Taking over is an act of taking control. In the restaurant world, a kitchen takeover may mean different things.
A kitchen takeover is the act of one chef entering another food establishment. The chef uses their skills and abilities to command the entire kitchen staff and uses the area’s best ingredients to create unique, inventive dishes. A chef taking over may come from another region or another country.
The Michelin Guide, for instance, lists four of the best kitchen takeovers in Singapore. The list features the best restaurants around the area working together to create new dishes. For example, Singapore’s favorite restaurant, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, worked hand in hand with Akira back, a restaurant that incorporates Japanese, Korean, and American cooking. Together, they reinvented comfort food featuring Singapore’s ingredients while using Japanese and Korean cooking techniques.
In the Philippines, a humble restaurant in Siargao named Wild has gathered the top chefs on the island to feature outstanding dishes using the region’s best local ingredients. Through this takeover, the island became more than a surfing capital; the food business became a scene in the area.
In the US, the show Kitchen Takeover revolves around chef and restaurateur Isaac Toups traveling across the country to help restaurant owners revive their failing businesses. To save a restaurant, he dishes out new menus, renovates the space, and motivates the kitchen staff to turn the business back to its old glory.
A kitchen takeover, in a sense, is different from a restaurant takeover.
Restaurant Takeovers: the Process
A restaurant takeover is essentially taking over an existing restaurant, revamping it, and turning it into a profitable business. It is a complex process that requires attention to detail; it also involves turning a bad reputation into a good one; to do this, meticulous planning is required.
Here are some things a chef/ restaurateur needs to know when taking over a restaurant.
The size and layout of the restaurant
Checking the size and layout of the premises you are buying is one of the most important steps in a restaurant takeover. This is necessary because whatever space you are buying will be your working space. You can improve it, but you cannot change it drastically.
In checking the size of the restaurant, you must take into consideration the number of staff you will need in the kitchen. The size of the restaurant should also provide some room for extension if the business succeeds and gathers more customers. On the other hand, the layout is important because this will determine how easy and fast a service is going to be carried through.
The best option would be to choose a kitchen and a dining area on the same floor. This ensures that dishes are served fast, and the waiting staff can easily approach customers in case of any requests.
Quality of equipment
Kitchen equipment is essential in a restaurant. When taking over, this must be top on the list of the things you need to check. Equipment must be in good condition; if not, you can determine if fixing it fit your budget or not. Cleaning the equipment are also necessary to make sure that you work in excellent sanitary conditions.
For example, you must allocate a budget for an oven-cleaning service to make sure you cook in a clean space. A clean kitchen is a priority in restaurants.
Location is important for different reasons. First, it’s important to study your competition in the area. See what they are offering and give something different. Doing so will give you an edge; it will also provide more traffic in your restaurant.
Speaking of traffic, the location you must choose must grab passers-by’s attention. Hence, an attractive restaurant exterior is crucial. If the restaurant is located within a garden or a courtyard, still make sure to catch the attention of potential customers by putting up eye-catching signs.
Restaurants located across streets and high-traffic places always guarantee success. But you can also look into a potential of a community; there might be future developments that may arise; being the first one in the area may give you a lower price at the moment and higher profits in the future.
In taking over a business, you must know why a restaurant failed the first time. You can do so by asking for feedback from its previous clientele. What did they like and did not like? What things prevented them from visiting the restaurant, and what will make them go in the future?
Take this as part of your market research. By directly asking your customers what they want, you can easily whip up dishes that will answer their demands. You may even find out that it was not the food that prevented them from coming but the type of service they were getting before. This can help you improve your service for your revamped restaurant.