It’s been a busy off-season for Schnitz. We began working with a new chef and we recently finalized some exciting new menu items. Every couple weeks, we hope to unveil a new item. In order to do this, we redesigned our menu display so that we can swap items in and out each week. Most vendors display their food options on a chalkboard. We find chalkboards are hard to read, the descriptions are often not exactly the same every week (depending on who writes the menu) and operationally it takes 15-30 minutes to write it nicely during each setup. We printed our menu towards the end of last season and it improved ordering and decreased setup time. This year we have done the same but now we have a base board and separate smaller boards for each menu item so that it can be attached to the main board with velcro. This will give us the flexibility to change items each week as well as help to maintain a consistent look and feel.
In addition to the menu, we’ve made some more changes to our operation that we intend to refine and share as the season progresses. Below you can see a list that we’ll talk more about in the coming weeks:
- van purchase
- new booth setup including a new fryer
- enhancements to our Point of Sale, iPad and speaker system
- staff hiring
As we start our 3rd outdoor market season, we plan to build tremendously on our experience. We hope you’ll be happy with the improvements!
No schnitzel but we’ll take brisket! #happypassover
Woah woah woah. Cooking schnitzel nonstop
We just can’t wait to reveal what we’re working on. Get ready @smorgasburg #gamechanger
Working in the kitchen! Smokey Russian, pickled tomatoes & Onions, and shaved cabbage #schnitzel
@chobani is in the retail game. Brilliant thinking.
Schnitz is pleased to announce that a new chef has joined our team. Her name is Stephanie Alleyne. Stephanie brings an extensive culinary resume to the Schnitz kitchen. For over 20 years, she has forged a cooking career in New York City – owning and operating a critically acclaimed catering company and a restaurant in Gramercy Park. She has appeared in Cookie Magazine, O Magazine, and Better Homes and Gardens as well as worked for and appeared on The Food Network.
Stephanie has been summoned with the task of expanding our menu in order to provide a complete range of options that’s required for a storefront, which we’re planning to launch in 2013. Today the Schnitz menu consists of 3 sandwiches: Bamberg, Sweet Onion & Veggie. We’ll be looking to add at 2-3 new schnitzels to the menu as well as seasonal options.
Our goal is to round out the menu with additional flavor profiles, meat and vegetable options, sides and drinks. We’ll be reviewing our existing menu for the purpose of streamlining our operations. As we begin to add more items, it will naturally become more difficult to maintain multiple products so we’ll be exploring ways to scale up. Most importantly, we want our menu to achieve three things:
- appeal in taste and ingredients to a wide range of palates and diets
- simple for the customer to order and our staff to serve
- provide our customers with a filling meal at a fair price
Stephanie will prepare the following:
- A recipe book
- Food costs and pricing based on current market conditions
- Cooking methods
- Back-of-house procedures and portion sizes for platters and sandwiches in all serving formats (open air market, brick and mortar and catering)
The final point is one of the most important things we’ll be working with Stephanie to achieve. Our products and procedures need to be executable in varying contexts.
She is extremely excited to begin research and development and we’ll be working very closely with her throughout the next 6-8 weeks. Be prepared for lots of updates by way of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Tumblr! Welcome Stephanie!
Back in March of 2012, our blogging service Posterous was acquired by Twitter. Since the acquisition, there have not been too many improvements made to Posterous. It appears that the engineers working on the platform are working on other Twitter related things. We were told that we would be able to export our data “in the coming weeks”. Well, 8 months later we finally can do it. The Schnitz blog has officially moved over to Tumblr!
Tumblr is a similar service with similar capabilities but people who blog on Tumblr are slightly more focused on images. As a result, we’ll be using more photos to describe our adventures. Tumblr also has a great iPhone app and, best of all, it’s integrated seamlessly into our website. I hope you guys enjoy! (We’ll be improving the look and feel soon!)
This past week has been an extremely difficult time for New Yorkers. Hurricane Sandy has caused unprecedented hardships for families in the NY/NJ area. Our deepest thoughts and concerns go out to all those who were affected.
Schnitz was fortunate to have not lost power at our kitchen space. We don’t carry much perishable inventory during the week and we don’t have a store front today; nevertheless, we’ve been thinking about the restaurant owners in areas without power. With all the stories and images of pain and suffering, we often times forget about food businesses and the people who run them. Their operations are completely paralyzed and they have suffered greatly. As you can imagine, when a restaurant loses power, there’s essentially a very small window before all of the inventory is completely spoiled. We’ve heard painful stories of thousands of dollars of food going straight to the garbage. One week of interruption often times means the difference between making ends meet. We know quite a few vendors who were not able to continue their operations and vend at Smorgasburg this past weekend. We wish all these businesses the best of luck in their recovery.
Below are a few sites where you can donate money and volunteer your time.
There are a few recovery organizing sites that allow people to offer/request assistance, and are coordinated by the folks at Occupy NYC and community organizations on the ground including Lower East Side Recovers and Astoria Recovers, Red Hook Recovers and Staten Island Recovers.
I’ve also included a list of items that are commonly needed in times of natural disaster.
Top 5 Items to Donate:
- Work Gloves
- Black Garbage Bags
Most Essential Medicinal Items:
- Baby cough medicine
Let’s all look towards a hasty and healthy recovery!
We’re proud to announce that Schnitz will be participating in New York Magazine’s 3rdannual Grub Street food festival. It’s co-hosted by the Hester Street Fair and will take place on the tennis courts on Essex street, close to the corner of Hester street.
Last year’s event was slammin’. The weather was perfect; there was tons of foot traffic; and there were lots of food writers, photographers and editors. We’re hoping for similar results this year. Forecast so far is calling for a sunny day and a high of 66 degrees.
For us, last year’s memorable moment was when we got a special sandwich request from the editor of NY Mag’s Grub Street blog, Alyssa Shelasky. It was our first month of service and certainly a special moment. Wow, how much things have changed since then.
See you Sunday!!