With rents going up and demand for prime sites increasing, it can be hard to find the ideal location for a cafe or restaurant. This means you sometimes have to compromise, and a smaller and less-practically laid out commercial kitchen area may be what you have to work with.

A small commercial kitchen can still be a great place to work; think how grateful your legs will be for the short distances they will need to cover while on the job. It’s true, though, that when starting the fit-out for a small commercial kitchen, it is essential to sit down and really plan for what you will need so that you will be able to maintain your vision for the business and still get delicious food out to customers. It’s much easier to change plans in the design stage rather than three months down the line when other things will be on your mind.

Small Commercial Kitchen
Small Commercial Kitchen

Here are three things you’ll need if you’re working with a small commercial kitchen:

1. Good Design

With less room to play with, thinking about the ergonomics of your kitchen in the design stage will be much appreciated by all your staff. Designing the space well will ensure safety and efficiency, and the fewer steps across the kitchen needed to complete a job, the better. Consider how kitchen workers will most effectively be able to prep, cook and clean in the space available. Putting in the time and effort early on will save you money and hassle later.

2. A Plan For Refrigeration

Depending on whether your produce is fresh, pre-prepared, frozen or a mixture of all three, you will need to opt for the most appropriate commercial refrigeration system. In small spaces, under the counter fridges can fit neatly below worktops and be used to store fresh produce that has been prepped. Another great space-saving idea is using a combination fridge/freezer, which can keep all your produce in one location. Whatever you decide on, it is worth spending money on refrigeration and making sure it can function well in a hot kitchen, where temperatures can reach up to 43 degrees celsius.

3. Something To Cook On

Probably the first piece of catering equipment you will start looking for is a commercial oven. In small kitchens, the size and capabilities of your oven will be vital to ensure you are able to serve up amazing food in decent time. With less space, your oven may need to do several jobs at once, so you really do need to be able to trust it. There are so many kinds of ovens to choose from, including combi, convection and speed-cook, and there are several things you need to think through before buying, including the food you will be cooking, how many staff will be using it and whether it will be on display.