When Chef Niko Koros and business partner Nick Bovis opened Spinnerie in January 2015, it wasn’t enough to serve healthful food. “Our goal is to help folks change their diets and eating habits at a reasonable price,” says Koros. The partners took a surprising approach to that of-the-moment issue: a fast-casual rotisserie concept, inspired by the Koros family’s produce markets throughout the Bay Area, which offered in-house-rotisserie-roasted meats. “I like the healthiness of it and the way it keeps the meat moist,” he says.
The challenge was to adapt an inherently slow cooking method to a high-volume, quick-service environment, a problem the partners solved through a combination of efficient prep methods and two near-constantly-turning rotisserie ovens.
Location: One, but Koros and Bovis are considering expanding to other San Francisco neighborhoods.
Footprint: 1,800 square feet with 65 seats, plus sidewalk seating. (Spinnerie also features a rooftop herb garden).
Check average: $10-$11
Situated in San Francisco’s eclectic Polk Gulch neighborhood, Spinnerie attracts an economically and demographically diverse cross-section of patrons, from older, long-time neighborhood residents and affluent young professionals to lower-income families from the adjacent Tenderloin neighborhood. “What gets me the most excited is when I see a family that normally couldn’t afford to eat this type of food sitting there enjoying a meal,” Koros says.
On average, Spinnerie moves 200 rotisserie chickens each day, selling whole, half and quarter birds, as well as sandwiches and salads. The chickens first are spatchcocked and the breasts and thighs deboned to encourage faster, more even cooking. Prepped this way, the meat cooks in 40 minutes, about half the time it would take to cook a bone-in chicken.
In addition to chicken, other proteins—tri-tip steak, salmon and tofu—and all six hot sides, including favorites such as Calabrese cauliflower and roasted corn quinoa with Greek yogurt, also are cooked in the rotisserie ovens. Finished hot sides are displayed on the counter in Dutch ovens, adding to the casual, homey vibe.
With carryout and delivery orders via third-party sites such as GrubHub fueling more than half of its business, Spinnerie keeps the lines moving with one register dedicated for to-go business. Eat-in customers also order and pick up their food at the counter, which helps control overhead costs and menu prices by minimizing service staff.