15 Aug CRAZY & FRESH – Concept Development and Menu Development
We are going to open our new restaurant, CRAZY & FRESH in two weeks. This restaurant offers fresh seafood with unique experience.
When you come to the restaurant, you will see a ‘catwalk’ kitchen, which looks like a “box,” with a variety of shrimps, crabs, shells popping up from its half opened cover. Opening the menu you find four different flavors. Seafood is ‘flying’ in the air (see attached). You will need to wash your hands before eating. A sink of 4 meters long stainless steel is designed as an artwork. You will also see a 4 meter ornamental pool in front of the sink, full of marine creatures swimming slowly. Wow! All are alive!
I could imagine people saying, “this is even better than what I had in California!”
It is not an over exaggeration. There is a reason for people to say so. This reason comes from a real story, and the leading role in it is Pilot Light.
One year ago, we planned to open a seafood restaurant. Seafood is very popular in China’s coastal provinces, but the experience with seafood is always the same, either in an expensive restaurant, or at street seafood stalls. Our goal is to create a place to provide affordable seafood in a decent way. More than this, we need to develop special tastes. First 2 months of testing didn’t give us the result we need.
A friend suggested me pay a visit to some seafood restaurants on the west coast of the United States. With the help of some friends, I was able to meet the most professional catering planning agency in Los Angeles, Charlie and Frank from Pilot Light, who kindly agreed to help with spices development and invited me to attend an operation training that night.
In a new opend restaurant that they worked with, Frank taught kitchen staff how to prepare food a proper way, while Charlie instructing staff how to deliver good service to guests. They were very professional and the food was delicious, which greatly touched me.
We decided to work with Pilot Light.
We hope Pilot Light can help us to develop four different formulas. Charlie told me it was not a problem, but they should start by planning the menu. It wasn’t not just about recipes.
Then there is the wait. Every day is as long as a year for us. Two months later, I received a sample of spices from America.
We didn’t know how to use them so Charlie and Frank delivered a skype meeting, teaching us how to deal with the spices step by step.
When we cooked the shrimp and mixed it with garlic butter and spices, Charlie said, “OK, eat.”
My colleague couldn’t wait to grab a shrimp and put it in his mouth, shouting, “that’s the taste!”
The taste brought back my memory about California, yes, that was exactly what we were looking for!
Charlie and Frank shared with me their development process in a famous local spice factory, Frank even gained ten pounds! They also reminded me the manufacturing of spices, as it might not available in China. I made a second visit to Los Angeles and with Pilot Light’s assistance, I was able to visit the factory and talk to them.
Everything Charlie and Frank did for us, brought me more confidence in the success that we would achieve together. We made another cooperation by PL developing all dishes on the menu for us.
My LA trip ended with learning from them how to prepare all dishes in their kitchen. All operations are easy, which will be the key for us opening more chain stores. However, one needs to be professional to make a simple formula, like PL.
Our communication didn’t stop with we receiving everything for our first restaurant. Charlie helped us so much also with the shipment of spices, which was not in his scope of work. My team and I feel very grateful to have the chance working with PL, and we hope our paths would cross again very quickly for other interesting projects.