A key part of an effective kitchen is its design. After all, there’s no point in spending time and resources on designing the perfect menu, if your kitchen isn’t up to scratch. Do you feel your kitchen needs a design boost? The fact is, even the most successful restaurants have room for improvement.
With that in mind, let’s explore some kitchen design hacks that can boost your restaurant.
1. Think About Layout
Having the correct layout is key for every kitchen. Ideally, you’ll want space that allows for each of the different processes- preparation, cooking, and plating- to be carried out smoothly. But each restaurant has its own needs depending on the kinds of food it provides. Let’s look at some different layouts that could improve your kitchen:
An Island Layout – In an island configuration, all cooking equipment is found at the center of the kitchen, with countertops around the edge. This layout is better suited for larger kitchens and helps ensure that food preparation is completed more efficiently.
An Open Layout – This is a layout typically found within pizzerias. An open layout means that customers can see into the kitchen and watch as their food is being prepared. This configuration can improve the dining experience, giving customers exciting insights into how their food is being prepared.
An Ergonomic Layout – This layout one thing: comfort. The idea is that if kitchen staff are more comfortable, they will produce food more quickly. An ergonomic configuration reduces the need for employee movement. This means that all equipment needed is close to hand and accessible.
2. Remember the Importance of Health
No diner wants to leave your restaurant and get sick. At minimum this could see you receive reviews; at worst you could receive a visit from the health authorities. To ensure the safety of diners (and staff), your kitchen should include equipment to keep hygiene levels high.
First things first, you should consult local health guidelines. It goes without saying, but if your kitchen isn’t compliant with the law, it will not be headed for success. Beyond that, make sure that your kitchen includes grease taps, ventilation, and proper food storage facilities. If you’re unsure about anything, it’s always better to contact the health authority for guidance.
3. Be Efficient
Efficiency should be at the heart of your kitchen culture. But efficiency does not only apply to the work of your staff. You’ll also want to ensure energy efficiency to be sure that bills don’t blow a hole in your budget. When purchasing new equipment for the kitchen, keep an eye on its energy rating. Anything with a low rating should be avoided.
In today’s world, green issues are a much higher priority for the public. By putting a focus on energy efficiency, you can ensure that diners view your establishment favorably.
4. Leave Space for Instructions
For new staff, the array of equipment within your kitchen can seem confusing. It’s always a good idea to introduce them to each item and explain how it can be used. It’s common, however, for staff to need reminding on certain areas.
So that more experienced workers aren’t frequently disturbed from their tasks, you could leave instruction booklets for each piece of equipment. Within these instructions, you could leave directions for completing different techniques. For example, you might leave information about how to make cold foam in a blender.
With the right instructions, new staff can feel more at home, quickly.
5. Ensure the Right Storage
Your restaurant will take delivery of many different ingredients. It goes without saying, but you need to make sure that you have space to store all of the items that you need. Take a look at your establishment. Do you feel that you have the storage space that you need to meet the requirements of your restaurant?
As well as size, it’s important that you think about ease of access. Multiple coolers or freezers might meet your storage needs, but they are inefficient. Ideally, you need one area that an employee can go to, to find the items they need. If you haven’t invested in a walk-in fridge or freezer, now might be a good time (although only if your restaurant caters to a large number of people).
6. Be Equipped to Meet Market Demand
Part of running a successful restaurant is understanding the market and adapting to change. Certain dishes will come in and out of fashion. Make sure that you have the processes in place to be alert for trends arriving so that you can order ingredients on time and capitalize on the latest craze.
7. Fit Proper Ventilation
Your staff will not enjoy working in a heated environment. Nor will your diners be happy to receive greasy food. Bear in mind, the kind of ventilation that you will need will vary depending on your restaurant. For example, a restaurant that focuses on food such as burgers will need different ventilation to a fine dining establishment.
With the right ventilation, you can ensure that the staff environment is a happy space to work. You can also feel reassured that food hygiene is not comprised by a poorly ventilated environment.
Kitchen Design Is Key
Whatever decisions you make, don’t overlook the importance of good kitchen design. Without good quality design, you will struggle to meet customer demands and produce the best quality food. If you feel that your kitchen is lacking, there’s no reason that you can’t begin making changes. The list of kitchen design ideas, above will set you on the right path to an efficient kitchen. Just remember, while you might have goals of winning awards and receiving recognition, success begins with smart kitchen design.