August 2018 Culinary Depot Blog Posts

    World’s Best Restaurant Designs

    Written by: J. Vigotsky


    When it comes to eating out, part of the fun is experiencing a restaurant’s design. Most buildings have unique styles that differentiate them. While restaurant design might not be as important as food or service, it can still be a reason to dine somewhere. This list includes a few of the world’s best restaurants when it comes to design and architecture.


    H.R. Giger Museum Bar – Gruyeres, Switzerland


    hr giger museum bar


    Walking into the H.R. Giger Museum Bar is like walking into another universe. Designed by Swiss artist H.R. Giger, the bar features vertebrae-esque skeletal structures that are reminiscent of the 1979 film “Alien.” There are two different Giger bars, both of which are located in Switzerland. The roof, walls, chairs, and fittings all adhere to the skeletal style. In 2014, there were rumors of a Giger Bar coming to the United States. But so far nothing has become of them.


    AMMO Restaurant – Hong Kong, China


    ammo bar


    This innovative restaurant was designed by Joyce Wang of Wang Studios. Taking inspiration from the 1965 film Alphaville, Wang made heavy use of copper as a reference to the site’s history as an explosives compound in the 19th century. The restaurant’s bizarre location only adds to its allure. While it’s technically in the city of Hong Kong, AMMO is found down a narrow path and is surrounded by jungle-like greenery.  


    Le Pain Francais Restaurant – Gothernburg, Sweden


    le pain francais restaurant


    There are several Le Pain Francais bakeries throughout Gothenburg, Sweden. But there is only one Le Pain Fraincais Restaurant. Designed by Stylt Trampoli, the luxurious restaurant looks more like a fine museum than a place for dinner. Ornate decorations adorn the walls and hang from the ceilings. Bold furniture combines style with comfort. And since different parts of the restaurant have their own looks, Le Pain Francais is a locale that rewards repeat visits.   


    Auriga Restaurant – Mumbai, India


    auriga restaurant


    Built in 2013 by architect Sanjay Puri, the Auriga restaurant utilizes a web of aluminum fins both inside and outside the building. Its abstract designs are even backlit to add an extra visual flare. Auriga restaurant is situated on the top floor, while the bottom floor is home to a nightclub. The restaurant portion has angular planes of wood strips that contrast the aluminum fins and accentuate the building’s contemporary style.


    It’s one thing to read about these marvelous restaurants and see pictures of them. But it’s something else entirely to experience them in person. If you ever get to chance to dine at one of these restaurants, it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.

    5 of the Biggest Restaurants in the World

    Written by: J. Vigotsky


    Tired of going out to eat and having to wait an hour just to be seated? Well that’s not an issue at the biggest restaurants in the world. These behemoths are large enough to seat hundreds if not thousands of guests. Here are just a few of them:


    Bawabet Dimashq


    bawabet dimashq


    The undisputed biggest restaurant world is located Damascus, Syria. This family owned restaurant cost $40 million to construct and opened for business in 2002. Featuring a 54,000 square meter dining area, Bawabet Dimashq also has a jaw-dropping 2,500 square meter kitchen. Since there's seating for up to 6,014 people, you’ll never have to worry about finding a spot during Saturday night rush hour. At its busiest, the restaurant employs a whopping 1,800 staff members. Waterfalls, fountains, and replicas of archaeological ruins provide an interesting décor, while 6 different culinary sections ensure each diner gets exactly what he wants. The food offerings include Arab, Indian, Chinese, Syrian, Iranian, and Middle Eastern cuisines.


    The Royal Dragon Restaurant


    royal dragon restaurant


    Known locally as the Mang Gorn Luang, The Royal Dragon is located in Bangkok, Thailand and was the world’s largest restaurant until 2004. Covering 8.35 acres, the oversized, open-air restaurant can seat 5,000 diners and offers more than 1,000 dishes. The Royal Dragon is best known for its seafood but also serves Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Western-style food. Every day between 11AM-2PM, diners can indulge in an All You Can Eat Dim Sum buffet


    West Lake Restaurant


    west lake restaurant


    The biggest Chinese restaurant in the world, West Lake Restaurant has more than 5,000 seats. The restaurant is located in Changsha, China and has been the largest in Asia since it opened in 2004. Featuring four distinct areas, the restaurant has a performance hall, luxurious private rooms, and a section for snack food. Its architecture was inspired by traditional Chinese style.






    This Midwestern mecca is found in Frakenmuth, Michigan and is known for its all-you-can-eat chicken dinners. Also serving steaks, seafood, fresh baked goods, and classic European desserts, the restaurant can seat 1,500 people. If it looks like Zehnder’s has a retro sort of style, that’s because the establishment was originally built way back in 1856. Although it’s been updated since then, the restaurant still maintains its old-fashioned charm.


    The Varsity Downtown


    the varsity downtown


    The Varsity Downtown isn’t just any oversized restaurant. It’s a classic drive-in fast food joint! With seven restaurants scattered throughout the Atlanta, Georgia area, The Varsity is a staple of the area. But only one Varsity restaurant is truly larger than life. The Varsity Downtown is situated right next to the Georgia Tech campus and seats up to 800 diners inside. And as if that wasn’t enough, it also has parking space for up to 600 cars.  

    Chef Spotlight: Hiroyuki Terada

    Written by: J. Vigotsky


    chef hiroyuki terada

    Today’s chef spotlight will focus on Master Sushi Chef Hiroyuki Terada. A Youtube sensation, Chef Hiro has over 1,000,000 followers, and his videos have been watched more than 100,000,000 times. If you’re looking for detailed advice related to making sushi or cooking other delicious Japanese dishes, look no further than Chef Hiro’s channel.

    Perhaps the crown achievement on Chef Hiro’s resume is his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. In the summer of 2017, Chef Gordon Ramsey invited Hiroyuki onto his show, “The F Word.” Chef Hiro was given 30 seconds to cut a carrot into 50 or more slices—all while blindfolded! The sushi master chopped away in front of a live national TV audience and a couple dozen in-house spectators. When the 30 seconds were up, Chef Hiro had chopped 88 slices and was a new World Record holder.



    Terada was just 10 years old when his father took him aside and started teaching him the basics of making sushi. Hiroyuki would go on to study for 3 years at RKC Chef’s School in Kochi, Japan. It was here that the chef earned a reputation for his lightning fast knife, impeccable attention to detail, and unique ability to put creative twists on traditional Japanese dishes. Upon graduation from chef school, Chef Hiro got experience at the Yuzuan restaurant in Kochi, Japan, where Hiroyuki spent 4 years learning about the Kansai cooking style from Master Chef Kondo.

    Next Terada became certified to serve the dangerous Fugu fish to the Japanese public. As featured on The Simpsons, Fugu fish is deadly if not prepared properly. As a result, it takes at least three years of training for chefs to earn a legal certification to prepare Fugu. Since the process is so long and difficult, many restaurants purchase Fugu that’s already been prepared and packaged by licensed practitioners.


    fugu fish


    Terada first came to the United States to work as a chef at the Japan Inn in Washington D.C., where he learned English. After 10 years in D.C., Terada moved to South Florida for the weather and helped Kevin Aoki open a restaurant called Doraku. Today, there are 5 Doraku restaurants throughout the world. Each is patterned after the original South Beach establishment that Chef Hiro helped opened. 


    doraku restaurant


    When Hiroyuki isn’t posting videos on Youtube or breaking world records, he’s operating a catering company based in Miami, Florida. He also remains active as a consultant for Doraku restaurants.To learn more about Hiroyuki Terada, check out his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Blog Roundup for August 2018

    Written by: J. Vigotsky


    blog roundup august

    Want to stay up to date with the latest restaurant-related blog posts? Well to save you time, we sifted through dozens of posts and picked the best ones. Here’s what you might’ve missed from the past week:


    How Restaurants Use Facebook to Drive Business 

    Best Shoes to Wear When Working in a Restaurant 

    Ways to Make Your Restaurant Stand Out From Competition 

    How Many Customers Use Mobile Devices to Find Restaurants 

    America’s Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains 

    Surveying American Wine Preferences 

    Seasonal Menus Offer New Ways to Promote Your Restaurant 

    23 Restaurant Advertising Ideas (Most are Free!) 

    The 3-Strikes Approach To Managing Employees 

    Guide for Keeping Employees Safe During Summer Heat 

    Easy Tips to Increase Your Bar’s Profits 


    Be sure to check back in the future for more blog roundups!

    5 of the Worst Restaurant Seating Options

    Written by: J. Vigotsky

     restaurant seating


    Restaurant seating is often an afterthought for most diners. All they know is they’re hungry and ready to eat. But where you decide to sit at a restaurant can play a large role in how much you enjoy your meal. To get the most out of your dining experience, try to avoid these seating locations:


    Under an Air Conditioner


    under air conditioner


    This is especially important for people who are sensitive to cold climates. While an AC unit might be set to a reasonable temperature, the air seems much colder if it’s blowing directly on someone. If you expect a restaurant to be crowded, you might not have much of choice when it comes to where you’re sitting. If that’s the case, consider bringing a long-sleeve shirt just in case you’re seated under an AC unit.


    Next to the Kitchen


    restaurant doubledoors


    Sitting right next to the kitchen might give you a glimpse into how chefs work their magic, but it also might not be the most relaxing dining environment. Servers frequently walk in and out of the kitchen, and this can be quite distracting to some people. The constant noise emanating from the kitchen is another drawback to this seating area.


    Around the Bar


    sports bar


    Not all restaurants have bars. But the one’s that do can get quite rowdy. This is especially true if a local sports team is playing on TV. So if you prefer to dine in a quieter environment, try to sit far away from the bar. Ask if there’s outdoor seating, as that’s likely as far away as you can get.


    By a Drafty Window


    drafty window


    Window seats are perfect for when the weather is more temperate. But when winter rolls around, sitting next to a window can be risky. Many windows are poorly insulated and let in cold drafts of air. Needless to say, this can lead to a less than comfortable dining environment.


    Close to the Restroom


    restaurant bathroom


    It’s one thing to use the restroom to wash up and get ready to eat. But it’s a whole other animal to be seated next to the room for an entire meal. A restroom definitely isn't the most appetizing sight in a restaurant, so try to sit somewhere else if you can. Especially if you're on a date.


    So Where Should You Sit?

    Wherever you want! These are just examples of some specific seats that don't work for certain people. But if you like the idea of dining at a rowdy bar or being able to see the chef in action, then go for it.

    The best way to get the seat you want is to be assertive. If you see a free table or booth where you’d like to dine, politely ask the hostess if you can sit there. The worst they can do is say no. And if you’re not satisfied with the seat you receive, you can always dine at a neighboring restaurant.

    Is Eating Out Healthy?

    Written by: J. Vigotsky


    Eating out at restaurants has been heavily criticized in recent years. Many people like to bash the practice, arguing that dining at home is far healthier. While some restaurant dishes are certainly less healthy than others, eating out isn’t just about the food. There are other health benefits to eating at restaurants that are often overlooked. So when it comes to answering the question of “Is eating out healthy,” be sure to keep these facts in mind:


    There’s a Social Aspect to Eating Out


    social aspect to eating out


    Eating out encourages socialization in a way that dining in does not. And socializing is one the best ways to improve to overall health. It’s easy to think that dining home at home around a table encourages the same type of socializing. But there are many more distractions at home. And it’s tough to keep everyone seated and engaged while at home compared to when out at a restaurant. If you don’t have plans to dine with anyone, you can always stop by a restaurant and see if your favorite server is working.


    Trying New Things Helps You Grow as a Person


    trying new things


    There’s nothing wrong with a relaxing night at home. But too many of these nights can lead to stagnation. A delicious meal out at a new restaurant can help prevent that. By putting yourself in a new situation, you leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself. It even gives you an opportunity to discover new foods that you otherwise would not have known about. Trying different types of cuisines that you aren’t familiar with only adds to the adventure.


    Walking To and From Restaurants Provides Exercise


    walking to and from restaurants exercise


    If you’re eating at home, you likely aren’t going to get much exercise. Carrying plates and silverware from the kitchen to the dining room might be a hassle, but it’s certainly not a workout. But when going out to eat at a restaurant, you’re much more likely to walk off those calories. Whether you’re walking around a city, through the mall, or just from a far spot in the parking lot, going to a restaurant should net you at least a little bit of exercise.


    Outdoor Eating Areas Have Fresh Air


    outdoor eating areas have fresh air


    There are multiple health benefits associated with fresh air. These include improving your immune system, heart health, and brain health. Many homes don’t have decks or patios, so going to restaurants with outdoor seating is a perfect way to spend time eating outside in the fresh air. And for double the benefits, try to find an outdoor eating area that's close to nature.

    How to Start a Restaurant Business

    how to start a restaurant

    For many chefs and food lovers, opening a restaurant is a life-long dream. Unfortunately, making that dream come true takes more than just some cooking skills and a little bit of money. This post is for anyone who is considering opening a restaurant. It explores how to start a restaurant business that can thrive for years to come.


    Have Experience Working in a Restaurant

    Nothing can compete with first-hand experience working in the foodservice industry. Working in a restaurant exposes you to a little of everything. Customer service, accounting, and restaurant culture are just some of the topics you’ll learn about. And having knowledge of these things will help you excel as an owner. Ideally, you’ll want to work in a restaurant that’s similar to the one you wish to open. And it certainly won’t hurt to work in multiple restaurants. That way, you’ll have a wider scope of experience to apply to your own restaurant.


    Decide What Kind of Restaurant You Want to Have

    types of restaurants

    Choosing the type of restaurant you want to open will dictate much of what you do as owner. Will your restaurant be fast food, fast-casual, casual, fine dining, or strictly takeout? Will you specialize in traditional American food or more ethnic dishes? What about your hours? Will you be open late or be up to serve breakfast at the crack of dawn? It’s also important to know if you’ll need a large dining space or just a small area for take-out area. And if you’ll require a team of servers or none at all. These choices will inform the rest of your decisions, so knowing them upfront is extremely helpful.


    Develop a Menu

    One of the best parts of starting a restaurant business is deciding what’s on the menu. But while doing so might seem like a food lover’s dream, the process isn’t so simple. A restaurant’s menu should cater to its targeted customers. So if you’re opening a family restaurant, you’ll definitely want to include a kids’ menu. You might hate chicken fingers or macaroni & cheese. But if your customers like those dishes, they should be on the menu.

    This same principle applies to fine dining establishment as well. Those types of restaurants will want to offer fine wines, aged liquors, and premium steaks. If your restaurant has a distinct theme, the menu should match that in terms of tone and offerings. So a tropical island restaurant will want to feature pina coladas and colorful seafood dishes.


    Find a Great Location

    great restaurant location

    Location can be the difference between a restaurant that thrives and a restaurant that flounders. Traffic, parking, and proximity to your target market are all factors to keep in mind. It’s not enough to be in a busy area that has plenty of parking. You want to be in a location that’s frequented by your specific target audience. So if you’re opening a restaurant that specializes in breakfast, make sure the area is busy in the morning. But if you’re opening a bar, you’ll want a location that’s busier at night.


    Familiarize Yourself with Local Laws

    Every area has its own set of laws. And as a restaurant owner, it’s your responsibility to familiarize yourself with those laws. Doing so early in the process can help prevent further issues down the line. Many laws aren’t simple bureaucratic thorns in the side. Instead, they’re safety regulations that are in the best interest of you and the workers. Refusing to follow these laws not only puts you in danger of a fine, but it can also place you and your staff in dangerous working conditions.


    Secure Funding

    Starting a restaurant requires money. If you can afford the business venture yourself, that’s great. But many restaurant owners seek out financial assistance. Popular ways to secure money include taking out loans and bringing investors on board. Many restaurant owners also like to ask close friends and family members for assistance. When seeking exterior funding, it’s helpful to have an air-tight business plan. The plan should include detailed financial projections that can earn the confidence of potential investors.


    Outfit Your Kitchen with Equipment

    commercial kitchen

    Designing a kitchen is more than just figuring out what equipment your chefs need. Although that’s certainly important too. But kitchen equipment should be located in a way that maximizes staff efficiency. The right design will vary from kitchen to kitchen. To find out what’s best for you, it’s a good idea to ask chefs for their input. After all, they’re the ones who’ll be working in there.


    Design Your Eating Area

    Offering patrons a comfortable dining experience is another important priority for restaurant owners. Start with the basics by investing in comfortable seating. Next give your restaurant a distinct ambiance that matches its style. So if you’re a family restaurant, you won’t want to have dark lighting like that of a bar. Finally, you should grace your establishment with interesting decorations. The type that seem right at home with the type of food you serve and the ambiance you’re going for.


    Hire Good Employees

    good restaurant workers

    Staff members are the backbone of any successful restaurant. Everyone who works at your restaurant should be an extension of yourself. They should embody your ideals and attitude. It might be simple to hire the first person who applies. But don’t get lazy and take the easy way out. Thoroughly vet each applicant and only hire the ones who you can trust with your business. Try to hire staff members who are coachable and follow instructions. In fact, make a list of what you’re looking for in your workers beforehand. Then make sure your applicants satisfy those traits before you hire them.


    Market and Promote

    Once your restaurant is all set up and your grand opening is on the horizon, it’s time to get the word out. Use flyers, advertisements, and social media to let the public know that a new restaurant is in town. Perhaps offer special deals that encourage customers to give your restaurant a shot. The main objective is to get attract customers. So get creative.