5 Ways to Create the Perfect Commercial Kitchen
“Cookery is a wholly unselfish art: All good cooks, like all great artists, must have an audience worth cooking for.” – Andre Simon
If you are in the business of feeding people, your commercial kitchen can be likened to an artist’s den. Full of creativity, energy and the tools to inspire masterpieces. Setting up a functional, professional kitchen is not just about your equipment. It is also about design – for functionality, safety and performance.
So where does one begin such a huge project? Let’s break down the components which go to making up the perfect commercial kitchen.
Having the right equipment for the job is absolutely the premium requirement for anyone setting up a commercial kitchen. Not only is this necessary for safety, it is also attracts professional staff and in the long run, quality equipment will save you money by it’s longevity. Consider such mainstays as:
- Norris dishwasher – a heavy duty commercial washer, built to last
- Waldorf commercial ranges
- Trueheat grill
- Solid stainless steel racks, benches and shelving – regular and mobile
- Commercial refrigerators and freezers
Stainless steel benches with splashbacks need to be purchased with your kitchen design in mind (see below).
Depending on the style of food you’ll be preparing, you may also need to consider prep stations, sauté stations, barbeque grills, pizza ovens, bain maries, deep fryers and salad stations.
Commercial cooking ranges must be designed for high volume usage. Look for designs which are:
- Able to be banked together with other ranges or equipment;
- Have a gas connection on the front or side to facilitate ‘banking’
- Specially designed for heavy, high volume use; these will usually be manufactured using thicker gauges of metal and contain more welded components
- Boast a higher energy output per burner than a standard range.
Ensure you have implemented a suitable ventilation system including an industrial range hood and H-VAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) ventilation.
Benchtop equipment such as fryers, tunnel toasters and food warmers need to be suitable for industrial use, easy to be cleaned and large enough to cater to high volume turnover.
When selecting a commercial refrigerator and freezer, the design of your kitchen needs to be considered. How much space allowance do you have to accommodate them? Consider placement of doors for easy access.
Another consideration depends on whether your requirements will be larger storage of food longer term (freezer) or short term refrigeration. The impact of such considerations needs to be decided prior to any purchase of big ticket items such as your cold food storage.
The layout of your kitchen must be designed for:
- Ease of use
- Wide passage ways
- Large amounts of traffic
Design which enables smooth movement between cooking, storage (cold, dry and non-food), preparation, food service and delivery areas, is necessary.
Some basic designs are island style, zone style and assembly line layouts.
As every food service business is different, tailoring the best layout for your needs, requires consultation and planning in the form of a company with experience and expertise in commercial kitchen design.
Providing your staff with quality, fit for purpose utensils is an essential long-term investment. Cookware comes in a range of options including aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, tri-ply or clad bottom materials.
Avoid non-stick surfaces, as they won’t last long in the heavy-duty, high use environment of a restaurant.
Setting up a commercial kitchen means making a huge financial commitment.
Investing in the most suitable design, tools and equipment for your business is imperative. Consulting with an expert in the field of commercial kitchen design and layout should be your first port of call. Get the basics right from the beginning and you will be well on your way to a lucrative and successful food service business.