FES and Metro present the 2020 Kitchen Storage Makeover

At Metro, our mission is to make the world more organized and efficient. To help achieve our goal, we teamed up with FES Magazine to give one winner the chance to improve their kitchen's workflow and efficiency. In this year of turbulence, we were excited to offer $50,000 worth of Metro to the lucky winners. 

"The objective of the kitchen storage makeover is to improve the way people work through space and workflow optimization," stated Metro CEO, John G. Nackley.

"The results would be greater productivity, happier people, and a better work environment."

Meet the Winners:

Ynot Italian has been a community staple in Virginia Beach for 27 years. The owners Tony and Cyndi have centered their business around giving back to the community. Their restaurant has been an ally to local organizations, including the the local fire department, police, Little League and more.

As COVID-19 continued to cause unemployment to rise, Ynot Italian responded by helping their community and providing food to those left unemployed by the virus. According to co-owner Cyndi, that is their brand. No matter what is going on in the community, Ynot Italian is always a part of it. As part of their COVID Love Drive, Ynot Italian also made a point to donate pizza slices to healthcare workers on the frontlines.

"When COVID first came out, everyone's reaction was alright, let's close, let's not worry about this. And Tony wasn't. Tony was like, what can we do for the community that has supported us for 27 years," stated Cyndi Disilvestro, co-owner.

Recently, Ynot Italian has expanded to include multiple locations to expand its brand and bring its delicious Italian cuisine to more communities.


How did our Winners react to the News?

"I don't think I've seen her that excited in a long time." Tony Disilvestro, co-owner of Ynot Italian, responded when asked about Cyndi's initial reaction.

Take a look the video below to learn more: 


The Assessment 

At this point in the process, the storage experts at Metro were brought in to design an efficient and organized workflow for the team at Ynot.

The areas the team planned to focus on are the cooler, prep area, dish area, dry storage, and to-go staging, with a bonus of adding a more secure space for the storage of liquor.

First up, the cooler. A common issue in the cooler at Ynot was dough storage. During the summer months, they faced dough falling over and being rendered unusable, costing them money on supplies. Another area of the cooler in need of some organization was the section dedicated to holding cheese. Owner Tony hoped to see a more easily visible representation of their first in, first out policy to help curve additional cost and guarantee that fresh product is always easily accessible.

In the prep station, the team found that the prep area seemed a bit cramped due largely to their gelato-making process. The combined need for the space to work as both a prep area and gelato station meant that there was not a ton of room left over for supplies. Because of this, supplies are held within their boxes on high shelves. This makes visual inventory difficult and accessing supplies strenuous.

With 80 employees moving around the location, cleanliness is also an essential aspect of the remodel. The prep area experiences a steady influx of movement, so it needs to be simple to clean and organized - without the boxes.

Next up is the dish area, one of the most significant issues in their dish room was an overall lack of space. Another problem the team faced was a lack of space for larger pots. Often team members end up placing the heavier pots on overhead storage shelves. This creates a safety issue when the next employee needs access to the pots.

The delivery area includes two separate stations, the dry storage area and the area where to-go orders are staged. Every Friday night, this restaurant area houses up to 30 people prepping orders and coordinating the deliveries. This area is high-traffic, so one of the biggest challenges is creating room for employees to move through and fulfill their roles without bumping into each other.

The final area that will be covered in the renovation is the back office, which is also used for alcohol storage. When storing alcohol, security, and easy inventory is vital. Our team will be focusing on this when building out the plans for this area.

Learn more about The Assessment below


Installation / Reveal

Our team had an added challenge going into this makeover, Ynot Italian needed to stay open during the install. The Metro team worked around their schedule getting up at the crack of dawn to renovate the space.  

How did the team at Ynot react to the new space? 

"The end result is amazing." Tony said in reaction to the new space," You know it's been craziness doing this while we are open but the end result really made it worth it. " 

Tony especially appreciated the amount of extra space that his team has to work and the efficiency in having everything in reach. 

Metro was able to come in amid the chaos to create a better environment for the employees at Ynot to perform their tasks more easily. 

Check out the final results 

For more information on the Kitchen Storage Makeover refer to the KSM webpage