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Building A Restaurant When You Can’t Afford A Ventilation Hood

Posted by JES Team on 8/16/2015
Building A Restaurant When You Can’t Afford A Ventilation Hood

Launching a restaurant is an exciting endeavor, but it often comes with significant financial challenges. One of the most expensive components in restaurant construction is the ventilation hood system, which is vital for maintaining a safe and comfortable dining environment. However, if you find yourself in a position where affording a traditional ventilation hood seems impossible, don't lose hope. In this blog, we'll explore some creative solutions to ensure your restaurant can operate without breaking the bank.

Embrace Open Kitchen Concept

One innovative approach to circumvent the need for a costly ventilation hood is to embrace an open kitchen concept. This design not only saves on construction costs but also adds a unique charm to your restaurant. By incorporating an open kitchen, where customers can see the cooking process, you can create a more interactive and immersive dining experience. Moreover, the open kitchen can improve transparency, building trust with your customers.

Opt for Ventless Cooking Equipment

Ventless cooking equipment is designed to operate without a traditional ventilation hood system. These appliances use advanced filtration technology to capture and remove grease, smoke, and odors, allowing you to maintain a safe and clean kitchen environment. Ventless fryers, ovens, and griddles are readily available in the market and can significantly cut down on installation costs.

Strategic Kitchen Layout

Careful planning of your kitchen layout can help minimize the need for extensive ventilation. Position cooking equipment closer to exterior walls and windows to allow smoke and odors to dissipate naturally. Additionally, invest in high-quality exhaust fans that vent air directly outside. While this may not replace the need for a full ventilation system, it can help reduce the complexity and expense.

Collaborate with Food Trucks

If building a brick-and-mortar restaurant seems financially unviable, consider starting with a food truck or a pop-up restaurant. These options allow you to cook and serve your delicious dishes without the need for a permanent kitchen. As your business grows and becomes profitable, you can reinvest the earnings into a proper ventilation system for a more permanent location.

Outdoor Dining Spaces

Create an outdoor dining area where grilling or barbecuing can take place. Outdoor cooking not only eliminates the need for a ventilation hood but also provides a unique ambiance for your patrons. Ensure that you comply with local regulations and obtain the necessary permits before setting up an outdoor cooking area.

Collaborate with Existing Restaurants

Consider partnering with an established restaurant during off-hours. You can rent their kitchen space and equipment, allowing you to utilize their ventilation system. This shared arrangement can help you get your restaurant off the ground without incurring significant expenses upfront.

While a proper ventilation hood system is crucial for a restaurant, there are creative ways to build and operate a restaurant without one. Embrace the open kitchen concept, invest in ventless cooking equipment, strategically plan your kitchen layout, and explore outdoor dining options. Additionally, temporary solutions like food trucks or collaborating with existing restaurants can help you get started while you work towards acquiring a ventilation system in the future. Remember, innovation, flexibility, and perseverance are the keys to achieving your dream of running a successful restaurant even when facing financial constraints. Good luck with your restaurant venture!

peter mazzara
Date 5/20/2017
id like to know if commercial grade oven roasters require any kind if venting in chicago
JES Restaurant Equipment ~
Date 5/22/2017
Peter - Normally they do, yes. It would be best if you check with your local fire marshal since vent hoods are specific to each situation and environment. There are certain factors that can make them required depending on what is being cooked or even the age of the building that you're putting the unit in. :-)
Lynn Nguyen
Date 5/26/2017
I'm planning to open a shaved ice and crepe shop. Do I need ventilation for my crepe maker? I saw few shop that doesn't need it. Thank you.
JES Restaurant Equipment ~
Date 5/29/2017
Lynn Nguyen - if you are referring to the small, round griddle plate that you put batter on to make crepes; to our knowledge, those units do not need ventilation. But we always recommend that you contact your local fire inspector since vent hoods are specific to each situation and environment.
Date 6/14/2017
Hi I might be part of a team to open a wine bar with appetizers and small plates in Alameda County, California. Would induction burners be ok? Technically you could cook anything on there but we wouldn't use it for searing or sauteing, mostly for boiling and reducing liquids like sauces and jams. Also are there full size ovens that are ok or just something like a turbochef i5? Sous vide circulators shouldn't be a problem right? We've talked to our health department but they want us to send them the appliances we are thinking about and they will tell us by the specs whether it's acceptable or not. Trying to find a baseline so I know what kinds to search for. Thank you! It's so hard to find resources on this type of "type 2" kitchen online. You have been helpful! <br><br><br> <h4>JES Replied</h4> <b>You would need to contact the health department in your county, laws concerning this vary from state to state. In SC anything that creates a grease or steam vapor must be under a hood system </b><br> Thanks,<br><br> J. Eric Smith
Frank Savino
Date 6/19/2017
I am a Italian Pastry Chef since I have been Knee High to a Grass hopper (Family Owned 3 Bakeries)..I have always Baked for Retail/Wholesale Distribution using Convection Ovens (No Hood Required in this Location) * I am moving to North Myrtle Beach, SC... Hopefully this Year 2017 * My Question is : Do I Need a Hood System (No Deep Frying or Oil, etc. Used) to Bake ( possibly only Pet Treats, have already been doing so for many years.) Want to wholesale or and retail in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina ?? * Thank you in Advance for your Reply. Frank <br><br><br> <h4>JES Replied</h4> <b>The last word I had on this was that if you were doing baked goods , rolls , cakes pastries a hood would not be needed but is is a good idea to consult DHEC in SC in order to get the official word . </b>
Date 6/22/2017
I bought a used Imperial CICV gas convection oven from a bakery that went out of business (Bolingbrook, IL). I was going to install it in the shop but the village inspector and Fire Marshall (Lemont, IL) can't decide if I do or do not need a hood/vent. Old owner says she did not require one in the village she operated in. My village told me to check with Imperial, which I did, and they told me to check with the village! The main use for this oven is muffins and scones. Thoughts? If this model is not suitable without a hood/vent, do you have any recommendations of one that is? <br><br><br> <h4>JES Replied</h4> <b>Bakery goods are usually excluded from being under a hood but each county / village should have it own determination . </b> <br><br>
Date 8/20/2017
Hello. I am opening a shop on the first floor of a building. Trying to wrap my head around where the exhaust fan will go since I won't have access to the roof? <br><br> <h4>JES Reply</h4> <b>County and state will need to be contacted. A exhaust fan in SC can be on a vertical wall 10 foot off of the ground not to be hung over a human walkway. Also the return air should be a minimum of 10 foot away from the exhaust. </b> <br><br> Hope this helped.
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