Planning a Restaurant Kitchen

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Planning and Designing a Restaurant Kitchen

When it comes to planning and designing a commercial kitchen for a restaurant, it’s usually a large investment if you want to include industrial grade equipment with the installation. It goes without saying, food needs to reach diners smoothly and seamlessly from the kitchen so placement of food preparation stations, ovens, dishwashers and so on has to be planned carefully and strategically.

When restaurants get very busy, so do kitchens when it’s all hands on deck as restaurant tables see increased turn over. So, moving food through the different processes in the kitchen has to be efficient and as quick as possible.

Based on activity, a kitchen is pretty much the heart beat of your food service establishment – it’s where your wonderful and tasty food is created. However, if a kitchen breaks down, there is no food, no clean dishes and no customers and no income. Contact us if you need a restaurant kitchen designer.

Here are key guidelines which will put you into a position to ensure you plan and design your commercial kitchen correctly.

5 Key Principles to Achieving the Preferred Restaurant Kitchen Design:

  1. Cooking Meals: The line where the cooks and chefs stand is the heart beat of the kitchen. Cooking equipment should be located close by to ensure everything runs as smooth as possible.
  2. Service: Front of house staff require easy access to the pass so optimum efficient kitchen design is essential.
  3. Storage: Keep ingredients fresh, kept at the correct temperatures and free from being contaminated.
  4. Food Preparation: Food types should always be prepared separately to avoid any cross contamination.
  5. Washing and Cleaning of crockery, cooking utensils and cutlery: Everything including glasses, plates, knives and forks must be washed thoroughly after use.

The flow of your kitchen is super important. Your kitchen staff and front of house staff including servers, will always want enough space to carry out their duties safely and efficiently.

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Restaurant Kitchen Planner – Essentials for a Well Planned Restaurant Kitchen

Efficient workflow and worker safety should not come before aesthetics, although it’s great to have a beautiful looking kitchen. For instance, you can always include adequate landing spaces and surfaces around appliance areas. When it comes to achieving high standards, standards should be adhered to eg ANSI, ADA, NKBA as well as building code. Due to this, consulting with commercial kitchen design and installation experts is highly beneficial.

Don’t Create Inadequate Ventilation

When it comes to clean air, you should look after the health and safety of your kitchen staff by making sure you have sufficient ventilation in place. Bad ventilation can mean unwanted smells and smoke lingering & reaching the restaurant dining area.

You could lose customers as a result of not having the right ventilation in place. Planning and arranging the right ventilation system is complicated if you don’t have a HVAC design expert to hand. It’s important to know what you are doing and if you don’t, get a professional on board.

Choose the Right Cooking Appliances for the Job

When you’re choosing your kitchen equipment, make sure your staff will know how to use it. Will they be at the right skill level & will they require training?

A modern kitchen with lots of electrical gadgets will look flashy but make sure your workers will be able to use whatever plan to install. To continue, make sure your cold storage is large enough to handle the amount of food you will be using on a daily basis. Refrigeration expertise is also useful for this phase of the design.


Commercial Kitchen Design Layouts Essentials

Regarding layout, your layout style choice will usually depend on your own personal preference in how you think your kitchen should be best organised. Here are your options:

  1. Assembly line style 
  2. Island style 
  3. Zone style

Assembly line layout

When it comes to assembly lines, the same food is used and ingredients are quickly assembled to make up each dish. It’s ideal if you plan to provide large quantities of the same food in your restaurant. So ultimately, equipment and food is laid out in a line (Assembly line).

Island style layout

The island is visibly the main robust structure located in the middle of the preparing and presenting space in the middle of the kitchen. The outer areas of an island style kitchen will usually contain: food preparation, serving areas and storage. An island style is also used where cooking is done on the outside areas instead.

Zone style layout

If island style and assembly line don’t fit your needs, you may prefer to divide your kitchen up into different sections to create a ‘zone style’. As a result, the kitchen will then comprise of areas for cooking, food preparation, refrigeration, handing off food to the servers, sanitising and dish washing.

Ask yourself what type of food will you serve? Do you have a clear vision of how you want your kitchen to be?


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Commercial Kitchen Planner London

There is a lot to consider when planning your commercial kitchen.

Choose Safe Building Materials

Take care to choose materials that create non slip floors and surfaces that are easier to clean. Kitchens get hot – very hot – so make sure surfaces cannot be easily damaged by generated heat. Using stainless steel backsplashes is advantageous. Use the right counter tops and use the right surfacing materials for the walls.

Provide Enough Wash Basins

Housekeeping cannot be overlooked, and so dirty crockery and cutlery has to be washed regularly. There should be enough space allocated for the whole dish washing process. Also, wash basins, should be in places where they can be easy to leave used dishes prior to washing (near to entrance / exit doors).

Even exact planning of racks and draining boards has to be well thought out and much space is needed overall. There should be enough space to accommodate cleaning, permanent storage for clean items, dishwasher space and manual washing space.

Prep Sinks

As well as preparation sinks, there should always be at least one dedicated pot wash sink and the pot wash sink should not be used to wash anything else, just the pots. Legally around the kitchen, there should be dedicated hand wash basins, as well as soap and hand drying facilities. Ultimately, you should focus on including the following into designated food preparation areas:

  • Facilities for hand washing
  • Include wall shelving where you can
  • Food prep sinks
  • Pot sinks Food preparation tables
  • Refrigeration under counters



Plan for Trash and Recycling

A part of your restaurant kitchen design should always include a place where you can store waste for disposal and recycling.

Planning for Food Holding and Food Service Areas

These areas have to be carefully planned out. Whenever the kitchen prepares food for serving, the hot or cold food is left in these places for a short period of time, so serving staff (a waiter or a waitress) can collect it and serve it straight to customers.

Well Designed Delivery and Storage Areas

Food delivery trucks will drop off goods to the restaurant, so it is very useful to plan a delivery area to accommodate this. Make sure it is close to the area where the food will be stored. Delivery and storage areas should be kept away from the kitchen area and so planning ahead is key.

Regular Commercial Kitchen Maintenance

Your new restaurant kitchen is an investment for you, so efforts should be made to keep everything in tip top order. Therefore, efficient running and maintenance of your commercial kitchen is key, as well as with the storage equipment and the premises.

Regular kitchen maintenance minimises the risk of something suddenly breaking down when your restaurant is packed on a busy evening. Prepare yourself and arrange a maintenance contract with a local specialist so you have this covered.

Temperature Control is Critical

Using adequate and effective ventilation is a legal requirement. Heat in a kitchen cannot remain at very high temperatures it just can’t it’s not allowed.

In a commercial kitchen there are appliances such as gas appliances and fryers, so it’s essential to reduce temperatures using effective ventilation and extraction systems. Correct installation and maintenance, will ensure the safety of your staff so they can work in more comfortable conditions.

Food Preparation – best positioning

Ideally the food preparation station should be positioned between but away from the storage area and the cooking area. Food preparation can be carried out in separate areas, so the different processes can take place away from risks of cross contamination. For instance:

  • Poultry preparation
  • Dessert & Pastry preparation
  • Raw meat preparation
  • Fish preparation
  • Pre cooked & ready made preparation
  • Vegetable preparation

Kitchens should be designed with sufficient sinks and areas divided into those as above.

Planning for a smaller kitchen means dividing into multiple preparation areas isn’t possible. However the previously mentioned processes should nevertheless be separated for health and food safety reasons. Therefore, additional fridges, including under counter fridges can be used to store pre made food.

Food can be moved accordingly from the walk in freezer / fridge to a smaller fridge close to the food prep areas. As a result, you can make the space in your kitchen work more efficiently for the tasks you have to carry out.

Restaurant First Aid, Access & Fire Safety

Restaurant safety for kitchen staff and diners is always a top priority the main priority. The following should be addressed as a part of planning, layout and design of a restaurant kitchen.

Restaurant Fire Safety

You must take fire safety and fire prevention seriously, and fires should be contained if one should occur.

One common cause of a serious fire in a restaurant kitchen is when oil in a fryer overheats & another cause is if your ducting becomes very dirty and plagued with grease.

Fire extinguishers and fire blankets are suitable for fires caused by hot oil and it is recommended that they are regularly serviced by a restaurant HVAC professional.

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How many fire extinguishers are needed? A lot depends on how large your kitchen is:

Fire blankets (Square or rectangular)

  • Used to put out small clothing and cooking fires
  • No side should be more than 1.8m and no smaller than 0.9m
  • Weight no more than 10kg
  • Can be unfolded in less than 4 seconds
  • Inspected once a year
  • 1 fire blanket for every 5 fire hazards in any given area
  • 100mm distance from the floor from the floor
  • Kept within 2m and 20m (ideally within 10m) from risk of cooking oils and fats catching fire
  • Ideally to be placed where it is busier and near to the route that leads to an exit
  • Keep within 40m from appliances to limit the risk of an electrical fire
  • Kept in an easy to see easy to reach location

Restaurant Kitchen First Aid

In London and the rest of the United Kingdom, there should be at least 1 first aid kit to 50 staff members. You will need an occupational first aid kit when you have 50 to 100 staff. If you have more than 100 staff members you will need 2 first aid kits. Keep your first aid kit accessible and make sure it can easily be seen.

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Restaurant Access

Access to all parts of the premises and to the restaurant kitchen as well as the emergency exits and routes should be safe for everyone including people with disabilities.  All exits must be clearly signposted and clear.

Having the correct number of exits in place and where those exits are located should meet with building regulations. Areas of safety outside the building, should be available after leaving via the emergency exit. Cars and other vehicles and structures should not not block the exits.

Ask Fan Services – your commercial kitchen planner in London

You must plan beforehand, how traffic is going to flow in your kitchen. There is more to planning and design than you might have already considered, including:

  • Flooring, kitchen lighting and walls
  • Waste and cleaning
  • Take into account your menu
  • Learn local health and safety code and regs
  • Pipe work and materials
  • Positioning & grouping of catering equipment
  • It’s essential to pre-plan how traffic flows in your kitchen

As well as commercial kitchen design and planning, Fan Services helps with all aspects of maintenance, supply, installation, repair and professional duct cleaning. We have the experience you and your business needs, and Fan Services is highly trusted by our customers across London. Our professional engineers are exceptionally qualified in all aspects of Restaurant HVAC.

We can 100% promise you a service you will greatly appreciate.

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Our Team will Design & Install your Restaurant Kitchen. Call 0203 539 1475

Fan Services helps all commercial kitchen establishments including:

  1. Fast Food chains and independents
  2. Restaurants
  3. Pubs
  4. Cafes
  5. Bakeries
  6. Caterers
  7. Industrial
  8. Takeaways
  9. Dark kitchens
  10. Limited companies and self employed
  11. Sports Event providers

* If you have had a bad experience with a different extractor fan company, we will help – you can rely on us.

Fan Services Ltd provides the following services:

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Looking for a commercial kitchen designer? Fan Services can help you!

Are you going to plan and design a commercial kitchen? Get in touch! We are the specialists you need! We also provide maintenance and servicing for all commercial food places such as restaurants, bakeries, cafes, pubs and more. Fan Services Ltd is long established and based in London in the UK. 24/7, we provide services across services ltd logo

For extraction and ventilation to fit any sized commercial kitchen, we design, we install everything and we provide ongoing maintenance and servicing.

Don’t take any short cuts with your project, we have the experts and we have the tools – get in touch we’d love to help. You can use our contact form – it’s quick and easy to fill out. Or you can email or call our office in London 0203 5391475 / mobile phone 0759 500 3000 to discuss your requirements.