Joanna Karlinsky is a true expert when it comes to the food business in SF! She has worked under very famous head chefs, she has owned successful restaurant/bar businesses and today she is a consultant/chef/caterer also involved in the pop-up scene. Her experience in this environment (and yes! experience is a +) is remarkable and she was kind enough to sit down with me and share some of her thoughts with her contagious enthusiasm.
Here are some of her inputs:
- First of all, she completely agreed that there is scarcity in commercial kitchens. She is actually working on a project similar to our previous idea… retail location with commercial kitchens and kiosk to let chefs make and sell their concept to the public. Concept = a special dish, a special product that can help launch these chefs.
- 25$/hr is the average cost of renting a commercial kitchen…. too much!
Biggest Issues with our idea:
- 1) People STEAL, especially in the food business –> Need to find a way to make sure they won’t steal from your kitchens
- 2) STORAGE is a key component for chefs. If you have storage you will make life a lot easier for chefs. It is illegal for chefs to store prepared food in their house and then sell it
- 3) The LIABILITY INSURANCE of a Commercial Kitchen should cover the chefs that work in that kitchens. Chefs should not have to also provide their own additional insurance (~$300/night)…. unnecessary if covered by the general liability of the Commercial Kitchens. This is a big issue at The Window (Joanna has done meals there)
- 4) MANAGER: you will need someone to manage the chefs. Chefs are hard to deal with and you will need the right person to communicate effectively with them
- 5) How many people will be allowed to help the chefs cook? Will there be a LIMIT due to space limitations? Important factor to provide to chefs
Joanna could also be of great help in the future if the project proceeds as we expect. She offered to help us in the future to find chefs, to learn how to deal with them and to help the business grow.
Ultimately, our business idea using under-utilized commercial kitchens could connect with her brick-and-mortar idea to help chefs everywhere grow their CONCEPTS.