How To Set Up A Professional Kitchen – Doing It Right
How to set up a professional kitchen is just the first thing to consider when you are starting a food service business.
When you listen to experienced caterers and cooks, you will learn that most big ventures started small.
To guide you through this journey, we’re here to give you three steps on setting up your very own commercial kitchen. Read on, and keep your head in the game.
Steps To Set Up A Professional Kitchen
Your kitchen should be approved and certified by the health authority. Thus, you must meet the minimum commercial kitchen requirements. Before buying the equipment on the standard list, there are some things you must do first.
Step 1 – Create A Menu
Yes, you heard it right. Everything in your kitchen depends on the food that you plan to serve. Create a menu with the help of your head chef. Her/his experience will help you come up with ideas for the kitchen set-up.
Make sure your menu will set you apart from other food service businesses in the area. Have a theme for your menu. Also, keep your list of menu items short. When creating your menu, do include prices. The price will help you decide what ingredients to use and what equipment and tools are needed to cook them.
Step 2 – Plan Your Space
If you are starting with a small space for the kitchen, you can choose from the three common design strategies: zone, assembly line, and island. Consider your preferences, your cook’s preferences, and your menu.
- Zone. This design strategy divides the kitchen into zones with specific functions. A five-zone kitchen has a cooking zone, a cleaning zone, a consumables zone, a non-consumables zone, and a preparation zone.
- Assembly Line. This design strategy allows the cook to quickly send food down the line—from the preparation area to the service area.
- Island. This layout utilizes an island as the main preparation and cooking area. You may incorporate this layout in a zone kitchen or assembly line.
Step 3 – Identify The Necessary Equipment
Once you have planned your menu and picked a kitchen layout, you can determine the equipment that you need. The essential commercial kitchen equipment you will need are:
- Stainless steel work tables
- Dry storage shelves or steel racks
- Freezer and refrigerator
- Stove, oven, deep fryer
- Food warming equipment
Make sure you have a good ventilation system to keep the heat and odor at bay. Commercial kitchens are usually required to have exhaust hood over the cooking area.
For safety, provide your kitchen with a fire suppression system. Also, keep a fire extinguisher in the cooking area. Make sure it is accessible. A first-aid kit for kitchen employees is also essential.
These are simple steps on how to set up a professional kitchen: create a menu, plan your space, and identify necessary equipment. Do not forget to check the guidelines set by the local health authority. Seek guidance from experienced cooks and caterers. Starting a venture will not be a breeze, but make sure you enjoy the process. Soon, your kitchen will be bustling and hustling.