Almost everyone has some home-design experience, be it something simple like deciding on a color scheme for your new home’s master bath or doing a complete DIY job on an outdated kitchen. Those types of residential re-do jobs tend to emphasize décor above all else, but designing a commercial kitchen is a different beast altogether. From the many considerations of your construction budget to ongoing operational concerns such as flow, there are a number of factors you need to consider when crafting the perfect commercial kitchen design layout. Here’s a look at the most important:
A great commercial kitchen requires a ton of moving parts, and those parts all cost money. Estimating a total budget based on industry averages does your bottom line a major disservice. Instead, catalog your needs as far as permits, construction, equipment, and other small- and large-ticket items, and give yourself a realistic range in which your target financials should fall.
Health and Safety Concerns
As a restaurateur, the safety and health of your current and future employees and guests are paramount — without them, you simply can’t operate a restaurant successfully. To that end, know the relevant health codes inside and out and understand other rules and regulations such as the fire code, too. Understanding these guidelines will help you pick out the right (easy-to-sanitize, for instance) equipment and set up your kitchen properly from the outset.
The Economy of Space
Allocating space for and in a commercial kitchen can be tricky. Too big of a kitchen and you’ll lose valuable floor or retail space, or have to pay astronomical rent. Too small and your staff will trip over one another, and food output — both in quality and quantity — will suffer. You’ll also have to consider any elements particular to specialty kitchens. For instance, designing a commercial kitchen that will be used for filming television shows requires room for camera crews and equipment, while an industrial kitchen design might require more space for packaging or mass production.
Efficiency and Flow
The way traffic in a kitchen flows can affect everything from food waste to hygiene. Get it right the first time and you’ve basically handed your staff the keys to the kingdom. Get it wrong, though, and you can expect to lose both time and money — something that can sink a hospitality business with remarkable speed.
While considering the functionality of your commercial kitchen design, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the kitchen big enough for employees to cook, prep and move about without danger?
- In a restaurant setting, is there a clear path for front-of-house staff to move swiftly and safely through the kitchen? How centrally located is the kitchen? Can your service staff easily reach the kitchen, or is it an unreasonably long trek from the patio area or banquet rooms?
- How many hand-washing and sanitation stations do you need? Can everyone access them without abandoning their stations or interrupting someone else’s workflow?
- Are you properly wired for telephone and intercom service? What about first-aid stations and fire extinguishers?
- Do you have the proper ventilation for each type of equipment? Is it sized appropriately and easy to access for maintenance and repairs?
Specifi offers a whole host of intuitive software products that integrate under one umbrella to help bring your dream of a successful restaurant to life. For more information on how to design a commercial kitchen that really works, check out Specifi Design and the other pieces of the comprehensive Specifi platform.