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Grill & BBQ restaurant in Norway seeking advise
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NorwegianWood
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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 53
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06 15 9:46 pm    Post subject: Grill & BBQ restaurant in Norway seeking advise Reply with quote

Hi guys!

I'm a realtive newbie when it comes to BBQ, but I have buildt an UDS and an offset with tuning plates. I'm not a newbie when it comes to running restaurants though.

Now I've been offered some prime locale smack dab in the city centre (approx. 30k inhabitants) and are considering going for a Grill & BBQ concept. People over here (in Norway) are relatively unfamiliar with BBQ.

So I'm thinking of installing a Josper (coal grill --> http://www.josper.es/en/hornos-brasa/hjx-25/) for burgers and stuff - and either a Southern Pride MLR-150 (http://www.southern-pride.com/_new/products/product-details.php?smokerID=MLR-150) or a Southern Pride SPX-300 (http://www.southern-pride.com/_new/products/product-details.php?smokerID=SPX-300) for the Q.

The menu will be 5-6 burgers, wings, pulled pork (likely the top seller in the beginning), some brisket and some ribs (st.louis). I will probably have to add some chicken and/or turkey for the health freaks (loads of them over here). Also - I would like to do elk and deer!

The restaurant will be 80-120 seats (not decided yet) and I'm hoping to do some catering also (probably mostly weekends). There will be occational events where I'll have to serve 200+ at the same time - but I do have my offset also.

I'll do hotdogs, chili and one or two basic burgers for lunch too, but scale up the menu for dinner service. Lunch service is not expected to reach above 30-40 food items for the first couple of years.

Now what I'm wondering about is what you think in terms of smoker choice (and size). Now service is obviously far away, so I should stack up on some critical spare parts (which ones?). And how about personell? If I'm serving smoked food only for dinner (1600-2300) - at what times do I need to get meat in and how do you hold stuff during the service hours? I have a general idea, but I'm looking for more pointers and possible pitfalls on this subject. i was kinda hoping to staff the shop only between approx 10:00 and 23:00 (ish).

Maybe even one of you guy's would be interested in flying over here and drill us for a week or so before opening (February)...?

All good advise welcome!

PS : Sorry about the grammar ...
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07 15 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't go less than sp300. I prefer sp500s. Quality smokers, parts shouldn't be an issue. I haven't had much other than regular maintenance and we run 16 hours a day or more. You will want holding ovens to keep consistent product throughout the service. I will be available the first week in January to consult.
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YardFullOfOak
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Location: In the woods of Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08 15 1:24 pm    Post subject: Ribs and brisket Reply with quote

At least based on what is available in Sweden, you will not find spares that can be trimmed to St Louis style with reasonable loss of meat. (Pretty much all meat is around the cartilage). I suggest that you serve full spares instead.

Brisket is likely to be unreasonably expensive compared to other cuts of beef, and beef overall is very expensive at the moment.

Given that Norwegians are chicken eaters, try offering smoked chicken.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08 15 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along the lines of the above post, do a lot of advance work on the available cuts and pricing in your area. Prep these and be comfortable with them before you choose your production equipment. Make sure you do your yield numbers early on with the cuts you'd use for production and understand the costing on this in detail. Finally is your area of the world ready for American style Q, we do not make what most would offer in the states, our menu and items are quite different from what you'd see at a stateside Q establishment.
I'm sure you'll have answers for a lot of this already, but its so important to have this done in advance of spending the big money.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09 15 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can say right now, that the 150 pit will NOT be enough cooking space for a 100 seat dining room.

I am running a 1,000 Pound capacity Oyler, and I cannot meet demand while only seating 30 people at once.

Something just as important, if not more important than cooking room is hot-holding room. What do you plan to do with all the meat when it is ready to come out of the pit?

Restaurant management is a good base, but doing BBQ is a wholly different animal.
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NorwegianWood
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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09 15 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again folks!

Thanks again for all your kind advise!

I'm absolutely planning to get holding ovens with the same capacity as the smoker I end up with - and I will also have a rather large convection oven (6 racks, that I plan to use for baking buns etc) that can be used "on top". Do you think that would cover it - or should I have more than 1,5 times the smoker capacity for holding?

One thing that might be a little different over here; I don't think it will be possible to get an average Norwegian to eat more than approx. 0,35-0,40 pounds of meat. What would you guys say is the "average meat intake" in the states?

Harry - I think I've read that you do quite a bit of take-out as well? I was kinda thinking to hold back on the take-out in the beginning just to see what capacity I actually have for it. And if there is demand - and capacity is sparse - I'd might just fit another oven of the same type? So, let's just for arguments sake, say that I go for the SPX300 - but leave space for an extra oven next to it - that would (if I end up installing an extra oven) solve multiple problems for me - like down time for repairs with parts beeing far away, take-out/catering, large events etc. Sounds smart or do you guys still think I'm under-scaling things?

YeardFullOfOak - I guess you're right about those ribs. Good point - thanks. Brisket is a nightmare over here. I'll have to "cheat" and do what we call "bibringe" - which is a cut that contains just parts of the brisket. I've done some OK stuff with it before (compared to my competition I think) - but I don't think beef is going to be my top seller. The ribs and the pork (plus the hamburgers) will probably hit the top of the list. And that's got to do with beef quality (or lack of thereof)... Mind you - we do have half decent quality for sirloins etc - but there is not enough marmoration and fat in the front part of our local cattle.

RodinBankok - I do hear your voice! I've been wondering about the timing here for about three years. I've seen it comming, but I didn't wanna be the first one out that had to explain everything to everyone. It's started taking of in central England - and that's pretty much a "two hours pay flight" away from here - so people will be educated swiftly. Now, a few restaurants have opened - and I guess about half of them are doing OK - but in my (relatively) small town - I will be the first (and only). Timing is about right now. Fortunatly, I'm also a board member in the local butcher shop - so at least I'll have decent access to the best we can get over here.

"Restaurant management is a good base, but doing BBQ is a wholly different animal." - Harry.

Oh I'm shure you're right on this matter as well - but hell - I'm in it for all the fun! That said - I'd love to fly you over here for our test-week. Your posts have allways been a very interesting read to me. Scary, but interesting Smile

I'm now hoping that I've succeeded in talking a friend of mine into opening a micro-brewery inside the restaurant. My own board got the restaurant-idea presented today and said: "Go!" - so the next three weeks will contain loads of budgeting (we run one Italian Restaurant and a very very small hotel on the other side of town). I've made a mock-menu just to start planning for equipment and hope to make a yes/no decision before July is over. If yes - I'll be ordering smokers by the time we hit September.

Lot's of love to all you helpfull folks! Please feel free to keep all your critics, reservations, advise and "shoulder-claps" commin'!
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10 15 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 2 smokers through the wall at my place and agree that a back up is a smart investment. I have not had any significant problems with any of my smokers. I would have a back up fan motor? These smoker are very reliable! Everything else is maintenance, seals and such and you would have those parts in a week VIA FEDEX. Check out my website for pictures. qfanatic.com
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NorwegianWood
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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02 16 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So there's been a slight delay here due to circumstances outside my control - but now the planning is moving along swiftly.

Consept moderation: We now plan to have 3 pilars: burgers (guesstimated at 34%), bbq (24%) and tacos (16%). The rest of the 100% are desserts, sides and take outs.

We're down to about 60 seats and we will not be open for lunch. We have to steal at least 8% of the total marked share from year one to make a profit. The whole thing is a $430'000 investment.

The final drawings should be ready by next week. Please take a look at the sketch:



Now. We have not decided 100% to run with this yet - but need to make that call inside this month (February).

I'd really appreciate any critical questions to help me waterproof the concept, the kitchen layout and everything else.

If we do decide to run with this - I'm hoping to capture some chef that maybe you know to come help me get it started. I was thinking a 6 months engagement (with the possibility for a longer deal), a good pay and everything covered (flights, appartment, car etc)... Anyone know someone that might be up for an adventure? It's the commercial part of running BBQ that is the most wanted skill. The burgers and the other stuff is well inside our competance. I think the Q is too - but it would be a hell of a lot easier the first few months with a guy on the team that has done this before!

Looking forward for your, critical, input Smile


Last edited by NorwegianWood on Mon Feb 08 16 9:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 16 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you number your equipment and make a list? What is in the space just inside your entry? Do most restaurants in Norway seat a large tables? It looks like you have community style seating. I find most people here prefer their own table. Do you have a menu? Curious why you have a hallway along back side of building? Space would be used more efficiently having things on both sides of the walkway, like on your cooking line.
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 16 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's to the left and where is your bathroom/bathrooms?
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NorwegianWood
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 16 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for asking (good) questions qfanatic01!

I'm kinda stuck with some of the layout - since this is just one third of a large hall. Only parts of the east side and all of the north side has access out (the rest is actually under ground). Only the two top windows on the east side are actually windows. The corridor in the back has to be there (unfortunatly) because this is the only access to staff rooms and garbage-freezer etc located in a different spot in the building. Access to toilets too.

The "cloudy" area by the entrance is kinda in the air. I'd like some kind of "kids area" - but the spot is not ideal due to the door. It might just be wardrobe - and a spot for a matre'd for busy days.

Yes - I am also uncertain about the community seating. It's not common here either. By removing the right (2 pax) table on the right hand side of those rows - I'd be able to provide some room between the 2 other (4 pax) tables. I'm considering buying just 2-pax tables and stack four of them "in the back" (but where "in the back"?) to have more flexible seating. I can then flex the rows with 4+2+2 og 6+2 or maybe even 2+2+2+2 based on demand.

The two large (8pax) tables on the top could be turned 90 degrees and provide one gigantic 16 pax table for special occations. I'm hoping the two tables, as they are placed on the drawing, will work like a "lounge area" too. We're close to a cinema and a culture centre - so I'm hoping to draw customers in to eat before the show - and drink and snack after the show...

I'll make the equipment list and roughly translate the menu after the kids go to bed tonite Wink
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06 16 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you starting from scratch or is there exiting structure? Also, give some measurements. The walk ins don't look much bigger than your smoker? Why do you need a walk in freezer? We use fresh products for 98% of our preparations. We actually get frozen par baked rolls, but they go right to the cooler. Do dish washing areas need to be in a separate room?
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NorwegianWood
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08 16 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Position list (image updated above):

1 - Taco press (too expensive for 150 tacos/day - will be removed)
2 - Flat top
3 - Cooled bench for garnish (well and drawers)
4 - 2x double fryers (automatic and self-cleaning)
5 - 2x hobs
6 - Bain marie
7 - Trolley
8 - Holding cabinet
9 - Refrigerator
10 - Josper charcoal grill (https://www.josper.es/en/hornos-brasa/hjx-45/)
11 - Blender
12 - Wheight with labeling (under bench - on wheels)
13 - Meat grinder
14 - Smoker (SPX-300)
15 - Blast chiller
16 - Slush maker
17 - Trolley
18 - Trolley
19 - Vacuum sealer
20 - Bar counter with the usual equipment

MENU
A little rough...

Appetizers:
Garlic bread
Bruschetta
Hot wings
Ribs
Quesedillas
Tacos
Fried pcikles
Onion rings
Chili bowl (small)

Entrees:
Basic burger
Cheeseburger (cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, salad, pickle, mustad/mayo)
Blue burger
Pitmaster burger
Avocadoburger
Chickenburger
Kimchiburger
(All burgers are 6 Oz, house grinded, high quality beef)

Mouille frites
Crayfish frites
Dry aged tomahawk (with fries, sauce and salad)
1/2 slb ribs
1/2 slb ribs
Smoked hotwings
Chicken legs
Yardbird (half)
Pulled pork sandwich
Brisket sandwich
Turkey sandwich (organic/low sodium)
BBQ combo platter, small (ribs, brisket, pp, wings, turkeybreast, fries, creamed corn, slaw, pickles, rolls)
BBQ combo platter, large (same as above + more meat and more sides)
Partymenu 4-6 (similar above combinations)
Partymenu 6-8
Partymenu 10-12
Chili blowl (large)

Taco al pastor
Taco alla casa (leftover bbq-chili, guacomole etc)
Tacos con pollo
Tacos vegetar
(All tacos served in baskets - 3pc)

Sides:
Home made fries
Fried pickles
Onion rings
Green salad
Not so green salad
Smoked beans
Creamed corn
Coleslaw
Pico de gallo
Refried beans
Pickles
Jalapenos
Guacomole
Hickorysauce
Vinegar sauce
Cajun remoulade
Aioli
Hot sauce

Desserts:
Various sundea's
2 cakes


Last edited by NorwegianWood on Mon Feb 08 16 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NorwegianWood
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08 16 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is how that space looks today... Notice the columns - they are on the drawing as well. The two (maybee three) windows from the right side of the photo will be blinded. The entrance is just to the left of the photo.

The space is about 36 feet deep and 60 feet wide.

This is totally around 1/3 of a large hall. What else will be in the hall? That's undecided at the moment - but the owner wants it to "be an attraction". Part of the space might become a micro brewery. Parts might become a TV-studio.

Everything from the middle of the image and towards the right is "underground". Access to the building is basically only possible from the left side (front). But there will be some storage/staff room/toilets etc just outside the hall - hence the corridor on the bottom part of the drawing.

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NorwegianWood
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08 16 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freezer
Yeah. I'm also wondering about this size. Most stuff will be fresh - but rolls and buns will be made especially for us and will be delivered once a week. Meat is of course expensive, so I was hoping to also use the freezer to stock up on items when they are on offer and get som extra percentages out of the profit - but it does of course cost moeny to build (and run) a large freezer too. Then again, if we end up going for a cabinet freezer - and find out we have to expand... Also: chicken is likely a big sales item here - and I'll only get delivery of quality chickens once a week.

Dish washing
This room has two zones: clean and dirty. To make shure that the clean zone is clean - there has to be some kind og structure surrounding that part. So the easiest way to handle this is to put the whole thing in a room (we figure). Everything on the bottom part and on the right hand part of that "box" is the clean zone.

Walk-in Cooler
Even if we steal a 20% marked share from day one, the SPX-300 will have pretty much twice the capacity I guesstimate that we need. Unless we start rolling out s--t of catering for the weekends etc. And with delivery 1-2 per week on fresh food - I'm pretty shure the cooler is large enough...? We'd have to distribute garnish etc quickly to the various smaller coolers around the shop - but still.

Smoker
Why not buy a smaller smoker? Well - I was thinking about the SP MLR-150, but none of you guys would recommend it Wink

Blast chiller

You might think I'm crazy (cause of the size of that thing) - but in this country we are only allowed to hold food warm for 3 hours... And if we want to re-use - it has to be cooled down to 39F (core) inside of 90 minutes. I'm considering 2 small ones insted of 1 walk in. The walk in can chill 220 pounds in one go. That is basically an 80% full SPX-300. I'm thinking I'll be doing pulled pork once a week and brisket once a week (over night) - and all the rest of the smoked meats will go in when we open. For the first few opening hours we'll be selling reheated leftovers (don't tell anyone)...

Another thing worth mentioning
This will be a family restaurant, but it will not be particullary "cheap". Labour cost in Norway is extreeme. I can expect around 35 % of my sales to be labour. So if I can buy a machine to speed things up - I'll be pretty quick to do that ROI.
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10 16 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was for more smoker. What is the reason for the 3 hour hold time? In the states you can hold at room temp for up to 4 hours (then garbage)(time model) and 140F plus for?, I guess forever. Many places hold brisket and pork butt overnight, see Franklin BBQ as example. We have to bring temps down to 70 in 2 hours and below 40 in 4. A blast chiller is ideal. We can not use a vacuum packer without special licensing (HACCP) in the states. Now you can't even seal something in a regular bag without HACCP.

You have quite a large menu! I am opening my second place momentarily and we are scaling back a touch on our main menu. Our Combo meals are going to be limited to only 3 because so many customers were requesting custom orders. The problem is, you don't want to say no, but we need a consistent formula for all the employees and customers to keep things consistently priced. We determined that a Sampler, pick 3 with no duplications, a Deluxe Sampler, the same with ribs and a Challenge Combo with no substitutions was the way to work it. We are going to run a daily special at the new place as well for variety and change.

You have to reheat some left overs, You can't afford waste. The challenge is doing it so well no one could tell. Sounds like you will need to do a bit of reheating with the 3 hour rule anyway. We cook brisket and butts every day.

Can you put the smoker through one of those blocked off windows? We have our smokers outside with the doors through the wall. Keep the wood and the smoke outside. Save valuable interior footage. Cheaper and easier ventilation as well.

My new place is 30X60 plus the cooler outside with the cooler entrance through the wall as well. We also get main deliveries here once or twice a week. Frozen items can go directly to cooler for tempering. We have a small freezer for corn and popcorn chicken for the kids. Rolls come frozen but go to the fridge, otherwise all is fresh and used in a timely manner. We do buy hams by the pallet, but they can hold for 3-4 months no problem. Can't see buying anything else in quantity. Only reason I buy ham this way is because there was a problem with production a couple of years ago and I couldn't get the ham's I use for a couple of months. I finally got them back and had enough room to buy bulk and save 25 to 50%.

With your limited space, is a large bar necessary? Maybe a side bar, more like a service bar? I would have your dry storage along the back wall, across from the cooler. That being said, I would have your coolers facing your prep area. No need to walk all the way around the back for ingredients. I would have your dining to the top of your page and keep the kitchen in one block rather than a L shape. More efficient. it's a long walk to that cooler!

My 2 cents
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14 16 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am looking at your plan now with the numbers and I am not seeing how you can just have heated equipment scattered everywhere. Here we have an exhaust hood and have all stoves, ovens, grills etc. under it. With that we usually have refrigeration, tables and carts/trolleys beside or across. For me plumbing would be a concern as well. Keep it all together to keep the build out costs down. I bought a building of about the same size and my build out was well under 100,000. I would have mine a bit different, but I was using existing restrooms, doors and windows. I will try and post my plan or a link.
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14 16 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://s745.photobucket.com/user/qfanatic01/media/food%20truck%203.17.2015%20010_zpsl8ahqvam.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4

here's my layout, last picture. I guess it opens my whole file
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15 16 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you google Link!

You will find some useful basic guidelines for table spacing and other dimensional information for restaurant layouts.
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YardFullOfOak
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17 16 9:07 pm    Post subject: Josper Reply with quote

Can you really justify starting out with a Josper?

It is a lot of money for cooking burgers...
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