A good kitchen design means quicker service, better preparations, and ease of operation for chefs and kitchen workers. It is a prerequisite that you invest sufficient resources and time in designing your restaurant kitchen; make it so thoughtfully that it inspires your chefs to cook great food every time they go in!
Hiring a good architect and shop fitter for building or re-designing your commercial kitchen is crucial; for, even the fanciest equipment cannot make up for design flaws in case there are any. We give you a checklist of some essential design elements that may serve you well.
1) Keep Your Kitchen Sufficiently Spacious
Every seat your restaurant serves ideally demands five square feet of space in the kitchen. This fulfills the requirement for swift service even on days with the highest amount of traffic in the eatery. So if you restaurant serves 40 people at once, you will need to leave aside about 200 square feet of kitchen space.
2) Strictly Follow The Guidelines Laid by the Health Departments for Commercial Kitchens
The Australian health department lays down some guidelines for commercial kitchens. They are meant to ensure food hygiene standards for commercial places. We strongly recommend that you go through all of these before you begin designing your kitchen. For instance, if you were going to place an ice machine in your premises, health departments would demand that you mandatorily build a floor drain within a radius of 6 feet from it.
3) Incorporate Ergonomics in Design
An ergonomically designed workplace is one where workers can accomplish their daily chores with minimal wastage of energy in moving around. The same rule applies for restaurant kitchens: it is one where your chefs and kitchen workers can do their work with as little walking, turning or bending as possible.
Incorporating ergonomics will therefore ensure that your employees can put in more of their energy into constructive work, instead of fatiguing themselves with unnecessary moving around, and this will subsequently lead to a more efficient service for your guests. This is particularly useful for takeaway joints where bulk of the same kind of food is made and almost instantly moved out to the customers. Being careful about assembly line design will multiply the speed of food moving from pans to the customer waiting outside.
4) Follow a Design that Helps Maintain Hygiene
When you are responsible for feeding numerous people each day, you cannot afford to ignore a single vulnerable point of food contamination. Besides hygiene enhancing practices such as sterilization, using gloves and head masks, kitchen design also plays a role in protecting your food preparations from contamination. For example, you can significantly avoid cross-contamination if you keep the preparation area separate from the other parts of the kitchen.
5) Try to Make Your Kitchen as Energy Efficient as Possible
A small investment in minimizing energy use will pay off well by saving significant amounts of money on your utility bills in future. And if you succeed in making an eco-friendly kitchen, you also get new lines to advertise your business on!
A couple of examples of energy efficient design are: keeping distance between cooling equipment like refrigerators and the cooking areas including stoves, ovens and microwaves will optimize the efficiency of both; and arranging cooking equipment so as to increase the efficiency of the exhausts will again reduce energy consumption.
6) Use the Power of Aesthetics to Improve Guests’ Dining Experience
An open air barbecue kitchen, or even an indoors exhibition kitchen that allows guests to see how your chefs prepare their favorite cuisines is an appetizing site! If it synchronizes with the theme of your eating joint, do consider building a visually appealing kitchen that your guests can see.
7) Keep the Design Flexible to Allow Alterations Whenever Required
Your restaurant, café, patisserie, diner or takeaway joint may not always serve the same cuisines or the same number of customers as it does in the present. And to accommodate changing trends of footfall, variety and cabinet making, you may need to make suitable alterations in the kitchen arrangements. Therefore, allow for future renovations and re-design flexibility in your restaurant kitchen the first time you design it.
While ambience and service are valuable add-ons to your business as a restaurateur, it is delectable food that possesses real power to make you a favorite among diners and takeaway-ers, and building a great kitchen is a prelude to serving well-prepared food. So take your time to design a kitchen that inspires mouth-watering recipes!