After designing an attractive dining area, it’s the kitchen’s turn to get a makeover. To get a restaurant kitchen that hums along efficiently, we need to first identify what the different zones in the kitchen are and how the workflow between them mesh together.
This is the source of all magic in the kitchen. The more organized this zone is, the smoother the rest of your kitchen operations will be. With that in mind, make sure this zone is near the back door so that bulk foods and ingredients that get delivered there can be sorted right away into either cold or dry storage. You may even want to leave a wider floor space in the receiving area to give your staff more room to carry out inventory duties.
Non-food items, of course, should be stored separately near the zones that will use them the most. For instance, stock cleaning supplies near the dishwashing zone and stack clean dishes next to the food preparation zone.
Food preparation zone
The kitchen staff are the first ones in the restaurant to arrive for work every day as they rush to get menu ingredients chopped, pre-cut, and mixed before customers start coming in. All that business is done in the food preparation zone, which is where most of the heavy-lifting in the kitchen is performed.
To make their jobs easier, place this zone as close to the food storage area as possible. Provide the staff with enough counter space and chopping blocks to separate raw meat and produce work. Sinks for washing vegetables are also important, as are specialized food processing or mixing equipment that fit your restaurant menu needs.
Add in some heat and the final dish is complete! The cooking zone houses all the hulking equipment and appliances in the kitchen. You’ve got the grilling ranges, deep fryers, baking ovens, and even specialized appliances like steamers to speed up the cooking process.
Again, the appliances you get depend on your restaurant cuisine. When you set them all up though, arrange them near the food preparation zone for workflow efficiency and away from the cold storage area for energy efficiency. As the final stage for plating dishes, the cooking zone should also brush right up against the counter where servers pick up orders.
Last but not least, the zone where all the dirty but necessary work is done. You never want to be in a situation where you run out of clean dishes during a rush. Avoiding that means streamlining the dishwashing process through appropriate equipment like triple-basin sinks and commercial dishwasher machines designed for speedy spotless dishes.
Even the location of the dishwashing zone counts! By setting it right by the door between the kitchen and the dining area, you minimize the travel time of dirty dishes.
Basically, it all comes down to choosing the right equipment and layout to maximize your kitchen staff’s productivity as well as their comfort during the long hours in the kitchen.