Student Feedback ~ Winter 2011

"You really can't put a dollar amount on the combination of talent plus fear"      -Puck from Glee
 

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 

February 3rd
C3 (fine dining)   menu
Food Sales $1692, 47 Guests
Our biggest ‘incident’ was the school being closed the day before the event meaning we had to receive all our product and do the prep for the evening the day of. The snow day actually gave us time to ensure we knew exactly what was going to get done when. We ran a tad long in the prep meaning our pre-service meal and staff meeting were a bit shorter than we’d have liked, but overall we were happy. Other than that, we only had a few other minor incidences ranging from an incident removing the beef from the ovens(!), having the souffles not prepped in time for service, and the flow of the line being a bit off on the first 10 plates during the entree. Front of house went very smoothly with only minor hiccups including having to divert from the original floor plan to accommodate a table addition a couple hours before service that was somehow missed in the original draft. Given the size of the class and the enormity of the task at hand this day went incredibly well.
 
 
February 3rd
Tim Burton's Delerium   menu
Food Sales $993.56, 89 Guests
The major contributor to our successful restaurant was our group dynamic. It was very positive and we handled each other’s stress levels well. Although each one of us had a unique personality and our own way of thinking, we balanced one another out and each brought something different to the table (literally). We decided right from the start we were going to do things as a team; therefore, come the day of our restaurant, we were each prepared with not only our own tasks, but a great knowledge of all positions. This allowed us to have great communication and understanding throughout service. Another very important critical incident was the tremendous support our group received from our classmates, and the help they showed each other during service. Although many of our classmates do not have restaurant experience, each one is eager to learn and help others achieve success. Our class has a great understanding of what it is to be working towards one goal. We received an abundance of help during our prep day as almost the entire class was present an hour and a half before service. If we could change one thing it would have been the measuring and counting of all ingredients ahead of service. We ran out of two ingredients during service; however this was easily fixed by preparing more of said ingredients. The time constraint we faced as the first group had a lot to do with our organization. Looking back, this may have been a blessing in disguise because we were motivated right off the bat to get things off to a flying start.
 
 
February 7th
Super Bowl Classic   menu
Food Sales $847.76, 82 Guests
We attribute the success of our restaurant to our group’s teamwork and organization. We were able to work together very well and compensated for each other’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition, the support and help we received from all of our classmates was crucial to our success.  We had several class members help us prepare the day before and pre-service. Our purchasing could have been better as we were also short some items as we tried to order exactly the amount needed of everything. We could have avoided this by having everyone look over the purchase order more than once to ensure the mistakes were caught. Good communication between the front and back of house during service helped us anticipate short items so we didn’t run out.  Overall, despite being short items, two of our cooks being absent, and underestimating the quantity of onion rings and fries to make for service, we stayed focused on the big picture and didn’t get lost in the details which led to smooth service and a successful restaurant.
 
 
February 9th
Indulge   menu
Food Sales $872.13, 83 Guests
A major factor that contributed to the overall success of our restaurant was due to the effective time management and organization that we followed throughout the entire process of preparing for our restaurant. We began tasks early in the semester such as standardizing our recipes, which helped us understand the ‘flow of food’ in the kitchen along with the efficient planning of our prep day and morning of service. Unfortunately, we missed our soft opening due to a snow day. Despite being unfamiliar with some of the standards of running PJ’s restaurant, we received a tremendous amount of help and support from our classmates who all worked well together as a team. Many people came in to help with our prep day, which ran very smoothly, as well as early on the morning of service, which allowed staff to become familiar with the preparation of each of our menu items. There was a lack of communication between all three members of the management team during the planning stage of our restaurant that caused frustration. This also resulted in some confusion during service which could have been avoided had the FM made more frequent trips to the kitchen to talk to the KM, rather than relying on the GM. Finally, the prep teams that shared the kitchen with us interfered with our pasta station line cook during service as they left a pot unattended on the stove that boiled over. We also noticed that they neglected to take responsibility for their dishes, which overloaded our dishwashers and made for a long clean up at the end of the day.
 
 
February 10th
Summer Savoy   menu
Food Sales $923.85, 80 Guests
 
 
February 11th
Bittersweet Symphony (fine dining)   menu
Food Sales $1692, 47 Guests
The biggest shock came when both breads (the baguette for the crustini, and the loaves for the tables) did not rise properly.  Luckily, the baguette was a simple fix- we sliced it to the desired portion sizes, and then baked them individually which worked well. The loaf, which was to be served to each table as guests arrived, couldn’t be fixed.   A last-minute save was made and a quick, simple honey oat biscuit was made in the last hour before service.  While the biscuit was a hit and went over very well with guests, it did add stress as it was the last thing done before service. During seating one table was not happy with where their table was located (next to the entrance) this problem was easily solved by quickly moving the table to a more desirable location (by the fireplace). This change then was communicated to the back of the house who adjusted the order in which the tables would be served. Somehow one table was missed during the ravioli service, although how it happened remains a mystery, we understand that things happen and our guests did as well. The guests received extra ravioli, out of order from the rest of the room, but they all agreed that it was worth the wait which we were thankful for that.
 
 
 
February 12th
The Tropical Toucan   menu
Food Sales $753.82, 76 Guests
Critical incidences that most affected the running of our restaurant were communication between management as well as poor team energy. The team energy was especially lacking during the prep time, due to the smaller lab size, and fact that a lot of students were unable to be trained in time since they were unable to come in earlier to help.  At times, mostly in the beginning there was miscommunication between the managers, which caused confusion and some stress, but this was improved throughout service. Another thing that affected the running of our restaurant was that we were not as organized as we could have been, and this was shown as well during training as we had to do a lot of last minute training. Also, disorganization affected our PO, which we had problems with, and we almost lost an entire entree since we forgot to order the pizza shells. Although a bit rushed at the beginning of the restaurant, and since we ran the first one in our lab, we were a bit frazzled, but as the lunch went on we did run a successful restaurant. All the guests had an enjoyable experience, as shown by the comment cards and verbal compliments to the managers. It was a great experience and although we faced a few problems, we were able to solve them.
 
 
February 14th
Cafe Amore  menu
Food Sales $840.21, 75 Guests
Key to our success was our group organization. We were under a slight time crunch given the scheduling, so beginning to organize and delegate amongst ourselves early on was imperative. Each of us brought different strengths to the group and we capitalized on those to the utmost degree: there is no one leader in this course! We knew a bit about each other’s positions and helped out where we could, but everyone knew their own position inside and out. Communication between the team is the second most important factor that helped us be successful and helped us efficiently organize- everyone was copied on all emails, and we made sure we had a way to reach each other during particularly busy times. Next, we put a lot of thought into our menu so that it was not only delicious and emphasized our theme, but also easy to assemble on the day of- we inconspicuously used the same tomato sauce in three entrees! With all of that said, none of this could've been achieved without the help of our enthusiastic and reliable lab group. They were stellar servers, cooks and hosts, eagerly there early and truly made the day enjoyable instead of stressful. 
 
 
February 15th
The Library   menu
Food Sales $798.19, 75 Guests
During the operation of our restaurant there were a couple of key elements that helped with the success during the day. The first was the help and support we received from our classmates.  Having most come in early, really helped to get the tasks done before service and helped to reduce some of the stress in the kitchen. The second element that helped with the success of our restaurant would be how well the management team communicated with one another.  This made it easier because everyone was aware of what was going on during the service and changes were made accordingly. There were few critical incidences that contributed to some of the problems that occurred during our restaurant day. The first would be the stress levels prior to service. Stress levels rose after a couple of cooking errors had occurred and pressure to open early made having a smooth opening difficult. A second incident would be our reservation confusions. Originally having to open early to seat everyone and make enough turns so that all could be seated in the time frame in which they booked. Also having many people either late or just absent for their reservations contributed to the low guest count. The last critical incident which may have had the most impact on our restaurant was the fact we had blind faith in our recipes and this contributed to the over production of some items and not having enough of others. This made counts inaccurate and added to confusion during service.
 
 
February 16th
And the Winner Is...  menu
Food Sales $966.30, 88 Guests
The help of our classmates and having very detailed prep lists for the BOH were instrumental to our success. We had so many classmates help us that we were able to finish early on our prep day and open the restaurant at 11:15am. This was critical in avoiding the first rush and starting service on a calm note.  The detailed prep lists guided the work for the days and helped the prep run smoothly. Our high food sales of about $970.00 helped decrease our food cost significantly. The yield of our dessert the day of service was much higher than the standardized recipe stated. This allowed us to sell about 14 more desserts than we budgeted for and increase our food sales. Our two hostesses positively impacted our restaurant. They were so proactive and worked together to update the status of tables, accommodate changes to reservations, and work around a difficult rush to seat everyone. They had to change table assignments often and remained calm almost all of the time. We cannot stress enough how important a good team of host(esse)s is! There were a few small issues in the kitchen that collectively had a negative impact on our restaurant. The most significant was that KM did not give counts to the GM or FM. The GM and FM were only told when there was one item left or something was sold out. This caused confusion for the servers, because nothing could be put on countdown. In hindsight, really making sure the line cooks and garde manger station knew to keep track of their portions would have helped avoid a lot of guest dissatisfaction. Selling out a week early was a positive critical incident for us. Knowing that we were oversold allowed our KM to be proactive and make a few extra entrees. It also gave the FM enough time to realize that there were not enough tables to accommodate the guests before 12:30pm. The FM was able to get help from Simon and Sasha to move reservations and confirm all parties a few days before service.
 
 
February 17th
Traveling Granny.  menu
Food Sales $606.93, 63 Guests
The most important factor that really drove the success of our restaurant was the help from our classmates. The day before the restaurant during prep a few girls came in to help out, this really aided in getting all the necessary prep done and even let us get a few extra things done we didn't think we would have time for. We tried very hard to pair students with a job in the restaurant that would best suit their talents, and we believe that we pulled that off very well. Each student knew what they were required to do and they all performed really well during service. A few elements that held us back in running a very successful restaurant were communication between the managers and the low guest count we received. Between the managers we really segregated our work and didn't know too well what each other had to do. Better communication between the three of us could have improved this, and if we had of done this we could have helped each other out a lot more during service. Our low guest count really hurt us in achieving the most out of this experience. We blame our low numbers on our advertising efforts. We did create a Facebook event for The Traveling Granny and created posters for the event, but more word of mouth advertising may have helped us out in this situation. We believe we relied a bit to heavily on Facebook and our posters to bring in the crowds and as can be seen they did not. Even though we experienced a low volume of people and had some trouble with communication we all enjoyed this experience so much and would like to thank everyone who helped put The Traveling Granny together and who attended our event. 
 
 
February 17th
La Dolce Vita (fine dining)   menu
Food Sales $1260, 35 Guests
There were some minor food incidents that could have affected our event timing much more than it did. We kept the situation under control but it could have been avoided. Two batches of our risotto burnt and we needed to have the same timing of dishes going out, luckily we did keep it at the same pace. Our caprese salad could have been plated closer to when they were about to go out to guests because the cheese was watery. The tiramisu was assembled the morning of our restaurant instead of the day prior because we had to let the chocolate mousse set.  Because of this our cakes did not get to sit long enough for them to stay firm, causing a rush on desserts because they needed to get to the guests before they turned into a tiramisu pile. Communication from front of house manager and kitchen manager became neglected at the time of out specialty coffee and dessert. Coffee was going out and servers were concerned about getting beverages out as opposed to getting the dessert out. Things became more organized once managers realized the issue. We could not have been as successful as we were without the help of our entire class. We were one man short for the whole process and you could not tell because everyone worked hard and great together. During service there was concern that some servers were presenting themselves in an unprofessional manner to guests for example when doing the menu item description it was too casual and often not the correct description, suggesting they had not reviewed the job pack prior. Further it was suggested that while the two servers who were stationed at coat check were busy welcoming guests that other staff would look over their section. We had tried to assign areas for certain people to watch over during this time, that way there was some form of accountability though staff did not think that we should do this.  
 
 
February 18th
Adventureland   menu
Food Sales $964.32, 86 Guests
The key to our success was having our restaurant be sold out a week before our opening day. Our restaurant was the day before reading week so we were calling in favours from friends and family in and around Guelph. This was extremely helpful as it allowed us to get the tasks related to the floor done early, giving us the rest of the week to focus on the kitchen. During service, the restaurant ran smoothly as everyone communicated well with each other. When we needed to sell more of a certain dish or if a dish was sold out, we communicated the information from the KM to the GM then to all the servers so they were all up to date. The key to the success in the kitchen was the KM was well organized with what had to be done the day before service and the day of service and sent out detailed job packs. On the day of specific jobs were ready to give classmates that came in early to help and to make sure certain foods were not made too early to decrease the food quality.  A problem in the kitchen was that one line cook was overloaded during the beginning of service so during service the KM reacted to the problem and assigned other line cooks to help out with dishes and reassigned jobs. It is important to not forget about the dishwasher or pot washer because they can be assigned a job to help in the rush especially in such a small class with a busy restaurant!
 
February 28th
EVOO   menu
Food Sales $776.55, 70 Guests
The number of people that came early (6:30-7:00am) to help prepare played a critical role in the success flow of the day. Although having no additional prep time was an added challenge to our restaurant, it added no obstacle thanks to the amount of team members who arrived early and were willing to put forward 100% effort. Our management team’s high level of organization through the use of detailed prep lists, day-of check lists including times of high priority tasks, kitchen manuals, pep talks, and clean up lists. The sense of calmness presented by each of the 4 members of our management team was a huge factor in the ease of our restaurant. Although at times we may have felt overwhelmed, we were sure to never project these feelings outward to our teammates. Through personal experiences, we are well aware that respected and accomplished managers are ultimately seen as role models and are often mimicked by their teams. Due to this belief we deliberately acted as calm and stress-free as possible in hopes that our classmates would then perform in much the same way. As a result of a critical mistake with ordering, we were significantly low on ingredients for the mushroom sliders. This was fortunately caught very early in the morning and was thus dealt with immediately and effectively Due to the quick paced environment, our management team soon lost track of time thus allowing a table to be seated and an order to be taken later than it should have. While we still wanted that table to experience the same level of quality in service and food this pushed back the cleanup process.
 
 
March 1st
St Louis Bistro   menu
Food Sales $882.71, 83 Guests
The most important factor that helped our restaurant to being so successful was our group. The Tuesday group is such a great group of people that work together and understand what needs to be done. Everyone is supportive and positive that it enables each group to build and run a successful restaurant. One setback the group did have would be some problems with the PO and ordering. Some changes had to be made after the meeting and there was still a bit of confusion going into the first prep day, but in the end everything worked out and we only had to make a few changes. During the restaurant there was good leadership in the kitchen and all of the line cook knew the counts of their dishes and stayed on top of those numbers. The KM should have been informed about big groups coming in, how many menus were open and overall how many reservations were still to come in. Lastly one of the most beneficial things that help our restaurant to being so successful was the amount of prep we did the day before and the simplicity of our dishes. Even though plating only took a few seconds the dishes did not lack flavour, and having done so much of the food prep the day before the management team felt organized and confident on opening day and even opened the restaurant 15 minutes early.
 
 
March 2nd
Escape to Masquerade   menu
Food Sales $850.35, 83 Guests
A major critical incidence on our restaurant day was that we included numerous intricate dishes on our menu (3 different toppings for the pork slider dish), which made the kitchen operation more hectic than it could have been. Another incidence was the fact that our purchase order was not thoroughly done, which resulted in us having to order extra ingredients on our prep day. A major incidence that hindered the flow of guests on our restaurant day was the number of large parties (more than 6). The large parties put a lot of stress on the kitchen as well as making it difficult for servers to flip the tables.  What helped us through the day was the fact that we got along great as a team and we were very organized prior to the restaurant day. We worked very efficiently as a team and always accommodated each other’s opinions. We had a flexible organization chart which helped us see the big picture.
 
 
March 3rd
From Paris with Love   menu
Food Sales $900.41, 84 Guests
Our strong communication ensured that everyone was on the same page. We also received great help from our classmates. The teamwork that was present really allowed our restaurant to flow nicely. We had some classmates come the day before to help prepare as well as everyone showing up early to help get ready for the day. Throughout service each person did their role and some stepped up to help those in need. It was the initiative of certain individuals that really raised the level of service. Despite the success of our restaurant, our preparation for the day could have been better thought out. Further Revision of PO form to ensure we ordered enough of each item would have reduced the amount of items we needed to purchase the day of, such as forgetting to order Penne. Our thought about the flow of food, and food assembly could have also been revised prior to our restaurant. We ended up having to make some last minute food assembly decisions before service, which could have been planned for ahead of time. Moments leading up to service were a bit rushed to ensure everything was ready on time, but with the help of our classmates, we opened on time. Our POS system training and pre-service meeting could have been more detailed to further enhance the confidence of the servers. The day was stressful, but in the end it was worth it because we were very pleased with the final product.
 
 
March 3rd
Molto Fresco (fine dining)   menu
Food Sales $1404, 39 Guests
There were only a few minor incidents on the day of our restaurant. One being that we did not remember to count plates before deciding what course would go on what plate. This meant that we had to make some last minute changes to our plating, which interfered with our prep time; luckily we were ahead of schedule on prep so this did not cause a large inconvenience.  Another minor incident that we encountered was that the assembly of the ravioli took longer than expected, giving us a slow start to our restaurant day. We were fortunate enough to have extra hands helping us out early that morning so that we could accomplish other tasks. Our final incident was that our second course, our seafood dish, had a considerably long cook time, which meant the pace of our service was affected.  Because we knew this would be an issue for the guests, we made sure our bread came out just before the seafood dish to help buffer the wait time.  A positive point during the evening was having the remaining two courses (Chicken Marsala and our dessert) well prepared so that during service we had minimal steps to execute in order to finish each course. Finally, we found that we avoided any issues with allergies very well by calling to confirm reservations and dietary restrictions. Although we did encounter a last minute allergy we were well prepared because we were already accommodating the same allergy.
 
 
March 4th
Adventures in Wonderland    menu
Food Sales $796.90, 84 Guests
The first critical incident that affected our restaurant day was our decision to create simple menu items that were easy to prepare. Having simple menu items that were easy to make contributed to the success of our restaurant, especially during peak hours. They allowed for a fast line time and therefore the service was very quick and the guests were happy. The second critical incident that affected our restaurant was having a smaller class during a Friday Lab. During peak hours, it felt like we were very short staffed. Perhaps we could have implemented more time for quick exercises that could allow more enthusiasm and energy towards the team prior to service in order to intensify the atmosphere. The third critical incident that affected our restaurant was having last minute cancellations and fewer guests than expected. Although our guest volume was still high, this has affected us in generating lower sales revenue than expected. The fourth critical incident occurred during service at peak hours when management was caught up with individual tasks and did not communicate as often. This caused us to sell two of our menu items that we were already sold out of. Lastly, our restaurant was a great success due to our staff that came in earlier to help with preparations and the management team’s continuous support towards the staff during the whole process of service.
 
 
March 7th
Element    menu
Food Sales $942.40, 77 Guests
Our first and most impactful critical incident was teamwork. The A team really seems to get how many people it takes to make a restaurant run smoothly. Most of the class showed up before 9:00 am on the day of service to help prepare food and set up the dining room. This was a critical incident because there was a lot of prep to get done on Monday, and a lot to do in the dining room as well. Without the help of all our classmates, this would not have happened, and we would not have been able to open the restaurant on time, which would have caused a series of other problems. The team energy was fantastic, and not only does everything get done, but it gets done well. Another critical incident was our food sales. Our restaurant was only able to attract 77 covers, which is lower than the 90 covers we planned for. Given this, it is quite possible we could have ended up with an extremely high food cost. However, our restaurant brought in food sales of $949.70. This is fantastic for 77 covers. A big part of this was add-on sales (dessert and specialty drink), which came to a total of $216.45 (almost ¼ of our food sale revenue). This means that our restaurant was working very efficiently; servers were communicating with the GM and pushing the specialty drink and mousse, and the kitchen and bartender were working efficiently to pump out so many extra items.
 
 
March 8th
A Bun and Beyond    menu
Food Sales $721.52, 74 Guests
Front of house went smoothly with only very minor incidences but overall the atmosphere was positive and energetic.  Throughout service our group dynamic allowed us to have great communication and understanding enabling us to anticipate when and what items we were getting low on. There were a few menu discrepancies between the description of items and what was actually being served, we now understand that customer’s should get exactly what is describe on the menu.  We ran out of ingredients during service such as blooming onion dip; however the classes’ sous chef came to our rescue and prepared the ingredients that we ran out of. One major incident with our prep day was the fact we hadn’t made the ice cream the prior Friday, causing us to have to change our dessert from a ice cream sandwich to a pot du crème.  It set a negative mood in the kitchen for the prep day, but we regrouped and ended up setting ourselves up nicely for our restaurant day. Overall, the service day went very well, we were happy with the flow and the positive atmosphere. We are extremely thankful for the people came who came in to help with our prep day. It was organized and ran smoothly, enabling us to get more prep done then we had intended we had previously anticipated.
 
 
March 9th
Paint my Palette    menu
Food Sales $788.20, 74 Guests
Our major critical incidence that affected the success of our operation was communication between the management team during service. Working as individuals instead of a team slowed communication from the front of the house to the back of house preventing a smooth flow of customer service. In addition, another critical incidence that affected the flow of service was the need for constant supervision of the hostesses; continual reminders for the need to check on the status of the dining room and seating guests at the proper table, although minor, created confusion for both guests and servers. Our third critical incidence which also affected the flow of service was slow table turnovers.  A couple of large tables were not flipped as quickly as estimated which resulted in an increased waiting time for a large group to be seated. This problem was later resolved by combining two tables together to accommodate the seating occupancy, after it was brought to the GM’s attention. During operation, the line cooks were an enormous contributor to the success of the restaurant as were the waitresses due to their flexibility and quick thinking!
 
 
March 10th
Game Day    menu
Food Sales $888.40, 94 Guests
One factor that really contributed to the success of our restaurant was our menu. It was filled with several dishes with preparation completed ahead of time. These items were easy to assemble upon order, making service for each table quick and enjoyable. Since we were able to have many of our items prepared in advance, the kitchen was never backed up with orders, eliminating the possibility of chaos. Another major factor that was essential to our success was the amount of help we received from our classmates on the prep and restaurant day.  We were able to complete everything that we wanted to the day prior to our restaurant which left us in a great position on the day of the event. Our greatest weakness was our purchasing. As our group was all inexperienced with the purchasing process, we struggled with our purchase order. Although there were many items bought on the prep and restaurant day, we also had a larger list of buy backs, which helped us recover our food cost in the end. During service, we encountered a customer who sent back a burger which was undercooked. This was recovered quickly by the kitchen, leaving the guest happy in the end. Once this incident occurred, the kitchen made sure every item being sent out was cooked to its proper temperature. Overall we had a very pleasant experience in a successful restaurant as our positive factors outweighed the negative.
 
 
March 10th
Vela (fine dining)   menu
Food Sales $1188, 33 Guests
The biggest thing that affected the running our event was not trying all of our recipes before the event. We either did not test our recipes in advance or we did not use another group’s recipes if they had prepared the same thing successfully.
 
 
March 11th
Hungry Luchador  menu
Food Sales $890.30, 80 Guests
We received very positive feedback about our unique theme and menu variation, which played a major role in drawing customers to our restaurant. One factor that had a negative effect on the outcome of our restaurant was lack of organization. Organizing tasks into clear and concise lists would have made prepping on the day of our restaurant much easier and less rushed. Consequently, not all the food was ready for service right away and the beginning of service was stressful and unorganized. However, our back of house team pulled together and soon got service back on track. Everyone working in the kitchen helped each other out and built a good sense of teamwork. Our dishwashers were the backbone of our kitchen as they were always on the ball and kept a steady pace. A critical incident that occurred at the front of house involved the training of servers and follow-up with how their tables were coming along. One table was waiting for a long period of time to get their meal, as the order had not been entered into the POS. Offering the table a complementary meal compensated this issue. This could have possibly been avoided if management had provided more frequent follow-up for each table.  The hostess paid attention to details and always notified management when a potential problem could have occurred. Our PO also proved to be an issue, as we had to order multiple items on our prep day and the day of our restaurant. Closer attention could have been made when completing the PO originally to fix this problem.
 
 
March 14th
Sunrise Boulavard   menu
Food Sales $931.72, 81 Guests
The primary factor that contributed to the running of our restaurant was team/ lab dedication. The team overall was very dedicated to the success of our restaurant. Most arrived by 9:00 am regardless if their position was in the kitchen or not. Some of the menu items were more complex in terms of the number of sub recipes for a main recipe. A lot of the items were right to order which required last minute preparation which slowed down our line time. Our purchasing was a critical incident in that many small additions to our order were time consuming the morning of service. Due to the complexity of our menu items and the many small tasks needed to be accomplished the morning of service, this lost time created difficulty.We also trained our staff to up sell our drink, dessert, and signature dishes. Our inside marketing table tents, most likely also convinced our customers to order our specialty drink and cinnamon buns as a tempting descriptor and picture were present to increase sales. Timeliness of order arrival and attentive service staff created a positive experience for the guests. The servers were timely when approaching tables and ordering their entrees. They maintained table cleanliness, and ensure customers were satisfied (with beverages, water refills, etc). If this was not fulfilled the GM and FM ensured that tables appeared clean, plates were cleared if necessary, and customers were satisfied with frequent check-ins. This was apparent through observation and customer feedback.
 
 
March 15th
The Original Six Sports Lounge   menu
Food Sales $686.83, 75 Guests
Towards the end of our restaurant, there was a lack of communication from the back of the house to the front, with respect to our food counts, on both the burger and the smoked meat sandwich. At approximately 1pm a rush of 20 people were sat and all of the orders came in very quickly. During the down time before the rush, these low food quantities should have been noted and the front of the house informed. Organization was a point of hit and miss for our group. As mentioned below, our team was relatively disorganized prior to our initial Purchase Order meeting. After which some strong management decisions were made, for instance, replacing the chicken wings with the potato skins to cut costs as well as re-working a pasta recipe that was very flawed to bring it up to PJ’s standards. Additionally a detailed prep list was made for our prep day and our restaurant day so the prep of all of the food went very well; that is, with the exception of the Boston cream pie. Unfortunately, our group did not really come together as a team until after a humbling conversation with Simon at our first Purchase Order meeting. After which, we really came together and managed to bring in a reasonable number of guests and overall have a pretty smooth lunch service. Originally in conference 2, a Boston cream pie was made for our dessert and was a great success. The problem however, which was not realized until prep day, was that a cake mix was used in the original recipe and it never came about nor was it thought of that we would not be able to use one on our prep day.
 
 
March 16th
The Tiki Hut   menu
Food Sales $916.73, 84 Guests
While we maintained regular communication, we assigned tasks based on our managerial positions, which created a situation where only one or two managers could answer any given question. We should have broadened our assigned duties, so that each member was an expert in not only their area, but in the others as well. However, we made up for this by being extremely organized as individuals. Since each of us had prepared in advance and had well thought out lists available, we were able to stay on top of our individual duties and didn’t need the other managers to assist us in our duties. In hindsight having more support from each other would likely have made our restaurant more successful.  Another factor that helped our success was having many menu items that could at least be partially prepared in advance. This reduced the stress in the kitchen the day of and allowed us to ensure that stations were set up properly and that each individual was spoken to by the KM. Another area in which we could have improved is being more observant and not relying on other lab member’s reports. During service, the Front of House staff and management didn’t notice that water glasses and specialty drink glasses were running low and the KM didn’t notice until the last moment that there weren’t enough fries. Catching issues before they actually became a problem would have allowed the restaurant to run much more smoothly. A huge asset to our team was our willingness to be flexible. During our preparation times, we were willing to assign people tasks that within reason they were comfortable doing. We feel that this increased the quality of the food, as lab members were more willing and able to do their tasks. We were also flexible when working with issues in the dining room, such as rearranging our floor plan to accommodate a server who wasn’t able to come in.
 
 
March 17th
Not the Full Shilling- Irish Restaurant & Pub   menu
Food Sales $885.10, 88 Guests
All group members worked on and edited the PO together and had a clear understanding of what ingredients and amount of product we would be receiving. We completed our PO early on, and therefore we were prepared for our PO meeting. Our group communicated well, and got along exceptionally. We understand each other’s strengths, and use them to our advantage. Preparing for our restaurant was a challenge we all enjoyed. Ideas were supported by one another and as a result we ran a restaurant we were all proud to be a part of. The growing cohesion of our classmates played to our advantage as well, which was a further aid in running the restaurant smoothly. Numerous people came into help on our prep day, and there is no possible way we could have completed all the recipes that needed to be done without their help.  Many people also came in early the day of service. Everyone was eager to help, and as a result we were open and ready for service at 11:15a.m. Everyone contributed to clean up, and the kitchen was clean by 2:30p.m. 
 
 
March 17th
Alla Moda (fine dining)    menu
Food Sales $1440, 40 Guests
Although Alla Moda ran smoothly and on schedule a few obstacles had to be overcome throughout the prep time to ensure for a successful evening. Our white chocolate brownies did not turn out the way they had in our trial batch, which could be attributed to tripling the batch or different ovens being used. When this occurred we had to adapt and be open-minded to a change. In the end we were able to incorporate the brownie into another aspect of our dessert which was a big hit! Too much time was spent on trying to make a unique candied garnish for the sorbet and mousse. There was then a misinterpretation of information and the garnish for the sorbet was scrapped all together which was not intended. The dessert was topped with candied chili peppers which many of the guests commented on and in the end were well worth the time spent. The timing of the event was great and all was going well in the front of house, or so we thought. Then it became apparent that the lamb was going to take longer than expected. At this point we had to stall between courses to slow things down a bit. This was handled very well by all staff and the guests received great service.  The guests were not aware that as a team we were trying to slow things down and the event continued and ended at a good time. One last aspect of Alla Moda that was a bit different than previous events this semester was that we had a Chefs table. Having a group of 5 men sit right in the kitchen where the meal is being prepared can be quite nerve racking for both management and staff. In this situation all of the staff was aware of what was going on in the kitchen and made sure that the Chef’s table only added to the dynamics of the evening.
 
 
March 18th
La Maison    menu
Food Sales $484.27, 43 Guests
We suspect that being the team after St. Patrick's Day was the reason we had such a low guest count. If you happen to be the lucky team after such a holiday, we suggest marketing your restaurant to faculty of the university or as a "hangover cure" restaurant. Use the events and holidays surrounding the date of your restaurant to your advantage.
Waiting until the last minute to complete assignments will be reflected in your mark and your fellow group members’ marks as well. Furthermore, waiting until the last minute to do anything in this course will affect your performance and create added stress and animosity between group members. Ask your staff to be constructively critical of your management capabilities for the day. Although your restaurant will only operate for one day, it is most helpful to learn what skills you could improve on for the future, as it is a management course. Work as a team. Cooperation between the management team is important, however, more importantly is the entire class working together. Remember that on the day of your restaurant the whole class has to come together to make the event work. Offer your help and support to others by coming in early, knowing your job pack well and asking for extra tasks. 
 
 
March 21st
Mexican Fiesta    menu
Food Sales $874.26, 85 Guests
The communication between managers was maintained not only throughout service, but during prep, as well as the restaurant process. The managers remained in touch from the very beginning, through e-mails and text messages. During service we kept in contact and constantly updated each other on open menus, food counts and reservation numbers. The communication during service is what kept the atmosphere calm and collected, contributing to a successfully run restaurant. We were one of the last groups to run our restaurant, and therefore places to situate people within the job rotation were limited. However, we believe our job rotation was chosen very specifically and it helped to ensure the success of the restaurant. We chose Kelsey as our expo because she had been a KM and added support to Lucy. All of our servers had served before, except for one, creating a strong front of house team.  We had first time hostesses, however one hostess was general manager of their restaurant, and therefore highly understood the stress of the day. Being the second last group, we were able to learn from others about what they had done to improve their restaurants. We had the opportunity to look over their shoulders and try out their ideas, as well as see what did not work so smoothly. Also, by this time, our lab-members were more experienced in the kitchen and thus more comfortable in whatever job they were assigned.
 
 
March 22nd
A Taste of the Islands    menu
Food Sales $782.22, 79 Guests
A major factor that contributed to the success of our restaurant is our lab group in general.  Our Tuesday lab group is very motivated to make each and every restaurant day a success.  Everyone is very supportive of each other, respectful, and eager to help in any way possible.  This is a major factor that helped our operation run smoothly on the day of our restaurant.  The second element that helped with our success is the fact that our management team (GM, FM, KM) had great communication.  Our team not only had great communication on the day of our restaurant during service, but also through the whole process leading up to the day of our restaurant.   There were also a few things that could have been avoided in order to make our restaurant a better success.  A critical incident that could have been avoided would be our purchase order.  There were a few mistakes, missed items, and just little details that were overlooked.  A way to avoid this incident would be to get every member to look over the PO in as much detail as if we were the only person doing it.  This would help to ensure that all of the numbers were correct, minor details were not overlooked, and no items were missing.  A final critical incident of our restaurant is our theme and menu in general.  The food items were fairly complex, and the menu was a little bit risky as its food items that most people aren’t familiar with.  Only one member of our team knew the food items very well, which put a lot of stress/weight on her.  This stress could have been avoided if we chose a less challenging menu/theme. 
 
 
March 23rd
The Culinary Playground    menu
Food Sales $640.75, 63 Guests
What led to our great success during service was the quality and work ethic of our fellow lab students. They provided us with positive energy, were proactive in helping to run our restaurant and consistently asked for more tasks and responsibilities which helped the execution run smoothly. Another critical incident was our good use of time during preparation. Everything was prepared well ahead of time and on schedule. We appreciate all the support we received during our preparation times and this greatly reduced our stress level the closer we got to service time. Our low guest count really affected the experience we could have achieved. Our low guest count of 63 led to many of our staff standing around when the atmosphere could have been busier, and more fast-paced. Our low numbers are due to the critical incident of our advertising efforts. We created a Facebook event, posters and sent emails for The Culinary Playground that we relied heavily on. Word of mouth or personalized advertising, especially more in advance, may have increased the public’s knowledge of our restaurant. One of the critical incidents which affected the preparation and running of our restaurant was our purchase order. We could have been more prepared and organized when recording the quantities needed and ingredients needed for each recipe. We ended up having to purchase additional ingredients which affected the flow of our preparation of food. Furthermore, the dynamics between members of our management could have included more organization and communication. This could have been prevented if members of management asked questions, used the resources (Sous chefs) that were available, and provided more initiative and hands on performance during meetings and in the kitchen.
 
 
March 24th
Home for the Weekend    menu
Food Sales $928.90, 86 Guests
One factor that contributed to the success of our restaurant was due to our great teamwork.  The three of us worked well together and were able to feed off one another.  Our organization beforehand really helped aid in the success of our prep day and the day of our restaurant.  However, we have all our classmates to thank for the prep and restaurant running so smoothly.  Without their help we would not have been as successful as we were.  Our purchase order also added to our accomplishments.  By treating our purchase order as a grocery list we had ordered the proper amounts of ingredients for each menu item. This way we didn’t run out of ingredients and were able to keep our food costs down. By sending out a survey we were able to figure out our most popular items and include proper amounts of each item during service. Our biggest downfall was not fully recognizing the details of when all our guests were arriving.  With most guests arriving within the first 15 minutes of service we should have been prepared for the craziness that was about to occur.  Our group spent so much time organizing the back of the house when we should have been preparing for the front of the house as well.  Overall, we were very happy with how our restaurant ran and we would just like to thank our classmates who helped our day be so successful. 
 
 
March 17th
Tambouille (fine dining)    menu
Food Sales $48, 1728 Guests
The first area we had to contend with was the fact that our small class was smaller by 3 people. Instead of the regular staff of 13 we had a staff of 10. This required everyone to work hard, better organization and communication on everyone’s part. We had prepared for a shortage (not by this much), and having last minute hands helping with dishes really helped out. Our second concern was a lack of diligence in confirming that all our alcohol was on hand the day prior to the event. This caused us to scramble for the required beverages as well as the substitution of an alternate product for our mixed drink. Room setup was difficult because of our short staffing levels, and last minute reservation changes required room layout alterations day-of. During service, we ran into menu items not working out as well as when they had been tested. We tested all menu items early on, but slight changes in service decreased the quality of items (specifically our potato presentation) in unanticipated ways.  Finally, it must be noted that our event would not have run this smoothly if we did not have such a team oriented and close knit class. Everyone pitched in and ramped up their efforts to create an event that was extremely successful. No guests were aware that we were short staffed or that there were any kitchen issues.
 
 
March 25th
Desperado    menu
Food Sales $822.73, 77 Guests
Around 15 minutes before service one of the cooks spilt the hollandaise sauce which threw the kitchen into a bit of a panicked frenzy.  The KM then ended up only being able to train the staff as the orders came in- this worked itself out eventually but in the beginning was difficult. Group cohesiveness & purchase order; because we split up jobs to try and be more efficient not all the managers were on the same page making the steps leading up to our restaurant, especially the purchase order meeting and receiving, difficult and slightly disorganized.
 
 
March 28th
Kramers   menu
Food Sales $788.03, 78 Guests
Communication on the day of service was critical to the outcome of the restaurant. Communication between the KM and GM regarding menu item counts experienced some minor errors, which was a result from the KM not physically checking the counts at each station her self. This caused some confusion with the servers, but besides the menu counts communication was efficient and clear between the front and back of house.
 
 
March 28th
Crouching Mango    menu
Food Sales $734.90, 66 Guests
Working as a team of two opened effective communication channels. Throughout our time as a two person group we were able to discuss any issues openly and freely. Thus almost all of the issues were solved and all concerns were addressed. We were also able to organize and plan how we wanted to manage the restaurant so that front of house and back of house efforts were on the same page. Our Tuesday lab is a very helpful group of students who work really well with one another, especially when it came down to crunch time for our restaurant. This came in many different forms. For example, nearly half the class came in the day before to help us prepare food. Similarly, almost the entire class came in early to help us prepare on the actual day of service; whether it was Front of House or Back of House work. Also, members of the class who had already finished their restaurant were very helpful in providing advice from their own experience. It has been a known fact that rice is one of the most common mistakes, so rice making should have been taken with further consideration and care. The rice recipe was not followed properly and therefore the rice was not prepared to standards good enough to serve. Proper time management on the morning of service was our top critical incident. Having had a strong prep, a day before service, we decided to shift our focus towards front of house efforts. Big mistake.  Instead of preparing food items in the kitchen at 7:45 am, when we arrived, we were busy trimming flowers and making table tents. It wasn’t until 8:15 am that we decided to even step foot in the kitchen. This misuse of critical preparation time led to a rushed feeling in the kitchen for the majority of service.
 
 
March 29th
Culture Fusion     menu
Food Sales $1028.66, 91 Guests
The success of our restaurant started from the beginning of the course with good organization and planning.   It was critical for us to think about how our actual restaurant day was going to run and plan our menu items and management positions accordingly.  Because of this our restaurant day had no surprises and everyone on the team was prepared for their position. With our good organization, no assignments or tasks were left to the last minute.  This gave our work a better quality and it also kept our team feeling confident and prepared throughout the course.  Meeting with instructors to determine how our prep day should run was also very helpful for us.  Our restaurant would not have run as smoothly if it wasn’t for our management team’s effective communication.  When tasks were completed separately, the work was always reviewed by other team members.  This helped everyone remain on the same page.  During our restaurant, communication about food counts, guest counts, and the general overview of how the restaurant was running allowed us to foresee problems before they would happen and then resolve the issue before it became critical.  We had effective marketing and this allowed us to have a high guest count.  We promoted our restaurant to friends from the beginning of the course and we then reminded them closer and closer to the actual date.  We also had posters made and handed out invitation cards so we could recruit other prospective customers that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.  Our food sales were great and we feel that this occurred because of surveying prospective customers (current reservations) and basing our menu mix off of those results.  We had the servers push certain items throughout service and we also advertised our dessert and specialty drink on our table tents.  We found that tasting and testing our menu items beforehand helped ensure the best quality possible on our restaurant day.  We always took the advice from instructors on how to improve items  and this lead to us having good quality menu items. 
 
 
March 30th
Calypso   menu
Food Sales $864.38, 79 Guests
We underestimated a lot of the time that would be needed to complete each task, putting off preparation of certain dishes to later in the morning (right before service), when we had people and time to complete them earlier. People were standing around earlier in the morning, and then there was too much to do in the hour before. This created a rushed, disorganized atmosphere in the kitchen. Forgetting to print some critical recipes (fries). Without the complete and detailed recipe, a lot of time was wasted asking unnecessary questionsDue to the amount of work that was still being completed in the kitchen, KM was still trying to help prepare dishes rather than training line cooks on dish assembly
Due to the backup in the kitchen, Karoline and Nicole started the front of house meeting late. We were visibly flustered, perhaps leading to loss of managing power of managers in the eyes of staff. Instead of taking the mistakes from earlier in the morning and moving forward, anxiety over earlier events had negative effects on communication.
 
 
March 30th
The 40th Parallel   menu
Food Sales $849.70, 85 Guests
A major factor contributing to the success of our restaurant was being so late in the semester.  By this point in the year the class was well versed in every aspect of how the kitchen and dining room were supposed to be run and provided us with amazing assistance.  Being this late also provided us with a build up of information from observing other restaurants.  Learning from other restaurant’s strengths and weaknesses was definitely an asset to improving our own.  Throughout our day of service we had excellent communication.  Any problems were worked out immediately and we were very on top of communicating our counts.  This made our restaurant run very smoothly.  One very critical instance was our Purchase Order meeting.  We discovered that two of our major items (chicken and pork) were miscalculated.  This important correction was a set back to our P.O. but made all the difference to our actual restaurant day.  Our group worked very well as a team.  Throughout the semester we made sure everyone was on the same page which helped with our organization and overall running of the restaurant.
 
 
March 30th
Bistro 97    menu
Food Sales $928.45, 87 Guests
Throughout the course of the semester, our time management skills as a team we not the best. In most cases, our assignments, and jobs were done last minuet and because of that were rushed and had the potential to lack certain information. As it got closer to the day, we were a little late arriving for our receiving which had caused the rest of the morning to be rushed to get organized to start our prep properly. When it comes to the day of our restaurant, the management team arrived at 8:30am, an hour later than most groups which caused some panic in the beginning of our prep that morning.  We got lucky that there were no hiccups during the prep the morning of, otherwise things could have taken a turn for the worse. To improve this process it would be good to arrive early and finish early oppose to arriving late and finishing right on time or even late for that matter. You can never have enough time to get ready, but you can always run out of time if not enough is budgeted for. The commitment from the class really helped in the success of the restaurant. We had a good amount of people come in during prep the day before which helped the process of being able to finish what we needed to finish that day. During the day of, the knowledge and experience of the employees really helped in allowing everything to run smoothly. There was little need to add in extra directions to certain jobs as most people knew how to do it already.