Welcome to the RealFood Blog!
Welcome to our Blog! These entries are written by me, Ed Doyle, when I am not working with my team and assisting my clients in their many endeavors. At RealFood, there is no such thing as “another day at the office.” It is my hope that this blog will give you an idea of the impact that RealFood makes when we team up with our Client-Partners. It will focus on our projects, observations, things we think would be helpful in your operations and will be updated as often as possible with my experiences both on-site and off.
I hope you enjoy this blog. Feel free to send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on: December 1, 2009
City Table Opens at the Lenox Hotel!
City Table at the Lenox Hotel has opened! RealFoods worked with the Briar Group to reconcept the former Azure restaurant space at the historic Back Bay hotel. After a successful tenure as the high end, anchor restaurant, the operators felt it was time to create something new that would be more of a everyday, neighborhood spot. The Briar Group retained There Design Ltd’s Katy Flammia to do the interior work – and the results were phenomenal. The culinary team was to be headed up by the very talented existing Executive Chef Dennis Wilson. The collaboration was an exciting, fast paced process, with the new restaurant opening six weeks after Azure closed – man, those folks at Cafco make things happen fast!
RealFood played key roles in concept development, operational design considerations, menu development and menu specifications. RealFood’s approach to concept development is one that brings together full integration of the look and feel of the space, its functionality and how the menu concept and content defines and refines the customer experience.
The resulting restaurant has been a smash hit right out of the gate. City Table Neighborhood Eatery has been hopping every night. The customers are responding well to the sharable, approachable food and the space is a warm and welcoming place to hang out. Don’t take our word for it – swing by and have a bite and a drink, it might just become a new, favorite spot…
Posted on: November 9, 2009
Ken Gets His Due
RealFood’s New York office account executive Ken Goodman has been a huge supporter of the hunger relief organization Share Our Strength for years. Ken has been the Chair of Taste of the Nation for years and works as hard at making a difference as anyone we know. t its 25th anniversary Leadership Awards Ceremony this evening, Share Our Strength® presented its 2009 Leadership Awards to a number of community volunteers, chefs, restaurants, restaurateurs, and corporate executives who have made a significant impact on the fight to end childhood hunger in the United States. Ken Goodman was selected as the Community Leader Award for his work. Its not the first time he has been recognized for the difference he makes. Read a little more about it here...
Posted on: November 8, 2009
Going to the Show!
After expanding to the New York market earlier this year, we have been looking forward to exhibiting at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in NYC from the 8th to the 10th. The show is one of the largest in the US and a great place for us to connect with current and future customers. Over 35,000 people were expected to attend the show with about 1000 exhibitors. Being there is a big step for us into the marketplace of New York and surrounding areas.
It was a long three days of shaking hands and meeting new folks and catching up with old friends. We are glad to have been there and look forward to following up with all the folks who are interested in having RealFood make a difference for them.
Posted on: October 26, 2009
Next Up: iQue is a World Champion!
An amazing thing happened this last weekend, the competition BBQ team I am on, iQue, competed at the Jack Daniels World Championship in Lynchburg, Va. for the seventh time – and WON GRAND CHAMPION! Absolutely incredible! Chris Hart out pitboss kicked some serious butt and brought it all home. Check out the video…
BBQ is something we love. The difference is like all our projects, we look at great bbq as just part of a successful concept…the design, business and operational proficiency will be what all combine to make a succesful operation. Ask our clients…Redbones, Lesters, Soulfire, Tremont 647, Papa Mojo’s, Firefly’s and more…when RealFood gets smokin’ the results are tender and tasty
Posted on: October 10, 2009
Next Up: Catching Up!
Ok so when we are out straight, it seems the Blog gets ignored. Since we last checked in on the progress of Tavolino in Foxboro, Ma we have been pretty much going full tilt. And one thing we don’t cut corners on is our work for our clients, you will never hear us complain about working too intensely for our client partners.
So let’s catch you up since March…mid-March we were contracted to reopen and run the Home Port on Martha’s Vineyard, an 80 year old landmark restaurant…in April we openen Tavolino, Foxboro, Ma at Patriots Place…we opened Abby Park in July in Milton, Ma, the first full service restaurant with a bar in Milton…in September we renovated the kitchen at Tremont 647 in Boson, Ma – a extensive restaurant fully completed without losing a single day of sales…in September we opened the second Tavolino in Westborough and in October we reconcepted the restaurant in the Lenox Hotel as the new City Table…and all along we are working on the start up of American Glory in Hudson, NY which is in construction now. So all in all a pretty busy six months. Lot’s of projects, lots of openings lots of satisfied customers.
RealFood fills many different roles and wears many different hats for our clients. What is consistent to all jobs is the experience, the skill and the commitment to our Client-Partner’s success. Now I just need to stay committed to this blog…
Posted on: March 14, 2009
Next Up: Menu Planning!
Just got latest versions of the menu from the chef – they are looking good! By working with the operations team from the beginning, incorporating operational considerations into the design and specifications, we are able to be part of ensuring a smooth start up. By coordinating loads on stations, equipment capacities and staffing levels, we are setting the client on a path to delivering top quality customer service, excellent product while managing operational expenses, and most importantly, labor expense. By planning for the future from the very beginning, we are able to help restaurant owners to avoid looking back later and saying “I wish I did it differently.”
Posted on: March 13, 2009
A Bump in the Road?
We got an email today from the architect that a visual detail that was installed today is about 8” off the plan and now it will conflict with a display shelf in the display kitchen. GREAT! Naturally, everything can’t always go exactly to plan. When something like this pops up is when having the team to find a resolution quickly, without incurring delays, makes a difference and keeps the project on time. RealFood got on the phone with the fabricator, and working with LDL Studios, got the fabrication modified while the piece was in production – bump in the road? Nope, just a chance to show why a strong team is worth the investment.
Posted on: March 11, 2009
Another week and the Tavolino project is getting closer to completion. JK Skanlon is moving ahead with finishes – paint and wall coverings make a big difference in how much the “box” looks like a restaurant. The kitchen is buttoning up with the trades doing the finishing touches on the connections. The difference between good trade work and average trade work makes all the difference. The guys on this job really care and are a pleasure to work with. When the electrician will work with us to route conduit to ensure ease of cleaning and a visually appealing kitchen you know they care. When the plumber goes to get stainless steel sleeves to conceal gas lines where they run up to the salamanders, you know they care about how the job looks in the end and that makes all the difference in the world. That is where the attention to detail comes in. At RealFood we don’t just issue plans and let it fly. We work with the General Contractor and directly with the trades to ensure there are no surprises, manage costs, and deliver a project that the owner – and we – will be proud of.
Posted on: February 25, 2009
Progress on Site
After another weekly construction meeting today, we are really seeing the space start to resemble an operating restaurant. The kitchen is fully installed with the exception of the exhaust on the pizza ovens. The pizza ovens have been a bit of a challenge for us. The owner sourced them independently and RealFood was not handling the coordination of the installation. Because of that the mechanical aspect of the install – gas fitting and HVAC – was not as smooth as the rest of the kitchen. The ovens finally are set in place this week, but unfortunately are about 4 inches off the spot they were slated to be as the current gas piping conflicting. While 4 inches isn’t much, the proper functioning of a kitchen relies on tolerances that are very tight, so RealFood will be taking over the coordination to get this resolved as quickly as possible. By working with the General Contractor and the gas fitter, we will get the pipe adjusted and the ovens where they should be, without a problem. After that, the ducting will be done and the kitchen ready for detail work. Trimming out the hoods, siliconing gaps and ensuring that everything is as it should be is what will make the kitchen not just good looking, but easier to maintain and keep clean.
Every effort we make in design, specification and installation is looking to the future of the operation. Minimizing cleaning and maintenance expense means less labor and more profits. An efficient restaurant doesn’t just happen, it starts when the first lines are put on a CAD plan.
Posted on: February 23, 2009
Early Response from BOH
We got the reply from the Board of Health today, four days earlier than we thought! There were a couple of areas where they requested changes and then we can proceed with the approval. We’re able to proceed with the building permit and do not need to resubmit the changes. Typically, small changes will be discussed and just carried out as part of the construction.
Health inspectors all follow local and state codes, most of which have adopted the Federal code. Each inspector, however, has areas where they tend to put a greater focus. In gaining an understanding of these areas and being able to understand how these areas relate to the code, RealFood is able to avoid roadblocks and delays throughout the approval process and ensure a smooth working relationship with the Board of Health once the restaurant is open.