You are opening a restaurant and need to design a restaurant kitchen or want to renovate an existing one?
In this article, you will find all the important information that you need to consider when designing a restaurant kitchen as well as practical tips and ideas for maximum utilization of the kitchen space and its functionality.
Mistakes that has been made in the design of restaurant dining room can be repaired or redesign more or less easy. But when we talk about the restaurant’s kitchen where the change of design requiring to make changes in the kitchen installations, such as those for water supply and drainage, electrical wiring, gas supply and other installations then you have a big problem and more expensive task.
However, mistakes often happen, and to avoid those mistakes by yourself read this guide before designing a restaurant kitchen.
Who Should Be in Your Team For Kitchen Design?
You work in a restaurant business for a long time and you think there is no need that anyone advise you how should supposed to look your kitchen? You are making a big mistake. Sometimes the best advises and suggestions come from people that you least expected, like your spouse :).
A plumber knows better then you where it would be convenient to install a dishwasher? Are you sure? Not really.
Of course, in your team for kitchen design you will include plumbers, electricians, and builders but after you made consultation with your chef and experienced designer. Nothing is as useful as tips resulting from the working experience acquired in the kitchen as well as designing.
What you need to know before you go into a planning of commercial restaurant kitchen is what your restaurant offers on its menu. Accordingly, your chef will know everything about the process of preparation and what kind of restaurant equipment is necessary. He or she will also best to know where and how to deploy people from his/her team for maximum efficiency, and the designer will take advantage to design the kitchen to be the most functional.
Only after their suggestions involve people in charge for building and installation. It happens very often that your electricians, plumbers, and builders can’t see your vision with your eyes and deny the possibility of implementing the ideas into action. Do not give up! Seek for the second opinion from another company or craftsman, and a third one if necessary or offer more money to make the work done properly as you planned. In the long term that will certainly pay off!
Characteristics of Good Restaurant Kitchen Design
Your restaurant kitchen is well designed if it has following characteristics:
Ergonomics kitchen design. The ergonomic design minimized movement of kitchen staff while they working in the kitchen. This is one of the most important factors that influence in the time savings for cooking the meals and reduces the risks associated with accidents in the kitchen. Also, unwanted food spilling is minimized.
Energy efficiency. Kitchen design directly affects the energy consumption. This is one of the most important factors that you need to consider when planning commercial restaurant kitchen. For example, placing the cookers in one location reduces energy costs for range hoods.
The appropriate size of the commercial kitchen. The size of restaurant kitchen should be proportional to the size of the restaurant or better say the number of seats in the restaurant. Of course, different types of restaurants have different needs, but there is a ratio of the size and capacity of the restaurant kitchen. The general rule is that for every seat in the restaurant is necessary to provide at least 5 square feet of kitchen space. This means that in a restaurant with 60 seats restaurant kitchen should take an area of 300 square feet. (source)
Equipment for the commercial kitchen that meets all the standards of health and safety. I might note that some chefs seek to have different gadgets, but every good chef will handle with tools that are available. But if you fill out their desires they will be more satisfied. Give them a chance, let them explain the benefits of the use of certain kitchens tools and then decide about their necessity.
Good ventilation. Working in the kitchen is not possible without a very good ventilation. The presence of steam and smoke in the restaurant kitchen is unacceptable, if not dangerous and unhealthy for your employees. Also, you do not want that your guests “smells” like food after they leave your restaurant. This is one of the main reason why I use food delivery service of some restaurants.
Easy to maintain. How easy is to maintain the entire kitchen depends on the material that kitchen is made, the arrangement of elements and the way how cookware in the kitchen has been stored. For example, the shelves are a very good choice because of the availability of dishes during food preparation and serving but a cabinet with doors is much easier for maintaining.
Restaurant Kitchen Equipment
Each restaurant and each restaurant kitchen is an individual and will need equipment that meets some specific requirements. Always choose the equipment that is made for the professional kitchen. Whether it is a used or new equipment, generally restaurant kitchen equipment can be grouped into:
- Tables for food preparation
- Electrical equipment for cooking, baking, frying
- Refrigerators, freezers, ice machines
- Equipment for dish washing
- Cabinets, drawers and shelves to store dishes
Different Configurations of Restaurant Kitchen Design
Working tables in the commercial restaurant kitchens should have stainless steel surface and equipped with cabinets for cooking tools storage – drawers or cabinets. By placing working tables in a different layout you are changing the entire configuration of restaurant kitchen.
There are four basic types of restaurant kitchen configuration.
Assembly line configuration – ideal for restaurants that do not have a large number of dishes in the menu and preparing of meals has been flowing in line. This is especially good choice for fast-food restaurants, sandwich restaurants or pizzerias.
Ergonomic kitchen configuration has been customized to actions that take place in the restaurant for the fastest cooking. In this kitchen, for example, regardless of the poor energy efficiency the refrigerator standing next to the fryer for the fastest possible preparation of French fries.
Zone style configuration. Work tables are located in zones with respect to the operations performed in the kitchen (cleaning, cutting, mixing, etc..) Tables in these zones are equipped with appliances and equipment that is necessary for the most effective performance of operations (garbage bins, mixers, knives, etc.. )
Island style configuration. In this kitchen tables are arranged similarly to the zone style configuration with the difference that in the middle of the kitchen is one main block. The central section is usually used for cooking while the cleaning and cutting the food is done on tables along the walls of the kitchen. The reverse arrangement is also possible.
Few Useful Tips For Restaurant Kitchen Design
- Arrange an appointment with your local or state inspectors to review your preliminary plans for kitchen design. Terms of safety and health must be met. In this way, you will get timely information about the potential demands for changes in the kitchen design so that all requirements could be satisfied.
- Design flexible kitchen. Trends in cooking are changing and the need for menu changes in the future is something that can be realistically expected. But the inclusion of cooked dishes like soups and stews will require different equipment. Therefore, ensure that your kitchen is flexible and can respond to market demands in future.
- Create working zones. Define the actions that will take place in the kitchen and create working zones: zone for food cleaning, cutting, baking, frying, cooking and others. Each employee working in his zone. In this way, unnecessary collision, tension, and chaos in the kitchen has been avoided.
- Store kitchen tools and appliances with similar functions together. Dishes and other equipment must have a defined homes. They need to always return to the same predefined place.
- Keep away tables with the cooling system for the preparation of meat and other foods that require low temperatures during the preparation from electric cookers and ovens. Also, all refrigerators and ice makers should be as far as possible from equipment for cooking and baking. This provides minimal energy consumption and safety for processed foods.
- When choosing electrical appliances pay special attention to energy consumption for each of them. The high cost of electric appliances with low energy consumption are cost effective in the long term.
- You should never buy equipment that does not have specialized service for the repair or replacement of parts in the vicinity of your restaurant.
Cooking at home for yourself, your family and friends without the time frame is something that you may really enjoy. Cooking in a restaurant is something different and it is often a very stressful job.But it does not have to be like that.
If you consider mentioned advises when designing a restaurant kitchen there are big chances that your staff will enjoy in their work. That will be certainly reflected on the food and service quality in your restaurant.