No magic formula for determining kitchen size, says top consultant

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There is no instant magic formula for determining the ratio between the size of a foodservice establishment and the kitchen that supports it, the boss of Tricon Foodservice Consultants has said.

Asked at the recent Great Hospitality Show if it was possible to draw a link between the number of covers a restaurant serves and the footprint of the kitchen, Mike Coldicott said that every case needed to be treated on its own merits.

“If I had a pound for every time I have been asked that question I wouldn’t be doing kitchen design!” he said. “The reality is that every situation is unique. Typically, you could say 40% back of house to 60% front of house as a very rough rule of thumb. But that is a very generic response, because it is quite specific to each and every detail of the site, as well as the issues of peak and flow.”

Mr Coldicott said it was a fact of the business that kitchens overall are getting small. But he said operators need to cut their cloth accordingly or risk jeopardising the quality of output.

He said: “Kitchen designers get it: space costs. Real estate is very expensive, but it is actually more costly if you get it wrong. If the kitchen can’t deliver what the menu requires, the diner expectation drops dramatically quickly. It is all about achieving the right balance. Kitchens should be efficient, they shouldn’t be spacious. On design projects we often talk about ‘sweating the space’ and getting use of every square metre. You have got to make sure it works hard for itself, so there is a return on the investment.”

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