The Science Of Designing A Restaurant Kitchen
New restaurant construction is incredibly exciting and stressful at the same time. While you’re considering menu paper and table setting options, don’t forget to set aside a little time for planning out your kitchen too. Too many restaurant owners forget to design a kitchen built around the workflow and volume demands from the front of the business. You can give your customers a better experience and keep your kitchen staff happier by sitting down with a construction company acquainted with specialty design.
Start with the Volume
You don’t need the whole menu written just to invest in kitchen equipment, but you do need to know the basic kinds of food you’re serving. For example, a restaurant with a big focus on deep fried novelties will need a completely different kitchen design than the high-end establishment only serving sous vide dishes. Once you know whether you need more bains or grill tops, you can calculate the exact type and number of equipment by considering your expected customer volume. If your dining room only seats 50 at a time, there’s no reason to overfill the kitchen with two dozen separate cooking stations.
Lay It Out
Shoving the main ovens in a far corner will lead to a lot of burned bread and roasts, especially when the kitchen is running at full speed and crew members can’t reach their stations in time. Start with large pathways that let at least two people pass side-by-side without colliding. Keep your cooking areas well behind the service counter lines so the wait staff never has to travel through the kitchen to grab what they need. Separate the washing stations by placing them in another quadrant or corner of the kitchen entirely. Too many kitchens stall when a large load of dishes come in and the dish washers are bumping elbows with sauciers.
Try to draw out the paths taken by kitchen employees during a regular shift. If you notice that a cook at a certain station has to cross the flow of traffic dozens of times a night to retrieve supplies from a distant cooler, then you should consider rearranging. Rearranging the design just for a single worker can pay off in improved productivity since that interruption in traffic could throw off the work flow for hours.
Make Your Purchases
Once the layout is drawn up and tested, you can move on to actually purchasing the right equipment. If you’re working with a designer, pick one that contracts with suppliers instead of specific manufacturers. This prevents you from ending up with deep fryers, steam boxes and other devices that don’t quite meet your needs.
Trying to handle the kitchen design and installation yourself could cost you thousands of dollars more in the long run. When a few weeks of operation reveal problems with the layout, you’ll spend more to renovate it. Do it right the first time with your commercial contractor so your grand opening goes smoothly and your restaurant has the best chance at succeeding.