Profitable Food Facilities (PFF) is pleased to announce we have been awarded Foodservice Equipment and Supplies magazine’s December Facility Design Project of the Month award for our design of Typhoon Texas Waterpark’s food and beverage facilities. The magazine’s editors choose each month’s winner of this award by examining the workflow, efficiencies, concept expression, design, décor, and equipment and supplies packages that comprise some of the foodservice industry’s latest and greatest projects.

Our PFF team of Mike Holtzman, Scott Steele, Jessica Glidewell, and Mike Borassi met with Typhoon Texas owners Keith Dalton, Ray DeLaughter and Terry Hlavinka while the waterpark was still in the planning stages to design facilities that would meet the owners’ goals of serving high-quality, freshly made food – something not typically found at a waterpark. In addition to the usual chicken strips, pizza and hamburgers, the menu includes smoked brisket, barbecue beans, sausage links, and even grilled salmon. Soft serve ice cream, smoothies, cotton candy and funnel cakes satisfy the guest with a sweet tooth.

The waterpark which opened in Houston, Texas in May, 2016, has a main kitchen of over 5,000 sq. ft., with outlying service areas of over 4,500 sq. ft., allowing it to serve between 3,000 and 4,500 guests a day.  A central kitchen supplies the prepped food items for distribution to the outlets. Three large walk-through refrigerators are located near the delivery area and create a first-in, first-out process which means product is simply moved forward instead of being rotated. Custom wood-burning smokers produce hundreds of pounds of brisket, pork butt, chicken and sausages each day. Even the design and location of the dishwashing areas were carefully planned to reduce the number of steps staff needs to take to accomplish food prep.

When the facility gets really busy and food service lines get long, “line-busters” take orders in line, doubling the line speed and adding to the quality of the whole experience, which increases the chance guests will return again and again to enjoy the fresh, tasty food along with the rides. Food is the second largest producer of revenue in a waterpark and being able to serve it efficiently produces a winning combination for both guests and owners.

This project pushed us to showcase what we do best – implementing proven strategies to maximize profits and minimize costs. Because we were involved with the project from the very beginning, we were able to design in refrigeration, storage, prep, cooking and clean-up areas that require minimal steps to achieve the needed output. Our experience in massive multi-unit management resulted in efficient spaces where food can be prepped, cooked and delivered fresh, hot and fast to the customer.

Having worked with dozens and dozens of waterparks over the years has made us aware that each facility has its own personality and needs. Typhoon Texas’ owners wanted to design a waterpark reflecting the history and culture of Texas, while giving the community a place to play and have fun. We were able to help them design not only facilities, but also menus that give the park a true Texas feel. Their desire to use fresh, high quality ingredients while serving up to 8,000 guests in a day presented us with a challenge to create workflow that wouldn’t overly stress staff on hot Texas days.

Our collaboration with Typhoon Texas’ owners and staff from the design and planning to implementation and training was a rewarding experience as the park has completed a successful and profitable season. Using our knowledge and expertise to give them what they need to accomplish this means we did our job well. Being recognized by Foodservice Equipment and Supplies for the design of this facility was really icing on the cake.