Posted by Patrick Maness
Opening and running a restaurant requires teamwork. Owners, investors and kitchen designers get together to brainstorm the best floor layouts to maximize the chances of success for a new venture. Too frequently, however, chefs are hired after the fact, which means that they often have very little input in floor plans. When considering how to get the most out of the space, most kitchen designers opt to maximize the dining area in order to accommodate more guests, which means that kitchen spaces are commonly small and cramped.
As such, it is absolutely critical for foodservice operators to get the most out of their kitchens by using space-saving equipment like chef stands.
Maintaining an Organized Kitchen With Chef Stands
Most commercial kitchens have one thing in common: they maximize every inch of space.. Nothing is worse than having staff running all over the kitchen since this additional foot traffic increases the chances of collisions and other accidents and decreases productivity. Therefore, it is incredibly inefficient to have employees running to the walk-in every few minutes for more ingredients. Instead, organized kitchens provide each worker with a personalized workstation that contains everything they need to do their job.
For example, if you're running a restaurant that features grilled steak as a popular item, you'll want to make sure that you have access not only to a proper grill, along with space to refrigerate and store meat, plus space to store all the essential supplies you need to execute these orders. Chef stands are perfect for this task, since they can be installed just about anywhere. These stands look like a chest of stainless steel drawers, but unlike normal desks, the entire unit is refrigerated down to a chilly 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect for keeping popular food items fresh and on-hand over the course of a shift.
Keep Your Cool Without Losing Your Fire
Chef stands are ideal for just about any space. However, popular models from Randell are particularly well equipped for installation in tight kitchens
. Not only are these units space-savers, but they can be placed just about anywhere due to the fact that they're front breathing. Essentially, anything that uses refrigeration needs to be able to draw and expel air as it moves fresh air over a condenser coil. Some designs attempt to conceal the air intake by putting it on the back of a unit, but if your refrigerated equipment rack is positioned with its back against a wall, it will only be able to draw air from front breathing vents.
If you're trying to save space, simply having a refrigerated equipment rack isn't enough - you'll also want to be able to stack other pieces of commercial kitchen equipment on top of it. As such, it is incredibly important to make sure that your rack is reinforced to handle heavy loads. Randell offers chef stands that feature 11-gauge sub-tops below the stainless steel finish that can bear loads up to 225 pounds per lineal foot, which is enough to place even the heaviest fryers and charbroilers on top.
"Chef stands are ideal for just about any space."
Finally, balancing heat levels between equipment is an important task when you are juggling both hot and cold units. Chef stands can be reinforced with additional cooling elements to offset ambient heat from hot appliances. Additionally, particularly well insulated racks contain the cold, preventing units like fryers from losing too much heat. Essentially, with extra insulation and additional cooling, chef stands maintain low temperatures for supplies and equipment that needs to stay cold without affecting hot appliances in their proximity.
The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant, but unfortunately, food preparation areas are often extremely restricted in terms of space. As such, it is important to keep operations as organized and streamlined as possible. Chef stands save space while adding functionality, allowing kitchen staff to set up work stations, so they don't have to run all over the place in search of fresh ingredients or equipment - all they have to do is open a drawer to gain access to everything they could need over the course of a shift.