A shift towards open prep areas and the specification of new kitchen technology, particularly in terms of grilling, will elevate the role of the kitchen in future sites launched by Gourmet Burger Kitchen, the company has said.
GBK has an ambitious growth programme in place as it looks to build on its 60 UK stores, and CEO Alasdair Murdoch told FEJ that greater emphasis is being placed on kitchen design.
“Within all the new restaurants our kitchens are much more open and visible to the customer. They can look in and see what’s cooking and the kitchen is much more centrally based in our eateries now.”
As well as the kitchens becoming a more integral part of the dining experience at GBK operationally, Murdoch says there has been a shift in the production method, which has resulted in a new approach towards equipment positioning and kitchen planning.
“Fundamentally our kitchens are now at the heart of our restaurants — and we’ve tried to change the way we operate our kitchens as well — including the technique and how we make and serve our burgers. In terms of layout, we tend to have a run of our equipment now, so the kitchens are all very visible to our customers.”
A key focus for the brand’s procurement team has been upgrading the grill technology it uses to create a healthier product.
“In all our new restaurants we now have salamanders, where historically we didn’t have these. We believe that this will help make our cheeseburgers healthier and better quality. The grills will melt the cheese onto the burgers which just improves the quality. Fundamentally the enhancements have been designed around trying to make it better for the customers and one of the ways to do that is to make it operationally simple.”