Getting ready to plan out the design of your commercial kitchen? Be sure to do your research as there are specific commercial kitchen design guidelines that you’ll have to adhere to. In the meantime, this article concentrates on strategic design tips for your layout that will promote high functionality and seamless food flow for your commercial kitchen space.
CREATE A FOOD LIST
When designing your food prep area, your space will need to be able to accommodate all of the ingredients for any given dish your restaurant serves. Therefore, before you begin your design, look over your menu and create a full menu ingredient list. Once you have your list, consider where each item can be fitted into the prep space so that it’s easily accessible when needed. (As an example, if your restaurant serves a lot of seafood, your prep space should include a large area reserved for cleaning the seafood properly.)
KEY COMPONENTS AND THEIR BEST DESIGN PLACEMENTS
As layouts are being designed, restaurant owners and staff need to consider each of the five key components that go into establishing a well-run kitchen:
Cleaning/Washing. Must include sinks, ware washing machines, drying racks, with a location near the kitchen entrance for servers to quickly drop off dirty dishes, etc.
Storage. Temperature, accessibility, space, etc.
Food Preparation. Cleaning space, tool and appliance accessibility, storage space for oft-needed supplies, etc.
Meal Cooking. Easy-to-clean surfaces, cookware accessibility, slip-resistant flooring, etc.
Service. Proximity to the cooking area, clear pathways, etc.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR LAYOUT
Customizing your kitchen design layout for specific operations can enhance the ease-of-flow for your entire operation. Start by researching the full spectrum of most commonly used restaurant layout styles before you make a final decision. These may include Island, Zone, and Assembly Line styles. Talk with your construction crew about the various layout options, and how they may or may not be able to be customized in order to create the perfect set-up for the specific needs of your commercial kitchen. if you are designing a teaching kitchen follow these tips for designing a culinary school kitchen.
FLEXIBILITY AND SPACE EFFICIENCY
It’s important to consult industry specialists to ensure that there are no errors or flaws in your design that might render your space inflexible should your restaurant evolve and experience increased demand. Talk with contractors, electricians, and real estate agents. Seeking out their recommendations can help to avoid costly maintenance issues and other nuisances that can cost your restaurant time, money, and efficiency.
Having the appropriate amount of wash stations is important for sanitary purposes and for meeting health codes. In order to determine this number, restaurant owners will have to be able to identify and evaluate their needs in advance. Anticipate and take stock of the volume of cutlery, glasses, dishes, and trays that will be utilized on your busiest days. Decide what the best sizes will be for drainboards, landing tables, and racks. Review and evaluate every area of your kitchen for restaurant food safety in adherence to health codes.
Energy considerations are an important factor in figuring out the resources needed to keep your restaurant operating efficiently. To avoid rising energy costs, it’s wise to have a look at the latest energy trends, such as eco-friendly alternatives or green initiatives. The tips and recommendations that these conservation methods avail can go a long way in helping to reduce energy consumption within your commercial kitchen.
AIR VENTILATION SYSTEMS: PLACEMENT AND MAINTENANCE
When designing a restaurant, air ventilation units are an essential aspect of your kitchen and must be placed strategically within the layout. Foodservice exhaust hoods are a central component that controls smoke and grease that comes from cooking food. Proper ventilation is essential for replenishing the environment with tempered, fresh air. To pass safety codes, these systems must be installed in the right places and given regular maintenance. Hoods and ductwork must be free of residue, grease, and other debris left from exhaust gases. Without meeting these codes, your restaurant is at risk of being shut down until further inspections are passed.