From the kitchen and beyond
April 26, 2023
From the kitchen and beyond
Since 1968, the Chanhassen Dinner Theater has produced more than 240 productions. During all of these shows, the Chanhassen Dinner Theater has made it a priority to deliver a magical experience to their customers every time. How are they able to do this you may ask? It is all thanks to the Servers, Service Assistants, the Chefs and more! These people work hard every day, behind the scenes, to make sure that customers are having a good time and that they will continue to come and see future shows.
The servers and SAs (Service Asistants) work relentlessly and move all over the theater throughout the evening to deliver food and beverages to customers. Servers can be sectioned anywhere in the building and must be stationary throughout their shift. They must rely on SAs to help them deliver and fetch food or certain items from the kitchen or another part of the building.
An SA’s job is to make sure that all of their assigned Servers have everything they need and provide help and support in any way. Unlike the Servers, SAs are able to move around the theater, checking on other rooms in the dinner theater, such as the Pub or the Playhouse, assisting any other Servers who may need help. A difficult challenge during these shifts is keeping the workflow active. Everyone is fighting against the clock, rushing everything out of the kitchen while also cleaning or helping setting up other rooms. They must do all of this while also giving themselves enough time before the show starts to clean the tables in the main theater. At the end of the night, SAs clean up the main theater, the kitchen, and other rooms of the theater while Servers are done. Tips are shared with SAs by their respective Servers.
During all of this mayhem, Hosts and Hostesses are located inside or near the main theater, guiding customers to their seats. Mid shift, hosts tend to help refill water cups. They don’t stay during the entire shift. A majority of the hosting staff get to leave early and only a few have to stay until the show ends. The ones that stay are tasked with assisting anyone who needs help leaving the theater.
Team Security is tasked with keeping the peace and secure the safety of the guests. They will often check rooms and the main entrance of the dinner theater, making sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on. If there’s a commotion happening somewhere in the dinner theater, they will give a warning to whoever is causing a problem or may have to escort the problem out of the building, before anything escalates.When the show finally ends and the guests are gone, the security does one last sweep around the building making sure that no suspicious activity is going on. Once all of the rooms have been checked, the security team closes up the dinner theater and heads home.
Dinner is served
At the Chanhassen dinner theater, it is their top priority to serve you the highest quality meals. However, ordering this meal is only step one at the dinner theater. Once you have placed your order, the server then sends the order to the kitchen. The kitchen staff are then responsible for making the meals that are received from the servers. Once the meal has been created, they then hand it off to the service assistance, where they deliver it to the designated station. Depending on where you are in the theater, the service assistance may have to take a different path in order to reach you. For example, if you order from the comedy club that’s downstairs from the main theater, the service assistant will need to take the elevator in order to reach your area. Sounds simple on paper, but in reality, it’s all about maintaining balance. These service assistants must make their way through the theater, while balancing the meals on a tray, doing all of this as quickly as possible to then repeat the process all over again.
When you hear about the dinner theater in Chanhassen, what do you think of? Is it the idea of enjoying a show while dining with the family? Or do you think of laughing with the improv group? At the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, they have it all. But with all of these amazing options, what’s going on behind the scenes? Especially in the kitchen. While everyone is enjoying their meals and watching the shows, the Service Assistants are tasked to deliver the food to the designated area quickly but carefully. During their shifts, they must also help seat customers and help clear the dishes off the tables. The work keeps on giving as these SA’s check back and forth with their assigned servers making sure that the shift is going well for them. While the show is playing, the workload slows down, and the SAs are given a chance to take a break. During this break, they can eat meals that are provided from the kitchen and slowly begin to prepare the desserts for the customers when intermission starts. Once the shift is over, depending on how the SA’s did, they’re rewarded for their hard work with tips from their servers.