Student Feedback ~ Fall 2016

"I'm 10, I can't have beer!" "You're not 10! You're kitchen staff, kitchen staff doesn't have an age." ~ Martin & Percy from "Chef"

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 6th
Throwback Thursday @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $479.60,  44 Guests
A fire alarm went off from roughly 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., which was when our KM was suppose to do our first line check in the kitchen. With the fire alarm going off, it prevented us from opening up at 11:30 a.m. for our first set of reservations, and we only did one complete line check instead of two which was a downfall due to the fire alarm. We scheduled everyone to work in their same position as the previous week; that way the majority of the students were comfortable and familiar making their recipes and assemblies, and the wait staff knew what to expect. This was beneficial for our management team because the people who did not know what they were doing last week were confident in what to do this week. Last week was a like a practice round and each week the students get more familiar with the job at hand. We could have prepped for a longer duration of time on Wednesday for particular reasons; the first being that it would have given us even more time the morning of our event. The chilli that we put into the taco salad as well as the chicken and fish batter could have been prepped the day before. This would have been more beneficial to us because the chili was time consuming to cook the morning of service, and even though it tasted good it would have tasted better if it were left overnight. 
October 7th
Autumn Harvest @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $281.89,  32 Guests
Our restaurant would not have gone so smoothly if it hadn’t been for the excellent group of people that make up our lab. Everyone had read their job packs and knew exactly what was expected of them on the day. They were enthusiastic, and several people even came early to help out with prep. The prep day prior to the restaurant was used very well. We came that morning with a well thought out checklist of everything we needed to get done and we had an extra person there, which helped a lot. We were able to prepare a lot of our menu items ahead of time so that we were ready to go and didn’t have to rush on restaurant day. The simplicity of our menu items also helped with ease of prep and service. We were able to prep our quiche so that it could be plated as soon as it was ordered. Served with a simple side salad, this dish could not have been more straightforward.  Our Panini was equally as simple as we had it completely assembled prior to service. Our communication as a group of three was very strong. Each group member had their own strengths and with a positive attitude and good communication skills we were able to put those strengths together as a team. We all knew who would do what and that helped alleviate stress. Our one negative key critical instance was our lack of confidence. We were the first of our lab groups to run a restaurant and we were a little weary of how it would go. We were very prepared so we should have been more confident that we could do it and this would’ve helped with feeling less stressed.


October 12th
Nonna's Kitchen @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $499.10,  50 Guests
The biggest impact on our event was the extra help provided from classmates, especially those who helped with receiving and prep day, since this took place on a school holiday. Students also came in early on the day of our event to help us prepare food, keep kitchen clean, and get the atrium set up. Having a simple, well-done menu with clear standardized recipes made the event run smoothly in the back of house. We gave our wait staff some time to try out the POS system before service so they could ask questions, which allowed the wait staff to be confident when using the system during service. When planning out where to assign students, we considered the skill sets we observed during the soft opening. This gave us an advantage because we could place highly competent individuals in the most demanding positions, where they excelled. One of the biggest problems we faced in the morning of the event was needing more ingredients than we bought in our purchase order. We should have portioned out the ingredients by recipe so we did not overuse things such as flour, eggs, and fresh herbs in one recipe when they were needed in another as well. 


October 13th
Little Italy @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $499.73,  45 Guests
A setback for our restaurant was our PO because it was made improperly. This caused confusion during Conference 2 and 3 and during the day of receiving, we realized that we had forgot some crucial ingredients. This could have been solved by being more organized during and prior to the PO meeting,  On the day of our restaurant we had made a schedule to follow in order to be ready for service at 11:30am. However, all of the members in our class came in much earlier than we had ask them to in their job pack. This was a great help and gave us extra time to make sure we were ready on time and in an organized fashion. We knew exactly what we had to do and how long it would approximately take. We had set up a map, a schedule, and a station list on the table right when you walk into the kitchen. It was beneficial because if anyone was confused where they would be working or how long they should work on a task, they could go look at the sheets instead of having to ask the KM. This also helped the KM who had a lot of their plate and needed to stay focused on his tasks at hand. We noticed early on (around 9:00am) that the menus we printed did not have the prices of our dishes. We then had to send our Expo to the library and print off new versions with prices, and this meant that she was not able to help around during prep and was left out during important communication between the KM and FOH. 


October 14th
Central Perk @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $681.23,  60 Guests 
Overall, our day, and especially the prep day, was a success due to the help of our classmates. We came organized and were able to delegate many of the tasks out since we had plenty of help, taking the pressure off of us. This allowed us to keep everything organized throughout receiving and plan out what we needed to do. We did have some culinary and organizational issues for the day of service. For example, the meatballs were salty, which was something we should've fixed after preparing one to taste. Another problem was the green curry was not thick enough due to extra  stock added and the drink was rather sour, which could have been dealt with when making a new batch and using less apple cider. The KM could have been more focused on fixing these problems when checking the progress on the prep and restaurant day. Also, the cheesecake did not turn as well as it did for Conference 2. The crust was burnt and had to be remade which caused frustration and the whole cheesecake ended up being under baked. This ended up taking more time from the TA just before service, causing the KM to have to do the line check by herself, which made the start of service less organized. We should have made sure that they were all cooked properly before the day of service to ensure a smooth lunch service. The cheesecake was also offered free with any main dish which was a huge boost to our reservation count and helped make the day a success. Another huge part of our day was the job rotation. The FOH ran very smoothly despite being short a server and having lots of walk-ins. There were some very experienced people in the back too but we could have improved by putting a more experienced person in the deep fryer area or making sure that person knew the tasks and procedure they had to carry out. Lastly, good dynamics between the management team helped make the day a success. Each member put effort into making the day a success and helped in whatever ways they could like the FOH making sure things were okay in the kitchen and Expo being very involved in food prep. 


October 18th
The Three Broomsticks @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $939.00,  84 Guests 
The restaurant was successful mainly due to our effective team and high volume of guests.  Many of our teammates offered to assist with prep the day before service. We could not have accomplished our prep for the menu items without the support of our teammates. In addition, there was effective communication between the two managers and the team. Our team understood directions and took initiatives to complete tasks. This helped to create smooth service. Having the chicken pot pie as one of our signature mains made our restaurant successful because the plating was simple and quick for service. On the other hand, having a different of method of determining how many meatball sandwiches were remaining was needed. A problem between FOH and BOH would have been avoided if we were able to tell when we were running low on meatball sandwiches. 
October 19th
Manhatten Brunch @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $875.48,  85 Guests 
One aspect that contributed to the success of our restaurant was the great amount of support we had during our prep day on Tuesday from our class members. Many came in early and helped us prep our menu items that required a lot of time. This set us up for a successful start on the morning of our restaurant. Communication is key in the service of a restaurant; you need it between all staff members and departments. Unfortunately, there was a lack of communication between kitchen and front of house in regards to menu item availability. Many counts and aspects were lost and changed through the communication lines. Eventually, this led to certain items saying ‘sold out’ when in fact that was not the case. If we were to run our restaurant again, we would prepare our communication points better and ensure the service execution was more organized for all our guests. We ran into issues when we miscalculated the number of eggs and the amount of phyllo pastry on our PO sheet, which made Wednesday morning a bit more challenging. Though we were easily able to buy the extra ingredients, this slowed down our prep resulting in our KM needing to act as a line cook so one of our staff could keep making our main dish. We also had an issue when making our rosit’s, as we only had two pans to cook them in and we ended up running out of time to make them. The EXPO was cooking them half an hour into service, which added more strain on the kitchen than necessary. I think the positive attitudes that were expressed by our FOH staff made for a welcoming environment for not only our guests but the rest of the staff, which was refreshing to see and benefited our restaurant immensely.   


October 20th
Fall Fair
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $875.48  80 Guests
Many of our lab members came in to help on prep day, even early in the morning to assist with receiving. This allowed us to successfully complete our prep timeline and get everything done that we had planned. Our lab group also came in early on the day of the restaurant to assist with additional prep, which certainly helped us be on track in order for us to start service on time. We used timelines and an efficient breakdown of duties to ensure everything was done on time. Also, the constant communication between back of house and front of house allowed all staff to be on the same page. Both the front and back of house were aware of food counts of all menu items, which helped ensure we wouldn’t run out of food- a crucial point when dealing with the volume of customers we had expected. We also chose our job rotation based on where we thought our lab members felt comfortable, and where they would excel, which certainly was a part of why we faced no major issues during the running of our restaurant. Another key part of the successful running of our restaurant was the simplicity of our menu items. The batter for the corn dogs was made the day before, and the hot dogs were already cut; with the help of a few group members we had these fried in the morning then reheated and kept warm for service. The slaw was also made the day before. Our pulled chicken sliders were put into the roast and hold on prep day, the slider buns were made on prep day, so this dish also had minimal prep on the day of the restaurant as well.
October 21st
Scarecrow Cafe 
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $596.70,  61 Guests 
The most prominent impact on our restaurant was the help that we received. Our peers came in early on the day of our restaurant to help, and several classmates also came in on our prep day to help with receiving and food prep. These extra hands really helped to get our food on the line in time for service. We also had some very knowledgeable peers – the ladies at the front of house helped our FOH manager understand the POS system, and were extremely supportive. Our kitchen members were also very knowledgeable of the dishes they were preparing, and helped in stations they had previously worked. There were also several negative incidences that really impacted the success of our restaurant, the first being a lack of communication between our management team. Overall, we were not on the same page and it showed. Inaccuracy of our purchase order sheet and general unpreparedness for our prep-day lead to a great deal of stress and a loss of time. We did not come prepared with the proper conversions for weight (ex. lbs to kg), which made it difficult to keep track of exactly how much we needed to put aside. We spent more time going through the purchase order than we had planned, and several errors were found with our amounts, requiring us to request extra ingredients.


October 25th
Big Comfy Cafe
 @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $736.94,  64 Guests
Overall our prep day, and day ran very smoothly, due to the amount of help we received on Monday morning prep and on Tuesday morning before service.  Everything was organized prior to the day of service, due to the amount of detail in the job packs and this led to very few questions from our staff on the day of. When there was a question, our management team was knowledgeable and able to answer. Everyone was very prepared and read over their job packs ready for restaurant day. Our management team communicated well throughout the day, and since we were on the same page it led less mishaps occurring during service. The only miscommunication that occurred during service, was that it was confusion about how many menu items were left to sell. Our group was very proactive in getting together to work on the project in preparing all the ingredients and dishes. However, we could have been more attentive to our standard menu items, as there was extra cheese sauce left over, and we also were short some necessary ingredients.


October 26th
Le Petite Paris 
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $960.98,  89 Guests
The success of our restaurant is mainly attributable to the help and support we received from the members of the group. We had a lot of help on the day prior to our event for our receiving and preparation, allowing us to prepare a lot of items, which made our restaurant morning less stressful. However, servers and hostess felt they did not get enough information during the front of the house meeting. They were not feeling comfortable and competent for their tasks on the day, which caused errors in the POS and reservation system. The rapidity to which our two signature items were assemble was also critical to the flow of service. Despite the fact that we had 90 reservations, the line cooks were not overworked and service went smoothly. A better communication between Front of House and Back of the House Managers through the Expo would have allow us to work more efficiently as a team. Finally, we had good inside marketing, such as our table center with pictures of our food items and our servers describing well our plates which helped us to get a lot of add-on sales with our soup, dessert and drink being sold out.


October 27th
Frightfully Delightful
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $923.42,  85 Guests 
Our restaurant couldn’t have been successful without the help of our prep team and all the help we received on both the prep day and day of service. Our prep day got hectic at times and we should have been more organized for prep and came up with a better schedule for our prep help, in that way, we could have reduced the amount of stations and had less people doing many things at once. Our recipes were very simple, but the way we approached them could have been made simpler and could have had better awareness of our own items and had a better checklist. Service of the restaurant was successful, both the front of house and the back of house staff  performed their tasks effectively and efficiently. Eventually as the restaurant began its pace, the stress level decreased and in the end we had a high food sale and a very high additional sale from our signature drink, dessert and soup. Our employee evaluations recommended checking on employees more often and being available for questions for the FOH manager. Our employees recommended remaining calm and confident for the kitchen manager. The Employee Manager Evaluations also commented that our Expo was shaky at first but then caught on as the restaurant progressed. Most of the employee evaluations have praise for all three managers and our ability to handle stressful situations during service. 


October 28th
Blue Zone
 @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $810.05,  79 Guests
The main reason our restaurant ran smoothly was because of all the help we received from our classmates. The enormous help from our classmates let us focus on the small details that turned out to be big details on our restaurant day. On the day of our restaurant, everyone came to lab understanding and knowing their job packs; this made our jobs of supervising much easier! Everyone at the front of house was on their “A game”. In the kitchen, our morning prep was slower than we had expected. We were nervous that we would not be prepared for service on time. Everyone quickly pulled together and we were able to serve our first guests who arrived at 11:15 in good time. We believe this is because everyone has begun to become comfortable in the kitchen and the positions they are placed – allowing them to reach their full potential 


Nov 1st
The Spice Rack @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $432.13,  44 Guests
The staff played the most important role in running our restaurant. Many individuals came to aid prep on Monday and/or Tuesday morning, before lab. This allowed our group to have several items ready to go for the actual day’s event. Through their help, we were well prepared and had sufficient time to complete every task without error. Therefore, the students in this lab who helped us, by all means, should be considered the biggest critical instance. For example, on the morning of our event, we had a couple people come to the lab very early which helped us out a lot to finish morning prep earlier than expected. Therefore this left us time later on to make sure everything would go smoothly once the rest of the class arrived. Finally, our dishwasher came early for lab as well, and kept up with our dishes the whole time; her participation played a huge part in running the restaurant well. Our marketing technique was another critical instance. We had developed an internal and external marketing plan in order to promote our restaurant. This involved putting up posters at our personal workplaces, as well as several bulletin boards around campus. One of our biggest reservations was a table of 16. When receiving the orders all at once, our team remained calm and worked together to get all the plates out quickly and efficiently. Since 12 out of the 16 orders was our “Thai Spaghetti and Meatballs”, one person on the line was in charge of this specific dish and had a lot more work to do. Therefore, we had other people that worked on the line help him get the meals done as quickly as possible: setting up the bowls, garnishing and helping with ladling proper portion sizes. We could not of had all 12 orders sent out in a timely manner, and properly served, without the hard work of all the line cooks.  Our approach to getting all the orders sent out helped reduce stress among staff, and helped run the kitchen more smoothly. Another critical instance was when we discovered our signature drink was not being served as we hoped it would.  The simple syrup for our drink was not reduced enough, making the overall drink less sweet than originally planned. This was discovered in the middle of service, and we had to change the proportions of the drink’s mixes on the spot for the drink.  This was a huge setback for us, and largely, it could have been prevented if we had tasted the drink before service began 


Nov 2nd
Comfort Foods @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $775.77,  74 Guests
Ask for help when you need it! Our restaurant had very low reserved numbers so we reached out to Simon and he helped advertise for us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and suggested ways to advertise appropriately. Learn when it is time to be hands on and when it is time to step back. Spending too much time in a hands on role takes your focus from the restaurant and puts it into the prep. As well, the staff are capable to complete their tasks. Find a balance that allows for delegation and supervision, but also assists the team when needed. Train everyone on what they need to do. We held a server meeting like most groups do, but also had one with the hostesses. This allowed us to introduce them to the OpenTable system and allowed them a portion of the FOH manager's attention that was undivided and focused on their specific role.Think through your items and your PO. If you just look at the numbers it may make sense but when you think about how much 4g of a beet actually is then you can see your issue. It is not a math quiz. Again, ask Simon when you're not sure; he will tell you if you are way off. The team on both sides of the restaurant were amazing. Our day would not have been as good as it was without everyone. Value the people in the seminar because they can make it great or terrible. It is also important to focus on what each individuals strengths and what they enjoy. When planning your restaurant think about who likes front and who likes to cook. By playing to everyone's strengths we built an awesome team that was invested in our success! 


Nov 3rd
Southern Road Trip @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $837.81,  79 Guests
One of the main reasons that our restaurant was a success was the huge amount of help and support we received from our classmates on the preparation day before our restaurant and on the actual day. Everyone was helpful with completing tasks, encouraging each other and keeping a positive and enthusiastic working environment. The second critical incidence and another key to our success included the communication between the kitchen manager, the front of house manager and the expo, which focused on distribution of roles and organization of what needed to be done each day. Communication with each other about the number of counts that were left on each item on the menu was important to keep the wait staff updated and running smoothly. Each of our team members had their own strengths, combined with strong planning and strong communication made for a strong management team. The third critical incidence was the ability to manage a problem when it occurred. There ended up being many walk-ins that didn’t have a reservation in addition to the many reservations that we already had. This made it challenging for the front of house manager and hosts to figure out how to make sure we had a table to offer them. With efficient problem solving skills we were able to accommodate the guests and keep them happy. The fourth critical incidence was realizing that we were too confident in the recipe and that the amount we ordered and prepared was going to be enough for the menu mix that we had planned out. Its important to not assume, and to measure each portion out to make sure you don’t run into an issue. This was the case for our mashed potatoes and gravy, but last minute calculations helped us to confirm that we would be good for service. The final critical incidence was also realizing that working efficiently along with thinking three steps ahead instead of one could have helped us in a few cases. This included turning everything on in the kitchen right when we arrived. The steam table was not turned on until the very last minute which could have been a bigger problem if not caught when it was.  


Nov 4th
Deja Vu Eh @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $865.52,  81 Guests 
Overall, our restaurant ran very well and all components ended up coming together cohesively thanks to the help of our classmates. However, we could have used our prep day more effectively to reduce our stress on the day of our restaurant. For example, we should have made our dessert the day before so that we had more time on the day of to make other items on the menu. Also, we could have improved the communication between our group to ensure that we all knew what had to be done and when. Instead, we were making food on our prep day and on our actual restaurant day spontaneously. On the morning of service, we could have also delegated tasks to our classmates in a more effective manner, rather than micro-managing the tasks. One of the biggest challenges we encountered on the day was being able to tell our peers what they needed to do and being leaders instead of workers. When it came time to serving our guests, there were two main areas that could have been improved. First of all, the food could have gotten to the customer faster. The food left the kitchen slower than normal due to the high volume of customers and food orders in such a short amount of time. Secondly, the Front of House found it challenging to turn over tables as many guests were taking their time and enjoying their meal. This created a challenge because a lot of our tables had two reservations during the hours of operation. Though this was challenging, the effectiveness of our advertising and table toppers meant that we had a great day with high volume and sales.
Nov 8th
Nana's Kitchen
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $427.61,  41 Guests
Our restaurant would have run more smoothly if we had not had so many issues with our PO form. Our PO meeting was a roller coaster ride and we had a few ingredients left over after our restaurant that we had to rack our brain to explain. This affected our food cost in a negative way. Another set back we encountered was not knowing the recipes well enough. If you are going to go off the reservation with your menu, please make sure you know your recipes inside and out. A manager made a mistake preparing the dessert for our special day which wasted time on our prep day and also wasted ingredients. We also had issues with having left over ingredients that didn’t make it into certain recipes, such as the red pepper and orange juice for the Asian Coleslaw. The last setback we encountered was that we did not have 80 people attend our restaurant. This affected our sales as we did not make as many as was forecasted and we missed out on the opportunity to manage a busy lunchtime service. The best part of the day was the good communication and relationship between the three managers. Information was relayed between us efficiently and effectively and we were able to solve any problems that arose with a level head and no conflict. Our staff was also very reliable and had no trouble communicating with any one of us. Our job packs were descriptive and specific which helped our staff understand what our expectations were, so there were not many questions that were asked.  
Nov 9th
Good Vibes
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $871.61,  84 Guests 
The most crucial factor to the success of our restaurant was the amount preparation we managed to complete the day before the restaurant due to the help we received from our classmates. Many hands on our prep day made for light work, however many hands also made for some disorganization making it difficult to monitor many people at once. Management should have avoided getting caught up in a task and being too distracted to check in with each staff member to make sure they were clear on their instructions. We also had the upper-hand at this point in the semester since the class is familiar with the kitchen and menu items, service is more comfortable and clean up is more efficient. The day before service is an important day to look at reservations and prepare food directly reflecting those numbers. These simple calculations can help determine if more food needs to be made on the day of service. Another factor was the effective collaboration on the hot line in the kitchen. KM could have ran a “tighter” kitchen during service. Laid back attitudes made for easy communication and a fun kitchen experience, but this may have affected the wait times. In terms of front of house, Opentable is useful for FOH managers as it places each reservation at a table, but thoroughly checking each reservation prior to service is critical. The front of house manager only noticed a problem (multiple occasions where 5 people are seated at a table of 4) a few minutes before the start of the restaurant. Changes were made quickly but it was an inconvenience that could have been easily avoided. Having live music played during service was a key factor in the marketing of our event. 
Nov 10th
Taste of the Medditerranean
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $825.29,  82 Guests 
The helpfulness of our classmates was one of the major contributors to making our restaurant a success. The amount of people that came in to help us prep proved to be extremely useful and allowed us to complete all of the cooking that we needed to get done that day. Organization also plays a key role in the successfulness of both your prep day and restaurant day. Having a list of what we needed to get done made both days flow relatively smoothly with no major problems. Since we had a high number of reservations, the kitchen stress level was rather high at certain points. It is important to keep calm, focus on the task at hand, and not get overwhelmed when many orders come in at once. Due to the large number of guests that attended our restaurant, we sold out of our signature dishes, and therefore took the signature menu off of the standard menu. This is when our table tents proved to be quite useful. The table tents we placed on each table promoted the daily soup and dessert to help continue the sales of those items even without the full menu being provided. The chicken Souvlaki wrap, one of our signature menu items, was extremely popular and we got many orders of it all at once. The process of assembling the wrap was work intensive so when a large amount of orders came in, we needed the help of the TA to keep up with the flow of service. Instead of getting the help from our TA, we should have adjusted the kitchen staff and used a line cook that was not tending to any orders in that moment to help out with the wrap. Overall, it was a successful day that could not have been accomplished without the awesome team we got to work with!
Nov 11th
Street Fare Extrodinaire
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $1023,  94 Guests 
Our restaurant day went by very quickly and we felt that it ran very smoothly. We had over 10 students come in and help on our prep day and we were finished by noon. Their readiness to help allowed us to get a lot of prep done which really took a lot of the stress off our actual restaurant day. In addition, multiple students came in early on Friday to help including those who were scheduled as FOH staff. Everyone had their stations ready by line check and we opened right at 11:30 am. That level of team work was the key contributor to having the restaurant run so well. One issue we had in the kitchen was that the timing of food. We ran out of quesadillas so a student had to assemble new ones but we didn’t account for the additional time it took to do that and we had other food plated and ready to go. The other dishes had to wait for the quesadilla so they weren’t as hot as they could have been when they left the kitchen. We also had extra cabbage that we could have used in our coleslaw so our portion sizes could have been larger, thus increasing the perceived value.  Some of our servers had never served before so we were worried for them, but a few of the more experienced servers stepped up and assisted them. They did their best to cover their job and more, they went above and beyond. The servers were able to remain calm despite the busy environment, the hostesses were able to organize the reservations well, and the bartender offered help when they had the time. We wouldn’t have been able to handle the high volume of customers so successfully if it wasn’t for our team.
Nov 15th
Quarter Past Brunch
 @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $572.13,  53 Guests 
The biggest impact on our restaurant was the dedication and hard work of our classmates, especially those who came in to help on prep day. Without them, we would not have been able to pull off our restaurant. Our organization on restaurant day could have been better as we found that we were short certain ingredients and behind schedule. Since our timing was off, our line check was delayed which ultimately caused confusion among the line cooks. We also could have utilised the food we did have better by measuring how much of each item, such as the homefries and smoked salmon, were to go on each plate. If we had done this properly, our food cost would not have been so high. Furthermore, the communication between the front of house and back of house could have been improved. For example, the BOH did not know when the first table and last table were seated, causing confusion. Finally, our dessert was on the house with the purchase of an entrée, successfully bringing a lot more guests into our restaurant. 
Nov 16th
Kicken Curbside
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $587.44,  55 Guests
It’s all about teamwork! The smooth run of our restaurant was mainly attributed to the help of our classmates both during our preparation day and the day of service. Our wonderful classmates would come in early in proper uniform eager to help in whatever ways they could. This made our jobs as Kitchen Manager, Front of House Manager, and Expo less stressful as we could focus more on restaurant flow and behind the scene aspects. Communication is also key! By communicating to our classmates when they arrived ensured they had a clear understanding of what they had to do and our expectations we had for them. This made the Kitchen Manager feel confident in the food that was getting prepared and served. Ask Questions! Asking questions provided us with a better understanding on how to complete a task as well as created less room for error. We ran into a couple problems where staff were unsure about their job assigned and failed to ask questions which lead us having to purchase extra ingredients. In addition, the number of guests who attended the event was lower than expected. This could be due to both signature menu items being vegetarian options. With the low prices PJ’s offers, adding a protein to a dish may have attracted more people to come. Overall, we could not have had the day that we did if it wasn’t for the help of our wonderful classmates as well as our family and friends who came to support us. 
Nov 17th
Gryph's Tailgate
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $840.71,  83 Guests 
The tone of our restaurant was largely set by a smooth receiving the morning before. We were lucky enough to have one of our lab members come in to help us with receiving, and the extra hands made it much less stressful. We were very organized and had a time schedule for our prep day, which made it easy to assign people tasks when they arrived. We would not have had a successful restaurant if our lab members hadn’t come in to help as they did, which we sincerely appreciated. We got all of our prep done in good time and found ourselves with few things to stress about the morning of service. We also had a list of items to complete before service started, which made it easy to keep track of everything. Due to a high number of orders coming in at one time, there were a few communication errors between kitchen and FOH. These were resolved and service continued. We were fortunate to have our restaurant late in the semester, as this meant we had an experienced staff. Our recipes were relatively simple, which made assembly quick and helped with the flow of our restaurant. We had an issue with people walking in to join a table without a reservation, but this did not cause a huge problem as we had a few no-shows. In future, I would advise the hostesses to make sure everyone entering the restaurant is reserved. Overall, our day would not have gone as smoothly without our amazing lab members and excellent management team. 
Nov 18th
Mardi Gras Menagerie
 @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $518.39,  51 Guests
During receiving we had a lot people helping us, and at times it felt hectic and our group had a hard time directing our team. We had a few times where we did not accurately measure out what we were supposed to get. For instance, we did not weigh out 1 kg of shrimp properly and were 400g short. This error could have been eliminated if we had designated one person to weigh out one item, instead of one person getting it from the fridge, and handing it to the person standing at the scale. Half an hour before service, the Fried Chicken line cook pointed out that we had made an abundant amount of pear coleslaw and that our sliders were going to be very large. It was then we decided to put the coleslaw on top of the fried chicken in the sandwich instead of a side on the plate. Not only did this make the plate look cleaner and more appealing, but it did not over crowd the plate. Our line cook did a fantastic job and was very flexible making changes on the fly and she kept a cool head throughout service. Restaurant operation went very smoothly on our day. A large contributor to this was that service was not very busy, as we only had 51 guests. This relatively small amount of guests meant that chits came evenly, and did not pile up. As a result, the kitchen manager, line cooks, and expo were able to move food out in a quick, organized manner, without being under a lot of pressure. A possible explanation for the small amount of guests who came to our restaurant could be the time of year. Mid-November is often extremely busy for students, as the semester is beginning to wrap up. During service, we had a guest complain about the scotch egg that she had ordered. She felt that it might not have been cooked properly. Fortunately, we clarified the situation with the guest and understood what she was looking for. In the end, we resolved the complaint and the guest left satisfied with the results.


Nov 22nd
Summer in Venice
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $806.05,  73 Guests
We were extremely fortunate to have an outstanding team in both the front of house and back of house that were instrumental in the success of our restaurant. Our reservations consisted of many small groups booked at frequent intervals, which meant several tables needed to be turned on an hourly basis. We had very aware staff on the hosting station that were able to shift the seating arrangement whenever necessary to ensure that all guests were seated in timely matter, without rushing anyone through their meal.  This was especially important when we had one large group that was not ready to leave as scheduled, our hostesses took the initiative to solve the problem independently and did so very effectively, re-arranging the seating plan to have the next group sit elsewhere. Having a significant number of staff on Monday was pivotal in our success, as most of the food preparation was competed before hand, and therefore there was no problems when the group was short staffed on the morning of the restaurant. A better understanding of the planned execution in the back of house would have improved the efficiency of food production. Being more aware of how to implement concepts in practice would have allowed us to more effectively arrange our line cooks to ensure link check was completed on time and without addition stress for the staff. Furthermore, stronger communication between the managers and the staff in the kitchen would have been beneficial, for example when the bus pan of Caesar salad was left in the fridge unnoticed. Lastly, add on sales played a major role in our financial success. We sold huge numbers of both the drink and the dessert which absorbed a large percentage of our food costs. Overall we had a very successful day which we can contribute to the outstanding performance of our classmates. 


Nov 23rd
Southern Comfort Kitchen 
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $798.28,  73 Guests
The largest thing that impacted the success of our restaurant was our staff. Without them we wouldn't have been able to get as much accomplished on our prep day as we did. This ultimately allowed the day of our restaurant to run more smoothly as many tasks were completed. Not to mention, many people came in early to help and with our great organizational skills we were able to delegate tasks allowing us to run a very smooth and effective service. In addition to this, even though we were one of the last restaurant days we stayed on top of our work during the semester which prevented us from having to rush at the end to organize everything. This made us very prepared for the day of our restaurant and was a huge part of our success. Our FOH manager did a really good job of training our front of house staff to up sell our speciality drink, soup and dessert to customers. This resulted in an exceptional add on sales of $210. If we were to improve next time on our restaurant we should have done a better job at using all of the food we purchased. For example, we had extra cabbage in our fridge that we initially didn't use in our coleslaw because we were too focused on following the recipe exactly. "If you have the food, use the food” so we ended up using the extra cabbage in the coleslaw. Finally, we learned the importance of having a buffer time when cooking things on the day of the restaurant. For example, when cooking our BBQ chicken we did not schedule enough time to cook the chicken and as a result it came down to the wire. This resulted in a lot of unneeded stress which could have easily been prevented with a buffer time.


Nov 24th
The Lazy Lounge
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $777.42,  74 Guests
The first crucial factor for the success of our restaurant was the number of people who came to help us receive and prep beforehand. This helped us prepare a significant portion of our recipes, and not only alleviated our group’s pressure (especially during receiving), but allowed us to make sure the quality of each item wasn’t compromised by time constraints. The time saved was especially important with a complex desert like Elvis in a Jar, which needed to be completed the morning of service. Our add-on sales such as our drink, soup, and dessert were quite high because of a strong marketing effort. This included posters featuring pictures of the Elvis in a Jar, and tabletop ads for the Tomato Soup and our Fizzy Peach drink. We also posted engaging posts and puns on our Facebook event page about menu items specific to our day. The popularity of our Siesta Bowl was unexpected, and many customers made comments about wishing we hadn’t run out of it so soon. This leads us to believe that this specific item was most alluring, and brought in a good proportion of our 74 guests. Luckily for us, our team co-operated well and the day ran quite smoothly. While this was possible because of each individual person’s morale, our restaurant was late in the season and thus gave us time to grow more comfortable with each other and the expectations. Having staff that knew where everything was located benefitted our restaurant during preparation, service, and clean-up. It also meant a greater proportion of the kitchen staff were comfortable around the equipment, making our work safer and more efficient. The experience of some of our peers especially stood out in the front of house, where a few of our servers supported both management and other wait staff. One server went beyond expectations by assisting the FOH manager with seating and section assignment. Another server greatly elevated the guest experience with her friendliness, and by working with the expo to get food out of the kitchen quickly and efficiently. Our group feels very strongly that our overall success was a series of smaller successes made by every individual throughout the semester; whether through learning a new skill, giving someone else advice, or creating a comfortable atmosphere. 


Nov 25th
Southern Comfort
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $646.83, 62 Guests
 A large part of the success of our restaurant can be attributed to the amazing teamwork amongst our classmates. We came to find our prep-day to be not only efficient, but also very fun. Finishing early was definitely a highlight of our prep-day, due to quick working, well-organized team members and great attitudes. Before service, on the day of, there were a few recipes that we had underestimated quantities for. Essentially, we had to buy extra of specific ingredients in order to have enough for service. Though we overcame this issue quickly, it still was an inconvenience to our prep. During service, we found a little bit of trouble on the line in regards to the timing of our main dish (chicken and waffles). The organization of tasks amongst line cooks was difficult to determine at the very beginning of service, but once we started and ran through a couple orders, we were able to harmonize well. In addition, identifying an exact time for when waffles should be made (to ensure they weren’t getting soggy in the steam table) posed an issue for us initially, but after careful consideration we were able alter the times to better suit our production. Regardless of the problems we faced amidst service, we genuinely enjoyed our day as a management team and had a lot of fun working together. We were able to form a friendship very early on, which made the experience very rewarding, because we were completing a task amongst friends. 
Nov 29th
Komfort Kitchen
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $525.04, 45 Guests
The staff members were a major contribution to the running of our restaurant. Many people showed up during preparation for our restaurant on Monday as well as on Tuesday, before service. Everyone worked as a team and helped each other to prepare the menu items much earlier than expected. During the semester and leading to the day of our restaurant, the three of us communicated with each other regularly and collectively made decisions together. We worked well as a group together, and during our event, we worked together to lead our team. We were able to operate our day smoothly through the front of house, through the expeditor, and to the kitchen. This was a result of our calm decision making skills and effective communication. As a group, we had to learn how to take a predetermined recipe, evaluate what we had in terms of ingredients, and create the amount of portions that we needed to run our day. During our restaurant, we adjusted our cheese sauce for the mac and cheese quite a bit to cut down on costs as we did not have as many reservations as expected. We also adjusted our pot pie mix and removed quite a bit of liquid from the gravy mix. This adjusted all our portion sizes during the day of our event. We had to learn how to work with what we had and that we cannot just blindly follow the recipe direction. Instead, we must evaluate what we are doing at every step and ensure what we are doing is correct. Our purchase ordering was also a factor. We made the mistake of treating the PO form like a math quiz rather than a grocery list. Some items we initially wanted to order too much of because we did not know how much it really was until seeing it the day of. For example, on the day of our PO meeting, we ended up cutting the amount of cheese we planned to order in half and it ended up being more than enough in the end. Also, since we were so specific with our numbers in the PO, we tended to round down rather than up and ended up having too little of some items on our prep day and had to buy a bit more.
Nov 30th
Broadway Brunch
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $901.78, 91 Guests
Time management and organization was a key incident for our team. This caused us to be disorganized in the early morning of our restaurant day. The kitchen was definitely a little chaotic. It took a while for us to wrap our heads around what needed to be done. Once we stepped back and looked at the bigger picture of what needed to be done and the different timings we had to meet, we had a clearer picture and was then able to get the ball rolling again. This leads us to the next critical incident which was, the lack of proper communication between our management team. All three of us were not on the same page when it came to the timings of what needed to go into the oven, especially since we had lots of items that needed to go into the oven at approximately the same time. Once one item was delayed in being placed in the oven, the snowball effect began which caused us to be pushed back till the last minute before service began. We would have prevented this if we had proper communication and understanding among our team. We could have had a timeline that each of us held so that we could check it off once it is done and ensure that we inform our team mates. Since we were the last lab for our class, everyone was very comfortable in their roles that they were so focused on completing their jobs to the best of their abilities that dish pit had gone unnoticed. The dish pit was piled with dished and we had to rectify that problem immediately by getting staff to stop what they were doing and help clear the dish pit. The success of our restaurant would not have been possible without the support of our staff members. We had some come in extremely early in the morning to assist us with prep and some who stayed all the way to the end (even after class time, approximately 3:15PM), to ensure that all kitchen closing duties have been completed and that the kitchen was spotless. We count ourselves extremely fortunate to have such staff members. When it came to the actual running of the restaurant during service time, this process went by very quickly and smoothly. Orders were going out in the correct order that they were placed. All meals on an order were timed perfectly so that they could go out at the same time and not be sitting under the heat lamps for long. For example, Shawn had excellent timing in that when an order had a tempeh burger or pizza on it, he knew to let those staff in charge of that item know right away so they could begin while waiting till it was almost close to being ready before starting some of the other dishes on the order such as the eggs benedict and chicken panini which took a shorter amount of time to put together.
Dec 1st
Holiday Cafe
@ pj's    menu
Food Sales $1058.03, 99 Guests
One of the biggest reasons for the restaurant's success was the high number of reservations. As a group we worked hard on marketing our restaurant by constantly sending out reminders and distributing several posters around the campus. However, since the additional reservations that came in the last week, we had to make last minute changes to quantity of ingredients as we needed to increase amounts in order to meet the number of guests.  Although we were very familiar with our recipes and ingredients, we unfortunately ran into problems with our quiche dish.  We did not realize that spices did not need to be doubled along with the recipe and as a result, we had to redo the entire quiche mixture. Moreover, our sandwiches were a popular item throughout service and was sold out by the end of the day.  However, it took longer than expected to make and this caused some delay in sending out orders to guests.  Although the timing to heat the sandwich was unavoidable, it may have helped better anticipate the orders. Although we had amazing staff, we did have a few issues at the very front due to the high number of reservations.  The hostesses were a bit overwhelmed with the number of guests and unfortunately, this lead to increased wait time. The increased wait times caused backups in the dining room as well, since we couldn’t get people seated as quickly as we would have liked. Although both of our hostesses were very nice and competent people, we could have avoided this problem if we had told them in advance that they needed to take coats and seat people as quickly as possible.