GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Day two of Grand Rapids Restaurant Week is underway and 62 local restaurants are expecting packed houses throughout the event.
That means most chefs have their kitchens fully staffed.
So just how busy is it behind the scenes?
We caught up with staff at The Green Well just before this eating extravagenza kicked off to get their take on cooking for the crowds.
For you, it's another night at a favorite restaurant, a chance to choose from dozens of eclectic dishes. But before your food arrives to your table in perfect form, near chaos takes place behind kitchen doors across town at restaurants like The Green Well.
"On a busy night, there could easily be 13 people back there," said Amanda Foster, bar manager at The Green Well.
The kitchen is small to begin with.
Sous chef Jessica Elliott is one of four line cooks trying to stay in line to keep up with her share of kitchen duties. That was even more of a challenge when temperatures hit the triple digit mark outside this summer.
"It was 130 (degrees). Really, really hot," she said.
But this crew can't stay out of the kitchen. There's fruit and veggies to chop and sautee, pasta to boil, chicken to bake, and injuries are inevitable.
"There's quite a few burns and cuts. No one uses burn spray, that's how you can tell someone's new," said one cook.
So if it's this crazy right now, just for lunch, how hectic will evenings during Restaurant Week? Actually, staff may get to stop and breathe.
"It's going to be busy, but for us it almost slows down how fast things move back here because we are doing three courses," said Elliott.
Plus, diners only get a few options to choose from if they come in for the Restaurant Week menu.
The change of pace may well be just what The Green Well kitchen needs for the next week.
We also stopped by the 616 at the JW Marriot to get Executive Chef Christian Madsen's take on Restaurant Week. His restaurant already serves three-course meals, so he says staff will have the same duties in the kitchen, just a bigger workload.
The menus are mostly set at all the restaurants, but a few dishes may change depending on what the freshest meat, poultry, or seafood is available.
You're still encouraged to make reservations because spaces will get a lot busier heading into the weekend.