Monday, March 7, 2016

Designing a Restaurant Day 1: 2 Restaurants in Portland, ME

The Front Room Restaurant, Portland, ME

The Front Room Restaurant, Portland, ME

Talking with the chef, Dustin, at the Front Room
"Today we visited The Front Room for a nice brunch. We got to talk to their head chef and ask questions to help guide us into what kind of restaurant we want and what it will take to open a restaurant. The food at the Front Room was very homey. It was a lot of food that would be considered grandma's favorites. The decor was very country home themed. So far we have a lot of ideas on what we want our restaurant to be, but we haven't put them into full effect." - Maggie V.

Flatbread Company, Portland, ME

"Today we visited the Flatbread Company restaurant located in downtown Portland, Maine. A very well known restaurant in the area and known for its wood oven pizzas. We were lucky enough to have lunch/dinner there. In addition, we also got to meet and discuss with the manager about what it takes to run a pizza place. What I noticed, and what the manager told us, was that Flatbread restaurant is not your typical pizza place. No ingredients are bought frozen, stuck together or from bad quality, but from local farms that sell good premium meat and fresh vegetables, The Flatbread Company chooses quality over quantity. They have very good pricing, and that is beneficial for customers because the area that the restaurant is located is a very gastronomic competitive area.

We also learned that running this restaurant takes a whole team and everyone forms a part of that team. The team includes waiters to chefs to managers and financial consultants. The restaurant business has more to it than just food. In fact, marketing is one of the most important factors there is to creating and designing a restaurant. A McDonald's may have a different demand than a Michelin star restaurant in Paris. It also depends on your budget, geographical area, etc.

I, along with the whole group, enjoyed very much the experience today by meeting the manager at The Flatbread company. He filled us with good food and valuable information to design our own restaurant." - Joaquin L.

"Today we went to two amazing restaurants in Portland, Maine. The first one was a typical American brunch restaurant, The Front Room, in which I got a sandwich with cheese, jam and egg. The dish was delicious and I loved it so much. Then after we ate, we met with the owner and started asking questions about the restaurant and his experience as a chef. One of the things that he said that I really liked is that, in a restaurant, they all work as a group, even if your are a waiter or a cook. They all care about each other as if they were a family. Then, we went to an Italian restaurant called The Flatbread Company. The first impression when I walked in was very good since the decor was very nice. I ordered a cheese pizza which was incredibly good. Probably one of the best pizzas I've ever had in my life. When we were talking with the owner, he mentioned that they care a lot about where the food comes from. He told us that they get the food from local farms. They always try to get the best quality. It's been I great day trying food and interviewing owners. I really enjoyed it." - Jaime O.

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