Restaurant Start Up

Culinary Systems can design new restaurant concepts from the ground up. Our expertise in all the world’s major cooking styles allows us to customize your concept whether it is fine dining or a chain restaurant prototype.

We offer:

  • Complete Menu Design

  • Complete Front and Back of House Design

  • Complete Menu Recipe Development

  • Guest Satisfaction Surveys/Concept Optimization

  • Product Specifications

  • Suppliers

  • Management and Staff Training

Our Process

Phase 1: Define Concept

Preliminary concept work to be completed based on certain assumptions. Assumptions are previously agreed upon concept strategies and direction. They are established up front through client interviews. We break down our assumptions into “current” and “to be determined.” “Current” are established prior to beginning and generally do not change. The “to be determined” assumptions change as consumer research indicates. Examples are cited below:

– Casual dining restaurant with a full-service bar.
– Food-first concept, developed with a chain in mind, using a speed scratch/component cooking system.
– Restaurants will merchandise apparel and other items.
– Restaurant concept will be consumer tested.

“To Be Determined”
– The cuisine “style”
– Restaurant name
– The check average for food and drink
– Food is targeted to heavy casual dining users
– The environment will focus on fun with entertainment, innovative food and spirits.
– Square footage/number of seat
– Expected gross/daily covers

Phase 1: Define Concept

To facilitate success in the project, background information is needed to have a better understanding of the target and proposed concept.
– Client interviews; further interviews with all parties to insure the assumptions are accurate.
– Develop, with client, a list of restaurant sites to visit for menu, concept inspiration.
– Research any existing history, culture, cook books, etc.
– Review any actual, quantitative, qualitative or anecdotal information on consumer needs and desires for the proposed concept, region, etc.
– Preliminary ideation session internally and using our Chef’s Council for an idea of potential positioning and menu items (ideas early on will help us to write positioning statements for research and help in an artist rendering)
– Write detailed descriptions of the concept with the goal of positioning the concept 3 to 4 different ways
– 3-d graphic artwork on concept rendering
– Consumer research, method and process of consumer research

Phase 1: Deliverables

– Summary of restaurant visits.
– Written food concepts with detailed descriptors explaining each one.
– Concepts will cover appetizers, entrées, desserts, sides and specials and Drinks
– Three to four positioning statements will be written and discussed with client.
– Sample menus
– Attend consumer research.

Phase 2: Product Concept Development

– Review research with client to optimize positioning of concept
– Pair down with client written menu concepts for development
– Begin product development, plateware selection and ingredient procurement
– Work with client-selected equipment company on kitchen design and front of house conceptual design
– Preliminary training materials, menu matrix
– First round product tasting and optimization
– Recipes will be formatted with a “ease of execution, insuring consistent quality and output

Phase 2: Deliverables

– Positioning statement, working menu
– Prototypes for tasting
– Front of House rough draft, Kitchen equipment package/design
– Plateware selection
– Preliminary menu matrix, preliminary costing

Phase 3: Concept Optimization

At this point, we should have a good idea of the restaurant concept and what the menu will look like. We will have tasted all of the proposed menu items in the first round. A second round will take place for product optimization, additions and deletions. At this point, a general manager may be involved.
– All final menu items will be presented again for team approval
– Final menu will be written, delivered to client for graphics
– Menu matrix delivered for final costing and to develop production and line labor needs

Phase 3: Deliverables

– Second round of tasting, final menu items selected
– Menu written
– All training materials, menu matrix, recipes, production and line, photography, costing, specifications, inventory / procurement sheets, server booklets.
– Production time analysis for labor and scheduling

Phase 4: Train the Trainer

Most likely, construction will not be completed to the point of having a live line training session early on. A temporary kitchen line set up that will mirror the proposed restaurant line is very helpful to train early on.
– Train the kitchen manager and general manager on all recipes, production and line procedures.
– All plate presentations, quality measures, ingredients, product specs, inventory control
– Front-of-the-house server booklets
– During the training process, the team may determine to change selected recipes or modify them. These changes will be worked on, approved by the team and included in the final deliverable.

Phase 4: Deliverables

All final materials pertaining to menu and training delivered to client.

For more information, email Tony Lagana at

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786


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