manager could keep the servers informed and update the POS system. This resulted in a lack effort put into pushing sales of certain menu items. 
 
 
October 30th
Buckle up cubiclers @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $743.45, 74 Guests
The majority of our team members showed up very early in the morning, proactively assisting us on food prepping. With their help, the back of house (BOH) was able to get all standard items ready an hour before the service. If we were given another chance to run the restaurant again, we would increase the awareness of accurately portioning our signatures items, and better controlling our food quality by not overcooking or under seasoning food. As one of our signature items, butter chicken was not accurately measured in volume in the first place. Due to our negligence, some chicken breasts used in the Butter Chicken were over-cooked, and our daily soup was not seasoned enough until a guest pointed out.
 
 
October 31st
Ex-Fear-Ience Halloween @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $721.68, 73 Guests
Preparation was one of the biggest critical incidents that the Kitchen Manager (KM) and Front House Manager (FM) had encountered. When orders started to come in at 11:30am, not knowing how to plate the pizza caused the KM to become reactive, instead of proactive to the situation. Communication was critical during service, because the KM constantly needed to let the FM know the amount of food items still available in order to keep the servers informed and the POS system updated. 
 
 
November 1st
Backpacking Through Europe @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $817.90, 84 Guests
Teamwork is the main reason why our restaurant went so smoothly even though there were high numbers of turnovers on the day of the restaurant. Every single member of the staff showed up on time or earlier in their full uniform to help prepare and set up for the restaurant. All of the front of the house staffs had experience at the front line and were knowledgeable with their tasks, which made the front of the house work very effectively.Our restaurant would run even better if the Front of the House Manager were more proactive and prepare for the restaurant. The restaurant might have been in a mess without Emma’s help with the floor plan. The manager should also be more confidence when communicating with others. During the preparation for the food, we were inflexible with our recipes. Rather, we should think it as a restaurant exercise and be flexible with the food and ingredients we have. Sticking directly to the recipes is not always best in a restaurant setting and it made our lives more difficult as we were adamant on doing them exactly. The quality of our products suffered mildly because of this, which could have been prevented if we were just more flexible with our recipes.There has some confusion regarding the process of putting together the Shepherd’s Pie ready. When we were told that we should have the mixtures for the Shepherd’s ready-to-go, we took this to mean that they should be completely assembled the day before the restaurant. Although this did mean that there was much less work to do the day of the restaurant, we had to make some unexpected changes to our recipes to make sure that the food didn’t dry out. In the future, it would we better if we clarified the final recipe of our signature dish to make sure that we completely understood what we had to do to run a more successful restaurant. With the unexpected ninety-six reservations we ended up creating over twice as many crème brulees as expected. We had originally planned to only make thirty crème brulees and we made over sixty at the end. This dramatically changed attracted more guests to get our dessert and gave us a boost for our end of daily sales from $717.25 to $817.90 
 
 
November 6th
Grande Italiano @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $731.35, 72 Guests
The KM was unsure of how to keep the chicken breasts for the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich warm and accessible for service without overcooking or drying them out. They were put in an off oven and this caused the chicken breast to drop internal temperature into the danger zone. The health inspector noticed this and took the temperature that was less than 60 degrees Celsius. This was a huge problem as it is a health hazard, and not proper hot holding. The incidence was corrected immediately as the chicken breasts were heated to 74 degrees Celsius and then placed in the steam table for hot holding. The incidence was unfortunate, and classified as “corrected during inspection” on the health inspectors report. On the morning of service the amount of pasta servings increased by 5 to accommodate many reservations. The KM made the critical mistake of changing the portion of meatballs on Spaghetti and meatballs from three to two, to be able to sell the extra spaghetti portions. This was a huge mistake but was caught and corrected before the dishes went to the dining room. It was noted that the customer is paying the same price throughout the day, so the portion for their money should be exactly the same. The floor plan could have been competed the day before instead of the day of. Doing the floor plan the day before would have been more proactive of the FM. This would have allowed a better layout of the reservations and the turnovers. Peoples reservations ended up overlapping and quick rearranging needed to be done by the hostess and the FM to sit people who arrive as fast as possible. 
 
 
November 7th
The Shorehouse @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $872.10, 83 Guests
Receiving and pre- prep day can make or break your overall restaurant experience and ours went very smoothly thanks to our classmates. One classmate was there at 7:45am to help us receive product and five more came in around 9am to help out. The work that needed to be done was a lot easier to complete and we were out by 12:30pm! The day of our restaurant, everyone came in around 9am. That was surprisingly overwhelming for management because we had a hard time finding jobs for them all to do. If this could be done over, we would ask people to come in at different times and provide specific tasks prior to. Organization is essential to this operation and doing that would have helped a lot. Organizing tasks on the line appropriately was a challenge. At 11:30am line cooks had their jobs changed around because the tasks were not well thought out and we had no one to do desserts! Everything was figured out eventually but it made service in the kitchen hectic. When we prepared the signature items, the math was off and we had too much of one item for a dish and too little of another. We had to cook more but didn’t portion it out properly and wound up with a lot of leftovers. Just remember; when you have the food, use the food! With respect to front of the house operation, all of the servers were new to the job; however, they read customized job packs sent by management prior to the restaurant day and were familiarized with their duties. During service, some servers seemed to be overwhelmed and took orders from a different table and inputted the wrong item into the POS system. The front of house manager could have better predicted areas that may have been high stress to avoid this situation. 
 
 
November 8th
Cozy Café @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $853.90, 88 Guests
Our five critical incidences were all positive. They involved preparation well in advance, and a lot of organization. The first was the organization done well before our actual restaurant day. We printed off all of the recipes, organized them in a binder, and made a list of which parts of the recipe would have to be prepared on which day (the actual restaurant day or the day before). The second critical incidence was the prep done the day before. We made a large majority of the food the day before, and this really helped our actual restaurant day run smoothly. There was less to worry about! The actual menu items (chicken pot pie and baked trout) we selected also contributed to the smooth running of our restaurant day. They were both extremely easy to plate, and made the jobs of our line cooks very straight forward. The fourth critical incident was the number of reservations; we sold out, thanks to lots of advertising, and this decreased our food costs. Finally (but probably most importantly) our awesome team!
 
 
November 13th
Grey Cup Warmup @ Pj's   menu
Food Sales $676.50, 65 Guests
Our first major issue was with portioning during our pre-prep. We had three different occasions when portioning was off and could have been avoided if there was better communication between the managers. Errors in portioning during our pre-prep day caused us to make last minute alterations to our products the morning of service. Our second incident arose shortly after service began as a result of a miscommunication between the kitchen manager (KM) and pre-prep staff. The KM delegated one of the staff to re-heat the soup and season, but never tasted the soup before service began. As a result, a customer complained and the soup had to voided from their bill affecting our final food cost. The key lesson here is KM’s always TASTE, TASTE, TASTE! We had several classmates come in early to help with our receiving and pre-prep day, which allowed us to have most of our items prepared the day prior. This was a huge help as it gave us the time needed the morning of service to combat unforeseen issues such as the extra prep that was needed to adjust our portioning from the day prior. 
 
 
November 14th
Back to the Future @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $696.50, 71 Guests
Our first critical incident was a positive one, and all falls on one word, teamwork. Our lab consists of strong individuals who all came in early to help with prep. They were knowledgeable on the recipes, and took initiative on what needed to be done, which made it easy as a manager. Our biggest mistake was realizing our PO was missing 6 ingredients for our recipes on prep day. This should have been noticed at the PO meeting, not the day prior to our restaurant day. Luckily, this did not affect our ability to serve our menu items, as we were able to receive the missing items. However, it was a huge setback and could have been detrimental if we were not able to receive the ingredients. Another negative critical incident was our carelessness to insure we were following all recipes correctly. In the kitchen, we could of been more familiar with the recipes to prevent mistakes from happening, and to ensure our items were made flawlessly. Our final critical incident was our menu inserts. We failed to include our nutritional analysis and prices. This is another example where we could have been more organized prior to restaurant day. All of our negative critical incidents could have been avoided if we were more prepared, and asked questions if we were unsure of anything...AHEAD OF TIME. 
 
 
November 20th
Celebrating Fall @ Pj’s    menu
Food Sales $887.85, 83 Guests
Although in the beginning of the semester communication suffered, we agreed to put it behind us and move forward. Communication became very important to the KM and FM. We notified the staff the day before of the changes being made because we wanted to run the restaurant with every BOH and FOH team member equipped with the knowledge to succeed. Both the KM and FM communicated throughout the lunch service and we notified each other of any changes whether it was a special guest request or food count. We were lucky to have a few classmates come and help. The tasks were delegated well to the prep team. Both the FM and KM checked up consistently with the classmates to see if they had any issues when preparing the food or needed an extra hand. The teamwork within the group and within the class added to the success of the restaurant. Most of the class came in early on Tuesday to prepare for the service and this was fantastic since the menu mix was increased because the restaurant was sold out. The detailed job packs, planned prep list, and delegating helped in organizing the food preparation the day of our restaurant. Food items were divided into “Monday to-do list” and “Tuesday to-do list”. This made it very clear what items had to be done and at what time they had to be done. This lowered the stress level for the KM and FM and the class could readily look at this list and reference it themselves. The last factor that contributed to the success of the restaurant was the marketing. Marketing to student groups, making announcements in HTM classes and sending invitations to faculty helped raise our guest count to 83 people. Also, marketing to family and friends helped because they also came to show their support. 
 
 
November 21st
Winter Wonderland @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $806.75, 76 Guests
Everyone showed up early in the morning to help out the preparation and everyone was very organized and responsible. Also our instructor helped us a lot to prepared the food in the kitchen, and we just made one mistake, which was we were missing one ingredient from one of our signature dish. Luckily, this did not affect our ability to serve our signature dishes. After the operation we knew that the key to be success is teamwork.
 
 
November 27th
Speakeasy @ Pj's    menu
Food Sales $576.15, 58 Guests
 
 
November 28th
Asian Sensation @ Pj’s   menu
Food Sales $688, 72 Guests
When it came to decision making, our team was united and everyone was active, dynamic, and put in all their effort into making the restaurant as successful as possible. However, our PO meeting could have been better as all three members forgot to send the PO sheet to Simon the day before. It was thanks to the peers that came in the day before the restaurant to help prep. We truly appreciate their help. In order to market to a wider range of audiences, we had one member on Facebook, another on Chinese Facebook, and another on Chinese Twitter. Although there were ten no shows, seventy-two people still came to our restaurant. However, we could have improved on our menu inserts as they were too small and the front of house staff had to clarify to the customers. During the restaurant, there was a constant flow of communication between the KM and FM. Although the FM was extremely nervous at the start of the restaurant, it got better as the restaurant went on and he managed to keep everything under control. At the back of house, the KM did an amazing job of managing the dishes with the help of the expo (third member). 
 
 
HTM 3090~21 Events
Average Food Sales $708.28
Average Guest Count 70