The Regulations For Kitchen Layouts In The UK

kitchen layout regulations

The Importance of Complying with Commercial Kitchen Regulations

There are more regulations for commercial kitchen layouts than we can count. These rules ensure your kitchen is safe, sanitary and efficient when it comes to cooking and serving food. Complying with these regulations should be your top priority, else you may be fined by the authorities. Meeting these tight regulations may seem like a daunting task, however we have broken up the major ones in this guide to guarantee that your commercial kitchen will run as safely and smoothly as possible. Below are the major rules and regulations that you need to keep in mind for your UK commercial kitchen:

  • Flooring regulations
  • Waste disposal
  • Gas safety regulations
  • Electricity
  • Fire safety regulations
  • Ventilation
  • Accessibility
  • Equipment maintenance


Codes & Regulations For Commercial Kitchens

Designing a restaurant floor plan involves many factors, and it’s important that you keep kitchen layout regulations in mind. The floor plan of a restaurant kitchen must accommodate staff workflow, the type of cuisine being cooked as well as lots of safety regulations. Here are the major ones that you must keep in mind when designing your commercial kitchen:


Commercial Kitchen Flooring Regulations

In bars, restaurants and commercial kitchens, health and safety needs to be a top priority. Injuries from slipping and tripping must be kept to a minimum, as such it’s important that potential hazards are prevented and cleaned up. Food spillages, obstacles and hot pans must be cleaned up as soon as possible to decrease the risk of causing an injury. 

The likelihood of injuries occurring can be prevented in other ways. If your kitchen is fitted with non-slip flooring, stainless steel walls, and extra-grip mats, you’ll find that hygiene is improved, and the risk of slipping is decreased. Floor signs should also be readily available to use when liquid is spilled for staff to actively avoid those areas until dry.


Waste Disposal

The importance of waste disposal cannot be understated. Properly disposing of waste is a huge responsibility and should be properly incorporated into your commercial kitchen layout. Food waste disposal areas should be near preparation and cleaning sections to avoid needing to travel across cooking spaces with food waste, which could lead to cross-contamination.

When it comes to maintaining your food waste area, food bins need to be kept closed and emptied as soon as it is full. This prevents the buildup of bacteria and ensures your kitchen is a safe place to produce food.

To avoid any health and safety issues in your commercial kitchen, follow these simple rules:

  • Remove food waste and rubbish from preparation areas as soon as possible.
  • Store food waste in closed containers.
  • Keep waste separate to food.
  • Clean waste containers regularly.
  • Keep kitchen waste areas pest-free.
  • Dispose of waste in a hygienic and environmentally friendly way.
  • Do not contaminate food preparation areas with food.
  • Dispose of fats, oils and grease correctly

As long as your commercial kitchen layout allows these rules to be followed, your kitchen will remain a safe area for cooking and food preparation.


Gas Safety

In commercial kitchens, especially where lots of burners, ovens and other appliances are being used, you need to have a gas safety system in place. All gas appliances need to be CE marked to prove that they are safe for use. A Natural Gas & Interlock System that abides by British Standards will provide a failsafe that helps maintain kitchen safety and reduces the risk of accidents such as explosions and carbon monoxide leaks. Annual gas safety checks must also be carried out regularly to minimise risk.

If you are currently designing your commercial kitchen, ensure that you incorporate one of these as a matter of importance. Never take the risk, especially with gas.



Your commercial kitchen needs to be able to supply a diverse range of power. You need to be able to run more than just small kitchen appliances; larger appliances, tools and equipment are all commonplace in commercial kitchens, all of which require different amounts of electric power.

Three phase electricity does the work of supplying the right amount of power to anything linked to the system. In commercial kitchens, it means that your hand whisk gets a relatively low amount of power, while your industrial fridge gets a much higher portion.

If your commercial kitchen comes with supplier fridges, freezers, etc, then it is likely to be fitted with three phase commando plugs, which are industrial grade sockets and plugs ‘designed to safely transfer large amounts of power’. To ensure your kitchen operates efficiently, you will need to ensure that it is fitted with plugs and sockets that are designed to transfer large amounts of power, so that you can run a large fridge and freezer with no safety issues.


Fire Safety

When cooking appliances are involved, it’s important to consider fire safety regulations when building your commercial kitchen layout. Equipment and infrastructure is important in case of accidents in your commercial kitchen.

Proper fire safety should include:

  • Clear and accessible fire exits
  • Fire extinguishers 
  • Fire suppression systems in your kitchen ventilation
  • Fire alarms
  • Sprinklers

Things to keep in mind when enforcing your commercial kitchen safety regulations are:

  • Ventilation systems should be professionally cleaned once per year
  • Fire exits are kept clear at all times
  • Safety points should be established and made clear from day 1


Kitchen Extraction & Ventilation

In order to comply with commercial kitchen regulations, your kitchen needs to have proper ventilation and extraction systems in place. Cooking surfaces produce large amounts of steam, fumes and smoke which need to be efficiently removed from your kitchen. This is both to protect your staff and help stop accidents that could damage your kitchen.

When using our commercial kitchen design software, you will be able to easily incorporate a ventilator which will disperse and remove heat from your kitchen, and replace it with clean air. In addition, hooded fans and vents need to be placed above all cooking units to keep your kitchen clean and safe.


Accessibility Requirements In Restaurant Kitchens

When designing your kitchen layout, it’s important that you have a clear plan in mind and ensure that everything is logically placed and easily accessible. Building codes and regulations are important for any restaurant, as they ensure the safety of both customers and employees. Commercial kitchen design software plays a vital role in the efficiency of your space. It makes the planning process significantly easier, meaning that you can concentrate on making your kitchen safe, efficient and compliant to UK commercial kitchen regulations.


Equipment Maintenance and Safety Guidelines

When it comes to UK kitchen regulations, you need to ensure that your kitchen functions at peak performance. This can be achieved by scheduling regular equipment maintenance, which will ensure that your cooking equipment is working effectively and that it is clean. Consider checking all of your equipment every few months to ensure that everything is working as it should.

When checking your equipment, if you notice fraying wires or damaged parts you need to stop using it immediately and either replace or schedule a repair from a qualified service engineer. You don’t need any technical or mechanical knowledge to regularly check your equipment, and you will be able to spot major defects from a mile away.


Designing A Commercial Kitchen Tips

When it comes to the layout and blueprint of your restaurant, it is important to take into account the flow of traffic and how your staff will move throughout the space. You also want to make sure that there is enough room for all of your desired features and amenities. Here are a few tips to help you design a restaurant kitchen floor plan that is both functional and efficient:

  • Decide on the type of restaurant you want to open. This will help you determine the size and layout of the space you will need in your kitchen.
  • Sketch out a rough floor plan. This will help you visualise the flow of traffic and how staff will move throughout the space.
  • Choose your desired features, equipment and tools. Make sure you have enough space for everything you want to include.
  • Use our Specifi Design software to create a detailed floor plan. This will ensure that your restaurant kitchen is both functional and efficient.