When a new restaurant is being planned, one of the first, and most important things that must happen is hiring a commercial foodservice consultant. The foodservice consultant is usually hired by the architect or the owner, but will probably work in concert with the chef. The most efficient workflow will be planned and the proper equipment will be selected based on the planned menu and the individual preferences of the owner and the chef.
One of the first things that will happen is a computer-assisted design drawing, known as a CAD drawing, which will be prepared based on the available square footage and building layout. Consideration must be given to the total available footprint and how the total space must be allocated between the kitchen and the dining area. Once this allocation has been decided, the kitchen must be designed to allow for an efficient workflow. The proper equipment must be placed in the proper area to promote the elimination of cross-traffic and consequently reduce labor hours.
Sometimes the makeup of the design team must be coordinated from different locations. There is computer software available to facilitate this dynamic, such as Autodesk 360 Miami. Such software allows the different members of the design team to collaborate from different locations all over the country if necessary.
Consideration must also be given to the necessary amount of dry and refrigerated storage. This can be affected by the number and frequency of deliveries that will be available, The proper operating temperatures required of the refrigerated compartments must also be determined based on the menu and the food that will be stored.
Additionally, the preparation area must be factored in so that the preparation equipment is conveniently located to the cooking equipment to reduce unnecessary steps.
The cooking equipment must be selected based on function, reliability, and energy efficiency. Some cooking equipment is multi-functional allowing for a smaller total cooking equipment footprint.
Finally, the dishwashing area must be designed so that it is close to the dining room bussing area so that the soiled dishware flows through this area and to the clean dish storage area.
As you can see, the efficient layout and design of the commercial kitchen can greatly affect the overall productivity and profitability of the restaurant operation.