A Practical Guide on Restaurant Kitchen Layout
No matter if you are upgrading your commercial kitchen or setting up a new one, planning a commercial kitchen isn’t a stroll in a park. There’s so much that goes into the thought process for the commercial kitchen layout. A successful restaurant kitchen layout is one that includes an efficient arrangement of the different components to optimize performance and efficiency.
Fortunately, in this article, we will guide you to create a well-thought kitchen that translates into better work efficiency and improved guest service.
6 Essential Restaurant Components to Understand
So, planning out your commercial restaurant kitchen, but don’t know where to begin? Regardless of the kitchen layout or design, all commercial kitchens will have these components in common. You must have to carefully consider these key restaurant components for maximum utility of kitchen space & functionality.
First on the list of key elements for a restaurant kitchen layout is storage.
Adequate storage is required in your kitchen for storing a variety of daily-use items, spanning from utensils, cooking range to ingredients.
To ensure that your kitchen has enough space for a commercial fridge and freezers. Plan out cupboards for keeping all the stuff handy.
2) Washing Station
Second, on the list is the washing station. Right from the kitchen appliances to utensils, a dedicated space is required for carrying out the cleaning activities. Washing dishes is an active area on every restaurant floor, therefore it must be given enough space to add up to the work efficiency for restaurant staff.
The washing station should primarily have three components: one is a large-size commercial kitchen sink, a dishwasher, and a dryer.
3) Food Preparation
The food preparation area is the heart of a commercial kitchen. The space needed for cutting vegetables and mixing ingredients depends upon the kind of food you are preparing. This is especially important to keep food hygienic if any of the guests have food allergies or if you also have vegan items on the menu. In fact, there must be appropriate counter space for cutting activities.
It’s important to make sure that actual food preparation happens away from the cleaning/washing area because the vegetable and other ingredients might get contaminated and can lead to a not-so-cooking experience.
Thus the food preparation area must be close to the freezer and fridge as the staff can quickly store perishable food items.
4) Cooking Area
The cooking area is the place where all the action happens. The raw food from the food preparation area is moved to the cooking area and from there on chefs handle everything.
This area is most important in a restaurant kitchen plan, and the amount of space needed for cooking really depends upon the volume of food you will be serving daily.
Thus, make sure that there is ample space for more than one (or) multiple chefs to work together.
5) Service Area
So, once the dishes have been prepared, the final touch-up or garnishing is what matters, it makes the food feel exotic for your guests. This area also serves as a place where the chef can safely keep the prepared dishes for the waiters to serve at different tables.
As a piece of advice, the lesser the distance between the service area to the dining area the better it is for the workflow.
Finally, in your commercial kitchen, there must be allocated space where the ingredients and products from vendors can be received. There has to be a clear loading area for receiving shipments.
This delivery area has to be near the storage area to minimize the odds of spill during unloading, but it should be away from the main food preparation area.
5 Types of Commercial Kitchen Layouts
Although every commercial kitchen floor plan is unique and challenging, these five types of commercial kitchen layouts are templates that are implemented with minimum fuss.
Read on as we explain each type of commercial kitchen layout. Based on the information, you can pick the right type of commercial kitchen layout that suits your budget.
Type 1: Assembly Line Layout
First is the assembly line layout. As the name suggests, this type of layout aims to ensure the assembly of each dish.
The layout is pretty simple in the form of a straight line, where the food preparation area comes first, then the cooking area, and the service area for a seamless feel and improved productivity.
The best part about this approach is that your kitchen can accommodate more than one staff, and each one can perform their tasks without interfering with one other. This simple restaurant kitchen layout is most preferred if you have a high-volume restaurant.
Type 2: Island Layout
Another popular layout for a commercial kitchen is the island layout. Here the meal is the main focus and all the stuff related to the food preparation such as the microwave oven and fryer is kept in the center of the kitchen, similar to an island in the sea.
The non-cooking stations like the dishwashing area and food preparation are pushed to the sides.
The island setup allows more than one chef to stand in the main area and hold meetings. In addition, the island setup is much easier to clean and maintain. However, the island layout is best prepared for restaurants and hotels where the kitchen space is ample.
Type 3: Zone-Style Layout
By opting for the zone-style commercial kitchen layout, your kitchen will be divided into various zones for different activities, such as the food preparation and dishwashing station. Or the station can be divided based on the kind of dishes you are preparing such as veg station and non-veg station.
There must be a KDS or kitchen display system for each zone. The zone-style restaurant kitchen layout allows individuals with multiple expertise to work as a team. Different kinds of dishes can be prepared at one time. Thus this type of layout leaves a great open area for service, delivery, and is a good option for small kitchen floor plans.
Type 4: Open Kitchen Layout
Last but not the least, the open kitchen layout is gaining a lot of popularity these days, especially due to big restaurant chains like Mcdonald’s have adopted it quite efficiently.
Now, what an open commercial kitchen layout is, it is a kind of layout where the kitchen is transparent for the guests to see all the action while sitting in the dinner area of the restaurant.
A recent Harvard study revealed that customer satisfaction jumped by 17.3%, and deliveries were 13.2% faster if the kitchen layout is open. One thing to note when planning an open layout, the cooking range and ovens must be away from the dining area, otherwise, they will spoil your guests’ dining mood.
A glass partition between the kitchen and dining room is not a bad option. This layout helps in creating a larger and more open dining area. Also majorly helps in speeding up the servings, as the distance between the kitchen and dining area is less.
Type 5: Ergonomic Layout
Ergonomic restaurant kitchen plans focus on minimizing the movement in the commercial kitchen spaces to maximize efficiency and speed. While implementing such a type of kitchen layout, ergonomics hold the key to make the kitchen staff comfortable and to move minimally for completing a particular task. To achieve this, the cooking supplies and equipment are nearby, ideally at arm’s length.
Here the objective is to ensure that your staff doesn’t have to walk miles, bend to break their back or stretch like spiderman’s web to get what they need. The ergonomic layout helps in maintaining the flow of traffic in the kitchen and eliminating any possibility of collisions.
If you have an unorthodox kitchen, and the working conditions are challenging, consider implementing the ergonomic layout.
Few Things to Consider Before Finalizing
Once you’ve decided on the type of kitchen layout that fits your space and budget, next up is paying attention to certain essential elements before you finalize your commercial kitchen design.
So, scroll down and we are talking about the key considerations that will make all the difference in the end:-
1) Space Efficiency
First, being space efficient. Whatever layout you opt for, ensure that you maximize your space. It means you have clearly understood what your commercial kitchen needs and whatnot.
Even if you have a space-constraint kitchen, leave no stone unturned to implement creative ways to improve space efficiency. You can always discuss it with your head chef and team to plan out the kitchen for better space efficiency.
You must have a flow mechanism in mind when planning out a simple restaurant kitchen layout. It means arranging the different stations within the kitchen in a manner they are connected and in a sequential manner.
If there is a logic behind the layout, then there won’t be any collisions or confusion for anyone. Even if you have a small kitchen, there should be a flow from food preparation, cooking to foodservice.
3) Flexibility & Modularity
Yes, you have to plan out your kitchen in line with your existing needs, but ensure there is room for menu updates. Your present commercial kitchen layout must be flexible to accommodate future menu changes. If you overlook this aspect, then you may have to completely revamp the kitchen by adding a few new dishes or categories to the menu.
A way to maintain flexibility and modularity is by having portable preparation tables that come with wheels for easy movements, racks, shelving units, so space can be rearranged as required.
4) Sanitation & Safety
It is one crucial aspect that can not be ignored, whether you are mulling over small restaurant kitchen design Ideas or a big resort kitchen. You have to make sure you tick the boxes of proper sanitation and safety measures for the well-being of your customers. And, it becomes even more important as we are in the war of COVID-19, and failing to adhere to state guidelines would mean hefty fines and even cancellation of your commercial restaurant license.
You must be aware of the food safety regulations and COVID-19 safety protocols to create a safe and secure kitchen. The other safety measures include a smoke detector, floor drains, fire extinguishers, and emergency fire exits.
5) Supervision & Training
The layout of the kitchen must be planned in such a way, the head chef can supervise and train the entire staff. It is even more important for a large kitchen with a team of chefs.
Consider few walls and no partition, so that the staff can be surprised and communication must be quick and easy.
6) Energy Efficiency
There is no surprise, kitchens consume a lot of energy, mainly in two ways, one is HVAC and the other is cooking. Cooking consumes approximately 35% energy, while heating & cooling requires 28% of the energy.
To keep your energy bills down, it is of paramount importance that you invest in energy-efficient kitchen appliances.
The arrangement should be in such a way it promotes improved energy efficiency. For instance, the cooking station must be away from the freezer, so that the freezer doesn’t have to work harder to maintain optimal temperature.
One of the most prevalent mistakes most new restaurant owners make when planning their commercial kitchen is not thinking about maintenance.
At some point, the kitchen appliances and equipment need to be repaired, therefore ensuring there is some room in the cooking space to allow maintenance activities to be carried out.
8) Air Ventilation
As stated earlier, restaurant HVAC consumes the majority of energy in a commercial kitchen. Make sure you get the HVAC inspected regularly to ensure that they are working efficiently.
In some cases, upgrading your HVAC system could significantly cut down on your energy bills. HVAC is also indispensable in ensuring a safe commercial kitchen space.
Last, but not least, you should plan your commercial kitchen with simplicity at the forefront. The key to creating an efficient commercial kitchen is to make the arrangement simple so that your staff won’t find it challenging to navigate around from one station to another.
You gotta remember one thing that even your guest can’t see your kitchen area, but it requires the same care and attention as your dining room does.
We hope that this guide helps plan your commercial kitchen. We advise you to take the recommendations and inputs of your head chef to create a productive kitchen that your staff love to work in all day long.
If you have any advice with regards to arranging the small kitchen floor plan, share it with us in the comment section. Our readers would want to hear from you!