As you may already know—designing an efficient kitchen layout is crucial for a restaurant’s success. How your kitchen is set up affects how smoothly things run, how well the food turns out, and ultimately—how satisfied your customers are with their experience.

A well thought out layout improves work efficiency, safety, and your restaurant’s overall ambiance. For any restaurant, success starts in the kitchen—keep reading to explore important ideas and tips for creating a practical and effective kitchen layout.

How to Design a Commercial Kitchen

To successfully design your commercial kitchen, there are a few factors to consider—the type of food you’ll serve, the size of your space, and the volume of customers you expect. The layout should be carefully planned to ensure various cooking stations are strategically placed to allow for efficient workflow. For instance, the positioning of stoves, ovens, prep areas, and refrigeration units are vital to minimize unnecessary movement and to help streamline the cooking process.

Additionally, you should consider the safety and comfort of your staff. Adequate spacing between equipment and workstations is crucial to prevent accidents and make it easy for chefs and kitchen staff to move around, and proper ventilation and temperature control are also key for maintaining a comfortable working environment.


Commercial Kitchen

What Equipment is Needed When Planning a Commercial Kitchen?

When planning a commercial kitchen, a range of essential equipment is required for maintaining smooth operations and upholding your standards. Some equipment to consider investing in include:


1. Cooking Equipment:



Charbroilers and Grills



2. Refrigeration Equipment:

Walk-in Coolers and Freezers

Reach-in Refrigerators and Freezers

Undercounter Refrigerators and Freezers

Merchandising Refrigerators and Freezers

Prep Tables (Refrigerated)

Ice Makers

3. Food Prep Equipment:




Commercial Scales

4. Dishwashing and Cleaning Equipment:

Commercial Dishwashers


5. Specialty Equipment (Based on Menu Offerings):

Pizza Ovens


Convection Ovens

It’s important to remember that your specific equipment needs can vary based on your menu offerings and kitchen size. Customizing your equipment list to match your businesses’ requirements is crucial for efficient operations.


Layout: Why is Layout Important for a Commercial Kitchen?

The layout of your commercial kitchen holds paramount importance as it directly impacts the efficiency, functionality, and overall success of your establishment. A well-designed layout optimizes your workflow—ensuring your kitchen staff can seamlessly move between different stations, from preparation to cooking and plating. An organized arrangement of equipment and workspaces reduces unnecessary movement, leading to time savings and enhanced productivity. A thoughtfully planned layout minimizes the risk of accidents and collisions, contributing to an overall safer environment for your kitchen staff.

Overall, a strategically crafted kitchen layout can enhance the overall kitchen experience—leading to happier staff, better food, and satisfied customers.


When considering the layout for your commercial kitchen, there are multiple layout options to choose from, such as:

Assembly Line Kitchen Layout

Assembly Line: A central row or island organized in a single line.

Island Kitchen Layout

Island: Features a central working area (or island) where the meal is the center of attention.

Zoning Kitchen Layout

Zone Style: Kitchen blocks are separated through stations.

Galley Kitchen Layout

Galley: Different stations and equipment are positioned around the perimeter of the kitchen.

Open Kitchen Layout

Open: Allows customers to see what goes on in the kitchen and is open to the dining room.

How to Design Your Commercial Kitchen Areas

Designing a successful commercial kitchen relies on the consideration of distinct working areas and their intended uses. These working areas include:

  • Cleaning and Washing Zones: Comprises of sinks, dishwashers, and sanitization. Efficient layout planning here ensures quick and effective cleaning, preventing cross-contamination and maintaining hygiene standards.
  • Storage: Includes walk-in coolers, freezers, and shelving systems to store ingredients. A well-organized storage area prevents spoilage, enables easy stock tracking, and streamlines the replenishment process.
  • Food Prep Area: Should be equipped with worktables, cutting boards, and more food prep essentials to encourage smooth ingredient handling and minimize any waste.
  • Cooking Areas: The placement of stoves, ovens, grills, and other cooking equipment must be strategic, allowing staff to execute orders promptly while maintaining consistency.
  • Service Area: Where dishes are finalized and plated, requires proximity to the meal cooking section for a swift transition, guaranteeing that meals are served hot.

Overall, an effective commercial kitchen design integrates these areas seamlessly; optimizing efficiency, hygiene, and culinary skill.


Chefs preparing plates

Other Considerations While Designing Your Commercial Kitchen

Health Codes, Sanitation and Safety: Adhering to health regulations ensures that your kitchen operates in compliance with food safety standards, preventing contamination and safeguarding both staff and customers. Proper placement of handwashing stations, sanitizing stations, and designating separate areas for raw and cooked foods aids in maintaining a hygienic environment. Incorporating safety measures such as adequate spacing between equipment and non-slip flooring helps to prevent accidents and ensures your staffs well-being.


Worker Flow and Communication: Efficient worker flow ensures that your kitchen staff can move between various stations without disruption, reducing delays during busy periods. The layout should encourage a smooth flow from food preparation to cooking, plating, and service, minimizing the need for unnecessary backtracking. Strategic placement of workstations can also enhance collaboration and coordination among your team.


Front of House vs. Kitchen: The kitchen layout must help in creating an uninterrupted food preparation and cooking process, ensuring chefs can focus on their tasks without disruption from any and all front of house activities. A well-designed commercial kitchen balances the needs of both front of house and kitchen, resulting in a delightful dining experience for your customers.

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