How to Design a Catering Kitchen

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Design a workable kitchen.
Design a workable kitchen. (Image: Photo, curtesy of Stock.xchng)

Your dream of owning your own catering business is coming true and you are busy choosing your food selection offerings. Because food production on a large scale requires an adequate facility in which to prepare, plan to construct a catering kitchen to accommodate your needs.

Check with your state health board and fire marshal before purchasing appliances. In some states, you may operate out of your home but will need a separate entrance to the kitchen and a reception area. In all states, fire codes apply when you’re operating a business that uses high temperature commercial equipment.

Design the placement of your interior appliances and cabinets to expedite your working area. If you plan to cater entire meals, allow room to house thermo carts with an easy access to the door for transportation.

Divide your catering kitchen into work areas by food group. When preparing desserts, your pastry board should be as close as possible to the flour and sugar bins and only a short reach from a centralized refrigerator. In addition, plan for a meat and entrée work area on one side of your cook top and a side dish preparation station on the other.

Equip sinks and trash receptacles with knee or foot levers to ensure sanitary operation.

Position warming trays near the packaging area. The last step before transporting your food is the final packaging. Here, you will transfer prepared hot dishes into thermo carts and put the cold foods into the cooling chests. With warming trays close by, your packaging process will go smoother.

Provide adequate lighting for food preparation. Can lights, recessed in the ceiling or kitchen bulk header should be closely spaced in areas requiring precision work. Track lighting is a workable option but make sure you purchase fixtures that will accommodate high wattage light bulbs.

Choose stainless steel cabinets and appliances for an easy-to-clean surface that withstands bleaching. Reducing the incidence of food-borne bacteria is imperative in a catering kitchen. Stainless steel does not absorb bacteria like wood can and it wipes clean.

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