Ever wonder what it's like to operate a bustling burger-focused restaurant in Chicago? As part of Burger Week 2013, we stepped inside 25 Degrees to get an idea of what a typical day was like for owners Mac and Joe Boumaroun.
Mac and Joe Boumaroun [Photo: Barry Brecheisen]
Your doors open at 11 a.m. but when does the day really start for your team?
Our kitchen is usually up and running by 9:30 a.m. We get our proprietary meat blend and freshly baked buns and breads to start the day. Our kitchen hand-patties all of the burgers, including the tuna and veggie burgers, and preps for the day. We make all of our aolis in-house, roasted red peppers, nothing comes from a jar or can. The servers come in around 10 a.m. (they do most of the stocking the night before). A cleaning crew also comes every morning.
How do you decide how much needs to get delivered?
It took a while but we know our numbers pretty well. On a busy Saturday we go through about 20 dozen buns and we are usually within the dozen for how many we have left over. We also go through about 150 pounds of meat, or 300 burgers. The cheeses vary, but we usually get cheese delivered two or three times a week. Burrata and Vella Toma are currently the most popular. We also go through about 20 pounds of potatoes and 200 pounds of onions a week.
So let's fast forward. Service has started for the day, all is up and running, what are the two of you doing?
There is usually one of us here at all times. We are very hands-on managers. Growing up in the restaurant business we aren't too good to get our hands dirty. We do everything from running food out, checking burger temps, cleaning up plates. Interacting with customers is huge. We have a ton of regulars. We want to have our eyes on everything, hear the positive but also work with the negative as well. If we see a problem we want to be there to take care of it on the spot. We also send out over 30 deliveries a day so keeping an eye on that is important as well.
And what about menu development?
We usually sit down with our executive chef Tim Goodell twice a year to add in a few new things. We are constantly changing up smaller items like our cheeses and wines. We plan to add a few lighter items come summer and do a BBQ burger for the Chicago Food Depository soon.
It's the end of the night. What time are you usually closing and when does the staff leave?
We technically close at 11 p.m. during the week but we really will just close when the last customer is done, sometimes closer to midnight. On the weekends we stay open until 2 a.m. on Friday, 3 a.m. on Saturday and we have a DJ so usually on the later side. At the end of the night our staff gets out of here pretty quick as they do a lot of their side work to close for the day a bit earlier in the night. We try to get out of here within the hour so we can get sleep and wake up to do it all again the next morning.
· All 25 Degrees Coverage [~ECHI~]
· 25 Degrees [Official Site]