Facility layout and design is a complex and dynamic process. Equipment installation will be one of the biggest expenses for a restaurant getting ready to open. That’s why it’s critical to get the job done right – the first time!

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Back of house kitchen layout

The Six Principles of Proper Design

There are six main principles crucial to the proper flow of your establishment. Every commercial kitchen design should factor in:

  1. Flexibility and modularity
  2. Simplicity
  3. Designed for an efficient flow of material and personnel
  4. Ease of sanitation
  5. Ease of supervision
  6. Efficient use of space

Adapt or Perish

This principle is based on the idea that your equipment and materials can help you adapt to changing conditions in your facility. Can you easily make rearrangements to accommodate new operating styles, trends, and menu items? The idea that if we don’t adapt, we perish, can definitely be applied to the foodservice industry. For example, a quick disconnect, in addition to being a safety precaution, also allows inexpensive changes and easy movement of equipment.

Ensuring Proper Flow

Proper flow will prevent backtracking by personnel, decreased productivity, and inefficient use of labor. Your design consultant can help you determine the proper flow of material and personnel when drafting your restaurant’s layout. Take into consideration the movement of employees from one area of the kitchen to another, the flow of dishes through the system and back into the service area, and the flow of various food ingredients through the main traffic aisles of a kitchen into the preparation areas.

Proper planning and design are key. Make sure the person designing the store has a restaurant operation background. Too often an architect has never worked in a commercial kitchen and the flow is bad.

Proper flow for back of house design

Things to look for are the receiving of the product into the store, how the wait staff is crossing into the kitchen and how customers are being directed through the store. A proper layout and design will address these issues.

Design with Sanitation in Mind

Studies show more labor hours are spent cleaning than actually preparing food in virtually every type of foodservice facility. That’s why it is so important to be mindful of sanitation considerations when designing your restaurant. For instance, what supplies will be hung on the wall as opposed to stored on the floor or on a shelf? Will your equipment have casters on it, so that it can easily be pulled forward for cleaning? Will the location of your hand sinks promote proper and frequent handwashing by your employees?

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