Commercial Kitchen Fit Out: Understanding the Different Layout Designs

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A commercial kitchen fit-out is expensive. If you own a restaurant or are thinking of opening one, a critical factor you need to have in mind before the kitchen fit out is the layout design. You need something that works perfectly with the kitchen equipment you have as well as the size of the kitchen. One thing that will ensure you don't settle for less than you need is an understanding of the basic types of kitchen layout designs. This will help you choose the one that gives you the highest value for your money. The following is an insightful description of some of the typical commercial kitchen layout designs and when to best use them. 

The Island at the Centre Layout

Also known as the island style, this layout is one of the most commonly used designs in commercial kitchens. As suggested by the name, this design places most of the kitchen equipment such as the grills, ovens, and fryers at the centre of the kitchen. The central section is used for cooking because of the frequent use of the same pieces of cooking equipment. The less frequently used equipment are then incorporated around the perimeter of the kitchen walls. This includes the equipment used in the service area as well as for storage, food preparation, and cleaning. The design also allows for the reverse arrangement with the cooking equipment at the perimeter and the food preparation equipment at the centre.  This design is best suited for large square-shaped kitchens. Its advantage is that it promotes open and clear communication and supervision. What's more, the large open-floor space typical of most island-style kitchen layouts makes cleaning much easier compared to other designs. 

The Assembly Line Layout

With this layout, all the essential equipment are set up in a single line, usually starting with the prep area and continuing to the service area at the end. It works for restaurants with limited menus, especially where large quantities of the same dishes are prepared. This makes it ideal for quick service restaurants such as cafeterias where customers can customise their meals as they go. Pizzerias and sandwich shops are other establishments that can utilise this layout. It is usually effective because the storage or receiving areas and the cleaning areas are configured behind the assembly line. This layout also allows for open communication as well as flow. 

The Zone Layout

This style is for those looking for the best of both worlds between supervision and communication. Workstations are arranged in blocks or zones according to the purpose or kitchen operations, which include food preparation, cooking, receiving and storage, and cleaning, etc. Often, the zones are configured in the kitchen sections that are the most effective. Since workers in such a kitchen layout are kept out of each other's way, it makes the layout ideal for small kitchens where collisions can prove wasteful as well as dangerous.