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.