So you have a new premises or you’re planning to renovate your old one but where do you start? What sort of equipment do you need in your new kitchen?
Well the answer depends of course on your needs and who you’re serving but there are a few staples that any commercial kitchen need and in this post we’re going to be detailing a few of them. So firstly every pub kitchen is going to need a cooker, now my philosophy on buying a commercial cooker is to always have a few more hobbs than you’re going to need, so figure out how many you’ll need and then add on an extra two.
Every kitchen needs a commercial refrigerator. Now it’s always best to again go a little larger than you think that you’ll need because you’ll always need more space. I wouldn’t advise scrimping on what you spend on a refrigerator because if it decides to stop working it can make a real kitchen crisis and potentially cost you a lot of money in spoiled food. A good kitchen freezer also goes hand in hand with this, the same principles apply so make sure that you buy yourself a good one.
Next, as I said in a previous post, every kitchen should have a commercial dishwasher. For the reasons why, be sure to check out that blog post. I’ve also provided you with a few tips on how to select a commercial dishwasher.
If you’re working in a busy pub kitchen, it’s always a good idea to have plenty of preparation space. Be sure to buy a surface that’s easily cleanable to encourage good hygiene practices amongst your kitchen staff.
A commercial dishwasher in the cornerstone of every commercial kitchen. In this day and age very few professional pub kitchens will have their own dedicated staff that wash dishes all day. This has been particularly true and sped up by the recession, most pubs realised that when money got tight, it was far more cost effective to make a one off payment for a catering equipment than to employ someone on minimum wage to wash the dishes.
How much money should you spend on a commercial dishwasher?
When you’re starting a new commercial kitchen though, it can be difficult to figure out just how much money to spend on a dishwasher. First you need to work out the number of dishes that you have and that you’re going to be washing, if you only have storage space for a small number of dishes then you’re going to need a quick turn around which means that you’ll need a industrial dishwasher with a short cycle time. Short cycle times are usually something that the more expensive equipment tend to offer so you may need to spend a little more to get a better and faster machine.
You also need to think about what type of thing you’re going to need to wash. If it’s mostly glasses then you may be better off with a specialised glass washer rather than a more generalised dishwasher. This type of equipment is specially designed to take a huge number of glasses and get them back in use very quickly, ideal for busy pubs! If you’re going to be washing a large number of pots and pans though, you may need to consider buying a specialised dish washing station that can handle bulkier items that may require a bit of extra washing in order to get clean.
What are the features of commercial dishwashers?
Most commercial dishwashers have standard rinse and detergent functions. These basically do what they say on the tin, they mix detergent with warm water and then get your dishes clean this way. As you move up in the range though there are some features that can be pretty useful in the kitchen of a busy pub or restaurant. Drainage pumps are a particularly useful feature to have in a washer, these make sure that your machine can drain properly and can really speed up washing cycle times.
Built in water softeners are also a must in most kitchens. If you’re based in the UK one problem that you may face is the hardness of the water going into your dishwasher. A build up of calcium carbonate, more commonly known as limescale can really cut down on the lifetime of your washer and end up costing you big in the long-run, so it’s far better to have a built in water softener if you’re looking to save money long-term.
If you’re environmentally conscious then you may want to consider buying a machine that is ‘double skinned’. Double skinned is basically what it sounds like, there are two layers to your commercial dishwasher, two layers means that less heat escapes and therefore your machine uses far less energy that its single skinned counterparts.
If you’re looking for advice on how to design, style and furnish a commercial kitchen, then you’ve come to the right blog.
When I was installing appliances such as a commercial dishwasher, washing machines, cookers, coffee machines and all of the other equipment needed to run a pun kitchen I didn’t find much advice out there. Sure, there are people out there who design kitchens for a living but the trouble with these people is that they charge an arm and a leg even for a consultation. It’s for this reason that I started this blog so that people can discuss and get commercial kitchen design tips freely.
Kitting out a commercial kitchen
So what sort of things do you need to think about when installing a commercial kitchen? Well where do I start, there’s so much that goes into the planning before we even get started. The first thing to consider is how many poeple you’re going to be serving, for example if you’re never going to be catering for more than 3o people then you’re not going to need to spend as much money on equipment as you would if you were catering for say 100 people.
The number of people that you’re serving from your pub kitchen also effects how many chefs that you have, which directly effects your kitchen size. Then you realise that sometimes you need to compromise with the amount of commercial cooking equipment that you have and how much space you’re actually going to need in your kitchen.
On every new pub or restaurant owners mind is budget, sure it would be great if we could all go out there and buy everything that we think we may need but in the real cooking world, this is rarely the case. Your budget means that you have a number of considerations, for example there are usually different models of the same equipment that boast different features. When shopping for things like commercial dishwashers, you can often find that there are a whole host of features that you would love to have but may not be able to afford. I’ll be providing a guide for this sort of thing in a later post.
Expertise effects you commercial kitchen equipment
Another thing that many people may not think of is the competency level of their staff. If you have a lot of equipment in your kitchen, you need someone that knows how to operate it all correctly. This can be particularly important on days when you’re away from the restaurant and need to rely upon the expertise of your staff when you’re away.
Have a look at my next post on commercial dishwashers.