Posted by Kimberly Andrade
The layout of a kitchen can make or break the restaurant, though operators might not even realize it. Mere seconds of inefficiencies can add up over time, affecting the quality of food and service for the worse. This can be avoided by properly planning the design, and finding the proper restaurant equipment and supplies.
Exact measurement and analysis of the space available is an important first step toward effectively designing the kitchen, according to the Houston Chronicle. Noting every window, doorway, outlet and drain available for use will let operators know exactly what resources they have at their disposal, where certain aspects should be (final preparation stations and heat lamps should be near the dining room entrance, for example) and will allow for any special installations or potential construction that may need to be considered.
Planning proper use of that space should also be a priority of design. Commercial kitchens need maximum safety and functionality, meaning that while there needs to be enough space to carry sharp or hot material, there should also be a tight enough spacing that no time is lost in moving pieces and tools from one side to another. Additionally, the right design can cut down on wasted time and increase productivity while decreasing the work and potential risks that employees may face.
Evaluating the right equipment is also important. For example smaller stovetops may be less expensive, but if operators need to cook for dozens or hundreds, it may get overwhelmed by the sheer volume. Some kitchen ranges are meant to cook for hundreds of people, while others are only expected to cover the needs of a fast-service restaurant with few menu changes but many customers. Look at various stovetop sizes before making a decision, determine what is within the equipment budget and analyze how well it can execute the menu.
What not to do
Many considerations need to be made before a purchase is made, and it can be easy to make a mistake when placing the equipment in a kitchen. Placing an ice machine near an area that gets a large amount of heat, for instance, is an example of inefficiency that can cost thousands of dollars, according to Restaurant Development and Design Magazine. Thoroughly looking into what parts of a restaurant have certain environmental aspects can save plenty of headaches in the future.
Keeping clear paths from prep work through cooking and delivery of the final dish should also be a major concern. The design of the restaurant should have an even flow with a clear beginning and end, as otherwise moving back and forth during the assembly of meals can backfire heavily in lost revenue. Designing with real consideration of best practices can improve service while cutting down heavily on potential lost revenue.