Space matters in most things - including commercial kitchens. You want to have ample space for your staff to move around as they go about the many aspects of food preparation. But you don’t want to take away space that could be utilised for the front of the house. How do you strike a balance?
Let’s start by debunking a myth: bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to back of house design. Commercial kitchens are built for efficiency, first and foremost. But this does not necessarily mean that you should sacrifice floor space all in the name of efficient kitchen workflow. It all boils down to how you and your food service designer can maximise whatever space you can set aside for your kitchen.
Often, food businesses design the kitchen with the equipment in mind. While equipment is an important part of the design, a smart commercial kitchen layout should also be focused on efficiency and safety. Bigger kitchen space does not necessarily translate to an efficient layout. Consider this: as soon as food gets onto a plate, the clock starts ticking in relation to its quality. You get to serve better quality food if it doesn’t have to traverse through various workstations before getting to the customer. In this case, a bigger or poorly thought-out commercial kitchen space can pose a disadvantage in terms of food safety and quality.
Most food businesses have to contend with limited leased space. Every centimetre of floor space counts. Wanting to allocate the bare minimum to the back of the house is not uncommon. This is fine, so long as the limited commercial kitchen space is maximised with smart design.
Just because you have a small kitchen space does not mean you can scrimp on the quality of your service or ignore food safety. Planning the layout with your food service designer is key to making the most out of your limited floor space. Designers can provide valuable advice on procuring the right equipment that will fit your kitchen, keep food safe, and help you produce quality food for your customers at the same time.
The equipment, of course, will depend on your menu. Ideally, your choice of commercial kitchen equipment should be able to deliver your entire menu while taking up as little space as possible in your food prep area. For example, cafes serving smaller crowds of say, 20 plates at a time, will benefit from modular equipment because it is more compact.
Functionality should be top of mind when designing small commercial kitchens. You need to plan for the foot traffic to and through the kitchen, particularly during busy periods, as well as the volume of food you will be serving. Staff should be able to move freely from one area to the next as they prepare and serve food.
Our food service designers understand how valuable kitchen space is. Monetise every centimetre of space in your restaurant, cafe or production kitchen through smart design and the experience of dedicated foodservice consultants.
Contact us to have a chat with one of our consultants on how to make the most out of your kitchen space.
Ready to start planning your restaurant? Make sure to have these 5 things with you at your first food service design meeting.