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The Way to Plan Out a Small Kitchen

Today we are starting a new series where we will feature advice from our owner Eric on various problems you may run into when setting up a commercial kitchen. Here’s our first post in the series.

Planning for a Small Kitchen

Nobody ever said ” I want a small kitchen” if you are in the food service industry and are a chef , sou chef or just a darn good cook that prepares excellent food you want a kitchen with room to breath, room that servers can pass by each other and not cause a traffic jam or collide. Unless you are a chain or some one that has multiple locations and have had two or three tries to get the kitchen right for your menu and volume then you are most of my customers. This is how it usually goes in my world, I will have a customer come in and say I have found the perfect location for my restaurant but the kitchen will be kinda small my initial response in my brain is ” CRAP here we go again” what comes out of my mouth is ” I love a good Challenge” which is very true and at JES our small mom and pop restaurants are as important to us as our chain accounts. I have lots of tools in my bag but a kitchen stretcher is not in there. The very first question is what is your menu? second question are you going to have a dishwasher? every kitchen I build has the menu laid out first then how big can my hood be. lots of people that design kitchens start at the delivery door . Now we are talking about a building that is standing and you do not want to sink thousands of dollars into a remodel just to get started.

Many people have a dream of owing their own restaurant and I love to make that happen. YOUR SUCCESS IS MY SUCCESS !!!! to some people this business is just a job but I love to make my customer happy and when the job is done I love to see all the shinny stainless for some reason it makes me smile and feel happy. If you are building a large dinning facility say in a mega hotel or casino in Las Vegas then you have plenty of square feet to work with and probably plenty of money to get the job done. I’m talking about the couple that is ready to put all there savings into a place in order to work for themselves and it must work cause the budget is small. Believe it or not that’s the challenge.Questions menu? dishwasher? delivery area ? how many seats? The most common sized hoods for a small kitchen is 6', 8' and 10'. I have seen 6' hoods that will accommodate 1 fryer, and a 36” range, put a convection oven instead of a conventional oven and you have increased your oven production times 2. It takes a conventional oven 1 hour and 30 minuets to bake a pound cake, in the convection oven it takes around 45 minuets. Now for the range top , lets put a 24” griddle thermostatically controlled of course and 2 burners and I can cook chicken sandwiches , hamburgers , eggs bacon, pancakes , hash browns. What? you aint done yet lets put a 36” salamander over that oven!! Ha Ha now we got broiled fish, nachos, heated open face sandwiches. I’m about to explode with all the cooking power I have . Ok lets make a 180* turn and I have a 27” sandwich prep cooler with a heated overshelf ,2 drawers that I can put my bacon, ham,cheese, and a worktop freezer that will hold my wings, burgers and fries and the top can be my heated dump station. By now you are getting the idea that you can turn out good food in a small space.

I had a customer in Greenwood S.C. Regans Restaurant, this kitchen was the smallest I have ever seen, it utilized every inch and even had a short dish line. The food that was turned out of this kitchen was great. Today it is Polo’s and is still turning out great food. Now this 6' hood senerio just gives you a idea of what you can do in limited space, but keep in mind there can only be 1 to 2 people working this area so that being said you can’t feed a 250 seat restaurant from this kitchen but you can probably take care of a 50 seat facility. With this information only one thing else to say ”

Now you cookin’

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