Restaurant owners, managers and chefs alike will appreciate a conveniently designed commercial kitchen. A well-designed commercial kitchen will be energy-efficient and will increase restaurant profits because of the decreased need for labourers. Before designing your commercial kitchen, you will need to develop a menu. Developing a menu will help you determine what equipment will be necessary in your kitchen space. Keep in mind that when you put your design ideas into action, the creation of your kitchen will have to comply with both building and food codes in your area. With careful planning, you can design a commercial kitchen free of charge.
Decide where your priorities lie. Consider aspects like limited space, energy efficiency, ergonomics and safety. Limited space in a kitchen will more than likely be an issue if you are not building the kitchen from scratch. Alternative space planning will need to be addressed. Include energy-efficient ideas like placing your heating and cooling appliances (i.e. the refrigerator and the oven) as far apart from each other as possible. Purchase equipment with Energy Star ratings for maximum efficiency. Ergonomics refers to the way your kitchen will flow. Design your kitchen in a way that reduces the steps necessary for employees to get from one place to another. Ergonomic design ideas will sometimes conflict with energy efficiency and should be taken into consideration depending on what kitchen staff and the chef prefer.
Think about how you want to arrange your kitchen. Consider a block design, better know as zone configuration, in which the kitchen is divided into different spaces. Design one area for food preparation, another for refrigeration and storage, one for cooking, a fourth area for serving your guests and a final area for dish washing. Consider also an assembly line set-up. This is most common in restaurants that serve pizza as their main dish. Place appliances and work stations in a straight line in accordance with how the food is prepared.
Think about how you will group your appliances. Place refrigerators in the preparation area of your work station. Place ice machines near the kitchen entrance so servers can access them quickly. Consider a walk-in freezer for extra storage. Place appliances like mixers, grinders and food processors on the preparation table. Make sure cooking appliances like ranges, griddles and grills are placed underneath a vent hood.
Design a space for ware washing equipment and at least three sinks. Most codes require three sinks in a commercial kitchen, and a good deal of space will be necessary for ware washing. Place one of the sinks in the food-preparation area and the other two in the dish-washing zone. Think about placing a glass washer nearby if you have a bar in your restaurant.
Sketch out a floor plan design for your commercial kitchen. Include square footage, appliance placement and work zones. If you are not comfortable with your ability to sketch your own floor plan design, consider downloading free floor plan design software online from a site like floorplanner.com. There is a basic version of the software available for free on the site.