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Planning a restaurant kitchen layout and arranging work areas to minimize operating costs and maximize productivity is essential.

Planning a simple restaurant kitchen layout involves the design and layout components and consideration of flow principles. You must not ignore the movement of products or people in operation, which are essential factors you should never ignore.

A great restaurant design must look good on paper and function efficiently and productively. A small restaurant kitchen layout design will increase kitchen productivity.

A well-designed kitchen reduces operating costs and improves employee morale and employee safety.

study of the importance of kitchen design in standalone restaurants published in the International Journal of Research in IT & Management shows:

  • A well-designed kitchen helps in saving operational costs and time.
  • A thoughtful design is vital for creating a well-organized workplace for commercial kitchens.
  • A well-designed kitchen enhances the work efficiency of the staff and production output.
  • “Structural limitations” and “Availability of budget” are the factors that have the maximum impact on kitchen design.

This blog discusses the steps involved in ideating a perfect restaurant kitchen, the various kitchen layouts of a commercial kitchen, and the styles to go with each of the layouts

How To Design A Restaurant Kitchen Layout?

Much research goes into determining the requirements for your commercial kitchen design. We will break down all the steps to help you navigate this process easily.

Step 1: Ask Your Chef

Your chef will be the person that uses the kitchen most of the time. It is going to be their space and it is essential to include them in the design and development of your kitchen.

Experienced chefs can offer a lot of valuable inputs that can change how you think about a typical restaurant kitchen. If you want to have the proper flow, ask your chef.

As your chef knows your menu better than you they can offer valuable insights on how to design a kitchen effectively.

Step 2: Know Your Menu

There is no kitchen without a menu. Menu development should be at the center of the kitchen plan.

Prepare a list of all the meals featured on your menu along with the ingredients required for each meal. Make a list of all the steps required to prepare each meal, and the equipment used. Use this to decide where to place the equipment.

Step 3: Sort What You Don’t Need.

Commercial restaurant kitchen layouts can get cluttered fast. It would be best to make the most out of what is available to avoid clutter. You can multitask like using an immersion blender to make soup and salsa. And figure out if using a standing blender would be better. Include the detailed measurements of the equipment needed to prepare and store food, including the cold storage.

Step 4: Research Local Health Codes

Each state has its safety regulations for restaurants. So follow all the rules of your state while designing your kitchen. Make sure that you meet all the health codes, fire codes, and employee safety protocols.

The food prep station, washing station, ventilation, and air conditioning must be in perfect harmony with the rules and regulations of the state.

Therefore, review your restaurant kitchen layout with dimensions and review all licenses and permits involved in designing a commercial kitchen, especially in your state.

5 Basic Components of a Commercial Kitchen

A commercial kitchen is more or less a Hell’s Kitchen only on the silver screen. The behind the scenes story is a totally different version. A fully optimized commercial kitchen setup should consist of five main components organized in an orderly pattern to maximize performance and efficiency.

The five components for every commercial kitchen:

  1. Washing
  2. Storage
  3. Food Preparation
  4. Meal Cooking
  5. Service

Washing

The washing area of the kitchen space should always be at the entrance of the kitchen. This arrangement is essential so that servers can quickly drop dirty dishes, enabling chefs to find clean dishes.

A commercial kitchen’s cleaning and washing area comprises appliances and products like sinks and drying racks. So it must be a three-compartment sink that is necessary for washing utensils

Storage

The storage area must have three sections:

  • Cold storage
  • Dry storage
  • Non-food storage.

Cold storage

All ingredients like meat and other dairy products should be stored in cold storage.

Dry Storage

All the non perishables and other food ingredients are stored in dry storage. So it must include a place for all the inventory shipments.

Non-food storage

It is the section for all the disposable items, and cleaning supplies.

Food Preparation

The food preparation area includes washing area, cutting areas, and the mixing areas.

The food preparation area is split into two sections. One section is to process raw foods like cutting the meat, and the other is to sort the cut items into batches like chopping vegetables and mixing salad dressings. Arranging this section allows the cooks to grab the necessary ingredients and use them systematically and efficiently.

Meal Cooking

The cooking area must be near the front of the kitchen next to the service area. And the meal cooking area is the heart of the kitchen, which also houses the major equipment like cooking ranges, ovens, and fryers. In this design, the food preparation area includes baking station, grilling station, and frying station.

Service

The service area is the last part of a commercial kitchen, which is located in the front area of the kitchen near the cooking area.

So this is achieved by reducing the distance between the completed meals and the diners.

Restaurant Kitchen Layout Plan

There is no particular rule book for commercial kitchen layouts as each restaurant is unique with unique needs and you have to decide which one will work for your needs. There are three basic layouts to consider for a commercial design.

Seven basic Restaurant Kitchen Layout Templates:

  1. Island Style Layout
  2. Zone Style Layout
  3. Assembly Line Layout
  4. The Open Restaurant Kitchen
  5. Galley Layout
  6. Food Truck Kitchen Layout
  7. Ergonomic Layout

Island-Style Layout

The Island Style Layout is suitable for placing ovens, ranges, fryers, grills and other large essential kitchen equipment together as one module at the center of the kitchen. The perimeter walls have other devices to preserve the circular flow

Restaurant Kitchen Layout -Island Kitchen Blueprint
Source : lightspeedhq.com

This layout is simple and allows effective communication with the supervisor. This model provides ease of cleaning. This layout works best for large kitchens that have a square workspace.

Zone-Style Layout

The zone-style layout has the kitchen set up in blocks, the dishwashing block, a storage block, a food prep block etc. This layout enables ease of communication because the space in the center is completely open.

Source : lightspeedhq.com

Assembly Line Layout

The assembly-line layout is ideal for kitchens that need to serve many people quickly, like cafeterias. This layout may work better for establishments with a limited menu that serves large quantities of the same foods. In this design, you can organize the kitchen equipment in line with the food preparation area at one end and the service area at the other.

Source : lightspeedhq.com

In this layout, the washing, storage and service areas are located behind the assembly line to keep them out of the way. It improves efficiency and keeps the kitchen open for accessible communication. This design eliminates space wastage and is very efficient.

The Open Restaurant Kitchen

The Open Kitchen concept is now popular with fine dining restaurants. This design allows restaurant diners to watch the chefs as they prepare their meals. And this design features a glass partition and serving stations facing the dining area.

Galley Layout

In this design, the perimeter of the kitchen holds the stations and kitchen equipment. A larger kitchen, this layout leaves an empty space in the center that allows staff to easily move from one area to the next. In smaller kitchens, the galley layout makes the most of the limited space available.

Source:https://jhmrad.com

Food Truck Kitchen Layout

A food truck needs much more elaborate planning than what is normally required for a traditional restaurant. And this layout will help your food truck serve more customers.

Ergonomic Kitchen Layout

An ergonomic design is a user-friendly design that offers comfort and effectiveness. It also facilitates the employees to complete more tasks while spending less energy and less time.

Placing an under-counter freezer right next to the fryer allows the cook to get the food from the freezer and add it to the fryer right away.

An ergonomic design includes the selection of lights and other equipment. Proper lighting will allow employees to work comfortably.

But the disadvantage of this design is that it is expensive, not always energy-efficient, which depends on the type of equipment.

Keeping Your Kitchen Up to Code

You can spend dollars remodeling your kitchen and put in all the hard work required to build the dream kitchen for your restaurant. However if your restaurant does not comply with the health and safety codes, it could be shut down.

Every piece of equipment created for commercial kitchens has the guidelines for installation and location. Therefore, make sure to install each piece of equipment accordingly. It will avoid any issues in keeping your kitchen up to the code.

Now for the crucial factors, you should consider your restaurant kitchen layout drawing.

10 Factors That Influence Your Restaurant Kitchen Floor Plan

Restaurant kitchens vary from each other but there are ten significant factors that are common for every type of restaurant.

  1. Flexibility
  2. Simplicity
  3. Workflow
  4. Food Safety
  5. Supervision
  6. Energy Efficiency
  7. Air Ventilation
  8. Maintenance
  9. Commercial Kitchen Equipment
  10. Restaurant point of sale technology

Flexibility

Your kitchen should have flexibility, just like your restaurant menu. Do you follow menu engineering to vary your menu? If you answer yes, you must design your restaurant to be flexible. If flexibility is a factor of your restaurant, having a modular kitchen with equipment on wheels and versatile workstations will allow you to use the space more efficiently.

Simplicity

Simplicity is essential to optimize a restaurant design. And your kitchen area should be easy to navigate and the workstations properly positioned for a seamless workflow.

Kitchen Workflow

Honestly, commercial kitchens are chaotic, which is unavoidable.

The best kitchens make the best out of it by optimizing function, cleaning, storage , food preparation, meal cooking, and service. Ensure that the waste disposal and cleaning area is far away from the cooking area.

Food Safety

Having sufficient wash stations is very critical for an optimized restaurant kitchen layout. So while designing the size of the sink, consider the size of the cooking dishes, plates, cutleries and other utensils that would eventually end up in the sink.

Also, calculate the capacity of the dishwashers.

Consider reviewing every kitchen area for restaurant food safety according to the health codes, including cooking, prepping and cleaning stations. Also analyze where to place the dirty dishes and the clean dishes for food plating.

Supervision

Allow a provision for a place where the executive chef can supervise the work of the sous chef and all the mise en place. Utilize this place for hiring and training purposes.

Creating an incentive program for promotion in the back of the house is extremely important.

Also the kitchen design should include ample space for the executive chef to supervise everything that is going on in the kitchen.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a significant element that requires a central portion of your investment. Therefore, place your cooking equipment strategically so the hot air can circulate and keep the kitchen cooler. Place the cold storage as far as possible from heat elements to keep appliances from working overtime.

Air Ventilation

When your chefs start cooking, turn the range on and change the filter in the range hood frequently. Additionally, add fans and air purifiers throughout the kitchen to avoid the back house from getting hot.

Maintenance

Maintenance space is as important as the other areas of the kitchen. If the oven breaks down, the repairman must be able to assess the damage quickly without bumping into the other equipment that is too close to the oven.

Therefore allow ample space for maintenance so you can easily handle whenever there is an equipment breakdown while still running the other areas without interruption.

Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Here’s a general list of the restaurant equipment you will need for your kitchen. It may vary depending on your restaurant’s needs.

  • Range
  • Oven
  • Grill
  • Deep-fryer
  • Freezer (upright or walk-in)
  • Pizza screens, pizza paddles
  • Tongs, spatulas, spoons
  • Chef’s knives
  • Mixing bowls, serving bowls
  • Steam table
  • Entree, appetizer, and dessert plates
  • Cleaning rags, cleaning buckets
  • Rubber floor mats
  • Hand soap/sanitizer dispenser
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Reach-in cooler or walk-in cooler
  • Sauté pans, saucepans, baking pans
  • Stock/soup pots
  • Baking sheets

Technology

The technology used in your restaurant must be flexible, user-friendly and efficient. And the kitchen display screens, custom routing preferences to prep stations, ticket and fulfillment time reports and integrations with online ordering systems can maximize accuracy and increase the number of tickets your kitchen would be able to serve.

Restaurant POS systems can do the job efficiently, from inventory management, menu management, employee tracking, table order processing and much more.

Now to summarize all of the above:

Planning the layout of your commercial restaurant kitchen takes systematic analysis, done in various steps along with your chef.

Consider the menu you would want to have and evaluate the equipment needed. Review your plan with your state’s health department and ensure compliance to the rules and regulations.

Use the best restaurant POS software system to track your restaurant management activities.

We hope we have given all you need to let your creative juices flow to develop a perfect commercial restaurant kitchen. Feel free to share your thoughts about your dream kitchen for your restaurant in the comment section below.