The design of a kitchen is a subject matter that always raises passionate responses from those involved. All and sundry has an opinion, they all tend to be different and everyone thinks they are right. It can be a very divisive process if not carefully managed.
The important thing is to come to a consensus that is agreed upon by those involved. The old adage “two heads are better than one” definitely applies in this case.
Below are some points to consider when designing a kitchen:
- Years of experience, from a culinary perspective, is very important in the design. However, this can lead to complacency. It is a big mistake not to Involve the whole team in the process. Sometimes the best ideas come from where you least expect them.
- Engage a kitchen design company to help. Their input is invaluable in terms of actual design (drawings, rough-ins and cut sheets) and functionality of the space, especially if it is a new build as opposed to a refurb of an existing kitchen.
- Make the local health department aware that change is coming and share the designs with them. It is important to keep them onside and they will have the most up-to-date requirements a knowledge of future or changes in legislation.
- Mistakes in kitchen design tend to be costly, especially if movement of plumbing, electrical and gas are involved. This can be minimized if a number of people are involved in the decision-making process.
- Type of menu/food to be served can also influence the kitchen design, however this is not always available. Therefore, the flexibility of the kitchen to produce different styles of cuisine is important. Have a design that is future proofed and flexible as much is possible, therefore protecting the business from costly equipment changes in the near term.
The characteristics of a good kitchen design are:
- Ergonomics – the design should minimize staff movement around the space and maximize their productivity. Equipment should be easy to use and intuitive to use.
- Energy efficient – choice of equipment is key. Energy efficient equipment may cost slightly more but may reduce utility bills. Check with utility providers for rebates.
- Size – the size of a kitchen areas in relation to the restaurant size is often overlooked. A rule of thumb is 300 square feet of kitchen space to every sixty (60) seats.
- Ventilation – good ventilation leads to a healthy work environment.
- Maintenance – a kitchen design should be easy to maintain from how the equipment is placed to how easy it is to clean from a service perspective.
Team communication and collaboration is vital in making any kitchen design work and fit for purpose.
As you can see; there are a multitude of moving parts to consider. Many mistakes have been made from ignoring the basics above time after time. Why make the same mistakes when there are plenty of opportunities to make new ones!