Student Feedback ~ Fall 2017

"I can see why you chose this family-friendly restaurant to represent your cerebellum. So safe, so comfortable, so Shoney's. But admit it, Rick—you're going crazy cooped up in here. Let's go visit some memories." ~ Cornvelious Daniel from Rick and Morty

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 5th
Spice up Your Life @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $625, 59 Guests
The success of our restaurant was almost entirely dedicated to the support of not only our own lab group, but those from other labs. We had all hands on deck before 9:30 on the day of service, in addition to having enough hands on our prep day that we got everything done and were out of the kitchen by 12:30. Everyone was effective, continually asking things that needed to be done. In addition, those that were prepping on the day of our service, were ready and willing to help when they had an extra moment. This ensured that we were prepared at line check for service 15 minutes before people began arriving. The simplicity of our specialty menu items was also conducive to the ease of service. The entirety of the dishes was able to be prepped before service, so once an order came in, it was just necessary to heat the naan and prepare the plate. However, there was a mistake on our purchase order, and an insufficient amount of rice was ordered. This hindered service as we needed to spare a line cook to prepare more rice in the middle of service. Also, it was something that should not have been a problem, as rice was one of the cheapest ingredients of the recipe, and should have been ordered in excess versus scarcity. Another problem that arose on the day of service was the pizza dough not binding and becoming a smooth ball. Thus, it had to be remade further in the morning delaying the already long process of prepping the pizza dough, setting us back and causing the pizza crust not being prepared until the start of service. Another critical incidence was the number of guests served. Serving a total of 59 guests over the course of 2 hours, could have been potentially increased by further outside marketing. We participated in multiple forms of social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, as well as email invites and IMing. However, if there was a more frequent reminder for those on the social media websites, we could have received a higher turnover rate.

 

October 6th
Casa Nostra @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $324.20, 29 Guests
Much of the success for our restaurant was due to the abundant help of our fellow classmates who were always ready at our disposal. From the start of our purchase order, to the receiving and prepping of our food, and even to the day of the restaurant, there were always extra hands in the kitchen which made everything less stressful, and easier to run our restaurant. The organization of our group helped make tasks simpler and smoother. Knowing who should be making which items and having very clear recipe instructions assisted in making all the little details of our restaurant come together. Rather than having complex items, we decided to incorporate much simpler menu items. This allowed us as a group to focus on our dishes in greater detail and focus on other aspects of our restaurant. One downfall of our restaurant was that we did not have a big turnout. Our team was prepared for many customers to show up but unfortunately, we did not have as many customers as we hoped for. Some of our reservations cancelled last minute or did not show up, which lead to a smaller number of total guests. Marketing our restaurant more could have helped raise this number. This means more time to develop marketing efforts, and more time to advertise to the community.
 
October 11th
SAVEour Summer @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $397.21, 36 Guests
There are numerous things that influenced our restaurant day and how things “flowed” during service. One of these things was the mistake during our yield measurements. We noticed that once we made the chili, they’re would not be enough to server how much we wanted in each taco bowl. We miscalculated the recipe and ended up with much less than we were expecting. That being said, we were lucky that we did not need more chili than we had because of our low guest number. This brings us to our next big influence during our restaurant day, which would be the number of people that showed up on our restaurant day. Since we weren’t being as careful as we should have we noticed that we were missing some ingredients, didn’t properly read instructions for recipes and forgot little details such as cutting the chips in strips for our taco bowl and adding sour cream to the top of our bowl like we originally planned. We had issues with our PO, which then lead to some issues during receiving and preparing the dishes. Another thing that could have been better is the way we lined and organised the kitchen. During service we noticed that we kept certain items in some fridges that were a lot further than where they should have been. We could have placed the chilli closer to all the taco bowl items in order for it to be one person preparing it and not having two different people preparing the dish.
 
October 12th
Falling for France @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $ -- , 48 Guests
The help we received from our class prepping for the day of our restaurant was crucial. Even though no one was able to help us prep the day before, we were glad we got many hands to help get us ready the day of our restaurant. Without their help, we would not be able to get our line ready. Our reservation number was low, but we did have a significant amount of walk-ins. This increased our food sales from our predicted number, but at the end of the day our food cost was still very high, since we did not have the standard 80 guests. We also had a few tables that came just before 1pm. Although this increased our sales, FOH and BOH were working right until 1:30pm. After this, there were many dishes to be done, and more help than the 3 designated dishwashers was required. This was a critical incident because we started cleaning a little too late, and the individual glass jars and lids for the crème brûlées required handwashing one by one, which we figured out later. There were many dishes that could have been washed earlier, such as the baking pans and the inserts used to prep food. Because of this, the dishwashing and cleaning of the kitchen ended at 3pm instead of the usual 2:30pm. A bit more organization could have avoided this issue. Another main critical incident was our purchasing. A lack of communication from our management team lead to severe mistakes in our purchasing order form. We missed major components of our specialty dishes and under ordered a few ingredients. Although this was a low-point of our project, it did offer us the most room to learn. We learned to be extremely thorough and check in with one another’s work. Our last critical incident revolves around our organization/time management. We could have utilized all of our pre-planning better by incorporating “to-do’s” in the job packs going out to the other students. Many specified in their evaluations of us managers that they would have liked a more detailed job pack. This would have helped us as well by delegating duties to certain people so we could focus our efforts on more pressing issues.
 
October 13th
Lunch on the Mediterranean @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $ 548.31, 57 Guests 
Our restaurant day was affected by various factors, good and bad. First, we did not have as many reservations as we aimed for with the original menu mix. Luckily we still sold out of our falafel salad, but only hit 25 souvlaki orders (originally planned for 34) and there were barely any standard menu items sold. We did a variety of marketing but could have improved by individually inviting people on Facebook so that they receive event reminders. Second, most reservations were at 11:30. This slammed the kitchen with orders right away as well as caused a line-up to pay at the machine at front of house. Third, our PO was due the same time as assignment 1 and we did not budget our time properly. We did not have a strong conference 3 because we did not know our recipes/batches well enough off the top of our heads, which lead to under-ordering on a few items. This issue fixed itself when our chicken was cut back due to low reservations. We then had enough chopped salad for each dish and only had to buy an extra couple pounds of potatoes. A fourth incident, vital to the success of our restaurant, was the help from our classmates: a lot of people came on Thursday to help with prep, and every single person arrived early on Friday. This allowed us to finish almost all prep on Thursday so Friday was much more relaxed. Finally, the KM had an organized plan of kitchen operations for Thursday and Friday where people were pre-assigned to jobs depending on their planned arrival. Notes were made beside items that were in the process of being made, as well as when they were complete, to ensure nothing was missed. In the end, we are very grateful to our amazing classmates for making this a great day!
 
October 17th
A Taste of True North @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $ 834.39, 70 Guests

We sold many add-on’s – 27 of our specialty drinks, 11 soups and 39 beavertails. This boosted our food sales drastically and has a positive impact on our overall food costs. Although we had a large amount of time to get things done, the timing of food preparation snuck up on us and caught us off guard. Even though there was three of us, it managed to get by us all and that shouldn’t have been the case and the KM (Kate) should have been much more aware of a few of the items and how long it would take to prepare them effectively. We had three managers and we didn’t communicate very effectively as a cohesive team. We needed to talk amongst the three of us more during the running of our restaurant and there were some incidents (PO and timing situations) that shouldn’t have gotten through all three of us but did which made it clear that we needed stronger communication. There should have been more a link between the managers about what was going on in the kitchen vs. what was going on in the front of house during the operation of our restaurant. As we were prepping for the day, we did not delegate as effectively as we could have. As Simon said “There’s a time to do and a time to manage” which was lacking during our prep time. The KM and expo should have been doing less of the prep work ourselves and should have had more trust in our team members & given the jobs to our kitchen staff. Meanwhile, the expo should have made more observations about how an expo functions in the kitchen and be more familiar in her duties (bringing dishes for the hot line, etc.). We should have been more organized with who was going to be doing what on the day of and known the timing of our food items better so we could delegate people to prep at more specific times.

 
October 18th
Pun N Grub @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $ 320.28, 31 Guests
One critical incident was the work of our kitchen staff. Our success was positively affected by their great skill-sets and eagerness to help where and when needed. Our staff came early to help prepare and had all read over the job packs distributed prior to service. With the experience they had acquired during the two previous restaurant labs, the staff were all able to navigate the kitchen with confidence. We are extremely thankful to have had such an excellent staff. Next, the simplicity of our signature menu items allowed us to dole out items quickly with each incoming order. The shepherds pie was ready in the roast and hold oven while all the ingredients for the sandwich were ready for assembly. Another critical incident was the number of reservations made and guests served. We had an underwhelming total of 31 guests over the duration of our 2-hour service. More guests would have helped cover more of our food costs. This guest count likely could have been increased by more extensive outside marketing. We took to various social media outlets, including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, as well as email invites and instant messaging. More frequent reminders for those on the social media outlets could have been beneficial. Also, targeting more people unknown to our group members, such as the general Guelph population, would have broadened our target audience greatly. Lastly, problems arose in the front of house throughout our service.  Although many of our front of house staff were great, not all were familiar with the point of sale system, the menu, or proper serving techniques. This lead to problems such miscommunication among staff, redundant orders coming to kitchen, and staff only carrying one plate at a time to a table. These types of things could have been avoided by better guidance and preparation by the front of house manager. By running PJ’s, we learned what made our service a success and what would make us more successful in the future.
 
October 19th
Ikea Cafe @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $ 488.75, 49 Guests
If it weren’t for the amount of help we received from other groups in our lab we would not have been able to be as efficient on not only the day of but the prep day as well. As a management team we were able to use each peer effectively by planning what time to start each dish and by using this technique we were able to be early in preparations and we used this to give staff a break in between prep and service since there was “too many cooks in the kitchen” who weren’t being used so to save space we sent them out of the kitchen. This helped staff with stress levels as well as gave them a chance to look over job packs and recipes for whichever job they were assigned to that day. Working together on managements part also helped make the day run smoothly; all managers used communication to their advantage and made sure to check in with each other throughout the restaurant day, for example FOH noticed soup spoons were being placed into the bowls of soup when they were being served so she went and informed the expo of this issue and expo informed KM to make sure there were several eyes on soups to make sure they were sent out properly. Flow of food during preparation was where some issues arose; we could have thought through the way certain food was prepared to make it more time effective, for example on the meatball recipe it was stated that meatballs will be pan fried but this is not the easiest way to cook 100+ meatballs, so we switched it to baking them which cut the cooking time down a lot but it slowed down other jobs since we had staff trying to pan fry the meatballs at first then they came to us saying it was not working properly. Purchasing is another area that could have been improved, when it came to ordering ingredients for the waffles we underestimated how much we would need which caused confusion the day of operation as we needed to pull someone from the line right before service to make more waffle mix/waffles. Meatballs were another issue when it came to food planning; instead of determining how much mashed potatoes to make based on the number of meatballs we made previously, we made 25 servings of mashed potatoes but this was an issue because we ended up having more than 25 servings of meatballs from the meat we received meaning that we were very close to selling out of the meatball dish but it was because of the mashed potatoes not the meatballs. 
 
October 19th
Cozy Cabin Brunch @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $ 780.43, 80 Guests
Running PJ’s restaurant requires a lot of planning, time, and work. There are so many factors at play, both positive and negative, that impact your restaurant day. Our teamwork, both amongst group members and the entire lab, leading up to and during the lab had a major impact on the success of our restaurant. We had tremendous support from our lab members, who all came in early to help. Without them the preparation would not have gone as smoothly. To begin with, the communication amongst our team members kept everyone on the same page. Each team member had a clear idea of their role and what was expected of them, so we were able to effectively run our restaurant on the day of. Next, knowledge of the special menu item recipes was crucial. Knowing how much of each item should go on each plate, and being prepared to answer questions about this are assets when running the restaurant. We did not know this information as well as we should have, and ended up wasting time trying to find and check recipes. It would have allowed us to adapt and act faster when issues with our recipes and yields arose if we had known this information ahead of time. In addition, not double checking our items was another critical incident. I was told that there were more potatoes by another lab member, when there really weren’t. This oversight was my fault, however, because I did not physically go check and make sure they were there. Always be aware of how much food you have left, how many plates you have served, and any discrepancies that affect how many more you can serve. Some of our measurements were off, so we were short on potatoes. You have to use what you have, so double checking the potatoes would have allowed for us to accurately portion the amount that we did have, without running out. Furthermore, our restaurant had almost $200 in add on sales, which hugely affected our revenue. This can be attributed to our marketing and our table tents, which reminded customers of our dessert, soup, and beverage options. Finally, our team was extremely efficient. The front of house was attentive and able to get orders in, and food out, quickly. This allowed for a high turnover rate, meaning that we weren’t behind on reservations. The front of house was also efficient in clearing and setting tables to ensure that all guests could be seated in a timely fashion.
 
October 24th
Comfort Food for the Soul @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $404, 32 Guests
One of the main reasons the running of our restaurant went so well on the day of was due to the organizations and planning ahead. We were able to plan out our days with what we wanted to get done and when we wanted it to be started and completed. Another large success to our restaurant was the teamwork that came into play.  Both front of house manager stayed in the kitchen until just passed 10am. This enabled both of the mangers to be in the kitchen making sure everything was running smoothly for a longer time period, therefore less errors and mistakes were made and everything was being done on time. Since we were only a team of two, our teamwork had to be quite strong to make sure everything ran smoothly and was done the way we wanted it to be. Our communication was key before and during the restaurant. Another critical incident was the amount of guest we had was the number of add-on’s that were sold. We were able to sell 12 Apple Pie Punch’s, 16 Sticky toffee puddings, and 14 tomato soups. These alone accounted for $120.90 of the profit. Our simple menu items were another critical incident that made the service of the restaurant quick and efficient. Lastly, the measuring of the item that we did before service began helped immensely as we were able to determine how many of each menu item we could sell based on the weight we wanted things portioned to, and the total weight of the item we had. For example, once the rice was done cooking, we weighed it and then divided it by the portion size weight for one butter chicken dish.
 
October 25th
Not Your Nonna's Kitchen @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $826.74, 82 Guests
We had a very successful day after weeks of preparation. One of our biggest successes was remaining in continual communication with our group members (KM, FOH and expo).  We were very aware of the due dates for the conferences and did our best to over prepare, checking all of the information offered on courselink well before our meetings to ensure we had exactly what was required for a successful day. We also put a lot of thought into who was put in which positions. Although, we were lucky as there were enough labs before ours, allowing us to watch everyone work and evaluate their strengths ahead of time. Thus, we had a very high-functioning kitchen and front of house. Another of our successes was our high guest count, but that didn’t come without a critical incident. Some reservations were made by our team for guests that had stated they would be coming. Unfortunately, that was not always the case. A key point to remember is that if someone can’t be bothered to make a reservation, they can’t be bothered to show up. Following that, having a high number of guests is great, but remember to keep your dishes consistent. This issue came up as the higher number of guests required extra hands on the cook line. As a result, cooks who hadn’t been trained ahead of time on the presentation of the meals were giving different results than our KM who had created the portion sizes. The first dish should look the same as the last dish. Also, when it comes to the meals, make sure to taste far ahead of time and if you find any issues bring them up right away so they can be fixed. Our soup was a recipe made by our team and after making it, we noticed the spices were incredibly overpowering. We did our best to adjust it ourselves on the prep day, but leaving it in the fridge overnight just intensified the flavours. Luckily our KM mentioned it on the day of service and it was fixed in time. On that note, if you use your own recipe, make sure it’s accurate to the gram, don’t add spice until the day of, and always under spice rather than over spice because you can always add more. Finally, make sure to really think through the process your food items will go through, from prep to serving. An item we offered was chicken parmesan, and on the day of service the process of heating up the chicken for serving caused two of our cooks to burn their fingers. A better method could have helped avoid those nasty burns! Overall we thoroughly enjoyed running the restaurant for the day as you get to see all the preparation you’ve been doing turn into a real thing. The biggest advice that we can give is to not be nervous for the day and enjoy the experience. It’s really not as scary as you think once it’s happening! 
 
October 26th
Pop's Diner @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $786.73, 82 Guests
The large amount of help that we received from our classmates the day before our event, as well as the morning of, was instrumental to the success of our restaurant. The support we had allowed us to finish the majority of prep on the prep day itself which made the day of our restaurant less stressful. During prep and service, our team worked very well together and communicated effectively. The front of house was aware of what was going on the back and vice versa. This strong communication played a large part in the success of our restaurant. One issue that we ran into during service was the discovery of the apple blueberry crumble being overcooked, and so we were unable to serve it. For our dessert we ended up selling just the vanilla ice cream, as a result we only sold 3 dessert orders. This caused our sales to take a hit, as we did not earn much revenue from the dessert. Another issue that we ran into was during prep the day of our restaurant, our KM was very dependent on a binder to remain organized, the KM should have relied less on the binder and spent more time being hands on in the kitchen. This would have allowed them to become more aware of what was going on in the kitchen during prep. Our last issue was relying too much on the numbers for the yield of our food items when we should have been more focused on using our judgement to see how much product we physically have. This mistake caused us to run out of Russian dressing halfway through making our Reuben sandwiches and we needed someone to go make more which slowed things down.
 
October 27th
T'EH'Ste @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $552.47, 49 Guests
The success of our restaurant can definitely be contributed to the help of our prep team, who were on time both on receiving day and the day of our restaurant. Our pre-prep was well done and efficient, with the only setback being the first batch of our chicken pot pie filling was too watery and lacked vegetables. Thankfully, it was able to be fixed and and prepared in time, and observing the previous day’s lab that had also served chicken pot pie helped with our plating and final prep. The ease of our menu items was crucial in the smooth flow of serving in the kitchen, since our signature items were easy to plate and required little time to prepare once an order was received. However, we discovered that our pulled pork sandwich was too dry due to the lack of barbecue sauce used. Not only did this affect the final product, but it also affected our final P.O and food costs because we had ordered an extra litre of sauce (which did not get used when it should have). The FOH could have been more prepared when giving POS instructions, as this was sometimes confusing for the waitstaff to follow. Our reservation number was also lower than expected, affecting our final sales and food costs. On a more positive note, our dessert, soup and specialty drink were frequent add-ons to orders, increasing our numbers. As a result, our food sales remained higher than anticipated, given the low number of reservations. In general, our restaurant was successful and enjoyable to run, and each staff member made an amazing contribution!
 
October 31st
Hungry for Haloween @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $772.67, 72 Guests
To begin, running a restaurant is not easy and takes a lot of time, effort, and serious commitment. One of the reasons why our restaurant operation went so smoothly could be attributed to the support we got from our fellow classmates. Many showed up early the day before and helped out with our prep. In addition, on the morning of our restaurant even more people showed up early to help with any final preparations. During lunch service, all the staff kept a positive attitude and worked very hard to make our restaurant great. Another thing that helped the success of our restaurant was our organization. We were very organized and had a detailed list of all the things that needed to be prepared the day before as well as the day of. As we had accomplished a great amount of prep the day before, this then made our morning a lot less stressful and we weren’t worried about finishing everything on time. In addition, we also made some preparations for front of house beforehand which also helped things go smoothly. Something else that impacted the running of our restaurant was that during prep the day before, one of the main menu items was made incorrectly. Instructions were not read properly and assembly was not done right and a lot of ingredients were wasted and had to be thrown out. This not only impacted our prep work since we had to be more flexible with our schedule, but it also impacted our cost, as we had to re-order ingredients. Furthermore, on the day of our prep we realized we did not have enough romaine lettuce for our taco salad. It wasn’t possible to get more in time, so we had to take the romaine lettuce off the chicken salad sandwich and use it towards our taco salad. We then had to replace the lettuce with spinach on our sandwich, further increasing our costs. Another crucial component to the success of our restaurant was the fact that our menu items were easy and simple to make. When orders were placed, the only thing that needed to be done was assembly. As everything was made in advance, this really helped facilitate the flow of food on the line. Overall, our restaurant experience was a positive one, we had many reservations, sold out of many food items, and with overall few errors – everything went really well
 
November 1st
Cheat Day @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $746.26, 67 Guests
One broad incidence would be our management team having more awareness of our recipes. There were a few instances where a lack of awareness caused us some major slip ups. A couple of small mistakes may not seem like a huge deal but, for our group, they ended up costing us a whole item. If our managers had better knowledge of our recipes and simply took a step back to read through them, we would not have had to waste food and would have been able to offer the complete menu, as opposed to having to cut out a standard item. This also would have allowed for better communication to our peers when prepping items, which would have also prevented us having to restart the prep of one of our signature items. Simply reading through your recipe instructions can save you a lot of time, money and stress. Although during the actual service and close to the start, our Expo and FOH were diligent with checking in staff, there should have been more awareness during preparation the day before and morning of. This would have proven helpful when confusion in regards to our soup arose. Although it was prepared according to recipe, we needed to double check with our staff to ensure that, as opposed to being 100% confident right away. Awareness of kitchen activity would have also helped upon realizing that our soup was not up to standard. Although prepared correctly, it did not turn out as planned. Luckily, it was able to be corrected prior to service however, that could have been done much earlier. In addition, prior to the start of service, we ended up having to prepare more ingredients for a dish, as the original amount ordered was not sufficient. This error could have been resolved the day before, had we been more aware during prep, or even during our purchase order meeting. It’s important to remember that if you are going to use your own items for your event, you must ensure they meet the standard of quality for PJ’s and should correct them, if necessary. Both of these incidents could have been resolved much earlier with more initiative and awareness from our management team. Although we ran into issues along the way, our event ended up running very well, as mentioned. It’s important to remember that mistakes will definitely happen but how you handle them will determine the quality of your event and your experience.
 
November 2nd
Colourful Comforts @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $702.93, 69 Guests
Firstly, there was too much communication between the Front and Back of house. While it is impertinent that both halves of the restaurant know what is going on, excessive communication can slow down service. To speed up service, improvements were needed in the quality of communication i.e. speaking in a more clear and succinct manner. Also, at the beginning of service, it took a couple tries to get the hang of timing and telling the line cooks when to prepare the different items for all the dishes to be ready to serve. One particular mishap in the kitchen, related to direction/judgement error, happened when a large order of 11 items came in and everything was up and ready except for 4 Monte Cristos. The KM sent the food out without first checking in with the staff member making the Monte Cristos. This resulted in the 4 customers waiting for some time while the rest of the table had their food. On another note, there were many positive instances that contributed to the successful running of our restaurant.  Front and Back of house were highly organized both before and on our restaurant day. Most notably, our prep day was highly successful. Each group member understood what needed to be done. The KM was very prepared and directed all staff members effectively and efficiently. This allowed many components of our dishes to be prepared ahead of time, increasing the smoothness and timeliness of service on our restaurant day. Furthermore, having simple (but still delicious!) menu items meant that the recipes were easier to execute. This in turn improved staff understanding as well as the speed and quality of service. Lastly, we believe that having good staff is one of the most important aspects of running a successful restaurant. All of our staff pulled together, working in a manner that was supportive, competent, and enthusiastic. Waitstaff remained calm and collected, even during the busiest times. The line cooks allowed service to go smoothly, always working efficiently and helping out with the more popular dishes when necessary
 
November 3rd
Southern Fiesta @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $571.72, 60 Guests
Planning and running our Southern Fiesta Restaurant at PJ’s was unlike any assignment or task we have ever been asked to complete in any of our courses. It required copious amounts of time and effort by all group members to make our restaurant day possible. Looking back on how well our restaurant went there were a couple of critical instances that shaped the success of our Southern Fiesta Lunch. Firstly, the presence and effective use of communication throughout the whole planning process and day of the restaurant was an essential factor in our success. The communication between the kitchen manager and front of house manager with our peer helpers ensured that all lab participants were aware of their duties and of our expectations. Effective communication between the kitchen manager and the expo, as well as the expo with the front of house manager, on the day of the restaurant allowed for smooth running of service and ensured no issues arising due to lack of communication between back of house and front of house. Secondly, our restaurant would not have been possible without the endless amount of help from peers in the preparation stages of the restaurant and the day of service. With over ten individuals present for food preparation the day before our restaurant, all food that was needed to be prepared the day in advance was completed. As well, the kitchen the morning of service was filled with helping hands, ensuring all items were prepared and ready for service on time. Another important factor in the success of our restaurant was the fast service of our signature and best selling dish, the fried chicken dinner. Designating two peers to plate this signature dish due to its expected popularity aided in providing fast service for the customers and allowed for us to have a high turnover rate. Although there were several factors that positively influenced our restaurant day, there were a few that did not and could have been ameliorated to better our restaurant. First was the lack of sales of our dessert. We only sold seven desserts when we were hoping to have sold 36. If we had better marketed our dessert, perhaps on our table tents, our dessert sales may have increased, ultimately increasing our total sales. Lastly, we had a few issues with inaccurate food purchasing with our black bean and vegetable quesadilla ingredients. Our estimation of ingredients required was not on par with what we actually needed for our estimated menu mix number of 20 portions. In the end, we had to decrease our available quesadilla portions in order to have an adequate amount of filling in each one. We also had to purchase extra cheese in order to meet our expected standards of a good quality signature item quesadilla.
 
November 7th
Mediterranean Taste Buds @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $560.23, 61 Guests
Probably one of the bigger places we fell flat was in communication. The thrree of us were all so focused on perfecting our roles that sometimes we forgot the ways that they all flow together. We failed to mention to each other a few key pieces of information that would have helped to avoid some of out problems. Thankfully, we checked in frequently with staff members to ensure everyone was on track and clear about their execution. The success  of our restaurant was largely due to the amount of people that came to help us out the day before our restaurant and the morning of. The peers that came on our preparation day helped us to ensure that everything that needed to be completed was completed on time. And those that arrived early on the day of service helped to ensure that all our items were prepared and ready for service on time. We couldn’t have ran the restaurant successfully without all their help. Many of the guests that the FOH spoke to complimented the taste of our food. They were very impressed that this was a student-run restaurant and not a culinary class. A few of them even asked for our recipes to our signature menu items! Additionally,  we had a great flow of food at the line that ensured minimal delay to serve our guests. The most valuable lesson we learned through this process was the importance of finding a balance between managing and executing. We used our scheduling and lists as a crutch, so when things outside of our plan occurred it was hard for us to embrace the spontaneous stress that could not have been controlled. There's only so much you can plan for your day... sometimes you have to just go with your gut!
 
November 8th
Comfort Kitchen @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $728.70, 71 Guests
The restaurant ran very well since the teamwork on the day of the restaurant was very strong. One critical incident that could’ve helped better the whole experience was the switching of FOH manager and KM close to the week of our actual restaurant. By this happening there was miscommunication between the two positions and on the day of receiving we were not as prepared as we would’ve liked to be. Another critical incident was that on the day of receiving and the morning of our actual restaurant there were lots of participation which made the process flow nicely. With the help of many our classmates we were able to get all the food prepared on-time. In addition, a critical incident that affected our restaurant was being too prepared that there was a gap of time where no one had anything to do because of the fact that everything was done and we were all standing around waiting for the restaurant to open. This could’ve been fixed by spreading out the times in which everything was prepared and slowing down to make sure everything and everyone was going in the right direction. One more critical incident was that the FOH manager could’ve been more prepared. During the day of the operation of the restaurant the FOH staff were basically self-guiding themselves because the lack of readiness of the FOH manager. Lastly, a critical incident that affect the restaurant was that every staff in the kitchen was aware of their job and ready to perform at their best ability. Everyone was prepared and knew what their job was on that specific day. Overall, organization way key  and that was the main thing that accounted for a smoothly ran restaurant.
 
November 9th
Falling for Winter @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $735.58, 75 Guests
As exhilarating as our restaurant day was, it would not have run the way it did without the incredible help we received from our classmates. Being the sixth restaurant in our lab, everyone was very confident in the kitchen which allowed for a smoother prep day and a successful day of service. Each week, our lab becomes more and more comfortable working together which showed in the communication and support on our restaurant day. This communication allowed for a smooth service with no expediting problems.  Our group was very organized while preparing for our restaurant and during our prep day which allowed for little to no issues. We did however run into a few problems the day of service with one of our signature items due to a miscommunication regarding the portioning amounts. Although we ran out of this signature item, our front of house staff did a great job at encouraging our guests to purchase our other signature items as well as PJ’s standard items. Our BOH regularly updated the FOH about servings of each item and how much was left so there were no issues with uninformed servers or customers. Our KM was very prepared with food timing which made expo run smoothly. Knowing when to call each item in order to have a full tables food ready at the same time helped our kitchen run properly and effectively. Our FOH staff did a fabulous job at staying organized in order to accommodate for all our guests without any complications. Although we sold out of most of the menu items, we didn’t sell as many desserts as anticipated considering it was a signature item which we thought would increase food sales. Our FOH looked excellent thanks to the help of others who added input to improve the look of our table tents and decorations.
 
November 10th
Salsa Rossa @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $638.72, 63 Guests
As we reflect on this exercise of planning and running our own restaurant from start to finish, there are many things that we believe that we did quite well on, as well as various things we feel we could have improved on. What we feel was essential to our success was the help of our classmates, who were very helpful and attentive during receiving, and preparation the day before. Our KM was very organized and efficient, and with the extra hands we had, we were able to finish our prep by about noon the day before, making preparation the day of the actual restaurant a lot less stressful. On the other hand, having done basically everything the day before, there was not a lot to do the day of the restaurant, so many students who came early to help with remaining tasks were essentially "standing around" waiting for instruction from the KM. This could have been prevented had we assigned several people to one job, as opposed to having only one person complete the task. The day of the restaurant, our KM realized that the vegetable stock was also required for the Thai Curry, which created unnecessary stress as we did not have enough, and almost had to remove the item from the menu. We had also instructed one of our classmates to bake them the day before service, which would have been counter intuitive and degraded the quality  of the meatballs for the day of service. Having a better awareness of what we had and not solely relying on what was written on a piece of paper (I.e. the recipe itself) would have prevented these incidences from occurring, saving us a lot of stress. In terms of preparation in the front of house, despite the FOH manager never having worked front of house prior to the day of the restaurant, she ensured to seek clarification about the POS (point of sales) system, in order to teach her wait-staff correctly and to minimize any anxieties they had about that. However, she was extremely nervous and certain things she should have been paying attention to (I.e. clearing tables when wait staff was unavailable, helping the individuals in charge of coat check when they were struggling, etc), was a bit rocky at first. The FOH manager did instruct the wait-staff to be very friendly and attentive, and asked them to "talk up" the dessert, which helped increase sales and made up for the lack of covers (63 of a goal of 80 guests). Some of the individuals working wait-staff had not worked wait-staff prior to this day, which caused them a lot of anxiety, but this was overcome after the first thirty or so minutes of service. The communication between the Expo, KM, and FOH was good, and the FOH manager did make sure to check in with the KM frequently to ensure things were running smoothly. 
 
November 14h
Autumn Brunch @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $755.21, 67 Guests 
Having the opportunity to run your own restaurant is truly a unique experience which has been both enjoyable and educational. The operation of our restaurant presented us with a few challenges however we also achieved great success in other areas. For example, our PO sheet could have used a little more accuracy as quantities for recipes such as the hollandaise sauce were a bit off and some ingredients had been forgotten altogether ( limes for the fish tacos).This goes to show that attention to detail is extremely important when striving for accuracy and precise measures. The largest mistake that occurred on our day was also one that could have been easily prevented. About ⅓ of the way through service it was brought to the KMs attention that waffles for one of the feature dishes had run out despite serving barely ½ of the menu mix. At this point, the line staff jumped in to quickly prepare another batch however this impacted the service time by delaying any orders for waffles by about 15 minutes. In the end, all dishes were served thanks to the speedy help of the staff , it just took a little longer than necessary. This error was greatly due to a lack of communication from the KM in regards to recipe quantities required and could have been caught earlier had the final batch been reviewed during line check. Another attribute is the fact that we sold out of almost all of our featured menu items including the soup and dessert as add ons. We greatly feel this was due to the number of people who had come out to support us on the big day ( friends, family, professors) and was also a result of the copious amounts of advertising done through social media. A final factor that was probably one of the largest contributors to the day's success was using the receiving day efficiently and completing as much of the prep work as possible the day before. By completing the larger, more meticulous tasks in advance such as making the cheesecakes and pre boiling the potatoes for the hash, we cut out  much of the work on service day. None of this could have been possible however, if it was not for the immense effort of our peers.There is truly no greater satisfaction that can be achieved than seeing your vision come to life and observing the smiles on the faces of the guests as they enjoy a great meal that you prepared. 
 
November 15th
Kozy Kitchen @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $721.24, 76 Guests
There are many factors that played a role in our restaurant outcome, good and bad. The main one being, the amazing help and support that we received from our staff members. They were there for us to help prep the day before and early the day of which proved extremely beneficial and we could not have done it without them. Subsequently, as a management team, we tried to always work together but there were many times where we fell short as a team too. A good example is that we had good communication skills between expo and kitchen manager but also with the front of house manager. Our front of house manager was great at making sure that the servings shown on the POS system matched with that of the kitchen and communicating any problems in the front of house to the back of house. On the other hand, leading up to our restaurant day we fell short when it came to working as a complete team, especially on our prep day. Next, our shepherd`s pie was a simple and effective menu item that proved to make service efficient since it was prepared before service. On top of that, we had a good guest turnout of 76. This makes the experience much more realistic, fast paced, fun and exciting. Also, it allows us to keep our food costs low which is always good. One thing that we could have really improved upon is how much we rely on our notes and recipes. Knowing exact numbers and procedures would have really benefitted the restaurant specifically during prep. If we were more confident in the numbers: amounts of food we have, how much goes where and how much we need, it would have improved our ability to instruct our staff which would have created a better flowing restaurant. Just having better knowledge of our recipes in general would have made the morning of service a lot less stressful. For example, we had to get more bacon that morning because we did not account for how much bacon shrinks. It was a small obstacle in our restaurant but it could have been avoided.
 
November 16th
Aloha Tokyo @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $694.55, 66 Guests
One of the major incidents of our restaurant starting since day one would be the fact that we were making our signature dishes more complicated than it could be. First, we chose a theme and signature items that were unique but challenging, and even decided to make our own soup with recipes we have found online. These are all factors that could ultimately increase the chances of failures and problems appearing before or during our restaurant day. Since we had complicated menu items, the restaurant would have been run more smoothly if our management team had more understanding and awareness of the recipes. We did not think out the flow of our signature dishes as thoroughly as we should have. We focused on speeding up the process of final assembling, while neglected the final quality of the food. This caused a major mishap in us stir frying the vegetables for the udon dish and placing them in the steamtable an hour before the service started. An important factor that contributed to our success in selling our signature dishes would be showing the finished products to our servers. We assembled the beef teriyaki udon for the servers to see and sample, which resulted in a very positive response. This gave them personal experiences with our signature dishes, allowing them to promote the items to customers. As a result, our teriyaki udon was very popular and sold out quickly. Customer satisfaction was also very high since the food not only tasted great, but they also looked great. The presentation of the udon and poke bowl were marvelous. Although the vegetable toppings for both signature dishes were in fairly small amounts, the well-executed arrangements of the dishes made them look very presentable and appetizing. Although we had 83 reservations made, it was shown that a total of only 66 guests showed up. Since we started advertising the restaurant to our friends too early, some of them forgot the time of reservations and showed up at the wrong time slots. However, it is most likely that 71 guests showed up since we had 64 entrees sold and we noticed there were two tables with a total of 7 people who did not order entrees and only had a drink or shared a soup. This affected our sales, limiting the amount we could have earned considering the number of guests we had in the restaurant. Furthermore, the tables taken up by the guests who did not order any food caused our bookings to be full, preventing other people from making reservations.
 
November 17th
FlashBack Friday @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $739.69, 76 Guests
The smooth operation of our restaurant relied heavily on the amount of help and expertise our classmates had to offer, and the large volume of reservations. We had a good number of lab members show up for the receiving on Thursday, and they worked very efficiently. As for the restaurant day, the majority of staff arrived and instantly became helpful and worked alongside each other. The kitchen manager was not assertive enough, as he had never been on hot line before and did not exactly understand how the kitchen operates. Thus, some kitchen staff had to take things into their own hands as they did not have enough direction. For the exact same reason, we had somewhat poor awareness of what was happening at all times. Some people were given unclear instructions and failed to communicate efficiently due to the kitchen manger’s lack of familiarity with the standard menu items. Our poor understanding of our own menu and taking things more like a math test caused problems for our own inventory. We were missing a few ingredients, which luckily were available to purchase on the day of, however this could potentially have taken an item off the menu. The instructor realized that some of the chicken was undercooked, once again due to the kitchen manager’s lack of awareness and not double-checking on the chicken’s internal temperature. Luckily, kitchen staff took the initiative to ensure the chicken was put back into the oven to reach the proper temperature, and also made sure the food was sent out on time. On the other hand, front of the house staff was successful in taking a high volume of customer during peak hours from 12 to 1pm. During our flow of service, the majority of the guests were seated in a timely manner and were instantly greeted as well as served with a beverage.  
 
November 21st
Brunch Haus @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $746.42, 76 Guests
We were very excited to have the opportunity to run a restaurant, and it could only be possible with the help of our lab members. The enthusiasm and participation of our classmates during receiving and prep was one of the reasons our restaurant ran so smoothly. Their understanding of their roles, and the necessities to run a restaurant at PJ’s, was thorough and complete. Another reason for the success of our restaurant was the choice of simple menu items, that were relatively easy to prepare—this led to more efficient service. On top of that, being aware of timing of each recipe lead to a line that was prepared a little earlier, so line checks were done efficiently and early which lead to a less stressful start of service. This was particularly important as there was a huge rush of customers starting around 11:40. Communication between the KM, Expo, and FM was also vital during service. Being aware of the line cook’s number of entrees to be sold, and the transfer of that information, and also being aware of the portions of each menu item lead to having enough of each menu item for the customer’s requests. However, one short coming was the home fries, where it was miscalculated to one serving. This could have potentially been due to the misuse or malfunctioning of the scales, and could have been avoided by double checking amounts and the accuracy of the scales. Another critical area during service was acting on our feet when there was an uneven distribution of work between line cooks. Although we had pre-assigned the line cooks on less popular items to help with the eggs benedict, the line needed more help on the chicken salad sandwich then expected, so we had to unofficially reassign line cooks during service. Acting on our feet can also be seen in the FOH, where one wait staff called in sick, so other wait staff had to be aware of the change of pace and amount of work that had to be done.
 
November 22nd
West Side Marios @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $806.06,  Guests
 
November 23rd
Firewood Chalet @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $719.87, 69 Guests 
We could not have been successful without the help of our amazing lab mates. On both the prep day, as well as they day of our restaurant, they came early and ready to help. We were very lucky to have staff that had experience in the kitchen, from the previous 7 weeks. Everyone was willing to help with whatever was needed, and kept us updated on the progress. This ensured that all the food was ready before service. Also, as a team of managers, we worked very well together. One of our critical instances that negatively affected us was that we were very short when ordering several of the items on the PO. This included enough pasta for our mac and cheese and enough apples and blueberries for our dessert. This caused us more stress on the day of our restaurant, as we were not able to prepare these foods on prep day since we didn’t order enough ingredients. We also had an error measuring how much food we actually had, as well as how many portions of each item. For example, we thought we had more tomato soup than we actually had, so an order came in for four portions of tomato soup, but we only had one portion left. As well, we put way too little chicken salad in the sandwiches than we could have, which resulted in a lot of leftovers. This resulted in customers commenting that there could be more chicken salad in the sandwich. Finally, we had an issue with one of our servers. They let a table sit for a prolonged period of time without their order being taken. This was unacceptable, and we had to put another server in charge of the section. Overall, we could not have had such a successful day without working as a team and having such an awesome lab.
 
November 24th
The Breakfast Club @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $664.13, 73 Guests 
The success of our restaurant running as smoothly as it did is greatly due to the members of the Friday lab group. We had many hands to help during receiving and prep the day before as well as the morning of service. All three of us had extensive knowledge of the recipes and were effective in our communication with the staff. The KM binder contained all the recipes and Thursday (prep) and service (Friday) checklists of everything that needed to get done, at what time they needed to be started and who was going to be responsible for them, to ensure everything got done. We also had lists of what needed to be in the Garde Manger fridge and the fridge under the steam table for service, as well as drawings showing how the placement of items for the steam and cold table were to be set up. The simplicity of our items was also a huge contributor to the ease of prep and service. We had very few batch recipes, as most ingredients were an actual food item on their own/did not need to be prepared by the team (ex. peameal bacon, English muffins, bananas). Therefore, our recipes were less time consuming (we were able to leave lab by 12:30 on our prep day). They were also very easy to assemble on the line, meaning we could get orders out faster. This was key at the beginning of service as most of our guests were set to arrive between 11:30 and 12:00. We were also able to get the orders out quicker because our flow of food was very effective. For example, the stuffed French toasts were grilled and placed in the roast and hold, therefore when an order came in they would get passed to Sophie on line who would add the fruit salad and garnish and then pass it to the KM to add the syrup and send it off. Finally, we had amazing intergroup communication between the managers and expo. We were constantly communicating from the kitchen to the front about how many mains we had left and therefore never ran in to any issues with running out of a main after someone had ordered it, as well as having great communication from the front to back of house about clarifying orders if there were any specifications, time holds or to go’s.
 
November 28th
Fresh Flavours @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $732.98, 67 Guests 
The menus we used were missing two key items: prices, and nutrition info. This could have steered customers away from purchasing certain dishes because of assumed prices.
 
November 24th
East Meets West @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $684.33, 67 Guests 
Our restaurant was a huge success and it would not have been made possible without the people and the help from everyone in our lab. For our Wednesday lab, I think our labs dynamic had a huge focus on teamwork. No one was ‘out for themselves’, and everyone was always there to help, lend a hand, and made sure that others knew what they were doing. For example, on the day of receiving, we had 9 people show up from our class. This meant that there were a total of 12 people present in the kitchen, giving us a strong support system to prep everything we needed. One thing our group did really well in was our organization. This class was very demanding, and required a lot of work both inside the classroom and outside of it as well. As our restaurant was approaching, we wanted to ensure that all of our bases were covered in order to make it successful. We decided to put together a binder with all of our recipes, calculations for the PO sheet to make receiving easier, as well as lists of things that needed to be prepped on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning. Having this binder and master list made it way easier to keep track of everything, what needed to be done and by what time so that the morning of the restaurant was less stressful and less busy. When we were originally assigned our restaurant day, we were a little upset with the date of it. The end of the year is always a hard time for everyone, with finals and end of the year projects, and we were worried that we’d be too busy to fully execute our restaurant, but also worried that no one would show up. Going last turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Every week that went by, we were able to watch how the restaurants were executed, talk to them about what went well and what went wrong, and observe from the outside and make notes on what we could do differently to make our execution as best as possible. What we learned was that having a master list of what needed to be prepared and who would do it was important for the restaurant day, as it made the morning less stressful. We learned that for receiving day, we wanted a few more hands on deck. Some groups did not have many people show up, and were in the kitchen prepping the food until 2pm or later. While we kept it to 4 people for receiving, we had a total of 12 people for prepping and this became a lot more efficient, and most people only had one job to do and we were out by 11:15am. We also ended up doing 67 covers, so people did show up and were happy with our meals! When deciding on a theme and dishes for our restaurant, we knew we wanted to be different, but also keep them simple so that our line wouldn’t suffer, or have too many questions when it came to the actual day. The burrito was an easy sell, however, our Cauliflower Bowl was a little “outside the box” it was simple, trendy and would sell out. We made some alterations to the Burrito which ended up being a huge hit for those ordering it – it became more of an ‘enchilada’ style burrito that was covered in cheese and sauce. with a few small changes we could make the dish 100 times better and more popular. We were also right about the Cauliflower Bowl. It was a hot seller and sold out completely, and everyone who ordered it loved it. It was presented nicely, and was easy for our line to prepare. 
 
November 24th
Winter is Coming, eh? @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $1091.23, 89 Guests
Winter is Coming, eh? had a very successful operation day, with close to 100 people reserving seats. The first incident was that our grilled cheese took longer to cook than we had anticipated. We kept the prepared sandwiches in the fridge before service, which made the butter and cheese colder and take longer to melt. Additionally, the sandwiches were not put on the griddle until 11:30, which was 15 minutes later than expected. As orders came in, service was delayed waiting for the grilled cheese. Good communication during this incident was vital, and our managers made sure to use our expediter to get messages from the heart of house to the front of house. An updated countdown of signature and specialty menu items was always being communicated from different positions on the line to the KM, which was then communicated to the FOH staff, ensuring everyone was aware. The amount of help we received from our class was absolutely critical in the smooth running of our restaurant. Our classmates were present, prepared, and involved during receiving, prep, and restaurant operation. Several students even saw through menu items from prep to service, making them 'experts' at their station. Equal attention, however, needed to be given to other recipes. The maple glaze batch for our chicken tasted like soya sauce when made the first time and the red onion marmalade batch for our grilled cheese was off in colour and yield. If more awareness was given to those completing these recipes, we would have saved time and ingredients from only making them once. Lastly, our sales of our specialty drink, dessert, and soup were higher than expected, which helped to reduce our food cost.