Use an ergonomic layout in your kitchen to increase productivity while reducing the amount of injury, discomfort and fatigue. Plan a well-structured arrangement of your equipment and supplies for optimal performance.
Take into consideration the following:
- Energy Conservation – This is vital since it will save money on utility costs. Design your kitchen refrigeration and cooking equipment to be separated while still being easily accessible to increase your production. Also, cooking equipment should be positioned in a way to maximize ventilation of the exhaust hood. Purchasing energy efficient products will also help decrease costs.
- Health Regulations – Every state and region establish specific health codes and regulations which foodservice establishments are mandated to comply with. Verify your area’s health codes are being met during the design your commercial kitchen. Check requirements at NSF and through your city’s health department.
Kitchen Configuration Concepts
Layout your kitchen workspace to allow for easy mobility among your employees. Incorporate ample space between work areas to provide your employees a less confined environment.
- Assembly-Line – Arrange equipment and preparation areas in order of use. Establishments which produce large volumes of similar dishes, such as pizzas or sandwiches, benefit from this configuration since it allows for smoother operation.
- Zone-Style – Establish customized areas or zones according to your kitchen’s needs. This includes designated stations for dry and refrigerated food storage, cooking, sanitation, dishwashing and kitchen to wait staff transition areas.
- Centralized – This layout features all cooking equipment unified in the center of the kitchen with food storage, meal prep and finished dish areas situated along the outer walls. A popular alternative to this design concept is to consolidate all prep areas to the middle of the kitchen while allowing cooking to take place along the outside.
Ergonomic Arrangement – This is based on the chef and staff’s personal preferences in equipment and prep table layouts. Energy efficiency may suffer in favor of convenience with this configuration. For example, placing refrigeration units adjacent to the cooktop minimizes steps needed to reach ingredients, however it can negatively affect your utility bill.