The two restaurants/one kitchen trend continues to gain traction. Well-known TV celebrity Chef Jose Garces was one of the trailblazers in 2009 when he started sharing the kitchen he used for Tinto, his high-end Philadelphia restaurant, with his new and adjacent casual eatery, Village Whiskey.
Suddenly Garces had two successful, revenue-generating restaurant concepts on one site, serviced by a single kitchen.
The Tinto/Village Whiskey operations were so successful Garces tried it again in Scottsdale, Ariz., opening Distrito and Old Town Whiskey in 2011—the two restaurants again sharing one kitchen and both performing well.
Now we’re beginning to see the one kitchen/two restaurant business model being employed by other restaurateurs across the country, as reported in a story by Daniel P. Smith, writing for trade magazine Restaurant Management.
In Manassas, Va., there’s Carmello’s and Monza. Carmello’s is an upscale operation, serving fresh, innovative Italian food, while Monza is a more casual eatery, with a menu that features quick bites, pastas, and brick oven pizza. Owner Miguel Pires calls the one kitchen/two restaurant set-up “the smartest mover we ever made for our business.”
Having two distinct restaurant concepts allows Pires to serve a more diverse clientele. Carmello’s is more of a special occasion destination, while Monza attracts diners looking for an affordable casual meal.
There are numerous cost-savings advantages to the arrangement, of course. There is only one head chef, one kitchen manager, and one bar manager to run the two operations. Food costs and waste are reduced, as are delivery expenses.
We expect to see more of these one-for-two operations in the months and years ahead, especially if the economic recovery continues to proceed ever so slowly.
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