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A Checklist For Designing Your Kitchen

Designing a commercial kitchen can be complex, but having a checklist of the necessities makes the process becomes much simpler. Before purchasing your equipment, consider these insightful commercial kitchen must-haves provided by the food service industry experts at ACityDiscount.

1. Space

Space is at a premium in most commercial kitchens, so it's important to take a strategic approach when designing the floor plan. Set up appliances with function and flow in mind. Ideally there will be a walk-through distance of at least 40 inches if appliances are on both sides - more space, of course, is better for cooks. U-shaped kitchens should have 60 inches of pass-through space or more. Additionally, consider pieces of equipment that can help maximize space within the kitchen, such as a range with a griddle or a refrigerated equipment stand.

2. Grease hood systems

Grease hoods with an appropriately sized exhaust fan are necessary for venting when using most types of cooking equipment. Hoods are critical for controlling exhaust from appliances like fryers, griddles or charbroilers. This will vent grease and other exhasut up and out so the kitchen remains clean and safe. Depending on your operation's set up, a make-up air fan may be necessary as well to prevent the hoods from pulling air in from the dining area.

3. Fire-suppression system

For the safety of workers and patrons, all restaurant owners should install a fire-suppression system in the kitchen. This permanent system turns on when large flames or extreme heat are present, and when activated, it extinguishes flames with a specialized chemical mix. Check with your local fire marshal to learn requirements for fire-suppression systems in your locality.

4. Power Sources

Having proper gas, water, and electrical connections in a commercial kitchen necessary before receiving an operational permit from the county. It is important to know where you are intending to place equipment when installing proper power sources, as it can be a code violation to have equipment exceedingly far from its power source. Additionally, lights should be UL-listed and appliances should be NSF-approved. Work with a licensed electrician, plumber, and your gas company to ensure all utilities are properly connected, and work with a professional to determine if your equipment will meet necessary certifications.

5. Flooring

Much attention is focused on appliances and safety features - rightfully so - but flooring is another important component. Commercial kitchen flooring should be non-permeable, non-absorbent and resistant to fire and heat. It must be easy to clean and maintain, too. Often times, restaurateurs add floor drains with grates to make cleaning the floors of their kitchen easier at the end of the night.

6. Sinks

Every commercial kitchen will have numerous sinks. Typically, separate sinks are required for food processing, washing hands, dishwashing and janitorial use. Be sure to know the local requirements regarding the types and numbers of necessary sinks before installing.

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