Student Feedback ~ Winter 2013

"I am the MacGyver of cooking, if you bring me a piece of bread, cabbage, coconut, mustard greens, pigs feet, pine cones and a woodpecker, I'll make you a good chicken pot pie" - Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty
January 31st
Kings Feast (a fine dining event)    menu
Food Sales $1372, Alcohol Sales $333.50 49 Guests
Being the first group had its advantages and its challenges. Having seen how people work during soft opening and having the freedom of placing staff wherever we felt was most suitable, we were able to staff effectively. Thorough planning during the Purchase Ordering process resulted in the correct amount of ingredients so that we did not fall short nor did we have excess amounts. Initially preparation was going very smoothly, which caused relaxation and oversight of a simple mistake, which ended up causing a shortage for the first course. This was handled calmly and a solution was decided quickly and the correct number of portions were made well before service. Purchasing was ordered in anticipation of 55 guests. However, on the night before and day of the restaurant, five guests cancelled their reservation. This led to some excess portions, but since they were not all from the same reservation it did not greatly affect service. Both partners were fully involved and aware of the goings on of both front and back of house, working together to execute the unanimous vision.
February 5th
Las Vegas @ pjs 
Food Sales $758.72, 74 Guests
Firstly, we were very organized by making sure we had a list of the tasks that we wanted to have completed the day before the restaurant and the day of the restaurant. The list helped us to ensure nothing was forgotten. Also, throughout the day of our restaurant, we maintained good communication between the front and the back of the house. The back of house was aware of reservations being seated and the front of house was aware of the status of meals. Our signature drink lowered a significant part of our food cost. Our signature drink was a simple combination of cranberry juice, orange juice and sprite. The simplicity of this drink really encouraged its sales, which ultimately contributed a lot to lowering our food cost. Lastly, we were very satisfied with our job rotation choices. We strategized by observing our peers during the soft opening to see where the best fit would be for the staff of our restaurant. We benefited from having a dedicated team in the back of house and front of house; we couldn't have succeeded without their help the day before and the day of our restaurant. We implemented marketing strategies and made a point to send invitations to as many people as we could, which helped us meet our reservation goals. 
February 6th
Big Bang Theory @ pjs    menu
Food Sales $724.87, 73 Guests
In retrospect, the single most important factor contributing to the success of our restaurant was how detail-oriented and organized our group was. As soon as we realized that our restaurant was the first of our group, we knew that we had no time to waste and immediately started preparing as much ahead of time as possible. Prior to our prep day, we had detailed checklists outlining exactly what needed to get done and for what time - we implemented the same system for the day of our restaurant which greatly contributed to our success. Another critical factor was the overall commitment of our group and how well we bonded as a team. We each brought something different to the table, whether it was kitchen experience, FOH knowledge or simply being able to manage people, we all had something to offer. Preparing to run a restaurant with a group of people that you can trust and depend on really makes a difference and it is because of this that we executed the restaurant to the best of our ability. The one area that we could have improved upon was the instruction on how to portion out our ingredients for our quesadilla. While it wasn't a major issue, it did result in us having to sell one vegetarian quesadilla. In hindsight, we should have pre-portioned the amount of chicken per quesadilla on our prep day, so that on the day of our restaurant, portioning would be more consistent. Finally, whenever there were ticket breaks between seating's, we insisted that the line was cleaned and well prepared for the next rush. As minor of a detail as this sounds, it helped in ensuring that service ran smoothly.
February 7th
The Breakfast Club @ pjs    menu
Food Sales $568.78, 58 Guests
A huge problem that occurred during our restaurant was not preparing enough home fries to act as a side for Eggs Benedict which was the aftermath of improper purchasing. This resulted in us having to stop serving this speciality dish because we ran out of the side. This was a problem as the Eggs Benedict was a popular dish among customers. There was a lot of extra ingredients for the Eggs Benedict, just the side was lacking. This issue likely arose in the early stages of this assignment. Our group could have been more critical of the purchasing aspect of the assignment and noted that potatoes are a cheap item that would not have caused us to go over-budget. Problems with the dessert including not preparing enough cookie dough the day before the restaurant and, then, having half of the baked cookies turn out low quality. This issue could have stemmed from inadequate supervision of the preparation staff. Another problem resulting from a lack of supervision on prep day was the issue of not having a sufficient amount of chicken veloute for the predicted amount of poutines to be served on restaurant day. Due to a lack of organization with food preparation, the restaurant was not able to open on time, and instead opened around 11:40. This could have been resolved by having a more detailed and organized plan for prep day so that not as many items would need to be prepared so close to the opening of the restaurant. Finally, there was a lack of communication between the FOH and Kitchen during service. This was noted in the servers’ confusion of the amounts of dessert left to be served. There were several customers that wanted to hold a number of desserts before actually ordering them, which added to the confusion.
February 7th
Un nuit en Paris (a fine dining event)    menu
Food Sales $1540, Alcohol Sales $569, 55 Guests
Prior to the event, our restaurant was completely sold out at 67 guests, however due to a brewing winter storm, the day of the event presented us with multiple last minute cancellations. This created a stressful situation, where we were unsure if we would even have 60 guests to serve, and it also drastically changed our floor plan. After taking a deep breath, we worked with the FOH team to find a solution to the floor plan and called up a couple friends to fill some empty seats. Overall, we ended up serving 55 guests, who all left full and satisfied, which to us is a determinant of a successful event. Due to the cancellations, we did have excess food at the end of the event as purchasing was done based on 65 guests. To create a challenge for ourselves, we were the first group to serve 6 courses in the 2.5hr service timeframe. This was tricky in itself, as we had to plan properly and ensure service was continuously running at an efficient pace, without rushing our guests. The issue here was that with the bad weather, some tables arrived late, causing some of the courses to be held back slightly. The BOH team did a great job at keeping up with service and ensuring all courses were going out in a timely manner. 
February 12th
Mardi Gras @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $696.83, 78 Guests
A mistake that we made as a team was dividing up the work that needed to be done and completing it individually. Instead, we should have collaborated with each other on the work so that each group member would have a firm understanding of all areas of the restaurant. This was evident on the day of our restaurant because once one or two of our group members were missing, it was difficult to coordinate tasks because the group did not share an understanding of what needed to happen. While in the kitchen, sometimes our group did not effectively communicate with each other. This was clear in an instance where one member could not find an item, and instead of simply asking another group member who had the knowledge of most items’ whereabouts, she wasted time asking others who didn’t have that knowledge. This situation could have been avoided with clearer, more open communication. We should have stopped selling pancakes after we sold 24 orders, like the menu mix instructed. An excess of batter was a purchasing mistake, and even though it would have gone to waste had we stopped pancake sales, it was the cheapest thing we had to waste. Instead, we lost out on selling more expensive items that would have increased our sales. Selling more pancakes did not increase our sales because they were cheaper than most menu items, so our overall sales were less than it could have been.
February 13th
Carnevale @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $737.66, 77 Guests
Communication was a critical incident that affected our group in a negative way. In particular, when it came to the amount of reservations we had coming in and the amount of meals we actually had. It ended up that we had not enough of the latter which required us to make more Mac & Cheese, which was something that we should have been on top of ourselves. If that problem had not been noticed by Simon, we would have had a big issue on our hands that could have led to even more incidents. The FOH manager should have been aware of the difference in meals and reservations in order to let the KM know immediately so they were able to approach it effectively. Teamwork was a critical incident that we handled very well. We worked well together, combining our different strengths and using them to succeed with this restaurant. For some groups this was a difficult task but not for us, we all were open to each other’s opinions and suggestions. When it comes to running a restaurant, this is a very important aspect, so we were lucky that it happened naturally. From the beginning we all had positive attitudes which is definitely a critical incident because it gave us courage and confidence to do whatever it took to do well. We believed in our abilities and our peer’s to run the restaurant, making it go smoothly instead of going out of control. We were encouraging towards each other and our classmates, which in turn, gave them great energy. This made it easy to have fun!
February 14th
Damsel’s Diner @ pj's     menu
Food Sales $643.03, 63 Guests
On top of prepping our food, we had to work extra hard to acquire more reservations to reach our goal. We were able to bump our numbers up from 35 to 63 guests which was an improvement, however not enough for us to reach our sales goal. If we had checked the reservation numbers we would have been able to anticipate the lower need for food servings, preventing the amount of leftovers that were wasted. There were many factors which added to the lack of communication for restaurant. Firstly, the host and hostesses were neglected for training due to focusing more on the servers, therefore were given insufficient guidance as to what to do and expect during the day of service. Secondly, confusion arose between the FOH and kitchen staff with the countdowns of items as well as menu items being held aside, this in turn led to poor communication to the guests when ordering menu items. Better planning for the front of house could have been done in order to ensure smooth operation of service. The chocolate mousse required more ingredients because of errors while making it, and then we still ended up filling less jars than anticipated. This could have been avoided if we weighed the entire batch and portioned it evenly into all of the jars we needed, in addition to closer supervision while making the mousse from the beginning. 
February 14th
Sabor de Fuego (a fine dining event)    menu
Food Sales $1540, Alcohol Sales $641.25, 55 Guests
As we were prepping the food for our event, the tortilla soup did not taste how we thought it would. Because of the volume of soup we were making, the soup tasted a little bland. We had to think on our feet to flavor the soup to our liking by only using the ingredients that we had already purchased. During service, there were 3 tables that arrived half an hour late. This made controlling our flow of food a little difficult, however by the end of the main course, the remaining courses were in sync. Additionally, flow of service was slightly affected by the large amount of 2 person tables in the restaurant. Other than these issues, the restaurant ran relatively smoothly thanks the support of classmates. 
February 15th
Fireside Brunch @ pj's     menu
Food Sales $340.75, 40 Guests
Being the first group to run a restaurant in our lab made us fairly nervous and that, coupled with a low guest count, really affected our self-belief. Despite being very prepared and organized, we lacked the confidence in our abilities necessary to have a successful restaurant. This played a role in our lack of assertiveness during the day of the restaurant. We found it difficult to make the transition from fellow classmate to being in a position of authority as a manager. By not being confident in making decisions we set a timid tone for the management for the day. Delegating tasks was a crucial key to our prep on the day of service. At first, as a team we were hesitant telling people what to do. As a consequence, we had people who came in early, eager to help, who ended up standing around because they were not given any direction because their managers were too busy trying to do everything themselves! Luckily we recognized this flaw in management early enough and when we started delegating tasks to people the prep came together very quickly. The successful prep, both on the day before and the morning of, was also due to our teams organization skills. We had very detailed job descriptions for all of our team members, a detailed time line of items that needed to be made both the day before and the day of service in the order in which they needed to be started and the amount of time each one would take. This proved a very helpful management tool as we could walk around and check off tasks as they were completed and delegate the next task on the timeline to anyone looking for a job. Having it pre-written meant that nerves weren’t able to play a role in the timing of preparation, which for us was a very good thing!
February 26th
Holy Guacamole @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $663, 69 Guests
On Monday we had a large number of people come in to help us prepare. This, combined with the organization in the kitchen allowed our group to have all of the preparation that was necessary completed in a reasonable amount of time. We were out of the kitchen earlier than expected on Monday and Tuesday morning we also had a large number of helpers prior to service. Our group at no point had to worry that we would not have the food ready by the time of service. For a few of our recipes we did not get the yield that we expected. In most cases we were able to adjust the serving size to accommodate to actual yield, such as with the chili and roast chicken. However, for the guacamole and salsa we ran into issues with the amounts we were serving for each meal, and Simon pointed out that we would likely run out if we continued to serve the amount we were. At that point we gave out smaller portions of guacamole and salsa, and we did not run out of either during service. This was a negative instance that was noticed and resolved, but could have been worse.
February 27th
Boston Sports Hub @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $643.40, 66 Guests
The KM was not the “one clear voice” for the first little while during the day. This was quickly smoothed out once confidence and organization was restored for the KM. The KM and FM should have communicated more in terms of how much of each item was left over, how many more reservations there were, and generally what was going on in the front and back of the house. This could have kept us more on the ball, which leads to our next point. Being PROactive rather than REactive: Realizing when an item was low and assigning a person to fix the issue right away. For example, it was clear from the beginning that there was a chance of running low on tartar sauce (1pc ordered more than 2pc). Having someone make a larger yield during prep should not have been a big deal. We should have been more proactive and had that someone make more right away rather than running out during service. Keeping a closer eye on the staff to make sure everything was running smoothly. For example; the quiche shells were not put in the oven before the quiche mix was put in. This is a problem and if the KM had paid more attention to detail it may not have happened. Other than this incident, our strong team helped keep a great attention to detail and definitely contributed to making this restaurant run as smooth as it did. The servers could have had more explanation on the menu items to avoid a dish being sent back to the kitchen. Our servers should know each and every item and it’s ingredients could have helped avoid this – so having the thorough description/ingredient list on hand or given to each server would have benefited this restaurant. 
February 28th
Gryphon Garden @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $788.95, 78 Guests
We were not as fast as we should have been during our receiving. Too much valuable time was spent labelling and storing ingredients. We also should have sped up during preparation the day before our restaurant. It would have saved a lot of stress the morning of service. One thing that helped tremendously with preparation was that Simon roasted the chickens for our chicken salad sandwich a day early. He also increased the number of chickens purchased when our number of reservations exceeded our expectations. The day before, as well as the day of our restaurant, we had very few people come early to help due to scheduling and poor availability. However, on the day of service when classmates did arrive, everyone was very organized and willing to help. We had the food ready just in time for service. Being ready 5 minutes earlier would have been beneficial because it would have allowed everyone to take a deep, calming breath before service. We would have had time to ensure that the line cooks were familiar with the flow of food and location of items in the steam table. During service, communication between the front and back of house was inadequate. We could have improved our accuracy when counting the number of servings remaining of a food item and communicated this to the front of house manager. We could have also paid extra attention to maintaining consistency of the items being sent out (i.e. soup being thicker towards the end of service than at the beginning). Finally, we should have given one of our signature menu items extra attention during the weeks leading up to our restaurant. Our taco salad had a “wow” factor that our chicken salad sandwich did not. Improving the presentation of the chicken salad sandwich may have increased the number sold.
February 28th
La Canadienne (a fine dining event)    menu
Food Sales $1624, Alcohol Sales $522.50, 58 Guests
Our final guest count was 58. We also had a table of 17, which presented a challenge for flow of service. Communication with the guests prior to the event allowed us to explain to them how the evening would run, translating to a successful service for all guests, without interrupting service. The experience from servers in the front of house allowed for an easy set-up of the front of house without any troubling incidences. Drawing from their experience, we were able to establish a smooth pace of service from the start. In the back of house, we had a great team. Everyone worked well together toward the common goal of putting together beautiful dishes. Our ordering was accurate allowing us to complete prep without any issues. We were well organized, which reduced stress at every point in the process. Our sorbet course required a last minute save because too much cassis liqueur was added, therefore it didn’t set properly. We used the ice cups for service and as a result we were able to pipe the sorbet into the cups. Sending out food was slow off the start. We didn’t take into consideration that the pasta was going to have to be cooked per plate. However once we re-established an execution plan for the pasta course, we were able to make up time.
March 1st
Bloom @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $817.01, 78 Guests
Many members of the lab showed up to help prep all of our food early on Friday morning. The management team, especially in the kitchen, did not take full advantage of all the extra help that was available. Delegating tasks to staff members available in the kitchen effectively would have resulted in prep being finished much earlier than 11:30 am. The KM and kitchen staff were unprepared for the large rush of guests at 11:30 am. The hot line was chaotic until about 12:00 pm when the KM began to restore some control. This could have been avoided if the KM had managed the chits better, and expressed better communication with the back of house staff. Our Signature Chicken Parmesan Sandwich was very popular and unfortunately we had difficulty communicating from the kitchen to the front of house exactly how many we had in stock. Multiple people were preparing the dish which lead to a miscommunication from the kitchen to the front of house on our countdowns. Lastly, while our menu mix called for 36 orders of our dessert, we only sold 25 and sold out. This mistake was caused due to poor staff training, and not instructing the staff member on proper portion sizes/weight. Had the KM trained the staff member properly, we would have been able to sell 11 more servings of the dessert, increasing our profits.
March 5th
Sex in the City @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $671.86, 65 Guests
Front of house organization, job packs, and detailed prep lists were huge assets to the running of the restaurant. The FOH manager provided staff training of the POS system, lists of the ingredients in food items, and detailed job packs. This all allowed for confident serving staff and resulted in a well run front of house. The detailed job packs sent out to all classmates also contributed to the smooth operation of the restaurant. Sending specific information about how to prepare the signature menu items and designating tasks to all individuals in the kitchen assisted in kitchen efficiency as everyone was aware of what they were expected to accomplish. The detailed prep lists used on the prep day and the day of service also contributed to the running of the restaurant. The prep lists for the day before service allowed us to prioritize which items needed to be made first and manage those that were the most time consuming. Having a prep list the day of service proved beneficial to an efficient and timely opening as it outlined the tasks in order of priority, starting with turning on all equipment upon arrival. Although there were positive aspects to the restaurant we also experienced some problems. There were some communication problems between the kitchen manager, expo, and line staff operating the flat grill. Miscommunications regarding the number of grilled cheese ordered could have been resolved by using the term “all day” and instating better communication methods. A lack of attentiveness is another factor that affected the running of the restaurant. A primary example of this occurred when an ingredient was improperly added to a recipe due to carelessness in reading ingredient labels. This lack of attention resulted in the last minute removal of a standard item from the menu. Finally, during the morning of service, the management team allowed their nerves to show at a time when they needed to show confidence for their staff. Keeping calm and composed may have resulted in a less stressful environment and smoother communication between managers.
March 6th
Calgary Stampede @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $862.01, 76 Guests
Our restaurant was very successful and our group was very pleased with the contribution and effort from everyone in our class to making it a success. Although our total reservations dropped from 92 to 76, our average check was $11.34 and this translated into above average revenues. Again, we have to mention the tremendous amount of teamwork from the class as the key factor for our restaurant’s accomplishment. Everyone was motivated, cooperative, eager and ready to help. We believe these characteristics were demonstrated by our team because of the emphasis we put on organization throughout the entire process. A systematic approach towards the entire restaurant operations included efficient prep, well-constructed PO and a detailed list of all tasks to be completed to ensure smooth service. Both FOH and BOH job packs were thorough with a detailed list of all duties. Training of the FOH operating systems was clear and concise. Communication throughout the restaurant was another critical factor that benefited our performance. As a group, we were all on the same page in terms of setting and completing tasks. An area of improvement was punctuality for the receiving of our products. However, this had no negative impact on the running of our restaurant. 
March 7th
Throwback Thursdays @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $601.54, 61 Guests
Insufficient training of our servers greatly affected the operation of our restaurant. As the modifications were complicated and multiple orders were received at once, the servers became stressed, which resulted in confusion and chaos in the kitchen. During this time, communication between the front of house and kitchen was critical to ensure that no orders were missed and all dishes were prepared per the guests’ requests. With great teamwork from our kitchen staff we managed to prepare the orders correctly and in a timely manner. From this incidence, better training of our servers could have helped with managing our team. Accuracy of the nutritional information for the Calzone on our menu also posed a concern, as many guests had commented about this in the evaluation forms. This mistake could have been prevented if we were more knowledgeable in using the ESHA program in the first assignment. Although our guest count was not as high, our signature entrées were greatly favoured, especially our Deluxe Calzone. A lesson learnt here was that sticking directly to a recipe may not always be the best choice. Teamwork and organization were the most important factors which helped in the running of our restaurant. We were very organized and fortunate to have a group of hard-working classmates help us during our preparation day. Therefore, less preparation was needed on the day of the restaurant and we were able to prepare our dishes in time for service. 
March 7th
Coastal (a fine dining event)    menu
Food Sales $1344, Alcohol Sales $600.50, 48 Guests
Our choice of theme did place us at a disadvantage given that many diners do not overly enjoy seafood, but we were able to satisfy all of our guests and leave them wanting more. As for timing of the event, everything was executed properly and according to plan, which allowed for an efficient and smooth night that ended on time and had staff leaving at a decent hour. All the menu items were well received and completed, even the dishes that required modifications due to allergies. There was a mix up with the amount of kale needed for the barley risotto which was served with the main course, however, panic was avoiding by attempting to evenly distribute what we had as each plate went out. 
March 8th
Decadent Diner @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $778.76, 81 Guests
Our first instance was a positive one, and can be attributed to our classmates. We were fortunate to have a very supportive and eager group of individuals, many of them offering help both on our receiving day and early on opening day. This great team dynamic set the stage for the smooth operation and contributed greatly to the success of our restaurant. Secondly, our level of achievement could not have been reached without our strong organization skills throughout the process. Well thought-out and detailed lists with time frames for completion, helped us stay on track and provided us with the framework for how to carry out each tasks. Both front and back of house were prepared and ready to go well in advance of 11:30 am. However, despite these apparent strengths, our team lacked confidence. We could have benefited from being more relaxed and confident in our abilities, which would have allowed us to have more fun with the experience. Another critical instance was our need for better communication skills during service, between back of house and front of house. There was confusion as to how many menu items were left and better communication would have eliminated this issue. Despite these setbacks, our restaurant was very successful overall, which leads to our final critical instance. We had an excellent turnout with 86 reservations and 81 actual customers because of our strong marketing skills and by raising awareness through posters, word of mouth and social media. 
March 11th
Ski Chalet @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $530.53, 56 Guests
Because our original restaurant day ended up having to be rescheduled due to the unfortunate event of a snow day, our restaurant had to entirely depend on volunteers. Therefore, not many people were available to help us prep on our scheduled prep day. Fortunately, we did have some very helpful volunteers come in early Monday morning to help us out. The biggest critical instance that we ran into - that we noticed the day of our restaurant –was that our veloute for our Chicken Pot Pie had been made slightly wrong during our prep day, which led it to be runnier than it should have been. We had originally separated the big batch we had made; one for our pot pie, and one for the poutine. This meant that we had to make two separate new roux’s (with the extra hassle of straining our Chicken Pot Pie mixture). Despite the issues our group had to overcome, the Front of House staff did an amazing job communicating with each other, which really helped the entire restaurant to run smoothly. Another plus was that our group was extremely organized. We made sure that on BOTH our receiving days everything was labeled and placed properly and neatly in our assigned fridge. 
March 12th
Bel Cibo @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $835.16, 81 Guests
Many students from our lab showed up to help the day before our restaurant and early on the day of service. The extra hands, along with the efficiency, expertise and support of our fellow students greatly contributed to restaurant’s smooth flow of service. Despite the successful selling of menu items, the communication of item countdowns to the FOH could have been more clear and timely. This is one example of how the BOH and FOH Managers could have communicated with each other more effectively. Similarly, the expo could have been much more assertive and confident in her role. However, the kitchen staff recognized that the expo was a naturally shy person. As a result, they acted fast and helped the expo ensure that hot food went out right away. Another critical incident was the host training. Despite having a training plan in place, one of the hosts arrived late, so the FOH Manager had to focus on other tasks until that host arrived. Also, 81 covers resulted in over $800 in sales, which greatly lowered our food costs.
March 13th
Royal Haven @ pj's     menu
Food Sales $899.80, 86 Guests
Communication posed a problem during service. The kitchen manager did not have ‘one clear voice’ on the line where there was not enough assertiveness that should have happened. This created slight confusion and sometimes a miscommunication throughout the team. For the floor manager, there was not enough confidence in delegating the tasks to the wait staff. Communication was definitely lacking between the BOH and FOH, which did not make the lunch service run as smoothly as it could have been.Extensive marketing efforts were evident by the high amount of reservations that increased during the time leading up to the restaurant day. Posters, word of mouth, and social media marketing helped bring 87 reservations. With a few cancellations the morning of and a couple walk-ins, our total guest count was at an astounding 86,which evidently was the highest yet for this semester. As a group we could have been more organized. There was too much time spent looking in the binder for information and not enough away from it to delegate tasks more smoothly. This could gave been avoided if the team was more prepared and made a clearer outline of tasks required to be done before the start of service.Another important issue that occurred during our restaurant was the lack of assertiveness from both the BOH and the FOH. As mentioned in an earlier incidence the KM was not the clear voice in the kitchen and this could be attributed to lack of confidence and organization. The KM at the beginning of service stood back and did not demand the attention to run the line smoothly. This could have been avoided if there was not a rush prior to service and the KM made time to make sure all the line cooks knew their jobs. These incidences also connect with the previous issue of organization. The FOH was not assertive enough in delegating tasks during service. Just like the KM the FOH manager should have been more prepared and organized to avoid the lack of assertiveness prior and during service. 
March 14th
Just Like Home @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $632.25, 67 Guests
Everyone came together to help make our prep day and restaurant day run smoothly, and without the help of our team, we could not have run the restaurant. We had numerous peers that happily went above and beyond their required responsibilities. Our purchase order form was an area of the restaurant planning that affected us negatively. Due to the many changes we made after our initial meeting, we encountered undue stress that could have been avoided that affected us during our food prep. As a management team, we had consistent communication throughout the entire process of planning and running the restaurant. As a group we discussed every aspect of the restaurant together; each of us fully understood the plans for the front and back of house. However, the only exception to this was preparation on morning of our restaurant, when we could have avoided some confusion by meeting the night before. 
March 14th
Alimentari (a fine dining event)    menu
Food Sales $1680, Alcohol Sales $459.75, 60 Guests
Alimentari was sold out two weeks prior to service. This made it easy to anticipate the volume of food needed to serve every guest the intended six courses. The menu was simple but at the same time it was very complex. A well organized kitchen was crucial in the flow of service. Each station was stocked with the necessary items needed to construct each course and adequate instructions were given to classmates on how the course was to be plated and served. Team members were more than willing to contribute to the success of the event and were a key part of a smooth service. An instance that slowed down the flow of service was seating all of the guests at once. By doing this a bottle neck was created in the bar, service of drinks was slow; this affected the next 2 courses by slowing them down and making some of our soup cold! Better communication between FOH management and BOH management would have made this situation more avoidable. One key thing that we took from this is to always look at ways to simplify. A suggestion was made that we adjust one of our more complicated presentations, had we chosen to present our pasta the way we originally intended our entire service would have been in jeopardy of running very long. 
March 15th
Mid March Splash O’ Green @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $817.91, 77 Guests
A critical aspect of our restaurant was that many of our reservations did not show up. We ended up preparing food for about 98 people, but only ended up having 77 customers at our restaurant. This caused a lot of food to be wasted at the end of service, which does not look good for PJ’s restaurant. PJ’s is a Leaf Certified green restaurant which values sustainability and this was not achieved during our restaurant. Also, having so many people not show up lowered our food sales and therefore increased our food cost percentage, which made our restaurant seem less successful. Our organization was critical to the success of our restaurant because it helped us schedule our time and know when each task needed to be done. Prior to our restaurant, we created a binder filled with a detailed schedule of our flow of food for our prep day and restaurant day. This ensured that all food was prepared on time and we were ready to open our restaurant at 11:30. We also printed out double copies of each recipe so we had a backup copy if a recipe went missing. Several days before our restaurant we sent out job packs to everyone in our lab. Our menu items were very simple which contributed to the success of our restaurant. Having specials that were easy to make allowed for quick service and in turn smooth customer turnover. Having simple specials helped reduce the stress of the kitchen staff, which was good for our restaurant because everyone remained calm and no one was overwhelmed during service. The specials were very basic, so there was no confusion about how to make them and it did not take many culinary skills. Our specials were popular items that most people seemed to like, which helped with the success of our restaurant because we sold a good amount of our specials, especially the chicken fingers and fries. 
March 19th
The Adult Kids Menu @ pj's    
Food Sales $634.69, 62 Guests
The best-laid plans go awry, and so when our plans got skewed due to timing and when help arrived we lost control briefly. We should have been more proactive in understanding the POS system prior to our restaurant day. This would have freed up time to ensure the hosts and the bartender was trained properly before service. During prep we also made the mistake of not considering our portioning as we prepared signature items like the Chicken Fingers, which resulted in some confusion during service. This confusion was exacerbated by the lack of effective communication between FOH and BOH, which then resulted in FOH staff not being clear on what items were still available. Prior to opening we failed to notice one of our ovens was shut off, this simple oversight resulted in us not being able to offer all our menu items when the first guests were seated. Our simple menu items were helpful in making the service run smoothly and helped to alleviate the stress we would have had if we had gone with our original complicated menu items.
March 20th
City Lights, Mafia Nights @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $886.38, 85 Guests
Our class is full of talented individuals who were willing to come out and help us early on receiving/prep day and the day-of service, allowing us to be efficient and prepared for service. Our purchase order played a significant role in achieving our restaurant's success. It was completed several weeks prior to its due date, allowing time to double-check it, verify ingredients and ensure that there were no errors. Our specials menu was very popular with guests - all of our menu items aside from the soup ended up selling out during service. The popularity of our menu paired with our guest count were likely to blame for this. Due to the fact our restaurant ran later in the semester, it was easy to track where other teams ran into issues and brainstorm ways to ensure our restaurant did not experience the same problems. These issues and solutions were integrated into our team's job packs to make sure they were set up for success. The FOH staff were all provided with job packs with provided an additional list of opening duties for them to follow to ensure nothing was missed, and so they could work without requiring direction from our FOH manager. Communication was another critical component of the operation. Both FOH and BOH teams were very efficient, effectively communicating between their coworkers and manager whenever they required assistance. For the most part, the FOH and BOH communicated effectively when necessary to ensure countdowns were recorded into the POS system and to make the FOH manager aware of any other problems. 
March 21st
El Sol De Mexico @ pj's     menu
Food Sales $696.10, 67 Guests
A major mistake that we made as a team was working on segments of the project individually with little collaboration afterward. Had there been effective teamwork between the managers leading up to the restaurant, each manager would have a firm understanding in all areas of restaurant operation. A lack of effective teamwork resulted in problems for our PO meeting because one manager did not know the signature item recipes well enough, and the other manager did not know the purchase ordering well enough. The KM struggled to delegate, organize, and lead under stress, resulting in the sweet potato mash being overlooked. Additionally, there was a last minute change of cooking method for the burrito because we weren’t on the same page as the instructors after Conference #2 about serving the burrito. This resulted in several job re-arrangements. Once service started at 11:30 the dining room was quite busy and the kitchen flipped around and service was quite smooth and successful. Guests gave positive feedback on the food, especially our specialty items. 
March 21st
The True North (a fine dining event)    
Food Sales $1512, Alcohol Sales $558.50, 54 Guests
A major critical incidence would be forgetting the fish on top of the oven for five minutes which cause a 5 minute gap in dinner service. Another critical incidence that could have been handled better was when tables were finishing up and leaving, I found myself assisting in getting coffee and tea out, dessert plates cleaned up and tables billed, but some guests were already out the door and searching for their coats in an unorganized manner. This could have been handled better by myself being more aware, and at that time have the person with the host position to assist me in making sure guests gathered their coats as quickly as they were stored at the beginning of the night. 
March 22nd
Spring has Sprung @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $1134.56, 92 Guests
We reviewed the reservations and made follow-up calls two days prior to the restaurant, as we had 102 reservations, and wanted to confirm numbers. This proved to be key in ensuring smooth service, as well as having enough food, and at the same time limiting waste. We sent everyone emails saying that we were going to be busy and would greatly appreciate extra help, and many people came in to help prep. On the day of our restaurant, preparation went smoothly until about 11:00. The KM became busy preparing the specials, and stopped following up with the food preparers. Food was not put on the line until 11:15, which caused confusion right before service, making the consistency in our presentation of food suffer for the first few orders. Once the KM had the line organized and regained control, we were able to efficiently serve our guests. Another critical incident is we briefly lost track of what items we had and where it was located. This caused us to request the same item from the instructor multiple times. We could have avoided this by having clearer communication between managers. Our specials sold very well, specifically our feature drink, which was freshly juiced fruit and vegetables. The drink was very expensive and time consuming to make. However, it proved to be a big seller and it greatly increased our sales. The marketing of the drink with table toppers and by waitresses was key to its success.
March 26th
Spanish Day @ pj's     menu
Food Sales $744.27, 68 Guests
March 27th
Save a Horse, Eat @ pj's    
Food Sales $986.35, 83 Guests
Our biggest critical incident for the day of our restaurant was running low on a key component of our chicken special: the mashed potatoes. If our TA hadn't noticed the mixup, we would have ran out during service and had to stop serving the special. We did not thoroughly check the batch recipe to ensure that enough servings would be made the day before, and this problem could have been avoided by stepping away from the recipe and using our intuition to notice that the potatoes may have been too low. Another critical incident was communication between BOH and FOH about the countdown of meals remaining. Our team needed to be more clear with each other about how many meals remained, to ensure that guests were not being told that meals still remained when they did not, leading to potential guest dissatisfaction. Further, we found that the food we'd prepared did not have enough seasoning before being loaded onto the line. Careful monitoring of the taste of food by the BOH management team would remedy this problem and lead to smoother running of the restaurant once service began. Alternatively, positive critical incidents also occurred. First, the specials that we chose gave us greater benefits for lower costs. In this case, the lower costs were easier dishes to prepare, and having less prep time during service (the dishes were simply plated and served). The greater benefits were higher prices that guests didn't mind paying. 
March 28th
Spring's Awakening @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $474.14, 45 Guests
Our biggest restaurant problem was reservations because even though we greatly promoted our restaurant using the PJ’s website, a Facebook event, distributing flyers on campus and visiting many offices we were still unable to bring in enough reservations. Another problem was selling out of our specialty item, Pulled Pork Tacos, because we ran out of tortillas long before all the pulled pork was used. The reason for this was because many of the tortillas broke in half while being fried and were therefore unable to be served. We should have accounted for how fragile the tortillas were and ordered extra ingredients to produce extra tortillas for the large quantity of pulled pork. Timing and organization while setting up the line could have been better. Now looking back, we should have made a checklist of everything that needed to have on the line for service. We should have started organizing the line by 11:00 to ensure we were ready for service on time and to avoid causing unnecessary stress among the management. Another issue involved our specialty beverage because we forgot to include one of the main drink ingredients on the PO. Although we noticed this during prep the day before our restaurant, we were still unable to correct the mistake and order more since the following day was a holiday. Luckily it was a minor ingredient and we had time to adjust this recipe the day before service.
March 28th
Mélange (a fine dining event)    menu
Food Sales $1732, Alcohol Sales $633, 63 Guests
Being the last group to run the event, and being sold out a couple weeks before the actual day, it seemed like there was less pressure leading up to the event. This may have caused us to be less prepared that we should have been. The timing of prep on the day before ran smoothly, but translated differently on the day of the event. A few of the components of our dishes had to be changed last minute, before service, which took time away from completing other things. During service, guests arrived on time for the most part, and everyone was organized and prepared, which helped the initial timing of the event. One main setback in the front would be the table of 4 that we had claimed as a no-show arriving four courses later. We quickly re-set the table, and let them eat from where the courses had reached (main). Another instance would be during the sorbet course, where there was a mistake in communication in sending out the ice cups to one table. This was fixed immediately. There was good communication between front of house and back of house with regards to food delivered and tables cleared. Even with the hectic atmosphere in the kitchen, it didn’t translate into the front of house where the guests were, keeping a calm and positive ambience.
April 2nd
The Meltdown @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $760.83, 68 Guests
One concern of ours prior to our restaurant was getting enough reservations. By marketing and advertising early, it helped to get enough people to make arrangements to come to our restaurant. Also, the simplicity of our signature dishes kept our food costs down and allowed prep and service to operate with few complications. On the other hand, we made our drink too complicated and also over purchased the amount of frozen strawberries we would need, therefore increasing our food cost. A simpler drink could have provided us with less confusion at the bar and also increase the popularity and sales. We also underestimated the amount of sweet potato mash we would need for our shepherd’s pie during our prep so we had to adjust and make more in time for service. Luckily with the help of a good prep team, we were able to get all the prep done in a timely manner and be prepared in time for service. There was also confusion about the countdown of poutine left during service because we based the amount of servings on our menu mix and not by physically looking at how much we had left. Luckily we noticed in time and were able to sell the remaining poutine throughout the rest of service. Since this was the last restaurant for our group for this semester, it allowed familiarity with everyone’s assigned jobs and the confidence to run a restaurant smoothly. 
April 3rd
Paris in April @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $928.28, 86 Guests
Being one of the last groups to manage our restaurant, we became an experienced team. The Wednesday lab had a great group of people to begin with; everyone was very helpful, cooperative and had great attitudes. After just a few restaurants the group really got the hang of things making each restaurant more successful than the last. For our particular restaurant all the classmates required little guidance and knew how to do their jobs well, in some cases they even exceeded expectations. Our group sat down and made two binders; one full of our recipes, a purchase order form and lists of everything that needed to be prepared the day before our restaurant and the day of. There was also one with the job rotation form, seating plan and tasks for servers to do during down periods, making it easy for us to delegate and ensure that all tasks were completed on time. We sent out our job packs and recipes to all of our classmates well in advance to give them a chance to prepare. The three of us worked really well together right from the start. Everyone was very flexible with meeting times, doing some parts on their own and communicating effectively. All of the work was equally distributed between us, creating a unified team. Our P.O was somewhat of an issue at first as we had to purchase more of some ingredients on the prep day but we still managed to adjust and have a successful prep day and restaurant. Had all of us been more familiar with the P.O, our restaurant would have been that much better. 
April 4th
Toga Party @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $689.83, 66 Guests
A key area that we could have improved on was our organization prior to service. It was quite stressful trying to ensure all the items were prepared and on the line. This could have been resolved by the kitchen manager handing over the prep task she was doing to another staff member and taking a stronger management role in supervising the activities in the kitchen. Another issue that contributed to the organization on the morning of was that we were left with a significant amount of prep for our specialty items. Although we had a fairly good turnout of people to come help on our prep day, we were not able to accomplish all that we had anticipated. We also encountered some issues with our purchase order and were short on a few items. Despite having a stressful morning prior to service, we were able to move past this and service ran very smoothly. There was good communication between the front of house and the kitchen. The front of house manager did a good job at checking in with the kitchen to find out how many dishes were remaining, as well as notifying how many guests were left to be seated. We were notified on the morning of our restaurant that our reservations had increased to 82 guests overnight and we were then unsure whether we would have enough food. This problem continued when we were short on a key ingredient for one of our specialty items and the burning of one of the standard menu items resulted in the loss of over 10 entrees. 
April 5th
The Art of French Cooking @ pj's    menu
Food Sales $1069.94, 85 Guests
Our main entrees were easy to prepare and we were able to make them ahead of time. Because a lot of the work was completed the day before our restaurant, not much effort was needed when our items were ordered. It was easy to get our specials ready on the line quickly without sacrificing quality. Having a team of four managers helped us reduce the workload for each person on the team. Additionally, it helped increase our control of the restaurant process and decrease the risk of things going wrong. While one manager monitored the wait staff, another ensured quality from the bartender. While one manager assigned jobs for kitchen staff, another prepared and monitored our main entrees. By applying communication and organization, the benefit of extra managers was even greater.