When the COVID-19 pandemic took Birch + Butcher from a packed house daily to roughly 50 pick-up orders per day, the Milwaukee restaurant took immediate steps to diversify their offerings.
“Everyone in the industry is doing what they can,” Executive Chef Elijah Loebbaka said. “You have to be willing to do things that are different and not be afraid of adaptation. We changed up our menu to appeal to more value-added food with the same crave-worthiness.”
As a Midwest-centered restaurant that sources food from local farms, Birch + Butcher went back to the basics with comfort food favorites that could hold up to a curbside model, from their au jus brisket burger with kettle chips to sandwiches and more.
Although their menu items and service models have needed to adapt, Birch + Butcher stayed true to their hybrid of both primitive, open-fire and modern cooking applications. Since opening in 2017, Birch + Butcher’s kitchen has continue to evolve their space. Supporting their menu, the restaurant uses an Alto-Shaam Combitherm® Oven and Cook & Hold Oven to execute their menu flawlessly.
Alto-Shaam’s Commercial Kitchen Equipment Solution
The Cook & Hold has been essential for braising, proofing bread and holding the restaurant’s iconic barbecue chicken that has been added for curbside and outdoor patio dining. Birch + Butcher added a large patio dining space after Wisconsin safer-at-home orders were lifted.
“Holding our barbecue chicken in the Cook & Hold ensures it really stays nice for takeout service,” Chef Elijah said.
Featuring game-changing Halo Heat® technology, Alto-Shaam Cook & Hold ovens are designed to produce better food quality with better yields using gentle, radiant heat that keeps food flavorful without extremely hot elements that typically degrade food quality.
Additionally, Birch + Butcher utilizes their Combi oven for a variety of cooking applications. An all-in-one solution for efficient and consistent food production, Combitherm ovens do the work of a convection oven, kettle, steamer, fryer, smoker and more.
“It really saves us. Without the combi, all we would have is our fireplace, and we wouldn’t be able to use steam and convection heat,” Chef Elijah said. “We use it for everything from steaming vegetables to sausages.”
The restaurant also utilizes their combi oven to save labor and eliminate commercial kitchen food waste by dehydrating overnight to not interfere during peak service times.
“We can get a lot more done at once with our combi,” Chef Elijah said. “Being able to use it overnight has helped us not get in the way of each other in the kitchen.”
For Birch + Butcher’s restaurant hours and offerings, please visit their website at birchandbutcher.com.
For more information on Alto-Shaam’s full system of foodservice solutions designed to support restaurants as they diversify menu offerings and expand their takeout programs, visit our product page.