With over a decade of experience of transforming catering facilities across the UK, Restaurant Design Associates has a firm handle on the key considerations that should be taken into account when designing a commercial kitchen. Company director Alex Bradley outlines the four main components that operators need to bear in mind when looking to build efficient, on-trend kitchen that will keep customers coming back for more.
1. Effective workflow
An effective workflow with minimum workspaces ensuring staff have everything nearby is a key aspect that needs to be considered. Sufficient storage — chilled, ambient and dry, is also a key consideration.
To help to reduce energy costs it is essential that there is energy efficient and multi-functional equipment and that the building has acoustic treatment to the walls dividing the restaurant from the kitchen. This in turn helps to maximise staff output and ensures excessive staff are not needed to run the kitchen.
2. A collaborative approach
It is very important to have a collaborative approach to the design layout from the beginning of a project. It is important to listen to the chef’s point of view and incorporate ideas into the design so they will be able to produce a range of foods from the kitchen and operate in a safe environment both in terms of food safety and working practices.
3. Design trends
Open plan kitchens are a current trend in the design of kitchens, so diners can see into the kitchen, have a “live experience” and feel involved in the whole dining ambience. There is also an emphasis on locally sourced, locally produced food and letting the customer know where the food came from.
Becoming vegan has also never been so popular, with many predicting that 2019 will be the year Veganism goes mainstream as more and more people opt for a plant- based diet. We have seen that trend follow through to restaurant and café design with a significant increase in clients opting for vegan, vegetarian and organic options.
4. Ventilation choice
It is very important that ventilation is carefully designed from an environmental perspective so kitchen odours are kept to a minimum externally. From an operator’s point of view ventilation needs to be at a suitable working temperature with fresh air input. Putting in UV systems can help to control external kitchen odours. It is also particularly important from a planning perspective especially on new builds.
The sorts of equipment that are available to help deal with the problem include: carbon filtration and electro static precipitator (ESP) filtration systems. Infra-red activated ventilation systems can also help to significantly reduce energy use and running costs.
RDA has 12 years’ experience providing commercial kitchen services, including space planning and customer flow, food technology advice, brand development, interior design, CAD layouts and 3D visualisations. www.rdalimited.co.uk