Key Components of a Commercial Kitchen
A commercial kitchen can be anything from a compact, hot room at the back of a restaurant with every inch of space filled by food, cookware, and kitchen appliances, to an expansive, high-tech facility with neatly organised racks, walkways, and the latest equipment. But whether you’re in a small family-owned restaurant or a large fine dining enterprise, you will always be able to find certain key components that are essential to any commercial kitchen.
These components serve a multitude of different functions, and when a kitchen space is well designed, everything works together seamlessly to promote an efficient and well-run operation. When designing a commercial kitchen then, it is important to figure out what these key components are and how they fit together in order to maximise the space you have.
Food and Equipment Storage
Commercial kitchen storage is divided into three different areas: dry food storage, cold food storage, and equipment storage.
Non-perishable ingredients such as flour, rice, dried fruits and vegetables, and canned foods are some of the items fit for dry storage, which can take up a whole room in a large kitchen or fit into closed cabinets in smaller areas. To organise different items, especially in smaller spaces, shelving units like the Britex BenchTech wall and pipe shelving can come in handy. Made of stainless steel, these can take the weight of your heaviest ingredients, are corrosion-resistant, and are easy to clean.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats, along with other bulk perishable ingredients require cold food storage. In commercial kitchens, this can take the form of anything from standard fridges to full walk-in freezers. Britex stainless steel shelving units allow all available space in walk-in freezer rooms, from the floor to the ceiling, to be maximised for cold storage.
Case Study: Custom made Britex Refrigeration Cabinets manufactured and installed at Rainbow Meats Croydon Central
Working in conjunction with both MnK Technical Services and Kaylan Constructions, the Custom Stainless Steel Fabricated Butchers Display Counters are two separate units, which forms an L shape to suit the shape of the store from - one 6550mm in length and the other 10350mm long, with the following features:
- Designed and built to perfectly suit standard butcher’s trays – three trays wide (approximately 1300mm internal)
- Flexibility in design
- Cooling coil at rear with cold plate base
- Curved glass to front with 10mm thick glass top
- Stainless steel racks
- 4 point of sale stands
- Remotely located refrigeration motors
Commercial kitchens also require a range of equipment to operate, from cookware, mixing bowls, and dinner plates to blenders, slow cookers, and electrical appliances. In smaller spaces, storage on shelving units above your countertops or in cabinets below your stainless steel benches is vital in providing a clean, dry environment for your equipment where they will be protected from accidental spills, moisture, heat, or bumps and scrapes.
Food preparation includes washing, cutting, and mixing different ingredients. These tasks require sinks and sturdy work surfaces that are durable and easy to clean. Stainless steel works well for food preparation surfaces due to its corrosion resistance to organic acids from fruits and vegetables, as well as its resistance to bacterial contamination.
Britex stainless steel kitchen benches are made of high quality 304 or 316 steel for extra durability when working with acidic ingredients. Britex also offers a wide variety of stainless steel benches with sinks. From single stainless steel sink benches that can fit into compact spaces to double sink benches with extra work surfaces, you will be able to separate raw and finished ingredients on a sanitary and corrosion-resistant surface.
When considering the layout of your kitchen, it may be useful to place the benches used for food preparation near areas marked out for food storage in order to make transport easier. Shelving units can also be placed above food preparation stations to make ingredients and equipment easy to reach.
Stainless Steel Food Preparation Area Case Study: Commercial kitchen Development at Whittlesea Community Centre
The redevelopment of the Whittlesea Community Centre would not be complete without the addition of multiple commercial kitchens for communal use. These would serve as the headquarters for food preparation, service and storage. Britex were engaged to consult in the design, fabrication and installation of two fully equipped commercial kitchens that took into consideration usage, space and storage solutions.
Elements of the commercial kitchens provided for the project included:
- Dishwasher Inlet and Outlet Benches
- Fire Rated Stainless Steel Wall Cladding
- Server Benches
- Custom Stainless Steel Frame (Tuck shop)
- Wet and Dry Benches
- Custom Stainless Steel Bench
- Tops with undershelves
The cooking station is the centre that all other parts of a commercial kitchen revolve around. Prepared raw ingredients from your food preparation counters will be cycled to this station while finished dishes will be cycled out by food service staff. Because of this, the cooking station should be placed in a central and more accessible place in the kitchen to allow for easy movements and smoother transporting of ingredients and dishes.
This station also requires the most equipment, including cooking stoves, ovens, fryers, griddles, and exhaust hoods to cycle out smoke, grease, and other harmful aerosols or gases produced by cooking. To organise your cooking station, you can subdivide the available space into baking, grilling and frying areas. Storing cookware and appliances in cabinets under your cooking station or on shelves above will maximise the use of space in your kitchen and place important equipment in easy reach.
A well designed commercial kitchen will place the food service area next to the cooking area, but also near the entrance of the kitchen to streamline the transport of finished dishes from the cooking station to the customer. This area is simpler than other parts of the kitchen, but requires sturdy, easy to clean benches, shelves, and cabinets that can support large numbers of dishes, bowls, and plates filled with food.
Britex stainless steel benches can be ordered in various sizes and heights, providing customisable options that will fit any kitchen. If you need something that can be moved around when required, Britex mobile benches are convenient yet sturdy enough to support heavy finished dishes. Britex also offers four different styles of stainless steel shelves that can be used to store empty plates, dishes, and clean cutlery above your benches.
Case Study: Stainless Steel Benching in commercial kitchens and Canteen of Officer Secondary College
Britex working closely with the architect and builder was involved in Stage 2 of the construction of Officer Secondary College providing over 75 linear metres of custom measured and fabricated integral stainless steel benching. Using our expertise in commercial kitchens and knowledge of Australian Standards, Britex was able to deliver two full teaching kitchen fit outs and canteen area that not only completely adhered to disability compliancies but was also fully vandal resistant.
Stainless steel works and fixtures for the project included:
- Disabled Access Stainless Steel Bench tops with integrated sinks at compliancy height
- Custom Stainless Steel Bench tops with integrated sinks
- Custom Stainless Steel Splashbacks
- Custom Stainless Steel Shelves
- Custom Stainless Steel Bench with integrated stainless steel lift up bench
- Modular Flat Island Benches
- Custom Stainless Steel Work Benches with integral radiused corner bowls incorporated into recessed wet areas
Cleaning and washing
All commercial kitchens need to have a dedicated space to clean, wash and sanitise. In an efficiently designed kitchen layout, this station would ideally be situated near the entrance of the kitchen so that staff can easily wash their hands before getting to work, and used plates and utensils can be cleaned as they come back into the kitchen.
Equipment in this area should include stainless steel benches with sinks, work surfaces to sort through and dry dishes, dishwashers, drying racks, as well as sufficient protection from spills and messes.
Britex offers high capacity, corrosion-resistant stainless steel sink benches ideal for heavy usage and frequent washing. Britex stainless steel benches with splashbacks are also designed to prevent spills and splashes from damaging kitchen walls and floors.