Commercial kitchens are complex and unique spaces that must be planned correctly to ensure your restaurant’s efficient operation. Picking the proper layout is essential, but can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect layout for your establishment.
The 6 Most Important Aspects of a Commercial Kitchen Floor Plan
Designing a functional and practical commercial kitchen space begins with understanding what your kitchen needs to achieve. You need to consider the equipment required for those functions to design your layout more effectively from the start.
To start, you’ll first want to answer some crucial questions about what kinds of kitchen components you need and how many.
- How much storage space do I have?
- What is the style of service that I provide?
- What sort of meals will you be creating?
- In what ways will the dishes be prepared?
- What method will dishes be cooked?
- Do I have any more storerooms?
- Do you have to place everything in the kitchen?
- Do I want more fresh produce or dried/tinned goods?
After you’ve addressed these issues, you’ll have a fair idea of what components you’ll need to run your kitchen. We’ve made a list of the most frequent commercial kitchen elements, regardless of how unique your kitchen is.
- Delivery: The delivery area is where food and supplies come into the kitchen. It should be located near the back door to minimise traffic through the working areas of the kitchen.
- Storage: Storage is one of the most important aspects of a commercial kitchen layout. All dry goods should be stored in sealed containers to prevent pests and contamination. All canned goods should be stored at least six inches off the floor on shelving that is easy to reach
- Washing Station: The washing station should be located near the delivery area to make it easy to unload dirty dishes. It should also be close to the food prep area to minimise cross-contamination.
- Food Preparation: The food preparation area is where all the cutting, chopping, and other prep work will be done. It should be located near the washing station so that dirty dishes can be quickly removed from the working area.
- Cooking Station: The cooking station is where all the cooking will be done. It should be located near the food preparation area so that meal components can be assembled quickly and efficiently.
- Service: The service area is where finished meals will be plated and served. It should be located near the cooking station so hot food can be delivered quickly and safely.
What You Need to Know About Designing a Commercial Kitchen
You must now consider several vital elements while designing your commercial kitchen, including the following:
- Ergonomics – One of the essential considerations in any commercial kitchen layout is ergonomics. This refers to studying how people interact with their environment and optimising that interaction for maximum efficiency and comfort. In a commercial kitchen, ergonomics must consider the height of counters, placement of appliances, and reachability of shelves and cabinets.
- Space – Another important consideration in any commercial kitchen layout is space. The layout must take into account the size and shape of the room, as well as any obstacles that may need to be worked around, such as pillars or ductwork. The layout must also allow enough space between workstations to avoid bottlenecks during busy periods.
- Staff Communication – Effective communication is essential in any workplace, but it is especially significant in a commercial kitchen, where staff members must communicate quickly and efficiently to avoid accidents or delays in service. The kitchen layout should consider line-of-sight between workstations and access to walkie-talkies or other communication devices.
- Safety – Safety is always a top priority in any workplace, but it is essential in a commercial kitchen with potential hazards such as sharp knives, hot ovens, and slippery floors. The kitchen layout should consider these potential hazards and minimise them as much as possible through effective design choices such as locating prep stations away from high-traffic areas or installing non-slip flooring in wet areas such as dishwashing stations.
Commercial Kitchen Layouts and their Different Types
If you’re in the process of planning a commercial kitchen for your restaurant, bar, or café, one of the first things you’ll need to do is choose a layout that will work best for your space and menu.
There are a few different factors to consider, including the type of cuisine you’ll be serving, the size of your kitchen, and the number of staff members you’ll have working in the space. To help you make the best decision for your business, we’ve compiled a list of five standard commercial kitchen layouts and their pros and cons.
Assembly Line Layout
The assembly line layout is the most efficient kitchen configuration for high-volume operations. In this type of layout, all food preparation is done linearly, with each staff member responsible for a specific task.
For example, one staff member may be responsible for cooking the meat, another for chopping vegetables, and another for assembling the final dish. The benefits of this layout are that it’s easy to supervise staff and ensure that each word is prepared correctly and efficiently. The downside is that making changes on the fly can be challenging if you need to add or remove items from the menu.
An island layout is similar to an assembly line layout but has additional counter space in the middle of the kitchen for prep work or plating finished dishes. This type of layout works well for restaurants that need to be able to accommodate large parties or serve family-style meals.
The benefits of an island layout are that it provides extra space for food preparation and plating and that it’s easy to supervise staff members working on different tasks. The downside is that this layout can be expensive to implement if you need to add extra counter space or electrical outlets.
A zone-style layout divides the kitchen into different areas based on function. For example, you might have a zone for hot foods, a zone for cold foods, a zone for prep work, and a zone for dishwashing. This type of layout works well for restaurants that need to be able to accommodate multiple orders at once without having everything run together.
The benefits of a zone-style layout are that it helps keep things organised and prevents cross-contamination between different areas of the kitchen. The downside is that this type of layout can require more staffing than other layouts because each area needs its dedicated staff member.
A galley layout is similar to a zone-style layout, but with all areas arranged linearly instead of being divided into zones. This type of layout works well for small kitchens where there isn’t room for multiple people to work side by side.
The benefits of a galley layout are that it’s easy to supervise staff members and ensures that each dish is prepared correctly since everyone can see what everyone else is doing. The downside is that this type of layout can be cramped and difficult to move around in if you have more than two or three people working in the space simultaneously.
Open Kitchen Layout
An open kitchen layout is exactly what it sounds like—a kitchen with no walls or doors separating it from the dining area. This layout works well for restaurants where customers like to see their food being prepared or where there isn’t enough room to implement a different kind of layout efficiently.
The benefits of an open kitchen layout are that customers feel like they’re part of the action and can see how clean and well-organised your kitchen is; this can increase their confidence in your food safety procedures. The downsides are that this type of layout can be noisy and chaotic if not properly managed, and there’s always the potential for accidents or cross-contamination if proper protocols aren’t followed carefully by everyone working in the space.
Here Are Some Things to Consider When Making Your Final Decision
When it comes to commercial kitchen layouts, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best layout for your restaurant will depend on several factors, including the size and shape of your space, the complexity of your menu, and the need for a functional and safe workspace.
However, a few general principles can help you create a practical layout for your kitchen.
Evaluate Your Restaurant’s Needs
The first step in choosing the right restaurant layout is evaluating your needs. Consider the type of cuisine you serve, the average order size, the number of covers you typically have, and the amount of space you have to work with. This will help you narrow down your options and help you to pick a layout that will work well for your business.
Consider Your Staff
The next step is to consider how they will use the space. Think about the tasks they need to complete and how many people you need to accommodate in the kitchen at one time. This will help you decide on a layout that provides enough space for everyone to work comfortably and safely.
Choose a Layout
Once you’ve considered your needs and your staff, you can begin to select a layout. Many options are available, so take your time and pick the one that will work best for your business.
Implement Your new Layout
Once you’ve chosen a layout, it’s time to implement it in your restaurant. This may require some construction or remodelling, so budget for this accordingly. Once the changes are made, train your staff on how to use the new space and what protocols must be followed to ensure safety and efficiency.
Evaluate and Adjust as Needed
After implementing your new layout, take some time to evaluate how it’s working. Are staff members able to work safely and efficiently? Are there any areas that need improvement? Make adjustments as needed to ensure that your layout is meeting your needs and helping your business run smoothly.
Consider the Flow of Traffic in Your Restaurant
The layout of your restaurant should allow for a smooth traffic flow, both in the kitchen and the dining area. This means that there should be enough space for customers to move around quickly and that staff members can access all kitchen areas without difficulty. Consider the placement of doors, walkways, and countertops to ensure everyone can move around quickly.
One of the most critical aspects of commercial kitchen layouts is efficiency. This means ensuring that all appliances and work areas are placed in a way that minimises wasted time and motion. Think about the tasks that need to be completed and the order in which they need to be done, then arrange the space accordingly. This will help your staff work more efficiently and help your business run more smoothly.
Choose Durable Materials
When choosing materials for your commercial kitchen, selecting those that are durable and easy to clean is essential. This is particularly important for surfaces that come into contact with food, such as countertops and cutting boards. Look for materials that are non-porous and easy to wipe down, such as stainless steel or stone.
Consider the Ventilation
Good ventilation is essential in any commercial kitchen, as it helps to remove excess heat and moisture from the air. This can help to improve the working environment for staff members and prevent accidents associated with slippery floors or hot surfaces. When planning your layout, include adequate ventilation in your design.
Choose the Right Appliances for Your Kitchen
The type and size of appliances you need will depend on the cuisine you serve and the number of covers you typically have. Choose energy-efficient devices with features that will make your staff’s jobs easier. For example, if you cook a lot of fresh pasta, look for a pasta maker with multiple settings to accommodate different thicknesses of dough.
Ensure There Is Enough Storage
One of the most critical aspects of a commercial kitchen layout is ensuring that there is enough storage space. This includes both food storage and equipment storage. Think about the items you need to store and the best way to arrange them, so they are easily accessible. Ensure adequate shelving, cupboards, and drawers in your design.
Consider the Lighting
Good lighting is essential in any commercial kitchen, as it helps staff members see what they are doing and prevents accidents. When planning your layout, include adequate lighting in your design. Consider both natural and artificial lighting when making your decisions. Natural light is always best, but if you need to use artificial lighting, choose bulbs that mimic natural light as closely as possible.
Plan for Future Growth
When designing your commercial kitchen layout, thinking about future growth is essential. This means considering the possibility of expanding your menu or increasing your customer base. Plan for this growth by including extra space in your design. This will allow you to make future changes without completely redesigning your kitchen.
As you can see, there are a few things to remember when planning a commercial kitchen layout. By taking the time to consider all of these factors, you can create an efficient and stylish space. Keep these tips in mind as you begin planning your commercial kitchen, and you’ll be sure to create a space that meets all of your needs.
There are many kitchen layouts, and the best one for your restaurant will depend on your specific needs. At Aspen Services, we can help you design a kitchen that is both ergonomic and efficient. Contact us today to discuss your options and see how we can help you create a space that meets the needs of your business.