Importance of Kitchen Space
As a restaurant owner, you understand the importance of an organised and efficient workspace. Aside from slowing down your back-of-house operations, a cluttered commercial kitchen is also detrimental to the safety of your staff. Making more room is also one of the ways to keep your restaurant kitchen cool. However, it can be a challenge to find room for everything you need to run your food service business smoothly. But don’t worry because there are several smart solutions and hacks on how to maximise kitchen space to improve its functionality. Read on to find some practical tips to help you make the most out of your commercial kitchen space.
Assessing Your Kitchen Space
Before you start optimising the space in your commercial kitchen, you have to first assess your current setup. Identify areas for improvement by understanding the size and layout of your kitchen. Whether you’re just starting or revamping an existing kitchen, you need to thoroughly evaluate your space to create a functional and efficient workspace. Assessment of your commercial kitchen space involves taking into account the number of employees, the type of equipment, the menu, and the food storage needs. Here you can find how to explore the different aspects of assessing your commercial kitchen space so you can determine how to make the best use of kitchen space.
Identifying Problem Areas
During the assessment of your commercial kitchen space, it is crucial that you identify problem areas that may be hindering your staff’s workflow and productivity. Every restaurant kitchen is unique, but there are several common issues that many food service businesses face. Here are some of the most common problems in commercial kitchens and some practical solutions to address them:
- Lack of Storage
Finding enough storage for all the equipment, supplies, and ingredients is one of the most significant challenges in commercial kitchens. A lack of storage can lead to cluttered workspaces, which makes moving around and working efficiently challenging for your staff. Consider investing in more shelves and storage racks or you can maximise cabinet space to optimise your current available room. You can also optimise your storage by using wall-mounted organisers, under-shelf baskets, and stackable containers.
- Poor Layout
Another common problem in commercial kitchens is having a poor layout. Poorly designed kitchens lead to delays, traffic congestion, and safety hazards. Consider the flow of your kitchen operations and arrange your workstations and equipment in a logical order to improve your commercial kitchen layout. An example would be placing your cooking equipment and food storage near the prep station. You can also invest in space-saving equipment and multi-functional tools to make the most out of your available space. You can also get help from a commercial kitchen designer to ensure you get a safe and efficient kitchen layout.
- Cluttered Countertops
Not only are cluttered countertops unsightly, but they can also be a safety hazard in a commercial kitchen. It’s easy to have spills and accidents when your countertops are cluttered. Know how to maximise kitchen cabinet space to declutter your countertops. You can also use wall-mounted organisers, hanging baskets, hooks, and countertop storage solutions such as pull-out drawers and built-in cutting boards to help keep tools and utensils off all work surfaces and maximise space.
Determine Your Needs
Make the most out of your commercial kitchen space by determining your needs and identifying which items to keep and which to let go of. This declutters your kitchen, optimises storage, and improves workflow. Evaluate which items you can get rid of by identifying:
- What Items You Use the Most
First, identify which items your staff use the most. These are the tools, supplies, and equipment that they reach for on a daily basis to prepare items on your restaurant’s menu. Observe your kitchen operations and take note of the tools and equipment your staff use the most frequently. This way, you get a good idea of which items are most essential for your back-of-house operations.
- What Items You Rarely Use
On the other hand, it’s just as important to identify which items your employees rarely use in the kitchen. These tools and equipment take up valuable space but are seldom used. Take inventory of your commercial kitchen and separate the items your staff haven’t used in a while to determine which items can be sold or donated. By keeping only the items you need, you can free up space, reduce clutter, optimise your storage, and improve the functionality of your restaurant’s kitchen.
After assessing your commercial kitchen space and identifying problem areas, you can start optimising your workspace by implementing smart solutions. With the right solutions, you can help maximise your available space, improve your staff’s workflow, and enhance the safety and functionality of the kitchen. Explore some smart solutions that can help you make the most out of your space and create a more efficient and organised kitchen.
Utilising your vertical space is important when making the most out of your commercial kitchen space. Vertical storage is an excellent smart kitchen storage solution to maximise the available space and keep your commercial kitchen organised and free of clutter. Here are some vertical storage options to consider:
- Utilising Wall Space
Utilise the untapped storage spaces in your commercial kitchen to your advantage. You can use the walls by installing wall-mounted shelves, hooks, and racks and create vertical storage that is still within your staff’s reach. By using your wall space, you keep tools and equipment off the countertops, reduce clutter, and improve your kitchen’s functionality.
- Installing Shelves and Racks
Some versatile storage solutions to help you make the most out of your commercial kitchen’s vertical space are shelves and racks. Coming in a variety of sizes and materials, they are suitable for storing everything from small kitchen tools to big, heavy equipment. Installing shelves and racks also provide designated spaces for specific items, helping you keep your kitchen tidy and organised.
- Using Magnetic Strips
One of the most excellent kitchen cabinet dead space solutions to keep knives and other metal tools within reach is installing magnetic strips. Having metal strips on walls or cabinets can keep tools off countertops and create more space for food preparation. Easy to install and maintain, magnetic strips are a convenient option for your busy commercial kitchen.
- Hanging Baskets
Another space-saving solution to declutter your countertops and keep your tools and utensils organised is getting hanging baskets. Hanging baskets are a versatile storage option for commercial kitchens because they come in various sizes and can be hung from either your walls or ceiling.
- Investing in Multi-Functional Tools
Consider investing in multi-functional tools and equipment to make the most out of your vertical space. A food processor with multiple different attachments can already replace single-use tools, reducing the amount of equipment you have to store in the kitchen.
Drawer organisers are a fantastic solution to optimise the space in your commercial kitchen. They maximise drawer space, keep tools and utensils organised, and make it easy for your staff to find what they need quickly. Here are some smart ways to use drawer organisers in your commercial kitchen:
- Maximising Drawer Space
Make the most out of your available drawer space by using drawer organisers and providing a designated space for each item.
- Separating and Sorting Items
Use drawer organisers to separate and sort items. Keeping similar items together makes it easy for your staff to find what they need as quickly as possible.
- Using Customisable Dividers
Adjust customisable drawer dividers to fit your specific needs. As these dividers can be moved around and create larger or smaller compartments, they are a versatile storage option for your kitchen drawers.
- Investing in Cutlery Trays
Free up space in your drawers by organising utensils and flatware inside your drawers with cutlery trays. Coming in a variety of sizes, these trays can store everything from knives to forks to spoons and other serving utensils.
Using multi-purpose furniture is a game-changer when optimising the space in your commercial kitchen. It helps you make the most out of your limited available space and also provides additional functionality that is incredibly useful in a busy kitchen environment. Here are some smart ways to use multi-purpose furniture in your commercial kitchen:
- Using Kitchen Island
Get a kitchen island to have a versatile piece of furniture in your commercial kitchen that can serve multiple purposes. It isn’t just used as a prep station or a serving area, it can also provide additional storage space. In an open kitchen design, it can also function as a seating area for your staff or patrons.
- Utilising Seating Space
Utilise your seating area if you have a small commercial kitchen with very limited workspace. Use benches with built-in storage underneath or wall-mounted tables that can be folded down when not in use. This provides you with additional prep or storage space as well as a more functional and flexible seating area.
You can optimise your commercial kitchen space without breaking the bank with DIY solutions. You not only save money by repurposing old items or using materials you already have, but you can also customise solutions to fit your needs perfectly. Here are some smart and practical DIY solutions you can implement in your kitchen:
Reuse and Recycle
A sustainable and eco-friendly solution to optimise commercial kitchen space is reusing and recycling old items. Not only does it help you reduce waste and save money, but it can also add a unique and creative touch to your kitchen decor. Here are two ways to reuse and recycle old things in your commercial kitchen:
- Repurposing Old Items
Utilise your old pallets or use old metal storage containers as planters. You can also turn old wooden crates into shelves. With imagination and creativity, you can turn almost anything into a functional yet stylish addition to your commercial kitchen space.
- Upcycling Furniture
Upcycle old furniture you no longer need into something new and useful for your commercial kitchen. Turn an old dresser into a kitchen island or use your old bookcase as your pantry. Upcycling furniture not only helps you save money but also helps reduce waste and gives new life to your old things.
Custom shelving is the perfect solution if you have specific storage needs that can’t be met by off-the-shelf storage solutions. Designed and can be built to fit any space or shape, custom shelves can meet your specific requirements. Here are some practical yet stylish ideas for custom shelving in your commercial kitchen:
- Building Custom Shelving
You can build custom shelves if you have the right skills and tools. By building custom shelves, you can design them to fit your specific needs, whether they’re to store large appliances or just display trinkets and cookbooks. They can be finished to match your kitchen decor and be built from various materials like wood, metal, or even glass.
- Customising Existing Shelves
You can also just customise existing shelves to better fit the needs of your commercial kitchen. You can add additional shelves or dividers to create more storage space or install hooks and racks to hang utensils, pots, and pans. You can also incorporate open shelving by removing doors from existing cabinets. Without starting from scratch, customising your existing shelves is a cost-effective option to optimise your kitchen storage.
Final Tips and Tricks
Making your commercial kitchen space more functional and efficient can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and strategies, you can definitely do it. Here are some extra tips and tricks to help you make the most of your kitchen space:
Cluttered commercial kitchens are overwhelming and make working efficiently difficult. Here are some effective strategies to minimise clutter and keep your kitchen tidy:
- Decluttering Regularly
Free up valuable space and make accessing items your staff needs easier by taking the time to go through your kitchen and get rid of items that are no longer useful or needed.
- Using Efficient Storage Containers
Avoid clutter and make it easier for your employees to find what they need by investing in efficient storage, such as stackable bins or clear containers. These, along with using labels, allow your staff to easily see what’s inside and identify the contents of each container, saving them time and reducing confusion.
- Streamlining Your Menu
Reduce the number of ingredients and tools you need to keep on hand by streamlining your restaurant’s menu. With fewer ingredients and tools, you can save space and make your commercial kitchen more efficient.
To ensure a productive and efficient commercial kitchen, have a functional design. Choose the right appliances and materials to make a significant difference in your workspace’s overall functionality. Here are ways to do it:
- Choosing Efficient Appliances
Invest in high-quality, energy-efficient appliances that can handle your commercial kitchen’s workload easily. Consider their sizes and capacity to make sure they fit in your kitchen’s available space.
- Choosing Easy-to-Clean Materials
Use materials that are easy to clean and maintain. With limited space, it is harder to move things around so you should make the cleaning process easier for your employees. Durable and easy to sanitise, stainless steel is a popular choice for commercial kitchens.
- Optimal Workflow
Ensure that the placement of your appliances and equipment is in a logical sequence to minimise wasting time and energy. Organising your commercial kitchen ensures your staff’s smooth workflow.
For the success of any restaurant, a well-organised and efficient commercial kitchen is vital. By utilising smart solutions, you can make more space in the workspace, increasing productivity, improving safety, and reducing stress for your staff. Follow these tips and tricks to make a significant difference in maximising the potential of your kitchen space.
To get a spacious commercial kitchen layout that’s safe and efficient for your back-of-house operation, hire a commercial kitchen designer. Specialising in commercial kitchens, they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to ensure you get the most out of your restaurant kitchen and better your chances of success.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I determine which items to keep and which to get rid of?
Start by identifying which items your staff use the most and which items they rarely use to determine which items to keep and which to get rid of in your commercial kitchen. Consider how much space each item takes up and whether it still serves a necessary function in your operations. Assessing each thing’s condition and age can also help you determine if it needs repair or replacement. You should also consider the storage solutions you have in your kitchen and whether they are suitable for each item.
How can I make use of small or awkward spaces in my kitchen?
Consider customising storage solutions that fit the available space to make use of small or awkward spaces in your commercial kitchen. Maximise storage capacity by building custom shelves or installing narrow pull-out cabinets. Utilise vertical spaces by installing overhead shelving and racks or consider incorporating multi-functional furniture such as a kitchen island with built-in storage.
What are some affordable solutions for increasing kitchen storage space?
Some affordable solutions for increasing your commercial kitchen storage space are utilising wall space with shelves and racks, getting under-shelf baskets, and repurposing items for storage, like using a magazine rack for storing baking sheets. You can also invest in storage containers that are efficient and stackable for your staff, such as clear plastic containers or wire baskets. Multi-functional furniture that can serve as both storage and workspace, such as a rolling kitchen cart with shelves and a cutting board surface, is worth your investment.