A commercial kitchen can be used in a restaurant, church or event facility. Commercial kitchens are held to higher standards than your average home kitchen with regard to safety and food regulations. A kitchen must comply with state and local food and building regulations before it can be opened for business. When designing a commercial kitchen it is important to be aware of these regulations for your state and local inspection agencies, but also to design for functionality.
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Space and Configuration
Space should be the biggest concern when it comes to designing a commercial kitchen. After all, you can only fit so much into a certain amount of space. Tight spaces will limit a kitchen's efficiency as well as the amount of equipment you can fit into it for food preparation. The configuration you select should depend on what type of kitchen you are designing for. A restaurant kitchen would benefit from an assembly-line production where food is prepared and cooked down the line from start to finish. An ergonomic or comfortable design should be used for private kitchens where the chef dictates how work will be completed. A zone-style configuration should be used when different sections are needed for the kitchen such as meat preparation, sanitising and pastry.
Safety and Regulations
Aside from general food and building codes, a particular level of safety has to be considered when creating the kitchen. Standards listed by OSHA regarding a commercial kitchen should be the first items addressed in the overall design. These items can include nonskid flooring, high-capacity grease traps, accessible fire extinguishers and ample hood ventilation. A commercial kitchen should also have a fire sprinkler system installed over the hot cooking line in case of fire. Prep stations should be well spaced so that kitchen workers do not bump into each other. Kitchens should also have enough space for proper ventilation and cleaning in between appliances and fixtures.
Essential and Nonessential Equipment
The amount of equipment should be factored in when determining how much space a kitchen will require. Consider the essential equipment first. Essential equipment should be classified as items the kitchen absolutely must have in order to run. These can include ovens, hob ranges, refrigerators and one or more multiple-compartment sinks. Consider placement for nonessential equipment last. Nonessential equipment can include storage racks, knife blocks and spice racks.
Kitchen equipment should be separated not only for convenience, but also for energy efficiency. For example, refrigeration units and cold prep areas should be kept away from hobs, ovens and heated warmers so that each item uses less energy to function.
Storage and Organization
A kitchen needs to be properly organised in order for it to function at its best. A kitchen cannot function efficiently if workers have to seek and find pans, spices or other equipment. Ensure that items are organised by the station they will be used in and also in compliance with food regulations. Cold foods, for example, need to be kept in refrigerators and freezers in one location.
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