Winning Renovation Recipes (Club & Resort Business)

10/20/2017

Clubs can accommodate bustling dining areas with carefully planned and deliberately designed kitchen space.

Maintaining a fresh design is an essential ingredient in club and resort kitchens. As properties expand both the restaurant and catered-event sides of their business, kitchen facilities must keep pace with the increased workflow. Updating these epicenters of food preparation is not only vital to the staff’s productivity, it ensures that top chefs will have the means to generate dishes that can cement their clubs’ reputations for premier dining.

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Let’s Do Lunch (and More)

For an increasingly busy food operation, Glen Ridge (N.J.) Country Club needed a kitchen that could keep up with incoming orders. This past February, the club unveiled a new a la carte kitchen, as part of a $13 million, property-wide renovation, that put an end to a logistical challenge that had been plaguing its food-and-beverage team for quite some time.

Born out of necessity, the club’s kitchen was needed to provide better service in “1894,” Glen Ridge’s brand-new, 210-seat restaurant.

“The previous lower-level kitchen was only capable of lunch service, due to the small size and inadequate equipment,” explains General Manager Harris Coble.

In addition, the kitchen on the clubhouse’s main floor was doing double-duty by servicing the lower-level restaurant for all other meals. But through the reconfiguration, the previous lunch kitchen was converted into a dish station, and a new 4,200-sq. ft. a la carte kitchen was built adjacent to it.

The completely overhauled space warranted all-new kitchen equipment that would be better designed for production efficiency. Glen Ridge’s kitchen arsenal now includes a 42 x 42 woodstone pizza oven, a custom fire-and-ice suite of 18 14-inch burners and two freezer drawers, and a custom-built center island. Other valuable new pieces include a pasta cooker that can accommodate eight orders simultaneously, two 18-inch burners, two grills, a 24-inch high-mass oven (with a four-inch steel plate to retain heat), two double fryers, a 48-inch upright broiler, and a 48-inch convection oven. The 275-sq. ft. garde manger station at Myers Park CC is a temperature-controlled room featuring store-front glass windows and its own working walk-in, sink and work tables.

To further improve the new kitchen’s efficiency, a walk-in cooler and prep station were added to what Coble refers to as “otherwise wasted space.” Flooring is now a non-slip, seamless poured epoxy, and all electric, drainage and plumbing systems are custom-built. Ventilation is supplied by ductless air-conditioning units installed at each end of the kitchen.

Thanks to its newly repurposed kitchen, Glen Ridge can now seamlessly manage all aspects of its dining business—and volume for the club’s foodservice operation has grown 71% in the past two years.

“[The kitchen] allows us to produce a la carte restaurant service, as well as banquet and event service, independent of each other and without any interruption or interference,” Coble notes.

Glen Ridge (N.J.) Country Club

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