When designing a kitchen for commercial use, consider a few important factors. Size is key in a restaurant or other food service facility, and the ability to install proper ventilation is important. Factor in enough storage space. Think about aspects of kitchen design beyond the obvious to get the most out of your space and make it a good place to work.
Flooring is an important aspect of commercial kitchen design. Floors should be durable and easy to clean. Employees should find them safe and comfortable.
Ceramic tile and painted concrete are durable choices that you can personalize for commercial kitchen floors. Both ceramic tile and concrete are easily cleaned with a mop each day, and the materials hold up to the high traffic and abuse in a busy kitchen. Slip-resistant paint additives may be applied to paint on concrete to minimize the risk of slips and falls. Some styles of ceramic tile also have a slightly grainy finish to help prevent accidents.
Lay rubber flooring to increase comfort and safety. Install safety mats over areas where cooks will be standing for long periods of time and in places where spills are likely. Rubber flooring adds another degree of safety in accident-prone areas and also reduces impact on feet and joints of workers.
In a commercial kitchen, cleanliness is a primary concern each day. Select equipment with casters or items that easily can be moved around for deep cleaning of areas under and behind them. Ease of movement when it comes to equipment will make it more likely for the hidden areas to get attention.
Draw a diagram of where each piece of equipment will be placed in the kitchen. Imagine where cooks will stand to prepare entrees, and where they will need to walk to get supplies.
Allow for the anticipated flow of workers. The less people need to cross paths or interfere with the movement of supplies or other workers, the less risk of accidents or injuries.
Design a HACCP-friendly kitchen. HACCP is the industry term for hazard analysis and critical control points. Note all points of potential hazards from the point of receiving of food on the loading dock, to the cooler and pantry, to the line where the food is prepared.
Consider any place where contamination or unsafe conditions may exist to cause health hazards associated with the food being served. Design the kitchen to avoid places where food is at the incorrect temperature or at risk for cross-contamination. Make the loading dock entrance as near to the walk-in cooler as possible, for example, and design a clear path to other storage areas to prevent the food from coming into contact with anything unnecessarily.
- Photo Credit at the restaurant image by Dmitry Nikolaev from Fotolia.com
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