Those who own a commercial kitchen know that there is a lot more that goes into its upkeep than your average home kitchen. Not only is a commercial kitchen larger than a residential kitchen, it’s also set up and operated differently. If you plan on setting up your own commercial kitchen or need to optimize your current space,here are a few tips to make sure you’re using the space effectively
Make Sure You Have The Proper Equipment
Much the same as a home kitchen, there are some absolute necessities including:
It’s essential that every piece of equipment you choose is specifically for use in a commercial kitchen rather than a residential kitchen. You don’t want to cut corners now and experience problems later because your fridge can’t handle the load and burns out on you in the middle of service.
Storage, Storage, Storage
The amount of storage space you need will depend on the size of your establishment, the amount of food you expect to serve your guests, the number of shelves you can fit into your dry goods and cold storage. You need to have a solid idea of your restaurant’s style before you finalize any new additions and add-ons – especially when it comes to the more expensive storage options. Your refrigeration options for cold storage are varied and can include:
Wall mounted fridge/freezer
As for dry storage, you’ll want to keep this area as well organized as possible to make it easy to find what you need when you need it. You should also keep safety in mind as you’re arranging items in dry storage. It’s a good idea to keep heavier items on the bottom shelf, so make sure they have enough room. This will prevent any heavy boxes from toppling over and potentially harming you or your employees.
Preparation is Key
Take a look at your space and decide how you want everything to flow. Where do you see the service, production and food receiving stations? Now where does the prep station fit into this flow? To help you decide, think about where you want the station to be in relation to your ranges, ovens and fryers. Stationary prep tables are a good option for keeping food processors, mixers and other small wares underneath. Don’t forget that we can help you with this as we design kitchens all day long in every shape or size you could come up with.
Depending on your concept, there’s a chance you’ll need specific appliances that enable you to do your job. Be sure that you shop smart when looking for the right commercial-grade appliance.
For example, if you plan on serving toast, buns, bagels, English muffins or the like, you’ll need a quality commercial toaster. You’ll be able to choose between a conveyor toaster and a pop-up toaster. Conveyor toasters can churn out as many as 300 slices of toast in a single hour and can be adjusted according to temperature and chamber height. Pop-up toasters have been known to pop out as many as 120 slices of toast an hour, which is a good number if you run a smaller kitchen and need something that can toast up to four or six slices of bread at a time.
There are many other types of appliances that can fit in your kitchen, so it is crucial you pick the ones that you will need the most and try to arrange them in the most space saving way possible. Think about utilising the space under counters.
When you’re thinking about where food and ingredients will go before you start preparing and serving meals, be sure you also think about where you’ll take care of dishes and the rubbish. If you decide not to use a dishwasher, you’ll need a compartmentalized sink for spaces for washing, rinsing and sanitizing. If you don’t have very much space, look into getting an undercounter dishwasher. Alternatively, conveyor and door-type dishwashers are a great choice for larger volumes of dishware.
Your dishwashing area is also where you’ll want to have your sanitizer buckets and supplies as well as your dishwashing racks. You’ll find it convenient to also have your cleaning supply closet close to your dishwashing area. With the rubbish, think about whether you’ll recycle, how many bins you’ll likely need and which of your local waste management companies you desire to take care of your needs.
Ultimately, you need to make sure your space is designed as efficiently as possible - both to make use of every inch and to ensure the kitchen flows correctly. At DCE, our staff are experts in commercial kitchen design and can work with you to ensure your project both matches your dreams and solves your challenges.
Then, once you have the design is finalized and your equipment is purchased, our team will oversee and action the entire shop fitting process. We don’t settle for ‘good enough’, and will make certain that every item in the kitchen is properly installed and optimized for long-term performance.
If you’re thinking about a new venture, or want to optimise the space available in your commercial kitchen, why not come and talk to us? You can find us at our showrooms in Sunshine North and Dandenong or you can call us on 1300 000 DCE.