Someone should offer a course in purity of concept and brand focus. Instead of offering thoughts on how to build a brand, the curriculum should be based on the erosion of the brand and the way it gets blurred in the public’s eye.
Take Kitchen K is
Yet, Kitchen K was a complete disappointment on a recent visit. Now remember, I seldom judge a restaurant on food alone. Nor do I pick out the bad, time after time, unless of course it was obvious, as it was with the Kitchen K experience.
Pleasurably I sat at the counter a mere 18 inches away from the stoves, sauté pans and plate rail. It was a front row seat, the 50 yard line if you will. And the action couldn’t have been better.
I watched as a kitchen crew wearing a fashionable array of outfits – tee shirts, baseball caps, and other garments that could have come out of anyone’s closet. There was little mention of the restaurant’s brand on a pocket or sleeve. Now the head chef had a chef’s coat emblazoned with his name and that of the restaurant’s, but that’s where the uniformity stopped.
To the dismay of me and my guest, a quick glance to the side wall at the end of the bar displayed a buffet of sauces – barbeque the most prevalent – that resembled the earlier works of Jackson Pollock.
Yet while the sauces hardened on the wall the kitchen crew stood around making small talk. Someone should have invoked the rule “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean”.
Enough said about the misgivings and sloppy kitchen of Pablo Weiss’ operation. The point to be made here is that everyone has weaknesses no matter how great their successes. It also points to the fact that the culture by which your team works and creates has to be continually ingrained into them.
Would any of us leave a scoop of spilled ice cream in the middle of a living room carpet moments before the guests were to arrive for that special diner party? I doubt it. Yet, open kitchens suffer from a variety of sauced walls, filthy stoves and range tops, oven glass doors that are spattered with baked on caked on grease and floors that are just begging for a workman’s comp suit.
This makes little sense to me. The kitchen should be one of the cleanest spots in any restaurant- especially if it’s and open kitchen. I am sure that Weiss has his hands full, TV, concepts, products and menu items. A lot on the celeb chef’s plate. Yet, his focus has been blurred and his vision for the future badly damaged because a few guys in his kitchen do not understand the importance of a clean and shiny image. And, that has to do with the food.
Since people eat with their eyes long before they enjoy the flavors on their palates, it important, if not crucial, to make sure your kitchen is clean. If not, the flavors that one tastes when looking at the splashes of sauces on the wall may ruin a relaxing evening and a few appetites.