If you have decided to establish your own commercial kitchen, there is a lot that you need to do before you can get your establishment up and running. So where do you start?
After renting or buying the space where you intend to set up your commercial kitchen, as well as setting up your business, you will need to find out about all the permits and regulations that you need to have in place to launch your kitchen. The best place to start with this is the website of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). You should be able to find out what you need here, as well as details about enforcement measures to ensure you are doing everything properly.
Once you have the place and the permits in order, the rest of the task will come down to setting up your kitchen the way you want it.
You need a well-equipped kitchen for your café or restaurant if you want to provide high-quality catering services to your customers, and that means choosing the best equipment you can find for the space available.
Two of the most important factors will be the size of the space available and the amount of food that you need to prepare. You will want to make the best possible use of the space that you have in order to work efficiently, but this can be a challenge.
Your main items of equipment will include refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and freezers, kitchen ventilation & commercial kitchen extractor fans, but there are so many options to choose from that getting started can be difficult. If you already have a chef, talk to them to find out what they will need to prepare the meals because their input can be useful.
Factors you will need to consider include the cost of the various equipment (including commercial kitchen canopies), how long you can expect it to last, the energy efficiency of the equipment, and the size.
If you only have a small space available, you may want to choose modular equipment. Modular equipment is more compact, so it will take up less space without affecting the quality of the food you produce. It can be useful for small kitchens in establishments with a smaller number of covers. But just make sure the equipment you choose can deliver your whole menu efficiently.
Modular equipment also allows you to move the kitchen around and change the configuration according to your needs, providing you with greater flexibility.
If you are planning to have an open kitchen, you will also want to pay special consideration to the appearance of the equipment. Your kitchen will become part of the establishment, and the style of the equipment will affect how diners see the establishment as a whole. If your kitchen is not on view, the appearance will be less important.
Consider the produce that will be delivered when you decide on the most suitable storage for your kitchen. For example, will it all be fresh? Or will it consist of a mix of fresh and frozen produce? This will affect your storage requirements as well as your preparation spaces.
If you have lots of fresh produce, you will require suitable refrigerated space for storing it. You might want to consider using a prep table that contains a refrigerator underneath. For larger kitchens, you may want a walk-in refrigerator and an industrial freezer.
Another option for making the most out of the space available is to use a combination oven. This can be a great option when space is limited but you rely on fresh food for your menu because combination ovens are very versatile but do not take up much space.
In addition to the cooking equipment, you will need to consider safety. This could include fire safety in the form of a sprinkler system and fire extinguishers, as well as ensuring proper sanitation & commercial kitchen extraction units. Find out about your requirements and consider getting an expert in to help make sure you do everything properly.
Setting up a commercial kitchen is a challenge, but it is important to get it right. If it helps, you may want to hire a company with experience designing kitchens of various sizes, and they can provide you with ideas for getting the most out of the space you have available.
Whatever you decide, make sure you spend time on planning your kitchen and researching the most suitable equipment to ensure you end up with a suitable final result.
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