Whether you’re creating a restaurant kitchen to serve 50 or a catering kitchen that will allow you to plate weddings for 250, there are certain elements any professional kitchen will need to have to maximize productivity and profits. Every kitchen needs the basics like refrigerators, freezers, sinks, shelving, no-slip flooring, ventilation and counter space, but the cuisine you decide to serve and the cooking techniques you use will dictate whether you’ll be buying a rotisserie oven or a deep fryer; and what types of pots, pans and utensils you’ll use. Quick, fresh Thai cuisine (think rice steamers and wok stations) will have a very different set up from casual Italian (think a meat slicer for salami, a traditional range and maybe a gelato machine). The placement of all those elements is important, too. Good kitchen design and the proper equipment can improve workflow, boost employee morale, and, if you’re running a restaurant, it can reduce the amount of time it takes for diners to get their food, which increases productivity and profits. If you’re thinking about outfitting a professional kitchen, take these steps:
- Figure out what kind of kitchen you’ll be running.
- Tailor your design and equipment for safety and efficiency.
- Find the right suppliers.
Start with the MenuDo you want to serve fancy French or cater a range of cuisines? The menu you create, your cooking techniques and the number of people you want to be able to serve will determine the type of space, equipment and refrigeration facilities you’ll need.
Plan AheadWork flow patterns are important to consider when creating your commercial kitchen. You’ll need to think about the number of people in the kitchen, the amount of space available, and where preparation, storage, cleaning and cooking stations are set up to make sure the food production process is smooth and safe.
Hire a designerCreating a kitchen for your business can be overwhelming. Hiring an expert to help you figure out what you need, purchase equipment, and install your kitchen may save you money in the long run.
Get EquippedOnce you’ve figured out what type of equipment you’ll need and how much, it’s time to get quotes from equipment suppliers.
- You’ll need to find out about the local health, building and fire codes, as well as licensing regulations before building or revamping your food service kitchen.
- If buying new equipment is too expensive, look into leasing big ticket items or buying them used.
- Think about using energy-saving appliances
- Make sure circulation patterns are efficient and logical
- Know the standards for ceilings, floors, ventilation, sanitation and waste disposal.
- Find suppliers with experience in your area of food service