Food and Drink - Fall/Winter 2012 - (Page 178)

I N D E P E N D E N T R E S TA U R A N T S Size Does Matter Whether offering family-style Italian or southern barbecue, the dining experience can be delivered in quantity by The Alicart Restaurant Group. By Russ Gager company profile The Alicart Restaurant Group Projected 201 revenues: $75 million 2 Headquarters: New York Employees:1,200 Specialty: Family-style Italian and barbecue restaurants Jeffrey Bank, CEO: “Honestly, there’s nobody that’s doing what we’re doing. We’ve been around forever. Execution is really our competition.” >> The Alicart Restaurant Group operates numerous Italian and barbecue restaurants in the United States and beyond. T he “wow” factor is what sets The Alicart Restaurant Group’s properties apart. From a family-style plate of spaghetti with meatballs the size of softballs to barbecue cooked all night and day in massive smokers, what keeps the restaurants unique is that jaw-dropping reaction from diners. The size of the dishes is matched only by the increasing scale of the restaurants in which they are served. Carmine's Family Style Italian restaurant in Times Square is 12,000 square feet; the Carmine’s in Washington, D.C., is 20,000 square feet, the largest restaurant in that city. The newest Carmine’s being constructed in Las Vegas will be 27,000 square feet. All the Carmine’s locations serve hundreds of diners at a time, from 400 seats in the smaller Carmine’s to an expected 800 at once when the Las Vegas location opens. A single Carmine’s might serve 1,200 diners daily, and 900,000 annually, depending on the size of the location and how quickly customers turn over. “We like to do volume,” CEO Jeffrey Bank emphasizes. “It’s easier for us to push out the volume. When we took a step up to 400 to 500 seats, it was not that big an increase in the payroll, and we could handle it in the kitchen.” How does Carmine’s pump out the volume? “We have very consistent systems – different cooking stations, a lot of proprietary equipment and pasta machines we designed and built over the years that have an incredible recovery time,” Bank explains. “All our pasta is cooked to order, regardless of how busy we are. We can cook pasta extremely fast. Large quick-freeze units cool down food properly. The Carmine’s menu has not changed in 22 years. It’s southern Italian classic dishes – veal cutlet, chicken Parmesan. The secret is we haven’t changed anything. That’s what people want. We don’t try to mix our meatballs with Kobe beef.” That Alicart consistency is maintained for customer satisfaction as well as efficient preparation at the two Carmine’s Family Style Italian restaurants in New York and the restaurants in Washington, D.C.; Atlantic City, N.J.; and Paradise Island in the Bahamas. “The chicken Parmesan is exactly the same in each restaurant,” Bank maintains. “The kitchen in the back of the house is run on a mentality of quality and consistency. The front of the house is run as if it’s a one-off restaurant. That’s our Carmine’s concept.” Carmine’s Conception Carmine’s Family Style Italian restaurant is one of 25 concepts developed in the 1990s by a New Yorker named Artie Cutler who owned Murray’s Sturgeon Shop on the Upper West Side. “He was thinking about opening up an Italian family style restaurant like Coney Island geared toward Sunday night at your house, with grandmother cooking old-fashioned Italian recipes – 178 food and drink • fall/winter 2012 •

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink - Fall/Winter 2012

Food and Drink - Fall/Winter 2012
Tableside Chat
NYC Wine & Food Festival
Going Global
Beverage Focus
Caribou Coffee
Scooter’s Coffee & Yogurt
Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen
Distributors: Food Law
Progressive Gourmet
Rocky Mountain Natural Meats
Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico
Blue Mountain Growers
Dandrea Produce and Wines
Dorr Lobster
Gary’s Seafood and Specialties
Pohl Food Service Inc.
Supply America
Victoria Fine Foods
Bernatello’s Pizza Inc.
Best Mexican Foods
C.F. Gollott & Son
Clipper Seafoods Ltd.
Mountain Foods Products
Siedhoff Distributing
Sterling Pacific Meat
Producers: Business Strategies
Carib Brewery
Heroes Vodka
Mountain Pure Beverage Co.
Deli Express/E.A. Sween Co.
Family Fresh Pack
Haring Catfish Enterprises
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Demerara Distillers
Walker & Sons Inc. – Slap Ya Mama
DRY Soda Co.
Good Time Beverages
Greencore USA
Jaindl Turkey Farms
McCall Farms
Nuovo Pasta Productions
Brewery Ommegang
R.L. Schreiber
Venus Wafers Inc.
Casper’s Ice Cream
Restaurants: Smart Marketing
Extreme Pizza
Buffalo Wings & Rings
Fatburger North America Inc.
Famous Famiglia
Francesca’s Restaurants Inc.
Aurelio’s Pizza
Yoshinoya America
Crepe Delicious
FREEB!RDS World Burrito
Razzoo’s Cajun Café
Independent Restaurants
Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant
The Alicart Restaurant Group
The Optimist
The Olive Tree Italian Restaurant
The Epicurean Group
Salty’s Seafood Grills
Retailers: Shopper Marketing
Weigel’s Inc.
Royal Buying Group
The Last Page

Food and Drink - Fall/Winter 2012