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Star Manufacturing has been designing and building commercial kitchens for over 15 years. We have compiled this article from our experience, to help you plan the most efficient commercial kitchen for your specific needs. We have included important information to help you optimise your kitchen design and maximise the space and functionality of your commercial kitchen.
Mistakes in commercial kitchen design can be very expensive to amend, particularly if they involve plumbing, electrical work, gas supply or ventilation. This article is designed to help you avoid the more common pitfalls and guide you to the best design for your needs.
Built to Purpose
It is important to be very clear about the purpose of your commercial kitchen. What kinds of food will be prepared? What will the preparation process entail? How many meals will be produced at a time? How many people will be working in the kitchen at any one time? How much food will you be storing? What kind of equipment will you need? Talk to all the stakeholders – chefs, plumbers, electricians, suppliers. Tease out all the possibilities, including future growth. Get a clear vision of your needs so you can communicate them to your kitchen designers. A good design team will help you in this process by asking you the right questions.
It is important to design your commercial kitchen to facilitate minimum movement of staff working in the kitchen. Placement of benches, refrigeration, cooking appliances and servery areas needs to be carefully considered. Good design will minimise staff movement saving time (money), reduce risk of accidents and spillages, and increase efficiency. It can help to actually ‘act out’ the food preparation process from delivery of ingredients to the kitchen through to food service.
The Flow Pattern
The flow pattern of a commercial kitchen is really no different to an industrial manufacturing process. Raw materials, ingredients, enter the production line and a finished product, meals, exits it. And just like any assembly line, the flow should minimise working effort and avoid bottlenecks.
Things you should consider:The size of your space
Entranceway for deliveries
Location of any existing utilities – electricity, plumbing, gas outlets
Number of kitchen staff and wait staff
Number of patrons
Position of dining area
The flow pattern includes:
Food storage – refrigeration, freezers, shelving
Food preparation areas
Be Energy Efficient
The layout of your commercial kitchen will have a direct impact on energy efficiency. For example, placing cookers together will reduce energy consumption for exhaust canopies. Siting refrigeration compressors remotely will take heat out of the kitchen, allowing fridges and freezers to work more efficiently and more economically. A professional commercial kitchen designer can help you incorporate design features that use less energy as well as recommending kitchen equipment that is energy efficient.
It is a good idea to seek professional advice when deciding on commercial kitchen equipment. Kitchen equipment is a big investment and it is prudent to choose wisely at the outset. Think backwards – what are you trying to achieve, what’s the desired outcome? Then choose equipment that can deliver. The size and efficiency of equipment will have a huge impact on running costs, efficiency and the capabilities of your commercial kitchen.
When choosing equipment think about:
Good ventilation is imperative to a well running commercial kitchen. Steam, smoke and excess heat need to be adequately removed from the kitchen for the wellbeing and comfort of staff and patrons.
Commercial kitchens require commercially constructed canopies over all cooking equipment. Your local council will have specific requirements you will need to meet in this regard. A professional kitchen designer/manufacturer should be conversant with these regulations.
Star Manufacturing design, fabricate and install stainless steel refrigeration, custom stainless steel benches and exhaust canopies to clubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, butcher shops, bakeries, delicatessens and mining camps. If you need any assistance or advice in the planning or construction of your commercial kitchen, please contact us.