SITE VISIT: Istanbul Cafe

We are thrilled to share our new menu for our client Istanbul Cafe in Philadelphia, PA. He specializes in Turkish cuisine, but he wanted to reach more customers. We adapted his Turkish dishes to suit the American palate and created low-cost options that are delicious and satisfying.

Day One


  • Identify key ingredients
  • Meet current consumers to understand his ideal customer
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Develop process for inventory

I set up a safe log and cash deposit log with Engin one of the owners from Istanbul Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

I spent time tasting their ingredients and talking with the staff and customers. It was important to understand the clientele of Istanbul so that I could create items that would sell. I spent time talking with Engin, trying to see his vision of what he was hoping I'll be able to accomplish.

Oh, did I mention I had to rewrite the menu a few times but at the end of the day, I was extremely happy with what I came up with.

Menu Creation
restaurant owner

Day Two


  • Teach tools handling techniques
  • Finalize new items
  • Teach plating techniques
  • Teach food safety 

I started the day by bringing my ideas to life! This was not an easy challenge; I created all the menu items for Engin. With his menu being Turkish, I had to find innovative ways to combine both Turkish and American traditions into something that was delicious and cost effective. They sampled all the food and were extremely happy with what I created.

I spent the rest of the day educating and training Egin and his staff. We were also sampling the creations to the guest visiting the café, and everyone was extremely impressed with what we have been able to accomplish. The final consensus was that his guests would be returning for the new menu items!

Day Three


  • See confidence in Engin & his team
  • Recipe card creation

This was our last day onsite with Engin and his team. We had the photographer in house to capture the vibrant new menu items. Engin will utilize the finalized photos for his social media accounts and item board in store. 

We utilized day three as our final training session. Engins team took initiative and perfected each recipe. I knew they could handle the new items and I am excited to watch them thrive!

Menu analysis
Menu Analysis

Chris D'Agostino

From Executive Chef to COO, Chris has mastered both the FOH and BOH. Cultivating new dishes and implementing efficient processes is his "bread and butter" so when Engin suggested a new menu, we knew that Chris was the team member to send. His experience as an Executive Chef allowed him to create an innovative menu that captures the Turkish culture but in an American way.

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