Investing in a commercial kitchen is a substantial commitment, which means thoroughly planning what you need is essential.
As well as the initial financial commitment, the success of your business will depend to an extent on how efficient your kitchen is in meeting orders.
A wide menu choice, fast service and consistency rely heavily on having the correct layout and equipment in place and it is this that should inform your opinion when choosing a commercial kitchen.
Choosing a commercial kitchen: get the layout right
If you are at the point of investing in a commercial kitchen then it is to be assumed that you have a business plan in place. The demands for cafes, pub kitchens, large restaurants and takeaways are all different and will impact on what is most important to you.
The initial consideration should always be layout – having the space to work safely and without hinderance is vital as it is difficult to alter once your commercial kitchen equipment is in place.
When deciding on your ideal layout consider access to customers, delivery points and having the space to transfer goods and the stages of food preparation and cooking.
Put in place a logical progression from preparation areas to food storage onto cooking and serving the meals. This needs to operate around the order in which your kitchen will work to avoid doubling back, balancing plates and employees getting in each other’s way.
Make sure there is space to move between counters but ensure they are not so widely spaced as to add time to the cooking process.
Within the layout, accommodate the need for sinks and relevant commercial catering equipment. Do you need multiple sinks to avoid cross contamination, for example?
Choosing a commercial kitchen: Make storage a priority
Simply put, if you don’t have the ingredients you will not be able to fulfil the order. Avoid frustrating diners by taking meals off the menu by investing in adequate storage to support your menu.
Will you need more storage for dry goods, a large fridge or will a small under-counter freezer suffice, helping you to save space?
Storage within the kitchen should ideally be placed close to preparation points to save time when fulfilling orders.
If you are promoting the use of fresh and seasonal produce, make sure that you have the storage capability to support this.
Choosing a commercial kitchen: Cooking appliances
You will need to ensure that you have the commercial cooking appliances to meet your anticipated demand and offer durability.
Consider whether you want a gas or electric cooker and how that will fit in with your kitchen. Will there be additional cooking appliances and equipment that you need from the outset to serve all the dishes that you want to? This may include fryers, microwaves, steamers and grills.
When kitting out your kitchen also make sure that all your equipment meets health and safety guidelines, especially your extraction system.
If you are struggling to come up with a perfect commercial kitchen layout, or need professional support, Caterline offers a commercial kitchen design service.
Our team will help to draw up the ideal layout for your business, along with providing and installing the equipment to create the perfect commercial kitchen for you.
If you are choosing a commercial kitchen contact Caterline for an expert service.