While designing a commercial kitchen design, remember to decide on the menu and regulations that need to be followed. Then restaurant consultants should choose the configuration, equipment, and principles that need to be incorporated for a successful commercial kitchen design. Ensure that you hire an outside firm to help you with your operations and flexibility rules.
While designing a brand new commercial kitchen, or planning to renovate an existing one, the process of creating one such kitchen that will optimize your business operation could be a challenging one. Some basic steps need to be followed while creating a commercial kitchen design, such as strategic planning of installing equipment and counters. We shall have a quick review of these important basics.
- Understand Your Menu – The first step while you design a commercial kitchen is to decide the cuisine that will be served and determine the menu. A commercial kitchen cannot be made to work for every food service operation, although prep tables and washing stations are common to all types, the equipment you use and the way you arrange them will have a lot to do with the type of food you decide to serve. Ensure that you include your chef and foodservice team members in configuring the kind of equipment that would be best for the chosen menu. Their inputs are important as they would be working on the kitchen equipment or the newly designed kitchen.
- Understand the Space – Even before the commercial kitchen is designed, measurements need to be taken to understand exactly what equipment you are working, on to make it easier for the smooth running of the kitchen. Note the positions of windows, doors, and electrical outlets when you design a commercial kitchen.
- Understand Local Codes and Regulations – Designing the best commercial kitchen becomes useless if codes and regulations are not considered. Strict standards have been set by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the state Department of Public Health, like food storage, safety, preparation, disposal, etc. Ensure that the restaurant consultant is familiar with these codes of the local area before starting to design a commercial kitchen. These local codes and regulations could be found online, but sometimes they are not so easy to understand, the reason why you should consider making an appointment with a local inspector is to get the correct information.
- Common Configurations for Commercial Kitchens – Decide on which configuration would be best for your commercial kitchen planning and design among these – Island configuration: a central island surrounded by counter space along edges, Assembly line configuration: aligns activities along with a set and straightforward route, usually used where small and simple dishes are served, Open configuration: Part of the back of the house is open for guests, commonly used in pizzerias, which improves transparency, Ergonomic configuration: Helps staff in the kitchen to be comfortable while working and move very little while doing their tasks, Zoning configuration: Each part of the kitchen is strictly devoted to a particular activity, depending upon the needs and preferences like prep, cooking, service, dishwashing.
- Design Principles to Consider – Choose the plan that works best for your commercial kitchen planning design among the ones listed. Simplicity and Space Efficiency: Use space efficiently by knowing what is needed and what is not important. Flow: While you prepare a commercial kitchen design, keep the flow in mind, meaning most movements must be accommodated well, which helps reduce confusion. Flexibility and Modularity: A commercial kitchen should be designed well enough to handle any changes in the menu, daily specials, or seasonal menus. Shelving units, racks, and prep tables with wheels are best when your kitchen needs menu changes. Sanitation: Most important part of maintaining the health and safety of foodservice operations. Design your commercial kitchen with sanitation kept in mind to make cleaning much easier.
- Supervision – Commercial kitchens that involve large staff, may find the need an executive chef to oversee the work that is being done. Choose a commercial kitchen design that has fewer walls or partitions for better viewing purposes.
- Energy EFficiency – The many benefits of having a commercial kitchen plan that is energy efficient are beyond social and environmental advantages of reducing carbon footprint, it is good for a better running of the outlet. It is related to the equipment used in the commercial kitchen, as well as the proper arrangement of space in the kitchen.
- Choose the Right Equipment – Depending upon the menu, there are a number of pieces that are essential for a food service operation: Refrigerators and Freezers, Food Processors and Mixers, Ovens and Ranges, Dishwashers and Compartment sinks.
- Choose the Right Team of Professionals – The actual process of designing commercial kitchens should be handed over to a professional team that knows the process well.