How to Keep Your Restaurant Kitchen Cool
Your restaurant may look posh and classy, but your kitchen can still be a hot air trap, especially during summer. In hot weather, commercial kitchens could become too hot which may cause problems for the safety of your food, the comfort of your workers, and your entire back-of-house operation. So to keep your food and beverage business smooth, you have to know how to keep your restaurant kitchen cool.
The Right Temperature for a Restaurant Kitchen
It is important to maintain the temperature in your commercial kitchen at a level that ensures the safety of the food and the comfort of your food service staff. For your restaurant kitchen’s preparation and cooking areas, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code specifies that the temperature should not be more than 40 degrees Celsius. It is recommended to keep the temperature between 21 to 24 degrees to prevent the growth of bacteria in food and to maintain a comfortable working space for your workers.
Working in a commercial kitchen when it is too hot can be uncomfortable and unpleasant for your employees, which will affect their efficiency and the quality of the food they prepare. Some potential problems a hot restaurant kitchen could bring are
- Increased fatigue and discomfort for your workers that can decrease their morale and affect their concentration and productivity
- Poor food quality, such as changes in texture and taste of your dishes, and faster food spoilage
- Higher risk of foodborne diseases from having an ideal environment for the growth of harmful bacteria
When your restaurant kitchen is too hot, you can have issues that can have a tremendous negative impact on the overall success of your business. But to know the best way to cool off a commercial kitchen, you first have to determine the factors that make the temperature rise.
Factors that Make a Restaurant Kitchen Too Hot
A restaurant kitchen becomes too hot because of a combination of factors that intensify during the summer. These factors include
- Size of the Kitchen
Having a larger commercial kitchen allows you to have more workers and heat-generating equipment, contributing to the overall temperature of the space.
- Poor Insulation
If your restaurant kitchen is not properly insulated, the heat generated inside the space will not be able to escape.
- Poor Ventilation
Lack of proper ventilation in your commercial kitchen prevents air from circulating in your space.
- Dark Surfaces
Dark-coloured surfaces, such as countertops and walls, absorb more heat, contributing to your restaurant kitchen’s high temperature.
- Heat from the Equipment
Many pieces of equipment in your commercial kitchen produce heat as a byproduct of their operation. The heat from stoves, ovens, fryers, and grills contributes to the overall temperature of your kitchen.
Ways to Keep Your Restaurant Kitchen Cool
Now that you know the factors that contribute to the rise in temperature, you can determine how to cool down a commercial kitchen. Here are some ways to keep your restaurant kitchen cool even during the summer:
- Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Believe it or not, cleaning is the simplest best way to cool a commercial kitchen. Keeping your restaurant kitchen clean doesn’t just prevent pest infestation and the spread of diseases, it also keeps the space cool. Sweeping, mopping, and wiping down surfaces regularly removes excess heat-trapping grime and grease.
- Implement a Cold Kitchen Design Layout
Rearranging into a cold kitchen design layout works wonders for the temperature in your restaurant kitchen. A cold kitchen design layout separates hot and cold food preparation areas, keeping the heat in one area and minimising the amount of heat generated in your commercial kitchen.
- Install Insulators
Provide your restaurant kitchen with proper insulation to keep the heat out and the cold air in. Insulate the walls, ceiling, and floor to reduce the amount of heat transmitted from the outside of the space. Reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your kitchen with shade. Provide shade by installing blinds or black-out curtains on windows to block out the direct sunlight and heat.
- Ensure Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation is critical for removing steam and hot air from your restaurant kitchen. Install a ventilation system to help improve air circulation and regulate the temperature in your space. Open the windows or consider installing mechanical exhaust with makeup air or air curtains to create better airflow and remove the hot air, making your commercial kitchen cooler.
- Install Air Conditioning
Cooling a commercial kitchen is fast and easy by just installing a central air conditioning system. With air conditioning, you can keep the kitchen and the rest of your restaurant cool and comfortable for your workers and patrons. Just make sure that your air conditioning system gets regular cleaning and maintenance to make sure it keeps operating at peak power and efficiency.
- Opt for Light-Coloured Surfaces
Black marble may look sleek and stylish, but dark-coloured surfaces absorb more heat and contribute to your restaurant kitchen’s rising temperature. Opt for light-coloured surfaces, such as countertops, walls, and finishes. Light colours reflect heat rather than absorb it, reducing the amount kept inside your kitchen.
- Apply Reflective Materials
Reflective materials on the ceiling and walls help these surfaces reflect heat away rather than absorb it. Using reflective window films also helps reduce the amount of heat entering your restaurant kitchen through the windows.
- Use Temperature-Controlled Equipment
How to cool down a commercial kitchen? Choose energy-efficient equipment and appliances designed to operate at lower temperatures or to generate less heat. LED lighting, refrigerators, and freezers with high energy ratings are some examples. If your chef will allow it, opt for electric stoves and ovens instead of gas types.
Reasons to Keep Your Restaurant Kitchen Cool
Executing the steps after learning how to cool down a restaurant kitchen may seem like a lot of work. But the effort will yield great rewards such as:
- Ensured Food Safety
By keeping your commercial kitchen cool, you prevent it from being an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to thrive. With clean food, you avoid food poisoning and lawsuits.
- Comfortable and Productive Staff
A hot kitchen is an uncomfortable and unpleasant working environment for your workers. Knowing how to cool a hot commercial kitchen provides the best space for your staff to work in, avoiding a decrease in morale and productivity.
- Extended Equipment Lifespan
Extend your equipment’s lifespan by keeping your restaurant kitchen cool. High temperatures can cause equipment to wear out faster. By cooling your kitchen down, you can extend the lifespan of your equipment and save money on repairs and replacements, cutting costs for your business.
- Energy Efficiency
Because keeping a commercial kitchen cool requires an incredible amount of energy, you will be encouraged to invest in energy-efficient equipment and design elements to keep your energy costs down. This is great for your business and the environment in the long run.
While keeping your restaurant kitchen cool may require a lot of effort, it is worth it because of the benefits. If you think the steps to regulate the temperature in the kitchen will add to your costs, you can do some steps yourself to save money. But hiring a professional commercial kitchen designer may help you save while still getting the best results. With their knowledge and expertise, they can assess and recommend the best solutions tailored for your kitchen.
Why Hire a Commercial Kitchen Designer
If your kitchen is too hot, it is best to hire a commercial kitchen designer because of their
Because a commercial kitchen designer has specialised skills, knowledge, and experience with restaurant kitchens, they know how to design a kitchen space that’s efficient, functional, and comfortable for your workers. They also identify factors that make your kitchen hotter and what design elements and equipment will help it cool and be more comfortable.
- Customised Solutions
With a commercial kitchen designer, you can get customised solutions for your space. They will assess your kitchen and create a tailored design plan based on the specific needs and constraints of your restaurant. They will also take into account factors such as the size, layout, and processes of your restaurant kitchen, the type of cuisine you serve, and your budget.
- Energy Efficiency
A commercial kitchen designer can help you choose energy-efficient equipment and design elements, such as energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, air conditioning systems, and insulation, that will help keep your energy costs down. They also have equipment suppliers they trust so they can help you get good deals. A commercial kitchen designer who also specialises in building design is familiar with the National Construction Code and can ensure compliance with requirements for energy efficiency for a healthy building.
- Time-Saving Processes
You can focus on other aspects of running your restaurant because working with a commercial kitchen designer will handle all the planning and design processes for you, saving you time and effort.
If you want to renovate your restaurant kitchen correctly from the get-go, hire a commercial kitchen designer because they are experts in local building code and health department regulations. They are specialists and know how to cool a commercial kitchen in the best way possible.
There are a lot of factors that can make your restaurant kitchen hot, especially during summer. If your kitchen is too hot, you can face a lot of issues that can have a great negative impact on the overall success of your business. You can follow certain steps to cool your restaurant kitchen down but it is better to hire a commercial kitchen designer so that you can benefit from their specialised skills, knowledge, and experience.