Tips for Commercial Kitchen Design

Tips for Commercial Kitchen Design - Chef Works

Commercial Kitchen Design: Balancing Function and Style

The importance of creating a work environment that's both comfortable and stylish is not lost on the hospitality industry.

So, when thinking about your dream kitchen there are some design principles common for all commercial kitchens - whether it’s for a small café, medium-size restaurant catering to 50-60 covers, or a kitchen specifically designed for catering purposes - that you should concentrate on first before you settle on your kitchen’s physical appearance.

Efficiency in workflow, proximity of key areas (such as fridge, stove or cooktop, food preparation stations and sink), along with ensuring ease of movement, are the pillars of effective commercial kitchen design.

Commercial Kitchen Layout and Design: Key Considerations

All chefs/cooks and their kitchen designers or builders should aim to be creating functional and organised layouts that minimise unnecessary steps and maximise the best use of space to promote productivity.

These principles apply whether you are designing a commercial kitchen with one workstation or multiples, accommodating specialised cooking and preparation equipment or just the basics.

The best commercial kitchen design optimises the flow between food preparation, cooking, plating, and service areas.

Your commercial kitchen layout may also need to consider the specific needs of your establishment. This could mean accommodating certain types of cooking methods, such as flame grills, multiple woks, rotisseries or wood-fired ovens. Taking into account the complexity of your menu, and the volume of food production your kitchen will handle. The considerations in a cafe design will be very different to that of a large restaurant.

Each of these factors plays a significant role in ensuring your commercial kitchen design not only meets the functional needs of your operation but also contributes to creating an efficient, pleasant, and productive workspace. 


Here are our top tips to consider when designing a commercial kitchen layout:

Workflow optimisation: Analyse your anticipated workflow and design the kitchen layout to minimise movement and enhance efficiency along the kitchen line. Create logical pathways between different workstations to reduce unnecessary steps and potential clashes between staff members. Who wants to be taking extra steps or navigating a bench corner with a sizzling hot pan or dripping dishes in hand?

Space utilisation: Maximise the efficient use of space ensuring that the key areas such as cooking, preparation, and storage areas are conveniently located and have enough space for staff to move around comfortably.

Safety and compliance: Ensure your kitchen is complying with workplace health and safety regulations. Just as important as ensuring your team is wearing the right clothing for working in a kitchen, it’s also their workplace so consider fire safety measures, proper electrical wiring, non-slip flooring, and appropriate lighting and ventilation levels to maintain a safe working environment.

Equipment selection: Choose commercial kitchen equipment that is appropriately sized for the available space. If you;re choosing equipment for a small commercial kitchen, consider compact and multifunctional equipment without compromising functionality. Prioritise essential equipment and avoid overcrowding the kitchen with unnecessary appliances.

Ventilation and exhaust: Adequate ventilation is crucial in a commercial kitchen to maintain air quality and remove heat, steam, and cooking odours. Install a proper ventilation system with hoods, exhaust fans, and filters to ensure a comfortable and safe working environment.

Storage solutions: Efficient storage is essential in all commercial kitchens especially those on the small side. Utilise vertical space by incorporating wall-mounted shelves or racks and consider under-counter or overhead storage options. Use adjustable shelving to accommodate varying sizes of ingredients and supplies as well as space for staff to keep extra work uniforms - in the event of food spills and accidents - as well as their own personal items.

Cleaning and maintenance: Choose benchtop and floor surfaces and materials that are easy to clean and maintain. Choose durable and non-porous materials for countertops, floors, and walls to facilitate proper sanitation and hygiene practices.

Accessibility and ergonomics: You choose comfortable and stylish clothing to wear while working in a kitchen, so consider the comfort and accessibility of your staff when designing workstations and equipment heights. Ensure there is adequate space for staff to work comfortably and safely, with proper consideration given to ergonomics and avoiding unnecessary strain or injury.

Utility connections: Ensure that proper utility connections for water, electricity, gas, and drainage are available and easily accessible for the kitchen equipment and maintenance.

It’s important to consult a professional experienced in kitchen design, even if your budget is low and you’re mostly coming up with the layout yourself. Even if it’s just to receive some feedback, to ensure that all necessary elements and requirements are met, and the design is optimised for your business or operation’s specific needs.

At Chef Works, we are driven by those who are inspired by all things culinary. Fueled by the belief that every culinary professional deserves the right apparel and tools to enhance the work they do. We understand that the recipe for excellence goes far beyond simple ingredients.

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