You have it all planned out: you’re going to start the most delicious food cart in the city. You know the competition is stiff, but wait ’til they get a load of your top-secret, mind-blowing, taste bud-seducing gustatory magnum opus… that’s what we’ll call it. Or, for the sake of brevity, “your food.”
You launch your food cart, and guess what. Your taste sensations start selling like Pogs in the ’90s, only faster. You’re the toast of the town, and after performing several toasts, locals often stop by for a late-night snack, before calling a cab home.
Word spreads about your culinary masterworks, and people start coming from miles around to sample them. But, they can’t make it to your food cart too often; it’s too far away from their homes. So, you open a few more food carts around the city. But, here’s where it gets tricky.
You hire great people to work your extra carts, and they know their way around a kitchen, but you have the magic touch, when it comes to making your signature dishes. Your customers want consistency. They want to be able to stop at any of your carts for the same great taste.
Plus, there’s the matter of making sure your customers get the freshest ingredients. When you only had one cart, getting farm-fresh produce for your limited volume wasn’t that big of a deal, but now, you’ve got the other three carts to worry about. Having fresh ingredients delivered to each of them poses a problem.
Then, there’s the matter of making sure all of those carts are up to code, when it comes to cleanliness. They’re kind of cramped, and regularly getting to all the nooks and crannies is difficult, when there’s plenty of other work that needs to be done. But, they have to be spotless, or they’d be unfit for any product you’d want to put your name on.
Then, you have an epiphany! Why not do most of the food prep in one location, and have it delivered to all of your food carts. Why hasn’t someone figured that out? Well, they have. It’s called a commissary kitchen.
By using a commissary kitchen, food producers centralize production, and there are some important benefits to doing that.
First, all of the ingredients can be delivered to one place, making it easier to guarantee their freshness, and reducing the cost of sourcing quality, local ingredients.
Second, using a commissary kitchen allows restauranteurs to ensure the consistency of their offerings, because they’re all made at the same time, in the same place, on the same equipment.
Third, using a single location for food production makes it easier to guarantee that the food is produced in a safe, sanitary way. There’s only one kitchen to clean, with separate areas for the preparation of different types of food, making avoiding cross-contamination a simple matter.
Fourth, using a commissary kitchen makes good economic sense. Increased efficiency equals cost savings, which can then be passed on to the customer, in the form of lower food prices.
At Laughing Planet, we use a central commissary kitchen, because we want to make sure that no matter which Laughing Planet location you visit, you get the same fresh, delicious flavors you’ve come to expect from us, at a reasonable price. Plus, it makes our mission of total world domination that much closer to becoming a reality.
[Photo Credit: monclas]