Student Feedback ~ Winter 2019

"You better cut the pizza into four pieces, I'm not hungry enough to eat six"
  ~ Yogi Berra

 

January 31st
Del Polpaccia (fine dining)  menu
Food Sales $1536, Liquor Sales $--  ,48 Guests
Our dinner on the whole, went relatively well.  Being the first restaurant of the semester there were a few kinks we can iron out as the semester continues.  The guests were very pleased with the outcome of the event and were impressed with the professionalism of the entire staff. The first incident that occurred was one that was out of our control.  Due to very poor weather condition there were a number of guests that couldn’t make it to the restaurant because of road closures.  This made the setup of the dining room a little hectic.  There was one large reservation that  called and had to cancel which meant we had to remove the tables and reset the dining room.  It was dealt with quickly though and we were able to assign new sections for the servers. The flow of service was very good once all the guests were in.  We had another incident right at the beginning.  In an effort to get service started we pushed out the amuse bouche too fast and some guests were served it before receiving their drink order.  In the future we need to have drinks down before we start any sort of food service. Besides the amuse bouche, the remainder of service was very smooth.  We had done a lot of food that could be prepped before and just needed warming which helped reduce any wait time for food.  We also split the kitchen staff up and as one group was putting out a course the next group was preparing for the next one.  This worked very well and helped the flow of things a lot!One major incident was the fact that we forgot to make an appetizer for the vegetarian guests. We had a scallop course on the menu and didn’t realise until we were serving it that we did not have an option for the two vegetarian guests in the restaurant.  Lucky we were able to put something together quickly for us.  In the future we need to make sure that we do have a vegetarian option available for those guests who require it. Overall we believe that we managed a well executed dinner and that we provided our guests with an amazing experience

 

February 5th
Throwback Tuesday  menu
Food Sales $534.29,  54 Guests
One thing that worked in our favour was that our job rotation matched that of the soft opening schedule. This was especially helpful in this kitchen when it came to prepping and working the line. Most students got their first time nerves out of the way which allowed our service to run very smoothly. Also, as a management team we got along very well and worked very well together during the whole process. People saw us as one cohesive management team rather than three separate members. This made preparation of our menu, planning and running of our restaurant much easier. Furthermore, our staff were very helpful and contributed a lot to prepping the day before and the day of service. We had a good amount of people come in very early to help us set up the kitchen and get started on day-of tasks. This reduced the amount of stress the day of, especially for the management team and gave us room to deal with other problems that arose. In the front of house, even though most wait staff were familiar with the processes, some servers were new to using the POS and OpenTable and management could have done a better job at ensuring they were properly trained for their daily tasks. A pre-service meeting was used to allow staff to ask questions, but it could have been more thorough. The back of house team had a very good grasp on their job and it was reviewed several times with the BOH manager prior to service. As a BOH manager, staff should have been checked on more often and ensuring that staff were updating their manager. Even though job packs were detailed, it is important that on the day of the manager leaves time to walk around and ensure everything is being done the way it should be on being done on time. This would have helped avoid problems like a pot left on the stove or use of wrong ingredients in a recipe.

 

February 7th
The HomeStay  menu
Food Sales $886.48,  75 Guests
Amazing teamwork, great organization, the ability to delegate tasks, strong marketing and adapting to changes contributed to the success of The Homestay. Our restaurant was the first one to operate in our Thursday section. Leading up to the event, our team prepared detailed to do lists of what needed to be accomplished throughout the week for a successful and smooth operation. The job descriptions distributed were very detailed with time estimates so everyone knew what their responsibilities were. The Kitchen Manager had created a thorough to-do list, and every recipe was printed with the number of people needed to complete them. However, there was an unforeseen circumstance that completely changed how we functioned and prepared. On the morning of our restaurant when we were supposed to receive our food and prepare many of our dishes, the university was closed due to bad weather. We are so thankful for the help we received from our classmates – with many coming in at 7:00 am the morning of our restaurant to work as a team. We did not have much time to waste, so with a mutual understanding from management we were able to delegate tasks and empower our classmates to complete everything in a timely manner with little supervision. Strong marketing initiatives including in-class announcements, Facebook posts, and direct invites to acquaintances and friends led to a very good turnout of guests. We had to adapt to change throughout the day – including a food preparation time constraint, managing adjustments to reservations and running short on various menu items. 

 

February 8th
Heart Warming Day  menu
Food Sales $508.91,  47 Guests
A few factors prevented this day from becoming as successful as we have hoped it would be. Luckily, an amazing team of employees helped us in the preparation and management of the day and it was a success overall. Our group was lacking in team cohesion which caused significant disorganization in the preparation and management of our restaurant. We overcomplicated the production ordering process by working individually before summing up all the ingredients without consultation with other group members. There was also a lack of awareness of what these ingredients were for when inquired. If we had continued to work together as a group from the beginning of production ordering, many of these errors could have been prevented.  One major takeaway would be to double-check the finished production ordering sheet so that similar problems will not occur in the future. Thirdly, many recipes such as the; scotch egg (frying of), tomato avocado salsa, and steamed vegetables were not completed until just 35 minutes before service. This was because our group was lacking in organization, and this was demonstrated through the constant need to search through piles of papers for recipes to hand out, as well as inability to immediately delegate a task. This could have been improved if we thoroughly planned out each task before prep day. 
 
February 14th
My Funny Valentine  menu
Food Sales $745.78,  64 Guests
One critical incident that affected the running of our restaurant was the help we received from our classmates during our prep day and the morning of our restaurant. We had many hands on deck early in the morning on both days, which made our restaurant day a lot less stressful than it could have been. Related to that, another critical incident was the organization of our KM. Having detailed prep notes as well as a solid understanding of our flow of food ensured that she was able to effectively delegate tasks to our kitchen staff and have the hot line running smoothly. In addition to having excellent organization, our KM created a positive work environment for all our staff with her energy and enthusiasm. For example, prior to service, she showed our FOH staff plates of our signature menu items and let them have a taste. Our FOH operation had a few hiccups, such as turning tables efficiently, which could have been avoided if our FOH manager had taken a more active role in supporting her staff during service. It would have helped if she had given more frequent verbal reminders during service (e.g. to clear tables and fill up guests’ water glasses) and led by example. Lastly, add-on sales greatly contributed to our food sales – we sold 18 soups, 15 specialty drinks, and 27 desserts! We achieved these numbers by customizing our add-on items to fit with our Valentine’s Day theme and creating attractive table tents featuring photos of these items
 
 
February 14th
Amore (fine dining)  menu
Food Sales $1728, Bar Sales $505.75,  54 Guests
The hot appetizer for our event was lobster ravioli. Originally, we had planned to make the ravioli open faced, however after making the pasta and rolling it out we had realized that there was enough dough for us to close the ravioli. The team decided that the closed pasta would be ideal, and our guests would enjoy the course more if the ravioli were closed. It was more preparation for the group, and the pasta making was very time consuming, however we were able to manage our time and still have lots of time to prepare for our other courses. In the end the course was a success, and our guests really enjoyed how they were heart shaped.  The entrée was a chicken supreme with a sweet potato and rutabaga puree. Although the execution of the dish went well in terms of presentation and speed, there was a lot of traffic in the back-of-house area with 5 people working together to plate the dish. Instead, we should have had an assembly line so that everything would have flowed better and have had the puree heated up earlier to eliminate an extra cook in the back. Our assembly line should have been situated so that the cook putting down the puree would pass the plate onto the cook cutting and plating the chicken, then the cook flashing the dish, and lastly passing it onto the cook putting on the sauce For FOH, we overall executed the service part of the evening effectively but could have been improved if done again. We were short 1 server and one server left early which made the serving part of the evening a bit more difficult. We had 58 guests come to our Valentine’s Day event with 12 two-person tables which made the room quite busy with having 20 tables around the room. With having such a busy room with multiple courses, it would have been more ideal to have 1-2 more servers during our event to make the serving more seamless and synchronized. Since we did have limited staff, Brayden (bartender) and the front-of-house manager, Tori had to run food during most of the courses which made the night more hectic potentially. There were a couple servers who had served previously who thought they had better ways to serve than the ones that were stated for the evening and did not follow the flow of how the manager stated it was to go. Overall though, for the limited number of servers present, the presentation and delivery of food was successful.
 
 
February 15th
Mexican Fiesta  menu
Food Sales $423.73,  36 Guests
Despite a few small hiccups along the way, the execution of our restaurant went very well. Our group only consisted of 2 people, so that put an additional load of work onto both of us. However, our constant communication and collaboration inside and outside of class allowed us to be extremely organized for both receiving and restaurant day. We put our heads together and planned out every possible detail, producing a timeline for receiving and prep, to ensure that all dishes were accounted for and would be ready for service. We made extremely thorough job packs for our classmates, which included their own personal timeline and list of responsibilities for the day. During prep, both the FM and KM were actively working in the kitchen, and both knew what was happening with all dishes, so if asked by any classmates or instructors, either one of us could answer the questions. We had 5 amazing classmates lend their time and help us receive and prep, and with their help were able to complete everything scheduled before noon. On restaurant day we had so many classmates come in early to help us get everything in order. Unfortunately, during service the deep-fryer used for our dessert came unplugged and our KM was not notified of the issue in a timely manner, causing the oil to cool almost completely, putting a major delay on getting dessert orders out to customers. In addition to this, a miscommunication regarding the preparation of chocolate sauce for the dessert almost lead to us not being able to serve the churros. During prep, our KM was under the belief that the chocolate sauce had already been prepared by a classmate other than the one who it was assigned to. When we realized it still hadn’t been made, this set our timing slightly back although we were still able to have it ready before service. Our job rotation sheet took advantage of classmates who had a natural presence in front of house, or was an asset in the kitchen. Our restaurant ran the day before Reading Week, so unfortunately many students had already left campus for vacation or home. Despite our various attempts at advertising, our guest count was low, with 36 guests in attendance.
 
 
February 26th
The Titanic  menu
Food Sales $354.62,  28 Guests
Considering the circumstances of our prep day being cancelled for a snow day, the actual running of our restaurant went exceptionally well. We were originally scheduled as the third restaurant of the semester, but since one lab got cancelled, we were actually the second group to go. This meant that we didn’t have much experience in the kitchen yet. In hindsight, we could have tried to market our event more, with more aggressive techniques (such as more frequent posts in our Facebook group and more posters put up around campus). The number of walk-ins possibly could have been higher if there wasn’t a snowstorm the day before, but we should have tried to get more reservations regardless. If more guests attended our event, we could have been tested under greater pressure, so the element of critical time management during service was missed. On the other hand, we did exhibit great time management with our heavily detailed schedule to plan out the entire morning of prep, which would be our second critical instance. This schedule kept our group on track and helped keep all of the kitchen staff organized. We believe that making this schedule also allowed the team to feel more confident in our leadership. Third, all three of the managers received and prepared food in the kitchen even earlier than normal (7:00am), right up until 10:30am on the day of. The kitchen manager, expo, and floor manager made an amazing team. Next, even though the three managers came in early to prep food, it was critical that so many of our classmates came in early to help us prep all the menu items, and one even came in to help us receive super early. Without their help, the running of our restaurant would have been so chaotic, and we probably would not have been ready on time. Lastly, we sold a huge number of add-ons for the number of guests we had. Half of the guests bought soups, quite a few ordered our signature drink, and we even sold out of our dessert-which could have been thanks to upselling and our table tents. In the end, our restaurant ended up running very smoothly, considering all the stress that came right before. This time, the Titanic didn’t sink!
 
February 28th
Southern Comforts  menu
Food Sales $503.58,  48 Guests
The factor that contributed most to the success of our restaurant was our amazing staff. We had many students come in on prep day and early on the morning of to help us out, which made prep go very smoothly. During service, our front and back of house teams worked well together and kept the operation fun and enjoyable for everyone. As well, one student couldn’t make it for service, but it wasn’t an issue for us since we had such a cooperative back of house team. Organization was another key factor for our restaurant. Having a list of everything that needed to be prepped each day and at what time allowed us to delegate tasks to our staff and we never found ourselves scrambling to get things done. For the front of house, proper training and in-depth job packs kept service going smoothly as all servers knew how to use the POS machines and were attentive to their tables. The last critical incident for our restaurant was the teamwork and communication between managers. Overall, there should have been more communication prior to the event to ensure all team members were on the same page about prep and service flow. However, during service we worked well as a team and communicated between front and back of house effectively, especially in regard to food levels.
 
February 28th
Cinema (fine dining)  menu
Food Sales $1024, Bar Sales $152.25,  32 Guests
Our first critical incident was the fact that we had conflicting availabilities on our prep-day, this meant that we had to take shifts in order to get our receiving done. This made it more difficult to receive, however it was helpful that at least one of us was there at all times. On the day of our restaurant, the next critical incident we experienced was the amount of help received early on in the day, with many of the front and back of house staff coming in on their own time to help us prepare for the restaurant. Without their help, service would not have gone nearly as well as it did. Next, we didn’t account for a couple of small details when it came to plating, such as a garnish for the amuse bouche being improvised.
 
March 1st
Hawaiian Paradise  menu
Food Sales $775.72,  68 Guests 
The open, honest and clear communication between our group members was one of the main reasons for our restaurant’s success. Each member was aware of the different strengths and abilities that they could provide when running our restaurant, which led to choosing certain tasks based on our individual skills. Despite having defined roles, we were all well aware of the “big picture” and were equally knowledgeable of what needed to be done during the planning, purchasing of food, prepping, and the actual event. Next, we had several students in our lab who showed up to prep both the day before and day of the event. We used our detailed schedule for prepping and delegated tasks to all of our helpers. Because of the vast amount of help we had, we were able to complete our prep list efficiently with minimum stress. Along with this, we had a higher number of reservations and had a few cancellations, walk-ins and table turns. Fortunately, due to the training of the hosts and their overall proficiency, they very were proactive in letting the FOH manager know if there were any discrepancies in the seating plan and were able to adjust any concerns in an extremely timely manner. Also, our method of promoting our add-ons such as our signature drink and dessert was quite successful due to our table tents. The table tents were both attractive and descriptive, which led to selling 38 drinks and 28 desserts, adding an additional $165.00 to our total sales. In addition to this, due to the numerous signature drinks being ordered, it was important that the bartender was organized and able to work fast. Thankfully, our bartender arrived to our lab with a list of items for inventory, a list of her job duties, and knew exactly how to properly perform these tasks. She was able to prepare herself to take on the job, and was extremely time-efficient during the event. This had a great contribution to the success of our restaurant.
 
March 4th
Apres Ski menu
Food Sales $537.98, 44 Guests
Originally, Après Ski was scheduled to run on Feb 12, but due to a snow day school cancelation, we had to reschedule our restaurant to Monday March 4th. On Monday’s there is no scheduled lab period, meaning we had to recruit classmates from the other labs to help us run our restaurant. These circumstances caused us to have to redo the job rotation on the day of the event, which felt very hectic. However, our classmates did an excellent job and we ended up running a great restaurant. One of the main incidents that we ran into was when we were preparing our Butternut Squash Pot Pie filling, we did not measure the batch size to make sure we had the correct amount of orders. As well, when we were making the filling, one third of the vegetable mixture burnt which we did not replace with more vegetables. Then, an hour before service we began to fill the ramekins with filling, only then realizing we had half of our batch, meaning half of the specified servings. Fortunately, we had just enough for our guests, however, if we had more guests this would have been a major problem. If we had to do this again we would make sure we had made the correct amounts of all menu items during our preparation and before the actual restaurant. We also ran into a similar problem with the Fish Tacos. The fish fillets were supposed to be cut into thirds, but unfortunately were cut in half. This meant we only had four servings of tacos instead of six. This mistake ended up affecting our food costs, because we served six servings of fish, in four orders. Again, we should have double checked the recipe before we went ahead and cooked. The next incident that occurred in the kitchen was that we underestimated the amount of time it would take to reheat our big batches of soup and marinara sauce. We were rushing trying to get things hot enough for service, which put us behind slightly in putting the line together. This was an organizational issue that could have been fixed if we had planned out the timing of the day in greater detail. In terms of front of house, we had no major incidents, everything went smoothly which we are proud of. We ended up doing well in the add on sales of dessert, with 22 orders and the special drink, with 15 orders. We attribute this to the table toppers we had promoting these two items, as well as an extra push from our servers.  It was disappointing that we only had 44 guests despite our advertising and reaching out to friends and family, but the fact that we had to reschedule our restaurant made things difficult as some people ended up not being able to attend. Overall, our guests had a great experience and, as a management team, we overcame the obstacles in our way to run a successful restaurant.
 
March 5th
Southern Comfort  menu
Food Sales $376.60,  34 Guests
Our group only consisted of two group members which meant we each had a heavier workload and also one less friend pool to market to for our restaurant. Another critical incident that affected the running of our restaurant was the teamwork of our classmates during our prep day and the morning of our restaurant. We had many hands on deck early in the morning on both days, which made our restaurant day a lot less stressful than it could have been. We had a few classmates come at 7:30am to help us receive and prep until 2:00pm! It is important to ensure all your recipes and cost cards are updated throughout the weeks leading up to your event day. The ingredients for our Mac n Cheese recipe were not updated accordingly after our PO meeting and as the  KM, during prep day, I had doubts about my own recipe because I hadn’t updated the milk and butter with the decreased cheese amount. Although our prep days were very organized and productive, it could have been better - the pecan pie should have been made the day before the event but it was made the morning of instead and this took up a big chunk of our morning because we had to make sure it was cooled for service. If this had been done the day before it would have been a lot less stressful. The last critical incident is a lack of communication. The KM and FOH manager could have communicated more and more communication was needed with our lab. For things like name tags, ensuring everyone knew what they were doing, bringing more energy to the class and just communicating more with our classmates, this could have help the running of our restaurant to be more smooth overall. Despite these incidents, the execution of our restaurant went very well and we had fun! 
 
March 7th
Winter Delight  menu
Food Sales $783.73,  71 Guests
A major component to the success of our restaurant is the strong communication between all team members. Both the KM and Expo communicated and worked well together during service, such as making sure the food orders were in the correct order and bringing the food out as soon as it was ready. The FOH manager led the servers and hostess and took care of everything at the front of house. Throughout the entire service, the KM, Expo and FOH had great communication with each other on the items that were sold out and items that were low.  Another component is strong teamwork. We had help from our classmates during our prep and that was a great help. We used our time wisely during our prep day and managed to get a lot of the prepping done for our signature and standard menu items. Furthermore, on our restaurant day, a lot of our classmates came early to help us prep, but because we prepped a lot the day before, we did not have much left to prep. Another example of a strong teamwork was when the FOH manager had to fix the menu inserts, the front of house team took initiative and helped set the dining area. We brought in a lot of reservations through word-of-mouth to our friends and co-workers. We shared our event through Facebook and Instagram. Our service was efficient and fast because of the simplicity of our menu. Our chicken pot-pie was pre-made and put in the roast oven and thus, guests didn’t have to wait long. We had portioned out the macaroni, sauce, bacon, broccoli for our mac and cheese and so when an order came in, we were able to cook it right away. Lastly, our signature items and add-on sales contributed to our food sales – we sold 10 potato leek soup, 22 bacon mac & cheese, 23 chicken pot pie, 25 strawberry lemonade. Our bacon mac & cheese was popular and was sold out within an hour. We achieved these numbers through our marketing efforts and the simplicity of our signature menu items.
 
March 7th
Buonissimo (fine dining)  menu
Food Sales $992, Bar Sales $133,  31 Guests
Generally, the event went quite smooth but there were some critical incidents happened during the event and the prep. During the prep on the day before the event, we mistakenly put too much sugar in the egg yolk when making the tiramisu so that we had to make another one. When we made the hand-make pasta during the prep, one of dough was sitting in the kitchen for quite a long time making the dough dried out and we had to make another one. When we were preparing the amuse bouche dish, the beets sphere kept broken in the warm alginate bath. Fortunately, we prepared extra ones and found out the reason it kept broken was the bath was too hot, so we let it sit for a few more minutes and the problem were solved. Also, we had a server called in sick, so that we had to arrange a bartender to be a server to ensure we have enough people serving tables. We only had one bartender because of that, the only rush the bar had was at the beginning of the service. Thanks to the servers help, we got over the rush and the bar was fine after.
 
March 8th
Balance for Better menu
Food Sales $418.55,  34 Guests
Many guests liked our theme, food, and enjoyed the service. We also had a great team with us that was very enthusiastic, and had great teamwork. This helped us be ready and all set to go for the restaurant. Although our actual restaurant day went smoothly, there were some things that caused some bumps in the road getting there. One of these bumps was that we were short two staff members, which caused our group to have to rearrange our job rotation sheet around a little and ensure that both the kitchen, and the front of house would be covered in order to have everything work well.  Another bump in the road was that there was not enough communication between group members. If everyone was on the same page more and there was more communication than there was, things would have gone a lot smoother. In addition, there was not enough organization and understanding of what had to be done in prep and on the actual restaurant day. It is also critical that prep for the different dishes is done in an organized, and logical matter. It is also important to be directive as the managerial staff to make sure that everything that has to be done, gets done, and so people are not just standing around. Unfortunately, we received a low number of customers on our restaurant day. UUpon looking at how customers have heard about our event, it was very evident that word of mouth, or finding out about the event from friends and family was more prominent than posters.
 
March 12th
Rise n Shine  menu
Food Sales $734.19,  67 Guests
Our restaurant day could not have been successful without the help of our classmates. We had reliable friends who came to help make receiving smooth and efficient—some were there as early as 7:20! We also had enthusiastic friends come in early on prep day and on event day to help with whatever task was given to them. In addition, organization was key to running the prep day and the restaurant. The FOH Manager organized the dining room and waitstaff’s tasks for service by preparing a floor plan that was easy to follow. She prepared for and organized training for the staff so that they felt confident for service. The KM prepared a detailed list of the components of each dish including a timeline of when each component of the dish needed to be completed. The list ensured that all managers were on the same page during prep day and that we knew our ingredients very well.  The timeline was also helpful in ensuring that each component was prepared as fresh as possible. For example, our roasted chicken breast and peameal bacon were cooked as close as possible to service (finished at around 11:20) so that it remained moist throughout service. Our Expo was incredibly effective at bridging communication between the front and back of house so that potential mistakes were avoided. Both front and back of house were aware of the number of dishes left as well as how many reservations were still to be fulfilled. When there were gaps in knowledge such as how many of the Eggs Benny have been sold, the Expo was able to troubleshoot right away. Through the Expo, were able to upsell some items that were lagging behind through good communication between front and back of house. Unfortunately, items like the Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons did not sell as much as we hoped. We found that pictures were very good at helping upsell our dishes like the Apple Blueberry Crumble so that we sold more than what was predicted. Perhaps if we had prepared table tents for the soup in addition to the table tents for the dessert and two entrées, we might have sold more soup. Overall, the management team was able to lead the class well and ensure that everyone was confident in their job. We had a lot of fun and we are proud to have served our customers well!
 
March 14th
Cozy Cavern  menu
Food Sales $410.04,  36 Guests 
The first incidence occurred between the managers. The communication between the KM and FOHM was lacking. The two were not on the same level of understanding throughout the morning of service and this led to some confusion between staff members. As well, leading to an early prep of the chicken for the featured sandwich, which should have been prepared later on in the morning. The second negative critical incidence was through marketing. The marketing initiatives planned out a month prior to the restaurant were not followed through completely, and which therefore led to a smaller turnout of guests. Even though this allowed servers and line cooks to be incredibly detail oriented when doing their jobs due to not having a large rush, this ultimately did not benefit the restaurant. This is because there was a lot of “standing around” which was seen as undesirable. However, there were a handful of positive critical incidents. The menu items for Cozy Cavern were simple, yet delicious. This benefited service in a number of ways. Simplifying the preparation for the line cooks created proficiency in the back of house, as well as helped inflate the number of special mains sold – 11 quiche and 17 chicken sandwich - which surpassed the PJs standard menu item sales on the day. Although our signature menu items were fairly simple, being able to taste them before the day of service helped identify any modifications that were needed. For example, tasting the prepared chicken sandwich allowed us to decide to melt the cheese on the sandwich instead of just placing cold cheese slices on the sandwich, leading to a better, more cohesive product. As for the quiche, we got the servers to taste test it before service and noticed it was not completely cooked through. If we had not check this before service it could have resulted in negative guest feedback. Attendance was a positive critical incident that enabled us to be prepared for the day of service. On the receiving day and day of service we had a large turn out of peers to help prepare the food for our restaurant. This greatly impacted the outcome of our restaurant by ensuring that all the food items were ready for service. Helping with prep before service was not mandatory, so with the amount of extra help we received, was greatly appreciated.

 

 
March 15th
Italiano  menu
Food Sales $507.55,  44 Guests
Overall, our day ran very smoothly, and we could not have been so successful without the help of our lab group. We were able to reach out to several of our classmates for help the day before, which made for a fairly stress-free receiving morning. They also stayed to help with prep which allowed us to finish cooking at an extremely reasonable hour and helped to decrease our work and stress load for the morning of service immensely. Our ability to prepare so much of our food in advance also benefited us by allowing our front of house manager to train our FOH staff for a longer period of time through role-playing and answering questions. This ensured that they were well prepared and comfortable in their positions by the time service began, which was well received by our guests. During the time of our receiving, and the day of service, all of our managers made sure to communicate openly with one another and ensured that staff felt comfortable in their roles by checking in with them periodically and answering questions when necessary to clear up any confusion. That being said, we certainly fell short with respect to marketing. We ended up with 44 guests overall, and while we remain confident that we could have handled a higher volume of guests, we recognize that we began marketing too late. We chose to market two weeks before the event, and if we had planned better and began advertising a month prior to, it is likely that we would have been able to attract more guests. Additionally, we initially advertised our dessert offering as an individual tiramisu cup as the dessert, but multiple last-minute adaptations to the recipe prevented us from showcasing the final product we desired to serve. We ultimately decided that changing our dessert entirely was our best course of action, which disappointed at least one of our guests, as evidenced by one guest’s comment card. That being said, however, our choice to adapt the standard ice cream recipe to a tiramisu flavour was complimented by diners and staff alike, and we believe that the choice to change to a less complicated recipe did contribute to our success overall.
 
March 19th
Wonka's Golden Ticket  menu
Food Sales $505.86,  45 Guests 
During the morning of preparation, we did not have enough gravy for the expected number of customers, some items were not weighed in order to estimate the number of servings and ladles and garnishes were not prepared well at the time of line check, this was minor incidence and was effectively overcome by the time the restaurant opened. Clear information of the signature entrées was provided by the menu and the kitchen manager.  As a team we were able to effectively communicate how many orders we had left of our signature items, check-in with each other to see if help was needed and to direct staff. Lastly, another critical incidence that affected the running of our restaurant was the help from fellow classmates both on the day of and prep day. Extra hands were useful in this process because we were able to make the majority of the items the day before which allowed our restaurant day to run smoothly and effectively.
 
March 21st
Gramma's Kitchen   menu
Food Sales $631.46,  56 Guests 
Because our restaurant was later in the semester, it was a bit easier to run because we had an understanding of what was going on and how things should be run. That being said, there were a few critical incidences that affected the running of our restaurant. Firstly, the health inspector dropped in on the day of our restaurant which was completely out of our control. We made or staff alert of her presence and luckily we had everything kept at correct holding temperatures and the whole team was excellent at washing their hands often and keeping operations running smoothly. However, it did make a bit more of a tense environment in the kitchen because everyone was very aware of her presence, but overall it ended up being okay and we did a good job. The second critical incident was our menu for the restaurant, both of our two signature menu items as well as our soup, drink and dessert were all very easy to prepare and serve, service ran incredibly quickly and our items were both quick and tasty so they sold a lot. Our third incident was also out of our control but it affected our day quite a bit, the hot water in the building broke which caused the dish washing to come to a stop and made it difficult for staff to wash their hands properly and caused a general stress in the kitchen, luckily it got fixed in a timely matter and things were back up and running but it did make us stay behind late in the kitchen to finish up dishes. Another critical incident was that we had a miscommunication about our ice cream coming out of the freezer so we had to get a bit creative about how to serve it properly but our line cook in charge did a good job of thinking on his feet and made it work. Finally, our biggest critical incident was the poor communication between the front of house staff and the front of house manager. There was a lot more training that could have been done to improve the quality of service but it was not done and therefore a lot of customers were not satisfied with their service. We were also missing a server which added a bit of stress onto the day but it was covered well by a few servers who went above and beyond. There was also a miscommunication about allowing a late reservation to be seated which interrupted the beginning of the staff meal and made a bit of chaos in the back of house because they were under the impression that service had finished but the host’s let a late reservation come in. Overall we think that the back of house management executed a strong restaurant day and the front of house tried their best and we executed a great lunch for our guests.
 
March 21st
Proudly Canadian (fine dining)  menu
Food Sales $1916, Bar Sales $621.50,  61 Guests 
Our first critical instance was forgetting to freeze our ice cups in advanced. At 4pm before our event, it became apparent that we as a team had forgotten to freeze our ice cups that are used for the sorbet course. At this point it was too late to freeze more cups so we needed to make a quick decision on what we wanted to use to replace the ice cups. At this point we as a management team decided to use small glass holders. We chose to get the glass cups cold before service and had to adjust our scope size halfway through service as the smaller size didn’t leave the sorbet on top like we wanted it. We had a large amount of reservations, 60 to be exact. Therefore, it was important for us to stay on schedule and complete each task efficiently in order to finish before 9:30pm. We finished our service before 9:00pm, at 8:55 to be exact. We could not have had a greater outcome considering the amount of people we had. Contributing to our success was our ability to serve the food at a good pace, and to clear on our way back in. If we had of waited for everyone to finish before clearing, or start the next course we would not have had such a successful finish time. The final critical instance was with the soup course. The day before service, our soups were prepped, and we discovered that they had been done incorrectly and the consistency was too thin. That evening, Simon told us he would help us figure out a way to thicken the soups before service. Rice and potatoes were added to the soups, eventually thickening them to the right consistency. Later that evening, during service, it was discovered that we had just enough stock to satisfy the number of dishes we needed, and without the addition of the rice and potatoes we probably would not have had enough soup to give to all the guests. Thankfully, Connor, and Dmitri helped stretch the rest of the stock so that each guest was able to enjoy the soup.
 
March 22nd
Almost Paradise  menu
Food Sales $485.93, 39 Guests
One key contributor to the success of our restaurant would be the strong communication skills of our group and our organizational skills. On both our Receiving/Prep and Restaurant day, we arrived with a clear idea of what needed to be accomplished. Unfortunately, we did not have as many volunteers to help with prep on Thursday as we initially expected, and consequently, we had to carry out most of the prep on our own. However, having a clear idea of what needed to be done helped us to not feel completely overwhelmed while tackling our countless prep tasks. Additionally, our ability to maintain clear, continuous communication between the kitchen and front of house contributed to our restaurant running very smoothly. Another major contributor to the success of our restaurant would be the help of the students in our lab group. Most people came into the lab prepared to tackle their designated tasks and were able to adapt accordingly when a staff member was not able to come in. Furthermore, having personnel assigned to jobs that they were well prepared for, whether by experience or their jobs packs, allowed for our restaurant to run very smoothly. On top of that, having a lab group that was willing to come early on the day of, and stay late to clean up, was a huge help in ensuring that our restaurant ran efficiently. Additionally, the uniqueness of our signature drink contributed significantly to the success of our restaurant, as it comprised a large portion of our sales for the day. However, although the restaurant was a success, we did encounter a few bumps in the road that tested our ability to problem solve as a team. The most significant instance was a mix up involving our Creamy Coleslaw ingredients with our ingredients for the Asian Coleslaw. Both recipes required cabbage, and a mix up led to all of our green cabbage being used for the Asian Coleslaw, leaving us with no cabbage for the Creamy Coleslaw. Thankfully, our organizational skills allowed us to catch this mistake early on in our restaurant day and to effectively problem solve. In hindsight, paying greater attention to the recipes and ingredients required could have helped us avoid this situation. Lastly, our lower guest count slightly hindered the potential success of our restaurant. Despite the creativity of our restaurant theme and menu items, we fell short when it came to effectively promoting our restaurant through marketing and media.
 
March 28th
El Antojo  menu
Food Sales $506.64, 48 Guests 
A major element of our restaurant’s success was the help of our staff, both front and back of house. They worked with us as a team and helped us to have all of the dishes prepared for service. However, better organization of tasks by our management team could have helped our kitchen staff to be more efficient and aware of each dish that needed to be prepared. More tasks also could have been delegated to utilize time more effectively. Due to the time crunch, as well as an issue with the oven switching off, our burrito dish was not ready for service at 11:30. Front of house was not informed of this issue, so guests were let in before the dish was ready, and the wait staff were unaware at first. Luckily, the burritos were ready in time for the first burrito order and everything went smoothly during service. An increased level of awareness of all recipes would also have helped with organization of dish preparation. For example, salsa and guacamole were supposed to be included on the side of our signature shrimp quesadilla dish. However, when asked if all of the remaining salsa in the fridge was for the burrito, our expo was unaware that the quesadilla also required salsa, so all the salsa was used for our burrito recipe. Fortunately, the guacamole served on the side was enough to complete the dish, so the dish was not compromised and still very enjoyed by our guests. One other incident was a table mix up in the FOH manager’s table layout. A table was missed in the wait staff plan, causing confusion for the FOH team. Double checking the plan before service started and communicating with the FOH staff better to make sure everyone knew which tables they had could have prevented the confusion and stress caused by missing this error. Finally, the add-on-sales from our dessert and specialty drink contributed significantly to our food sales, as we sold 18 desserts and 21 specialty drinks. Our attractive table tents with pictures of these items and fitting the items well to our Mexican theme helped us with these sales.
 
March 29th
Greek Symposium  menu
Food Sales $936.53, 83 Guests
There are five critical incidences that help us to make our restaurant day successful and more enjoyable for us and our fellow classmates and for our guests. The first one was the tremendous help that we received one day before our restaurant day with the preparation that needed to be done. On Wednesday morning we received our ingredients and start working on our signature dishes right away because these were the items that required the most preparation. Having finished all the necessary tasks one day before made our restaurant day less stressful and that gave us a leverage to plan all the tasks for the day with more confidence. The second critical incident was the number of reservations (85 people) and the group of fifty people that needed to be seated at the same time. This was a challenge for us but with the help of our front office manager and with the experience of the wait staff that they acquired during the previous restaurant labs, everyone seated promptly and enjoyed their lunch. Each of the servers had a clear understanding of their tasks of the day and that was the reason that everything was run smoothly with a few downwards though that didn’t affect the overall performance of the day. The third critical incident was when orders started to be punched in all at once, which caused a problem in the communication of the expo with the wait staff. Due to lack of experience and the moments high stress, lack of communication appeared but it didn’t affect the operation of our restaurant because right away with the cooperation of the kitchen manager and the rest of the management team the communication became clear and understandable between kitchen and front of house staff and all of the plates were served on time and to the right people. In addition, the simplicity of our signature dishes allowed us to serve orders as quickly as possible. For our chicken souvlaki and spanakopita most of the ingredients were ready for assembly. Therefore, once an order came in, we just had to cut our chicken in 3 even pieces warm up the naan bread, put the salad, tzatziki, roasted potatoes and serve the plate. Same for the spanakopita that was hold warm on the roaster machine, so we just had to serve 2 pieces on the plate and add the salad and the plate was ready. Another critical incident was that our dessert needed more time to be cooked then we were thinking initially. Because our dessert was cooked every time an order was punched in, in order to be served warm, that caused a problem with the time that it took for the tables to get their desserts. However, after the outstanding cooperation of our fellow classmates and the management team all the desserts were served with a little delay though. Finally, due to the high number of reservations our FOM was focused on preparing the floor for service and didn’t have a well-detailed pre-service meeting with the staff to ensure that everyone had a good grasp of their tasks. No matter the well-written job description a manager should always take initiatives and make sure that everyone is doing what they supposed to do and most importantly to lead as example in times of high pressure. Overall, all of our guests enjoyed their lunch and had a great time.   
 
 
March 29th
Around the World (fine dining)  menu
Food Sales $1280, Bar Sales $177.75,  40 Guests 
Overall, we feel that we ran a successful event. However, we've come across some challenges along the way, as many people would when creating and running these events. The first critical incident was that we were short 4 staff members. This left us short-staffed in the front- and back-of-house. We are grateful to have had two students from the other restaurants course volunteer to help us out in the front-of-house as servers. This certainly helped our flow with the event, and we had enough staff to provide exceptional service. Furthermore, we did lose 4 table reservations - or 11 covers - to no-shows. Instead of the anticipated 50 covers, we had 39 guests present at our event. This left the dining room looking somewhat more empty than it should have appeared, since we were unable to take away tables and adjust the layout after guests had already arrived. During preparation, we experienced a small bump when we needed more of certain ingredients (ie. eggs, butter) than we were initially granted to buy. Luckily, however, we had the necessary resources available and were able to ask for more of certain ingredients when we needed them. We feel like the event went smoothly, despite the challenges that occurred.
 
March 30th
Taste Bud Tour  menu
Food Sales $690.69, 57 Guests
A common strategy used by managers is to have a binder filled with recipes, PO sheets, schedules, and other documents needed to stay organized. Our group found this very useful, but what made our group’s binder stand out was the labelled tabs, plastic paper protectors and overall organization of the contents. A well-organized binder allowed our team to successfully complete the receiving and prep efficiently with minimal help from volunteers. Key components of our successful prep included organization and a well-planned schedule. We organized our receiving day prep so that items that took the longest to cook and required cooling were completed first and we then used our time while items were cooling to complete small tasks that would eliminate stress the next day. Communication was another critical factor to running a smooth restaurant. Managers must communicate with each other to remain aware of what is happening in the FOH and back, especially since each manager will have communications with different staff and work on different tasks. A key success was the ability of the FOH manager to check in and ensure the kitchen was ready to begin service and her consistent check ins throughout service. The expo and KM also maintained communication with servers, hosts and guests in the FOH to ensure that service ran smoothly. Where we ran into problems was as service drew closer and there were many tasks that had to be completed as close to service as possible. During this period communication deteriorated as the KM and Expo were trying to organize staff to complete all the tasks, and by the time line check hit the KM was not prepared with the location or measurements of every ingredient. It is important that the KM maintains awareness by checking in with staff and fellow managers as often as possible because a task is not truly complete unless the KM sees that it is. As we were short 4 staff members for our restaurant, we found that encouraging teamwork was key, especially since some staff had to take on a higher workload than normal. Whenever a line cook was free on the line, they offered help to other line cooks which majorly contributed to a supportive environment effectively reducing everyone’s stress. The Expo was effective in using a critical eye with all orders, making sure to clarify any modifications to the KM to prevent mistakes, and ensuring servers were well informed of where their orders were going. Lastly, we made sure to use our staff effectively even early in the day when there wasn’t much prep to do by asking the TA if she had any additional tasks. Staff can become bored and frustrated if they feel there is nothing for them to do, so we did our best to maintain a positive and productive environment. 
 
April 2nd
Ballin Brunch  menu
Food Sales $781.43, 69 Guests
As a whole the day of our restaurant was successful. Although minor errors were encountered, we acted quickly to rectify the situations and ensure a good moment of truth. Our group decided to prepare our dessert (crepe, filling and topping) on the day of the restaurant, rather than ahead of time. We spent 2 hours to prepare everything as we thought this would result in a better product. Although we received great feedback from the customers, the time and effort put into the preparation and assembly made it difficult to see its worth. If we were to run another restaurant in similar scale, we would choose a less time consuming dessert that would have allowed us time to focus on our other items like our cheese sauce. During prep we miscalculated the amount of cheese sauce we would need and recognized that too much garlic was used in the cheese sauce. Unfortunately, due to these errors we had to purchase more cheese, butter and milk which altered our PO sheet and our numbers. On the other hand, we had great control of our ingredients due to pre-proportioning. To prevent staff from using too much of an ingredient, we organized them into respective bins to ensure all ingredients were present. We were aware of how our ingredients would flow through the kitchen and wanted to foresee any issues that may occur and stop them before they happened. Our pre-proportioning approach enhances efficiency by eliminating unnecessary food waste and reduces time spent in gathering scattered ingredients from different work stations. Another successful critical instance was the FOH pre-service meeting. We had organized a speech/training that would hit all important points necessary for great service. By providing staff with a poster of standards to refer to and ensuring that they were confident and had all of their questions answered we ensured FOH would run smoothly. Servers and host were given their respective trainings in a timley manner leaving time for questions and re-explanation of topics. Doing this ahead of time prevented the manager from having to answer too many questions during service that would slow servers down and hinder service.
 
April 4th
The Sweet Escape  menu
Food Sales $842.20, 72 Guests
The success of our restaurant was greatly attributed to our organization the day before and the day of our restaurant. Having a detailed prep list with times and amounts to prepare was extremely helpful and hardly any clarification was needed about anything due to the preparation of the management team. This allowed the flow of food to move seamlessly from the beginning of our prep day to the end of our restaurant service. Our specialty menu items (shepherd’s pie and butter chicken) were also easy to assemble, which contributed to the smooth flow of food. We were able to plate these items quickly, which meant fast service to customers, something PJ’s is passionate about. The timing of our reservations also contributed to the success of our restaurant, as it was a steady service rather than a big rush of customers all at once. This kept us organized and able to provide quality and timely service to each and every guest. That being said, the communication between the management team behind the scenes could have been better as conflicting opinions often made teamwork difficult. Better communication would have created more positive morale within the group, and led to better collaboration. However, we were still able to work well together for the running of our restaurant. 
 
April 5th
Taste of New York  menu
Food Sales $645.75, 60 Guests 
Our restaurant was the last lunch at PJs this semester. Overall it was very successful, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our amazing staff the day of and leading up to our restaurant. We had so many of our classmates come out to help us with receiving and prep on Thursday, so we were able to get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. On Friday, we had less people in to help early in the morning, but due to our team’s excellent organizational skills, we were still able to get everything accomplished according to the schedule that we came up with. Unfortunately, the day of our restaurant, we had a few people who were unable to come in due to sickness. This required us to shuffle around the job rotation. Thankfully, everyone came in prepared and in their proper uniforms so it was not a problem to reassign people to different jobs. Additionally, seeing as it was the last restaurant of the semester, most of our classmate were comfortable with a variety of jobs within the restaurant. Having pizza on our menu greatly contributed to the success of our restaurant as well. A few of the restaurants prior to ours had also had pizza on their menu, so our classmates were all very familiar with the process of preparing this signature menu item. Our group also showed strong leadership skills throughout the running of our restaurant. All of our staff knew what was expected of them and that they could come to us with any questions that they had. The week prior to our restaurant, we had 80 reservations and therefore the Open Table reservation system did not allow for anymore reservations to be made online. We even had to turn away some tables that asked to expand their reservations. Unfortunately, it seems that the sickness that got the best of some of our classmates also affected our guests and we had only 60 guests show up including walk-ins. In the future, this could be avoided by sending out a reminder email a couple of days prior to the restaurant and deleting any cancelled reservations from the system to allow for new reservations to be made. All in all, it was a great way to end the semester and to celebrate all that we learned about restaurant operations throughout the semester.