Tips for Designing Your Restaurant Kitchen

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Your kitchen is the heart of your restaurant, and also one of the biggest expenses involved in launching your operation. Your design and layout is crucial for creating a functional, orderly space.; choosing the right equipment requires careful thought. Poor design or choice of equipment will spell big trouble for food prep and the myriad other tasks that take place there. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in preparing this vital space.

Consider the Role of the Kitchen

Obviously you know what goes on in the kitchen, but you really have to get it in the forefront of your mind when designing it so you create a space that allows for the smooth execution of all these activities. It is natural to zero in on the food preparation part, but don’t forget about how many people will be coming in and out, the fact that you will be storing dishes and other items there, that this is where the garbage goes and where the dishes are washed. A good layout allows everyone the space to do their job, promotes a good flow that allows the food to get from the stove to the plate seamlessly and creates an organized space where everything has a place.

Being in Compliance with Health Codes

There are countless health codes a restaurant must abide by to ensure the food being served is safe for consumption. Many of these codes will impact how you must design your kitchen. For example, many health departments require a floor drain be within six feet of the ice machine. Before you start putting your kitchen together, make sure you are up to speed on all these laws and regulations so your restaurant is in compliance.

Mobility and Ergonomics

You will have several people going in and out of your kitchen, and the more people there are, the more carefully you have to plan an ergonomically-friendly space that allows for easy mobility through the kitchen. Your employees should be able to get around without bumping into each other. The key to good ergonomic design is allowing people to complete the tasks they need to in as few steps as possible, with a minimum of bending, twisting, turning, and the like. For example, you might put the freezer directly beside the fryer so the cook can easily remove frozen items and put them right in the pan without taking one step.

But, one thing to keep in mind is that a purely ergonomic design is usually less energy efficient, as showcased by the aforementioned example. So, that is something to keep in mind when planning the layout.

Purchasing Equipment

Kitchen equipment is expensive, no two ways about it. But, you can stock your kitchen well without busting your budget. Consider leasing items that tend to need replacing every few years, like ice machines. Once they break, they are expensive to repair. When considering items meant to last a long time, like a commercial oven, buying used may be the way to go. Even if you have to eventually repair it, you are still saving a significant amount of money compared to buying one brand new. Carefully plot out the equipment you need and your budget. This will give you a solid framework for the purchasing process. Talk to already established chefs to get an idea of what you need right now and what can wait for later.

About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things business; she recommends you visit here for more information on quality equipment for your restaurant.

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