Plan your church kitchen before it is built in order to ensure adequate space is created and best used for the purposes it will serve. You don't want more space than is needed, and you don't want to purchase unnecessary appliance items. In addition, spending money on decorating a church kitchen can be a waste of limited resources, since church kitchens are used more as a service area.
Your small church may only use the church kitchen for once-a-year fellowship dinners and a place to store breakfast snacks for Sunday morning. Church kitchens with this limited need should be simple in design and smaller in size than larger church kitchens. In fact, if food will be brought in for serving instead of cooking, a service kitchen size of approximately 96 square feet should be sufficient, according to the Iowa State University Extension. Supply only small appliances for this kitchen, such as a commercial coffee maker and microwave, and two sinks: one for food needs and one for washing hands.
Weekly Meal Churches
Some churches are larger in size and hold a weekly meal in addition to an annual fellowship meal. If part of the meal is prepared or purchased elsewhere, you will not need some equipment, but you will need more space for storage, with some preparation space as well. Design your kitchen with approximately 360 square feet of overall space, according to ISU. Supply the kitchen with a freezer; refrigerator; three sinks for manual dishwashing, handwashing and food preparation; and work tables on wheels, as well as a commercial coffee maker. Have one side of the kitchen be built to open out to diners, so they can pick up food and later return dishware.
Churches that Sell Meals
Churches that sell meals more than one time per week may be required to have a license, according to ISU. This type of church needs a moderate-sized food production area of 600 square feet and the following appliances: commercial refrigerator, commercial range with exhaust hood and two ovens below, commercial dishwasher, freezers, microwave and garbage disposal. You also need soaking, handwashing and food prep sinks, closed and open shelving storage space, stationary work tables as well as some on wheels, serving carts with wheels, a closet for coats and serving counters.
Church kitchens should be minimal in décor, since their function isn't to entertain, and be practical, with safety and efficiency the focus. Crisp clean white walls in materials that can be easily cleaned and maintained are best. Sturdy work tables of aluminum offer reliability, and those with sturdy wheels prevent potential maneuverability problems and accidents. Purchasing heat-generating appliances (stove, microwave) all in one color and cold-generating ones all in another (refrigerator, freezers) helps direct eye-attention based on need. and could potentially reduce safety risks.
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Commercial Kitchen Requirements
Commercial kitchens must follow state and federal guidelines regarding equipment specifications, public safety and taxation.
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