BASICS OF COMMERCIAL KITCHEN

Commercial kitchen are the commercial grade facilities that are licensed for food service providers to prepare and store food.
There are 3 typical layouts for commercial kitchens.

Island Style, Zone Style and Assembly Line Style kitchens.

Island Style

Equipment are placed at center in this type of kitchen. This includes ovens, grills and related cooking units required in the day to day operations. All other functional parts of the kitchen are placed along the perimeter walls.
This style of kitchen is ideal for large areas promoting easy communication during the operations.

Zone Style

The Zone Style is set up with all major equipment along the walls. Sections are installed in a sequence with all the cooking equipment, preparation zone, dishwashing and storage.

Assembly Line Layout

This type of kitchen is used for producing large quantities of food in a school, university cafeteria or restaurants with a limited menu.
In this layout, kitchen equipment is organized in a line with the food preparation area at one end and the service or the food dispensing area at the other.

Commercial Kitchen Flooring Options

Floor in a commercial kitchen take a serious beating like no other. Typically used every day, they are subject to constant abuse and expected to perform. When they don’t, problems arise and it costs money to get it fixed.
Any part of your kitchen can be fixed or replaced quickly without interruption except the flooring.

Considerations

Mold & Mildew Resistant – Restaurants need to be sanitary. Flooring should be seamless, especially in commercial kitchens, food prep and the areas where beverages are served. Cove moldings should be added around all perimeter walls. Resinous coatings should be applied over moldings up to 6 – 8 inches. There should not be any cracks or areas for grease, oils, citrus, alcohol and sugars to settle. A true seamless surface will prevent mold and mildew.

Moisture Resistant – Hot water power washing or spray cleaning is a daily task. Seamless urethane mortar systems provide the most durable and long term protection.
Non Slip – Surfaces can easily become slippery due to grease buildup. It is advisable to apply non slip additives to your seamless coating while being installed.

High Temperature Resistant – Your flooring is subject to heat from ovens, grills, fryers and grease splatters. Choose a seamless system that will withstand heat on a daily basis during the busy operations.

Thermal Shock – Commercial Kitchen Flooring needs to resist thermal shock. Rapid heat from oven and cold from refrigeration plus any other temperature fluctuations cause expansion and contraction. This is a cause of tile to become loose and inferior coatings to break down or delaminate.

Commercial Kitchen Wall Panels and Painting

Flooring and walls for commercial kitchens have numerous options, functional needs and code requirements. Fire protection and moisture are the most important code requirements. Ease and low cost cleaning is extremely important for maintaining a sanitary environment.

Typical substrates for walls include gypsum or cement board over a metal stud. They are ideal for wall finishes, Fiberglass Reinforced Panels and Tile. Cement board is more expensive than “Green Board” and offers better moisture protection.
Restaurant Business Online has detailed information regarding substrates and wall panel options.

Wall Options Include:

Tile – Ceramic, Glass, seamless
FRP – Fiberglass Reinforced Panels, decorative, smooth
Stainless Steel – Panels for cooking areas
Epoxy Paint – a line of wall paint for commercial kitchens

Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Hotel and Restaurant Kitchen Exhaust & Ventilation System:

Commercial kitchen exhaust and ventilation systems rely on an effective hood and make up air that keeps the work environment safe and clean as well as to protect expensive equipment from damaging grease build up.
There are numerous functioning parts of an exhaust system, smoke and oil is exhausted by the systems, leaving your kitchen absolutely clean and tidy and maintaining a clean commercial kitchen shows your employees and your customers that you care about the food service you provide as well as their safety and health.

Few benefits of kitchen exhaust system in place :

Fire Prevention
Energy Efficiency
Environmental Safety
Health Protection

Fire Extinguishers For Commercial Kitchens

Fire is always a risk in the kitchen. Did you know there are are different classes of fires that can be fueled by various materials?

Fire Classes

Class A – fire risk from wood, cloth, paper, rubber, plastics.

Class B – Fires from “Flammable Liquids”, petroleum based grease, tars, paints, alcohol and gases.

Class C – Electric Fires. These can start from numerous sources. Breakers, outlets, equipment malfunctions, cables and wires.

Class K – These are typically in ovens, stoves and grills from fats and oils that catch fire.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

ABC Fire Extinguishers – This type is used to fight fires associated with A,B,C Classes mentioned above.

Class K Fire Extinguisher – These contain a Potassium Acetate and Potassium Citrate blend effective for fighting fires caused by cooking oils.

Halotron Fire Extinguisher – These are ideal for Class B and C fires. The benefit, it does not leave a powder residue, rather it emits a liquid that evaporates on contact.

Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher – This one is most effective for electrical fires. It drowns oxygen eliminating the fuel for the fire. This is a Class C extinguisher.

Commercial Kitchen Refrigeration

Refrigeration system, which includes freezer and refrigerator, is a quite essential element in commercial kitchen and planning. The refrigerator and freezer help keep the food fresh and safe for the customers, so you must look for a high end equipment without compromising on the quality aspect.

Types of commercial refrigerator:

Reach in refrigerator – One can easily access the refrigerator at an arm’s length while standing, some units comes with castor or wheels so that one can move them around.

Under counter Refrigerator – This kind of refrigerator has the same purpose as the reach in unit but it stores food in smaller quantity and occupies less area. This refrigerator is an ideal unit for a kitchen with space constraints.

Worktop Refrigerator – This unit works as a preparation table and station to make a dish and one can store the food articles in it. Some model comes with the option of storage hoods, pans, cutting boards and drawers.

Walk in refrigerator – Walk in refrigerator is ideal to store a large quantity of food on directly accessible shelves. It is used as mass storage facility.

Display Case – This refrigerator is only meant for display purpose as it doesn’t maintain the shelf life of the food product.

Commercial Kitchen Sinks and Faucets

When I started to research, I found there is fairly high amount of Google searches for faucets and parts for commercial sinks.
This indicates that parts wear out. I’m not an expert with sinks, faucets and parts, but based on the amount of times faucets are turned on and off in a busy kitchen, I assume parts are always needed.
Research and experience suggests buying sinks and faucets with parts that are universal and readily available for the obvious conveniences when you need running water.

Cleaning Your Commercial Kitchen

Cleaning is such an important topic. It’s the last item on the list. The least fun to discuss and think about.
Cleaning a commercial kitchen starts at the design phase of the project.
The biggest mistake I see restaurant owners make is overlooking cleaning. It’s typically a cost factor. If you cut corners, get the cheap exhaust hoods, don’t have proper ventilation and cut corners by choosing cheap flooring, cleaning becomes a constant problem and expense.
Just think of the cost of low moral form your staff. A clean kitchen will make your staff happier. Happy workers yields more profits.
It starts with the business plan, the design and choice of equipment, floors, walls and ventilation.