Catering Service & Spares

Advice for Designing Commercial Kitchens

22nd Dec 2008

Designing a commercial kitchen

Whatever the style of kitchen, there are many things that have to be considered to ensure that is effective for those using it. Harmony can offer advice to aid you in the planning process. Below are some of the factors the shape the design of a kitchen.

The three main considerations that in kitchen design are:
  • What is the service requirement? Consider the service the kitchen has to provide, for example, have you thought of the numbers being served? What type of menu it? A la carte, plated service, self-service, cafeteria-style?
  • How much space is available: Is the space allocated sufficient to fit in the equipment required? And how will you get it in to begin with?
  • What is your budget: Always have an accurate idea of spend available.

Before beginning the design of the kitchen there should be a clear understanding of these points. Design should be structured around them to enable the service required.

Food hygiene must comply with statutory legislation. Risk assessments must be carried out to identify any problems. Is the food prep area separate from the rest of kitchen to avoid cross contamination?

When designing the kitchen other criteria must be considered;
Goods Delivery
  • Do the good vehicles have adequate access?
  • Is there enough storage for dry, chilled and frozen goods? Many suppliers will have a minimum delivery order.
  • Does the design of the kitchen ensure the correct flow pattern in the cooking process?
  • Are there adequate prep sinks, separate pot-wash sinks and hand-wash facilities.
  • Does the catering equipment match the menu? Can you cook what you need to?
  • Is the catering equipment placed safely? For example ensuring there's a set-down space next to deep-fat fryers.
  • Have you thought about the position of your catering equipment? Such as fryers, salamanders and griddles nearest to the point of service and bulk cooking kit such as bratt pans, convection ovens and boiling pans further away.
  • Have you considered your gas and electric? What supply is the electric?
  • Have you considered you extraction? Does it come up to standard, if your are planning changes in the future will it be possible?
Food Service Area
  • The space requirement for service is often underestimated, particularly by architects. Consider adequate space for hot and cold holding of prepared food ready for service
  • Again nearly always undersized, the dishwashing operation is key to the success of any catering establishment. If it fails through inefficient planning, the restaurant cannot function. Have you considered the number of crockery, cutlery, glasses, trays etc to be used during a service period.
  • Is there space for storage for clean items to ensure no cross contamination?
  • Is there enough ventilation?
  • Where will the bins be positioned to ensure hygiene?
  • Environmental considerations are more and more important. Saving energy reduces costs. Electric, gas or water usage are all important when researching your catering equipment.
  • Where will recycling items be placed?
Building fabric
  • Ensure floors (non-slip), walls and ceilings can be cleaned and maintained easily.

And remember, almost all designs are a compromise. A good design is one that best suits the constraint of space and budget without negative effect on service. If you would like Harmony to help you with your kitchen design or offer some no obligation advice please contact us.