Ideally, a business would have the space and funds available to choose how to build a restaurant and be able to have a spacious dining area and restaurant kitchen. However, in reality commercial kitchen design is limited to confined spaces made even tighter by large commercial kitchen appliances. Though a small restaurant kitchen will limit the amount of restaurant employees able to work at once, with careful menu planning and restaurant design, an efficient restaurant kitchen layout can be designed.
Menu Planning for a Small Restaurant Kitchen
When space is limited in a restaurant kitchen, menu planning should be done with the aim of minimizing the amount of raw ingredients and restaurant kitchen equipment that will need to occupy the space. Though compromises will probably have to be made during the menu planning stages, the limitations can provide a creative challenge for chefs and other restaurant employees. For example, forgoing the deep-fryer and pasta cooker in favor of a high quality, space-efficient range that can achieve the same purposes, will save space and costs of the restaurant kitchen layout. It may be worth eliminating deep-fried foods from the menu altogether, in order to save the time, hassle, and space that it would take to have hot oil ready-to-use during service.
Other menu planning strategies can include repeated used of certain ingredients and equipment. Since a refrigerator and freezer will need purchased anyways, using raw ingredients that will be stored in these commercial kitchen appliances will be very space-efficient. Using commercial kitchen appliances such as a food processor, for many of the items on the menu, while structuring menu planning so other appliances such as a pasta maker or a mixer are not required, allows elaborate and high level dishes to be served, but saves the space that would be taken by the extra appliances.
How to Build a Restaurant with a Small Restaurant Kitchen
Though a business owner may be tempted to maximize the dining space in a venue to allow the greatest number of customers to enter the venue at once, commercial kitchen design can only be compromised to a certain extent. Having a small restaurant kitchen will limit the number of restaurant employees that can execute food preparation tasks at once, and therefore limit the amount of customers that can be served at once. It will also be more comfortable to make higher quantities of food items in-house if the commercial kitchen appliances and space/storage resources are larger. Comfortable working conditions will also be a business advantage that may decrease the restaurant employee turnover rate. That being said, impressive work can be completed in relatively confined spaces. However, there needs to be a correlation between the commercial kitchen design and the projected output of a venue.
The Restaurant Kitchen Overall
At the end of the day, the quality of the employees and the efficiency of the commercial kitchen design will determine the level of service and dishes that a venue can provide its customers. A small restaurant kitchen causes an undeniable challenge for high production, high traffic venues. However, by doing the menu planning with the goal of requiring the least amount of equipment and space possible, even a small restaurant kitchen can get the job done relatively hassle-free.