Hybrid restaurant uses streamlined planning to solve staffing troubles

By 
corridor sign

With elements of fast casual, casual dining and fine dining, Corridor has something for every guest who walks in the door. Having counter ordering helps the San Francisco concept—launched in June by Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group—stretch its staff in the face of a shallow labor pool. But high-end fare, table service and reservation seating in part of the space cater to those who want a full-service experience. 

corridor interior bar seating

Staff at the host stand direct customers upstairs if they have a reservation, and send walk-in guests to the counter to order. To speed the ordering process and avoid a backup at the counter, payment is taken not at the counter, but at the table by servers. After ordering, guests are handed a beacon that tracks their location so servers know where to deliver meals.

corridor pasta

The ordering process may say fast casual, but Corridor’s service is anything but. Once seated, customers are waited on by a server, who delivers food, refills drinks and takes additional orders. Tables are set with silverware, cloth napkins, and wine and water glasses. Customers desiring a more traditional dining experience can make a reservation for the upstairs mezzanine, which offers full service. Guests here have the same experience as those downstairs, but order from their table instead of the counter. 

corridor bar

At Hi Neighbor’s full-service restaurants, partner Ryan Cole says most of a server’s time is spent explaining the menu, but Corridor’s counter setup lets the staff “handle a lot more people … because they don’t have to spend 15 minutes tied to one table at a time.” This allows Corridor to do more with fewer staff. Cole adds that the savings Corridor sees on labor costs allow it to offer fine dining-style meals at lower prices.

corridor dining tables

Locations: San Francisco
Seats: 70
Sample price: Appetizers range from $6 to $13

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

Ideas and Innovation
hybrid worker

Some of our employees can work four 10-hour days. It’s really helped with balance. We’ve also created a lot of hybrid positions, such as a personal services assistant and foodservice worker role. It allows workers to pick up more shifts and cover both positions.

Ideas and Innovation
cheeseburger

We set up an interactive collaboration with our dietetics department where students worked with our culinary team to test how recipes are imagined and produced. One of the recipes they came up with was a barbecue tempeh sandwich, which they believed was a great option for vegan students across campus. We added the sandwich to our On the Go program and then expanded it to our vegan station on campus due to its success.

Ideas and Innovation
salad bowl

We have reorganized our salad bars to not only include the traditional DIY salad ingredients, but also several daily entree salads. Our students requested 32-ounce heavy glass salad bowls that have been wildly popular. The big bowls allow students to load up on their favorite salads and customize with additional ingredients from around the servery. We have seen a significant surge in usage that cuts across all groups, including athletes.

FSD Resources