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Designing a Commercial Kitchen

Design of a kitchen is crucial when considering it the heart of a food service business. Thinking past well trained staff and quality equipment, the workflow is imperative to leading businesses to success. A well-considered fit-out can assist in achieving maximum productivity.

Both new build and renovation require a number of preparatory questions to be answered prior to commencement of construction. Considered planning is key to ensuring a project is delivered without fault and on time.

In general a commercial kitchen should follow the following cycle:

Some of the key considerations are as follows:

1. Cook-line

a. What type of cuisine will be offered through the menu?

This would guide us on the type of equipment that may be required and the flow of the cooking procedure.

b. What is the maximum staff occupancy required in this area?

2. Plating & Service

a. Is refrigeration reheating required in this area

b. What specific storage is required in this area

c. How will plated food transfer to the floor staff

d. Are heat lamps required

e. What is the maximum staff occupancy required in this area?

3. Exhaust Hood and Ventilation

a. What is the required size and quantity?

b. Is fresh air replacement or makeup air required?

c. What type of hood is required, over an island, V or double V shaped? Pic of examples maybe?

Site investigation would be required for this stage, to determine the path of ventilation for vertical extraction. If there is no ability to extract to the outside world a high tech ultraviolet hood may be the only appropriate solution.

4. Food Preparation

a. Are food processors required, and where will they be stored?

b. How will the food be prepared and served?

c. How much bench space is required?

d. What is the maximum staff occupancy required in this area?

5. Refrigeration

a. Are fridges, freezers and/or a cold room required?

b. What type and quantity of cold produce will be stored?

c. How much frozen storage is required?

d. Where are these to be located, are easy access fridges require in the cook line?

e. Will separate refrigeration be required for beverages, beer kegs and the like?

The placement of these objects needs to be considered in terms of activity, ie. under bench for prompt prep.

6. Storage

a. How much space is required for kitchenware and dry products?

b. For ease of access, generally this is located in close proximity to the dishwash and prep areas. However a portion of storage will be adjacent to the plating areas for plates bowls etc.

c. Are additional organisation accessories required?

d. Where are cleaning product and equipment to be stored, is a separate area require for these?

Miscalculating the parameters of storage, could affect the workflow and affect quality and quantity of food that is able to be cooked at one time.

7. Front of House

a. How many patron are predicted?

b. How and where will the orders be taken?

c. Is there a specific software system for orders?

d. Are dockets presented to the kitchen manually or digitally

e. How can the clearest path of travel be achieved to move dirty dishes to back of house?

Important factors need to be taken into consideration to achieve safe, easy and quick movement, without disturbing guests and cooking staff.

8. Cleaning/Washing

a. What equipment is required to wash and store kitchenware?

b. What type of dishwasher is require, under counter, conveyor belt, pass through?

c. What is the maximum occupancy required in this area?

It is recommended to separate wash up and preparation areas to avoid food contamination. Appropriate planning will lead to cost savings in terms of number of items required, if the cleaning performance can be at its most efficient.

Work Flow Cycle is applied by professionals to achieve well considered interior design for commercial kitchens to maximise productivity and profitability.

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