The efficiency and success of your food business depends greatly on the design of your commercial kitchen. A good commercial kitchen allows for smooth work flow and superb productivity. Therefore, you need to make sure that your commercial kitchen design can answer all your needs.
This article will give you an idea of how the best restaurants and cafes design their commercial kitchens. We’ll discuss five of the most common kitchen configuration designs to help you choose the best one for your needs.
Every commercial kitchen design needs to have space for the following:
- Food preparation
- Return of dishes
No commercial kitchen design will work well without ensuring that there is adequate space for all seven stations. A designer can come up with a different commercial layout of the kitchen but it will only be efficient if it has space for such essential stations. The following are some of the best commercial kitchen designs that seamlessly incorporate spaces for essential stations:
Design #1: Assembly line configuration
This design is perfect for you if you are working on a limited or smaller space. Restaurants that serve small and simple dishes prefer this design. An assembly line configuration would be perfect for you if you are serving dishes such as burritos, sandwiches and tacos. Its efficient design allows you to serve a large number of people instantly.
Design # 2: Island configuration
An island configuration has a central workstation. The central workstation or island has built-in ovens and ranges; it is where all the cooking takes place. Food preparation is done on the surrounding counters. This configuration is versatile and can easily grow with your business. It can also be easily adjusted to the future needs of your kitchen.
Design # 3: Ergonomic configuration
This type of layout gives priority to the comfort and ease of people. An ergonomic commercial kitchen will have every piece of equipment accessible and close to each other. The goal is to do as much as possible with as little movement. Everything should be in the distance. Although convenient, this configuration can have energy efficiency issues. If you want an ergonomic commercial kitchen without energy efficiency issues, you should consider working with it 360 Shopfitters (if, of course, your business is located in Melbourne, Australia).
Design # 4: Open configuration
This configuration is unique as it exposes your entire Back of House to your clients or guests. Pizzerias commonly prefer this type of set-up. This commercial kitchen configuration will be perfect for you if you are after promoting transparency and integrity in food preparation. This design can also easily serve as an added entertainment option for guests. You know however that you will be under extreme scrutiny all the time. You need to keep a strictly tidy and organized kitchen. If you are not ready to spend extra on additional workers for maintenance, it is better to consider other layout options.
Design # 5: Configuration of zones
This layout is strictly dedicated to zones. The design will focus heavily on different commercial kitchen stations. Preparation, cooking, serving and dishwashing each have separate spaces. This layout is sufficient enough since all the necessary equipment will always be placed in one dedicated space. There will be no need to go from station to station to look for tools. With a zoning configuration, all blenders and knives will be placed in the prep area while all sinks and cleaning supplies are in the dishwashing area.
When looking for the best layout for your commercial kitchen, you should also consider the following factors:
1. Intelligent use of space – know your exact kitchen needs for space optimization. Only have items that you will use all the time. Due to the pandemic, it is best if your commercial kitchen allows a space where your staff can easily be socially distanced.
2. Flow – it should be easy to work in your space. Your staff should be able to do their tasks comfortably as quickly as possible. A smooth flow from delivery to cleaning should be observed.
3. Simplicity – you should not complicate the design. The simpler the solution and the smoother the flow, the better.
4. Flexibility – it should be easy for your design to change over time. You should consider future needs for added menus. Come up with a design that you can easily improve and modify. To do this, you may want to invest in preparation tables, racks and shelving units with wheels.
5. Sanitation – sanity is everything. You should come up with smart designs to make it easy for everyone to strictly follow the sanitation protocols. Your commercial kitchen should also have proper ventilation. Good air flow should be prioritized at all times.
6. Energy efficiency – place cold equipment away from your hot equipment. Less energy is required when such equipment with opposite temperature requirements are separated from each other. An ergonomic design where cold and hot equipment are side by side is not energy efficient because more energy will be required for cooling and heating. Carefully arrange your commercial kitchen with this concept in mind.
7. Supervision – this factor will be important depending on the size of your staff. A large staff needs to be supervised for optimum efficiency. If you have a large staff, it is better to consider design options that make it easy for your executive chef to supervise all the work. To make supervision easy, you can use fewer walls and partitions.