Commercial Kitchen Configurations

Commercial Kitchen | Food Service Consultant

Whether designing a restaurant or upgrading an existing one, your commercial kitchen design and planning standards requires careful consideration. While it may not receive the same attention as your dining room layout, a safe and efficient kitchen configuration is crucial for a positive guest experience.

A well-designed commercial kitchen layout allows your back-of-house (BOH) crew to make high-quality meals and increases the speed and efficiency of your entire team, resulting in a better guest experience. The first thing you should think about is your menu, as expected. After all, your kitchen is where you keep, prepare, and cook everything on your menu. Therefore the design of your kitchen will be totally determined by the type of cuisine you provide. While certain features are standard in most commercial kitchens, the menu will determine the equipment you employ and how your space is organized.

7 Key Elements of a Commercial Kitchen Configuration

You can start thinking about the many aspects that will make up your restaurant kitchen layout now that you have a clearer sense of what you need and what kind of space you have. When designing your commercial kitchen layout, make sure it meets your restaurant’s basic demands and the movement between those areas. In general, your kitchen should perform the following seven functions:

Delivery
Ensure you have enough space in your kitchen for shipping and reception (ideally with ample parking space). Every kitchen requires a delivery area where vendors can drop off their products. While the delivery point should be adjacent to your storage areas to prevent offload deterioration, it should not be in the kitchen’s main working space.

Storage
Cooking equipment, place settings, and your actual ingredients will all need to be stored in your restaurant’s kitchen. You’ll also need cabinets to keep equipment and tableware like glasses, plates, cutlery, and linens. Ensure your kitchen has enough storage space for all of these items, including dry-goods pantries, commercial refrigerators, and freezers for perishables.

Food Prep
Depending on the restaurant’s type of cuisine, you’ll probably need many separate food preparation spaces. This is especially crucial if you cater to guests with food allergies or strict dietary requirements. When planning your food prep rooms, make sure they have enough counter space, cutting tools, and storage for any extra equipment. Separate food-washing facilities are also recommended so that your ingredients do not come into contact with filthy dishes. Food prep spaces should be near a refrigerator so BOH workers may quickly and safely store perishable products until they are ready to use.

Cooking
This is where all the action takes place. Food will be moved to your cooking stations when it has been prepped. The necessary equipment for the volume and type of food you serve should be installed. Most restaurants use commercial fryers and gas range-oven combinations in their cooking stations. However, for particular meals, your restaurant may have additional cooking equipment. A digital kitchen order system should be installed at each cooking station (also known as a kitchen display system or KDS). This is a tablet or screen that shows digital order tickets that have been sent directly from your restaurant’s POS system. This technology is critical for maintaining a continuous line of communication between your front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) personnel, ultimately assisting you.

Service
After your dishes have been cooked, they must be properly plated and adorned before being delivered to your guests by servers. This area should be as close to the dining room as feasible so that personnel can travel from the kitchen to the eating area as quickly as possible. It’s also a good idea to have heat lamps in your serving area to keep food warm until it’s picked up by servers.

Dish Return
All of the dishes that leave your kitchen must ultimately return. A separate dish return place for FOH employees to take off dirty plates, cutlery, and other items should be provided in your commercial kitchen. This area should have ample space for workers to stack dirty dishes ready to be washed and for any remaining food to be disposed of.

Cleaning
A commercial kitchen requires a lot of cleaning, from dirty dishes to the cooking equipment itself. Make sure you have a separate cleaning room with three-compartment sinks, professional dishwashers, and drying racks in your kitchen.