Why You Should Use a Project Management Service When Installing a Commercial Kitchen

If you're planning on installing a commercial kitchen – maybe you're just starting out in the restaurant trade, or maybe your renovating an existing kitchen – then we recommend that you take advantage of the project management services available from some of the country’s leading suppliers of commercial kitchen equipment.

Here, we are going to explore the many reasons why it makes sense to take advantage of a project management service.

Getting It Right First Time
The primary reason for using a project management service is that they will get the installation correct on the first attempt. This is their area of expertise. They will have planned and installed many kitchens beforehand, and as such, will have a thorough understanding of some of the things that can go wrong.

For example, they will understand things such as placing the goods in area near the back door. Or, they know that it is better to have refrigeration away from any cookers and hobs, because it will help to minimise energy expenditure, thereby making your restaurant cheaper to run and reducing your overheads.

You can start to see right now that they have valuable information about the best way of organising a kitchen and about the type of commercial kitchen equipment that is most suitable for the task.


One of the biggest reasons why getting it right first time is so important is that it saves money on installation. Imagine if you install your kitchen, only to find that you have made an area dysfunctional.

For example, perhaps your storage cupboard door does not open wide enough because you placed it too close to another cupboard. If it’s vital to the flow of the restaurant, you will need to spend money to rearrange the kitchen and reinstall the cupboards in such a way that they work properly. This will cost you in both time and money.

Advice and Information about Alternative Ways of Doing Things
Project management services will understand that there are different ways of doing the same thing. Some of these you may not have considered. For example, perhaps you had not considered combining the oven and microwave. In some kitchens, this might be an ideal way to save space. In other kitchens, it might not work. The management services will understand when it is appropriate and when it isn’t, and will tailor the kitchen to your needs.

Paying for Mistakes
Finally, if there is a mistake in the way in which you run your project – maybe you’ve ordered the wrong commercial kitchen equipment, but you are unable to return it – then the liability rests with you. However, by using a project management service, the liability is theirs, and not yours, so if something goes wrong, you do not have to pay for it out of your own money.

Furthermore, the project management service is highly likely to have insurance (don’t use them if they don’t). This means that their work will be fully insured, so that if problems arise in the future, you might be able to make a claim with them.

In short, hiring a project management service in order to complete your commercial kitchen installation has a number of benefits when compared to undertaking the project yourself. If you would like to discuss your installation needs with a project management service, then please visit http://www.garnersfse.co.uk

Six Things You Need to Establish Before Hiring a Commercial Kitchen Designer/Installer

Commercial kitchen design is a relatively complex thing. There are so many considerations to make, that it’s often best to hire a commercial kitchen designer to undertake the work for you. However, in order to ensure that you get the kitchen you need, rather than simply lining someone else’s pocket through buying frivolous and unneeded items, you need to establish six things. We discuss these considerations below.

1.    Impartial Advice About Kitchen Design
The first thing that you should do is talk to someone who can offer impartial advice about best kitchen designs for a commercial kitchen. These are services that work independently and who do not offer kitchen design/installation – or if they do, that you make it clear you want their advice only, and not the latter service.

This might sound harsh, but most people will understand that you're simply trying to gather impartial information, rather than sales patter.

2.    Establish the Equipment You Need Before You Engage the Services of the Designer
You need to have a clear list of the equipment that you need in order to create a functional and efficient kitchen. It’s important that the designer knows exactly what you want and need. If you don’t make this clear, then they may omit or include items that you need/don’t need.

It can also lead to overselling, where the designer sells you things they know you don’t need, but through which they can make commission. By having your list clear in your mind, you can avoid being swayed by their sales patter.

3.    Choose a Designer Who Does Not Engage In Sales Talk
When shopping around for a catering kitchen design service, go and speak to the team in person. Get a feel for the type of service they offer and avoid those who go straight for the sales talk.


Instead, you should be looking for a service that listens to you when you outline your specification. Rather than them telling you what you want and need, you tell them and they create the design in reference to your wishes, making suggestions where relevant.

4.    Choose a Designer Who Offers Clear Recommendations
While you want to avoid using a catering kitchen design service that uses a hard sell technique, you still need to use someone who is clear in their recommendations about best practice in terms of design and in terms of your choice of equipment.

It’s important to realise that these services carry out kitchen design on a regular basis and, as such, they will have a good idea about the best way of organising and creating a functional and effective kitchen.

It’s important that the person feels comfortable enough to make suggestions where necessary and that they do not continue with a plan that you might have made, but which contains serious errors.

In other words, you need to tread a careful line between choosing an assertive designer and a pushy designer. Assertiveness is good, but pushiness is not.

If you would like to discuss your commercial kitchen design, please visit http://www.garnersfse.co.uk

Choose The Right Restaurant Kitchen For Your Business

As you can imagine, a restaurant kitchen is the most expensive part of opening your business. The reason for this that you will need high spec appliances, good lighting and safe anti slip floors.


It has to be designed in such a way so that kitchen workers are not in each other’s way and that they have designated work stations.


Of course, kitchen appliances are superior to domestic ones as they have to withstand being used all the time in a busy restaurant setting. To get an idea of what is involved in kitting out your restaurant you may want to approach Commercial kitchen fitters.


These companies do not only install everything you need from plumbing, electricity and all the other things required, but they will also be able to provide you with the right furniture for the dining area.


The best kitchens are the ones where design flows effortlessly right from the preparation area to the end destination, the diners.


In order to achieve this, your kitchen needs to be organised.  It is there that menus are created, but it is also a place where preparation is done, dirty dishes are returned and, of course it is also a place for storage.


As you can imagine, it needs to be a room that is spotless.  If your staff do not pay attention to detail your diners could suffer through food contamination and staff can slip and have accidents because of wet floors.  There are also a number of Health and Safety issues to consider.


A competent design company will be able to get you up to speed with Health and Safety regulations and they are in the business to design kitchens with these regulations in mind.


Depending on the type of food you are going to serve, your kitchen fitters will recommend the right cooking ranges for your purposes. You need to know that these are the most expensive piece of equipment you will buy.  They are meant to last for many years and you have to choose the right type.

The Importance of Functionality in Commercial Kitchen Design

Profitable commercial kitchens all share one thing in common: efficiency. Without this key ingredient, they simply wouldn’t be able to turn a decent profit. There may be a few exceptions to the rule, but overall, this generally holds true.

Much of the efficiency of a commercial kitchen is down to the management, but there is another very important element that people tend to overlook: design. Good design will create good flow, and this will bolster the efficiency of the team. Bad design, on the other hand, will create bottlenecks and holdups, which will hinder the team.

Today, we are going to consider the various areas contained within a commercial kitchen, and discuss ways that you can help to ensure that they remain efficient and flowing correctly.

Food Preparation & Pick-Up Zone
When you design your kitchen, you need to do this with your menu in mind. It’s important that you understand roughly the type of food that you will be serving, so that your commercial kitchen designers can factor this into the preparation zones.

There are a number of considerations here:

1.    The kitchen will be slightly more energy efficient if you separate hot and cold food preparation areas, and keep them within the hot/cold part of the kitchen. For example, if you prepare a warm chicken dish next to your refrigeration, this could impact on the food, which will cool faster than if you prepare that same dish near the warmer part of the kitchen.

2.    The preparation zones should be close to the waiters’ pick up point. This cuts down the amount of walking around people do, which in turn improves safety and speed.

3.    The pick-up zone should be as close to the door leading to the main restaurant as possible. This way, the waiters can walk in and pick up without barely entering the kitchen. As mentioned above, it’s safer and quicker.

These all sound like very minor issues, but overtime, they build up: “the devils in the details”.


Food Delivery Zone
You might be surprised to learn that the delivery area (the place where outside suppliers deliver their goods to the kitchen) is one of the most overlooked in terms of commercial kitchen design. However, it is vital to work out its correct placement because it makes a lot of difference to the way the kitchen functions.

First, the delivery zone should be as near to the outside doors as you can manage it. There are a number of reasons for this:

1.    It means that you reduce the number of suppliers walking through the kitchen, and thereby reduce HSE hazards.

2.    As long as you have storage areas (i.e. shelves, fridges, freezers) near the delivery area, it means that you reduce the amount of time it takes to put things away.

3.    Because things are put away fast, it prevents cold items from becoming warm, which can be incredibly problematic for things like

These all sound like very minor issues, but overtime, they build up: “the devils in the details”.

As you can conclude, efficiency within a commercial kitchen is essential to success. You might not realise all the little tricks and techniques used by professional commercial kitchen designers to enhance functionality and efficiency, but we hope that we have provided you with some insight.

Top Tips to Know Before Starting a Commercial Kitchen Enterprise

Are you thinking about starting a commercial kitchen? If so, then get ready for a lot of work. Commercial restaurants are one of the toughest businesses to break. They take time, effort, and plenty of sweat and tears. Today, we are going to give you some advice that you need to know before you start your restaurant business – you might even change your mind, and that can be a good thing.


Tip 1: Be prepared to sacrifice your social life for at least two years.


The first two years are the toughest. At this stage, it’s highly unlikely that you'll be turning enough of a profit to leave someone else in charge on the odd night that you want to socialise. This means you have to do it all yourself.


Restaurant working hours are very unsociable. That makes sense, because you are literally catering to people being sociable: you work while the rest of the world has fun.

If a fun and active social life is important to you, then the restaurant industry might not be the best choice for you…


however, there may be one saving grace for some of you: some restaurant owners love the work because they are surrounded by people all the time. Yes, you might be working, but you definitely have time to mingle with your guests, and if you have regulars, they can soon become your IRL friends.


Tip 2: Don’t expect to be rich.

Unless you happen to find an incredible location (and you will need a lot of capital to achieve this), it’s highly unlikely that you’ll become mega rich. The margins on restaurant food are relatively small, and they are not the most lucrative of businesses.


The initial set up is also very expensive. The Commercial kitchen equipment alone will set you back a good £20,000 for a smaller restaurant. For this reason, when people decide to start their own restaurant, they often buy one that already exists, rather than setting one up themselves.



You can expect to be comfortable, but don’t expect to be rich. In fact, many people live above their restaurants, and rather than this being a matter of convenience, it can sometimes simply be a matter of budget.


Tip 3: Develop a thick skin.

The restaurant industry is tough. You will have so many knocks it can destroy you, unless you develop a thick skin. Here are some things that you can expect to face:


1. Problem customers – most restaurant owners have at least one customer that will kick off at some point in time. In fact, it’s quite common, especially in city centre locations.


2. Complaints – you might be super happy over a particular dish, very proud of your chef, but then a customer comes along and tells you that it’s awful. Sometimes, all of your customers will say the same thing! You really need to learn to be humble, while at the same time learn how not to take it to heart.


3. Suppliers – you will need to learn to negotiate. As we said earlier, commercial kitchen equipment is expensive, and so too is all the food, if you don’t negotiate well (usually because you’re too nice) then you will turn less profit. Some new restaurant owners take assertiveness classes to address the “nice” factor.


As you can appreciate, running a restaurant is hard work, and it isn’t something that everyone will be suited to. Think very carefully before embarking on this career – do plenty of research and talk to other owners.

How to Design Your Restaurant So That People Return

There are some types of restaurant where people generally aren’t expected to return: airport, railway, ferry restaurants, for instance. However, most restaurant owners want people to keep returning to their restaurant. Some appear to be better at managing this than others.


You all know that it’s important to create the right food, but there are other things that can entice people too. Today, we’re going to look at some of these other things, so that you too can create return business.


  1. Keep the music down.

Music is a difficult thing to get right. There are so many different tastes, that you won’t be able to cater to everyone. For this reason, if you do play music in the restaurant, keep it to instrumentals, and keep the volume down. The louder the music, the higher the turnover of people – many don’t enjoy loud music.


  1. Get it right with your restaurant kitchen design.

A poorly designed kitchen can have a massive influence on the restaurant. Firstly, if you haven’t managed workflow, you can end up with blockages in the kitchen that over the course of an hour or two lead to significant waits for your customers in the restaurant. If they have to wait too long for their food, they’ll choose to eat elsewhere.


Secondly, a poorly planned kitchen is stressful for staff. This stress has a knock-on effect for everyone in the kitchen, and in turn, on people in the restaurant. If the atmosphere is bad, people will not want to eat there.


  1. Make sure that it’s comfortable.

The more comfortable people are, the more of a favourable impression they will have of your restaurant. You can do several things to improve comfort: add cushions to chairs, space tables further away from each other (so people don’t have to listen in on each other’s conversation, or shove their bottoms in people’s faces when getting up or down), clearly indicate where the toilets are, and create wide gangways.


We hope that you have found this article useful. If you would like any further advice about restaurant design, then please visit Garnersfse.

Popular Restaurants: What Are Some of Their Secrets?

Have you ever wondered why some restaurants are more popular than other are? There are many reasons for the difference, and, of course, not being omnipresent beings, we don’t have all the answers. However, we do understand some of the secrets of some of the best restaurants in the world. And by best, we’re not talking about the Michelin 3* restaurants, but just the local ones that everyone loves.


If you’re a restaurant owner, and you’re struggling, you might find some helpful information during the course of this article. We wish you good luck! We know exactly how difficult it is to run a restaurant, and at times, it can feel like the biggest mistake you ever made, but if/when it turns a corner, it’s all worth it.


The Décor


Do you understand the difference between warm colours and cold colours? Did you know that you can have two similar colours, e.g. both called “white”, but one can be cold and clinical, while the other can be warm and calming.


A great restaurant uses warm colours. They make their guests feel safe, relaxed, at home, and at ease. Restaurants that use cold colours have a high turnover of customers. These latter restaurants are the types you find in large city-centre shopping centres; the owners don’t want their customers to dawdle because it reduces their profits.


As well as the colour, the furniture can be warm too. Imagine the stark contrast between a metal chair and a plush armchair? Which would you find more enchanting and welcoming? The plush armchair is something that you find in many of the best pubs in the UK. The metal chairs, yes, you guessed it, in the huge shopping centres or in-store café shops.


Wood, stone, metal, and glass can all be warm or cold. Think of the contrast between a plain window and a frosted window – somehow, the frosted window feels warmer.

The best restaurants serve fantastic food, and they do it within the context of a super comfy environment. Do you know what that means? People want to stay for dessert, coffee, and “Oh go on then! One more beer won’t hurt”.


The Kitchen


A happy restaurant is one that looks after its staff, and to help them do that, they must have a well-planned kitchen. Good restaurant kitchen design will take account of the comfort of the kitchen. For example, it will create an ergonomic kitchen that ensures that the staff under exert themselves as much as possible. An ergonomic kitchen is a safer and better environment in which to work. A good kitchen is logical. All of the areas flow from one to another, so staff don’t fall over each other getting here, there, and everywhere. This reduces accidents, but also stress.


It’s good to consult your staff every now and again, and find out if there’s anything that particularly annoys everyone. You can then try to take steps to address the issue.

Kitchen Equipment Is Easily Sourced On The Internet

Before you are equipping your kitchen it is sensible to work out the budget for it and to research different options on the internet.


You may well want to instruct a designer to help you to equip your kitchen to maximum advantage. It all depends how competent you are in knowing exactly what kitchen equipment you will need to produce the dishes you are going to serve.


If the kitchen area is an awkward space, it is all the more important to have it designed properly. It is of the essence that all you need is installed to their best effect so that the kitchen workforce can set about their business in an efficient way.


It is not only about appliances and storage space, but you need to have enough power points and running water facilities to make the work for them that much easier. Obviously you will need where everything is to go. When that has been established your designer will make sure that the electrical and plumbing work can begin.


Flooring and walls need to be clad in materials that are easy to wipe clean and joins have to be kept to a minimum so that bacteria cannot harbour in nooks and crannies. There is specialist flooring available for commercial kitchens. These are anti-slip and they are easy to keep clean with a mop and bucket.


If you should source your equipment via your kitchen designer, you ought to sign up for a maintenance agreement. New appliances are always covered for a warranty for the first year or so, but if any of them should break down after that it will cause major inconvenience.


The beauty of a maintenance agreement is that there is only one telephone number for any malfunction and breakdowns are very swiftly dealt with out of necessity. Just think, if you have a restaurant full of people, a breakdown is a catastrophe.


If your budget is tight, you may be able to lease equipment from your provider.


If you would like to know more visit Garnersfse.

Catering Industry Advice: What Are the Key Traits of a Good Supplier?

Finding decent suppliers for your catering business can be difficult. You need to strike a balance between price and reliability. The more reliable and the better the quality of the supplier, the more you pay. However, there are a few key traits that you can look for when choosing any supplier. If they do not exhibit these traits, then it’s more than worthwhile to look elsewhere.


Trait 1: Reliability and Quality

You will find that you pay more for quality and reliability. This makes sense because they are actually doing you a favour. By offering a reliable service, they enable you to run a stable, uninterrupted business, and this leads to profit (as long as your business is reliable of the right quality, of course).


You are much more likely to have these qualities offered to you if you use the supplier regularly. For instance, if you always buy your fruit from the same supplier, they are more likely to value your business, and will therefore ensure good service. However, the same supplier may not offer the same level of service to a customer that only uses them once in a blue moon – from a business perspective; it makes little sense for them to focus on a customer that only uses them once. If they do that, it detracts from their valued customers.


Trait 2: Quick and Flexible Response Times

When you contact a supplier they are quick to offer you solutions to your problems, and they can tailor the solution to your needs. For instance, if you need to buy commercial catering equipment UK, a good supplier will be able to source your item quickly. This is important in a kitchen, because a lack of equipment can mean a reduced menu, fewer customers, and then less profit.


This is something that you will learn over time, but you can contact potential suppliers and ask for their average lead times. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they’re being upfront, but over time, you will be able to work out whether they were or not. If they weren’t, then it’s probably a bad sign. Suppliers that lie to their customers in order to maintain a relationship are really just sabotaging themselves.



Trait 3: Price

Price is vital to your business, but it should only be considered after the first two traits. This is because, while price affects you immediately, a lack of reliability, quality, and quick turnaround will actually cost you more in the long run. So, while you might save on price with a particular supplier, you need to make sure that they have traits 1 and 2 if you really want to choose wisely. If not, you will find that you lose more money than you saved when buying the product/service.


Trait 4: Communication

When choosing a supplier it is vital that you choose one with good customer services. Businesses that lack good customer service are extremely problematic. You never know where you stand, and this can make it incredibly difficult for you to deliver on your own business. For instance, if you buy commercial catering equipment UK, and the supplier fails to inform you about a delay in the supply chain, it may well have disastrous effects on your business. You need to be told about problems as quickly as possible.


If you would like further help and advice about your commercial kitchen, please visit Garners


Seven Tips for New Restaurant Owners: Avoiding Those Pesky Problems No One Thinks to Mention

Opening a restaurant can be very daunting. Often, you run around asking everyone you know for as much information as possible. These people are usually very helpful, but from time to time, forget to inform you about those niggly things, that if not dealt with, will cause you frustration. Well, here, we are going to talk about those annoying things that everyone forgets. The advice here isn’t vital, but it sure will help you to create a nice atmosphere in your kitchen.


  1. Separate the kitchen into zones: this is probably one that you’re already familiar with, but commercial restaurants should almost always zone their kitchens. This means having separate areas for various types of work, e.g. a separate area for preparing raw food (e.g. meat and fish) and cold food (e.g. salad). It’s important to keep these separate; otherwise, you can give your customers food poisoning. That’s not good for the reputation of your restaurant! The exception maybe very small restaurants, but you will need to be extra careful about contamination.


  1. Colour code your kitchen: a good way to encourage zoning, and to make it a bit easier for everyone to understand, is to colour code it. Here are a few ideas:


  • Yellow for food preparation areas.
  • Red for dirty dishes.
  • Blue for completed dishes waiting to go out to customers.




The way you colour code your kitchen depends on your personal preferences and the kitchen itself.  We advise that you use primary colours for your colour coding, as they stand out more than other colours.


Finally, the reason why colour-coding works is that people find visual cues easier to follow than verbal queues. We evolved to see before we evolved to speak, and that’s why colour works so well.


  1. Buy high-quality commercial catering equipment from the start, where possible. People often scrimp on their equipment when first staring out. Don’t do this. High quality equipment is often cheaper in the long run because:
    • They usually use less energy to run
    • They have fewer maintenance costs
    • They require servicing less often
    • They speed up cooking times, which boosts profits – as long as you have the customers.


  1. One-way travel around the kitchen. In larger commercial kitchens, create a one-way system. This is safer because it prevents accidents from people bumping into each other.


  1. Buy commercial catering equipment that comes on wheels, for easy cleaning. When you can wheel equipment around, it makes it easier to clean. You can wheel the item forward and clean behind it. This means that you don’t get food stuck behind your catering equipment, which can go mouldy.


  1. Place storage areas near delivery points. You don’t want people traipsing through your kitchen. It’s dangerous, and they can bring in bacteria and contamination.


  1. Use at least three types of bins: food waste, household waste, recycling, and glass. This just helps to keep the kitchen tidy. Plus, you won’t end up with a fine from your local council.


If you would like further help and advice about commercial kitchens, then please visit Garners.

Why You Need A Professional Designer

If a commercial kitchen needs to be designed it is best to leave it to a design company. Once you have engaged a reputable company the first thing that will happen is that a designer will visit your premises to assess space and possibilities.

Commercial kitchen designers do not do everything themselves. They need input from the restaurateur and the chef who has to work in the kitchen to come up with the perfect design for the restaurant’s needs.


Once this has been done the designer will work out space and will be able to work out roughly how much the project is going to cost. At this stage a vague design idea will also emerge.


You need to realise that perhaps not all your ideas can be incorporated as when a design becomes clear it may be that all that you wanted can simply not fit in the space allocated.


We have just had our house rewired and installed more power points and they are still not adequate. Restaurant owners often underestimate how many of these are required in a commercial kitchen. There are the refrigeration units, cookers, electrical appliances, meat slicers to name but a few.


Ventilation is also an integral part of kitchen design. Kitchen smells that are often oily need to be extracted so that a greasy film does not cover the kitchen area and the diners are not engulfed in kitchen smells. These units use a high wattage too.


As a restaurant owner and perhaps a property developer, sight of a good working kitchen and a return on investment must not be overlooked. If you want to establish a top of the range restaurant, sometimes the return of investment gets in the way.

Everyone has to work to a budget, but for your kitchen to work properly, you cannot skimp on leaving details out. You may have to make savings elsewhere.


One important aspect is Hygiene legislation. Hygiene has improved over the years because there are strict laws in this respect. There are now work surfaces and wall coverings available that are easy to clean.

Four Great Tips to Help Your Coffee Shop Get Off to a Booming Start

Are you thinking of setting up a coffee shop? When done correctly, the work can be fun, interesting, and profitable. When done incorrectly, it’s a recipe for stress. To get it right takes careful thought and planning. It’s important that you learn as much as you can about the trade as possible, maybe even taking a job as a waitress just to learn a bit more about the industry.


You can also learn from others who have been there before, and that’s exactly what you will be going if you read on. Below, we have written 4 tips that we know will help you to get it right. You won’t find all of the answers listed below, but you will at least find some.


Tip 1: Believe in What You’re Doing


It doesn’t matter which business venture you're embarking upon, whether a new coffee shop or a multinational company, you must always believe in the task. Without that belief, you will find the process incredibly stressful: small setbacks will feel larger; you’ll never quite know whether the thing will work or not; you'll lose heart and quit. This is why it’s vital to choose a business for passion, and not for money.


Tip 2: Find the Best Location for Your Budget


When it comes to restaurants, shops, or coffee shops, then location is essential. If you choose the wrong location, no one will come to your shop. There are two factors to consider here:


1.You need to consider a location that is busy. When choosing this, make sure that you delve into property plans at the local council and make sure that they aren’t planning anything that could affect your business. We know a restaurant owner who took charge of a new restaurant in what appeared to be a busy location. Six months in, the council closed the through pass to make room for a new development. It took two years for people to come back to the area, and the restaurant only survived by the skin of its teeth.


2.You need to consider if the people in the area are the type of clients that you need. For instance, an up market coffee shop won’t be any good in a student area.

Tip 3: Create the Right Space


Coffee shop design is paramount to the success of your new business venture. Again, there are two considerations in this respect:


1.The design of the main floor, where the customers gather

2.The design of the kitchen


When thinking about coffee shop design, it is important to discuss your goals with a specialist designer. They have inside knowledge about how to create the perfect space.


Tip 4: Find Customers


You will have to market yourself in order to find customer. On-street canvassing is a good place to start – offer incentives for people walking by. Other options include website design and leaflet drops.

The Importance of Being Prepared

When it comes to running a successful restaurant, saving time and keeping costs down are two elements which can seem like a constant battle. No manager wants to cut corners and compromise on quality but how do you find the balance between the two?


The majority of customers to any eating establishment will say that homemade and freshly prepared food comes high on their list of priorities when choosing somewhere to eat, and more importantly, choosing somewhere to return to eat. With customers becoming ever more discerning about the food they are served, nobody wants to concede the quality of food they are producing. That said, almost every operator knows that those same customers are likely to get fidgety and begin looking at their watches if they feel their food is taking too long to arrive.


How do you strike a balance between ensuring that your food is freshly made and that it doesn’t take too long to make leaving customers cross before they’ve even started eating?


One key element is having the right food service equipment; this may mean making an investment in equipment which will help you to save time, thereby ensuring you can prepare and produce the food ordered quickly and efficiently. There are an ever increasing number of gadgets on the market and they all claim to be the next wonder-toy for helping you in the kitchen. Make sure that you read personal reviews and that you try out the equipment before you commit to purchasing anything new; the worst thing you could do would be to buy something on a whim and then discover that it doesn’t actually do what you were expecting, or it doesn’t make your life any easier in the long run.


Another key element is to find a balance between the amount of freshly prepared food you have and food which you have prepared in advance. Sometimes, despite a chef’s best efforts it is simply not feasible to have every single item on the menu prepared as it is ordered and it makes sense to prepare things in advance where you need to. Again, however, with the advancements in technology and food storage there is no reason why, with some careful planning and forethought, the food cannot be kept fresh and many customers will not be able to tell the difference between whether their food was made earlier in the day and reheated or whether it was made there and then as they ordered it. A good chef will know how to make this possible.


Play around with different options if you can, see how the reaction of customer’s varies and don’t be afraid to adapt as necessary. When push comes to shove, most customers will prefer having their food arrive promptly than have proof that it was prepared the moment they ordered it and this is definitely something worth bearing in mind.

Designing a Small Commercial Kitchen

If you only have a small space in which to work but want to install a new commercial kitchen there are certain things you will have to bear in mind, and it can feel like a big task to make the best use of the space at your disposal. A well designed commercial kitchen will be efficient, safe and well thought out. If you are considering employing a company to create and install your new design then it is best to take some time out to consider the following:-


Primary Use

Make a list of the foods you plan to prepare in your kitchen on a regular basis. Think in detail about the food storage you will need as well as the space and equipment needed for the preparation. This is one of the most important elements of your kitchen and should be thought about before you even begin to consider your new kitchen equipment design as it will determine much about the layout of your new commercial kitchen. It is also worth considering whether you might want to change or adapt your existing menu in the future, and taking steps to plan for that as well to avoid not having the right kind of storage or space when it comes to the point when you want to change your menu. Having this information to hand will be incredibly useful to the design company as they will be able to begin to imagine what sort of space is required from the word go. Knowing in advance what your kitchen will be used for will also help with planning out how best to ensure that preparation is streamlined and efficient.



Research the equipment that you think you will need. Separate it into equipment that is absolutely necessary for day to day use and equipment that would be helpful but not essential. If you are already operating as a business then you will no doubt know and understand that commercial equipment has to meet certain safety standards; if you are a new business then be sure to only purchase equipment which will pass health and safety inspections. A good design company will be able to assist you with this as well as with proper installation of any larger pieces of equipment.



Unless you are planning to meet on site with your chosen design company, you will need to take specific measurements to pass on to them to ensure they can design your kitchen properly. Make note of doors, windows, existing equipment which may be staying, as well as electrical outlet points and plumbing/drainage etc. If you don’t feel confident with this aspect then consider an onsite meeting initially to allow your designer to get a feel for the space.


Get Ready

If you are a currently operating business, consider how you will adapt around the building work. Will you need to close for a number of weeks? How will this impact on your finances? These are all elements which should be thought through carefully before you agree to any big commercial changes.

How to Reduce Costs in Your Commercial Kitchen

The restaurant industry is highly profitable…at times. Often, it’s quiet during the week, but busy at the weekends. During those quiet times, it’s important to cut back on the overall cost of running the business. It’s unlikely that you're making much of a profit during quiet times, but by cutting down on running costs during these periods, you can save money on your overheads and help to boost profits. Here, we’re going to teach you how.


Tip 1: Assessing Portion Size


Because you have to buy many different items to make a range of dishes, it can be difficult to work out how much a meal is costing you once you add in the extras. For example, a with a steak dinner, the resultant will factor in the cost of the steak, and maybe the potatoes, but they need to factor in the garnishes and sauces so that they can get a proper handle on the finances.


To do this, you need to start to monitor items in groups. Create divisions, such as meat, poultry, milk, spices, salads, etc.


Monitor these over the course of two or three months and work out, on average, how much you are spending on the additional extras. Divide this by the number of meals you have sold, and you now have a rough guess at how much the extras are costing you per meal.


Now, you need to check that you are making a decent profit once these are accounted for. If you aren’t, then you have two options:


1.Increase your prices
2.Decrease your portion sizes


Unless you are a restaurant known for large portions, we would always recommend option 2 initially. This is because it helps in many different ways. By reducing portion sizes, you will minimize wastage, you will reduce your burden on the environment, and you will increase your profits.


You can reduce the impact of this on your customers by choosing utensils and plates that give the illusion that nothing’s changed. For instance, buy smaller plates, knives, and forks.


If you receive complaints, explain that there is often a lot of wastage with large meal sizes. If that doesn’t go down too well, you may have to reinstate large portions, but increase costs.


Tip 2: Replace Energy Sapping Equipment with Energy Saving Equipment


By far, one of the largest overheads for a commercial kitchen is the electricity and gas bill. You can reduce this massively by purchasing food service equipment that has a good energy rating (you should look for A+ rating).


By changing your food service equipment for items that are more energy saving, you can actually decrease the cost of running your kitchen significantly. You can save as much as £1 an hour, and at 8 hours a day, 300 days a year, that’s an overall saving of £2400 per year. Not bad.


Tip 3: During Quiet Periods, Have Your Staff Prepare Meals for Busier Periods


This is really a no brainer. Rather than paying staff to do nothing during quiet periods, you can pay them instead to prepare meals for serving later on. This can save you time, and as you know, time is money!


Efficient Space Utilisation With Good Design

Commercial kitchen designers are important to establish a fast, safe and efficient service regime for kitchen staff.


If you have a large kitchen space it follows that the seating area for your diners is also big. A big restaurant needs more equipment than a small outlet. All your appliances need to be arranged in such a manner that people who work in your kitchen can access foodstuffs and kitchen utensils without walking miles.


Before you start to kit out your kitchen you need to have a think about what kinds of food you are going to cook for your diners. Are you going to serve a la carte, have a daily small menu like a bistro or have a self-service arrangement?


For each of these different styles of cooking your will need different pieces of equipment in your kitchen.


Commercial Kitchen designers are also fully conversant with Health and Safety and food hygiene standards. They will sort out all the necessary requirements so that you kitchen meets these standards.



Because foods are easily contaminated, it is a good idea to have food preparation areas well away from the main cooking area. Normally commercial kitchens are designed in that way anyway.


If you find it difficult to obtain funding for a major refurbishing project, you could have a word with your designers and supply company. They may be able to arrange finance on your behalf. Big companies who have a good relation with their customers very often have such a facility in place.


It is important that you have a budget in mind above which you must not go. You need to realise that when you first start out you won’t start making money until your restaurant is open. It could take a little while to be in profit after all these expenses.


On another note, it makes good sense to approach designers. They do not only do the graphics for your kitchen, but they also supply appliances and restaurant furniture. You only have to phone one number if anything should go wrong.