Designing a Functional Restaurant Kitchen

Many factors go into opening and running a restaurant, including designing a functional space for your customers to eat in and enjoy. However, there’s another space that’s just as important in your restaurant, and that’s your kitchen. The kitchen is where most of the action for your restaurant is going to take place, and if it’s not designed in a functional way, the flow and productivity of your business will suffer.

It’s time to look at the crucial areas of your commercial kitchen’s design and see how they relate to your business. Think of the operations of your kitchen, and the common processes that occur everyday.

First, you need to have food in the kitchen to cook, which means you’ll need to receive deliveries of produce and meat. The ‘deliveries’ section is where these goods arrive, and it could also includes any drinks that are delivered. You’ll need to work out how these products will be taken care of after delivery. Will they need to be stored or refrigerated? Make sure you have adequate receiving processes so you don’t have food waste or spoilage.

Next is ‘storage’, both dry and cold. You will need to determine what type of storage you need first, and then how much storage you’ll need. Consider these questions to find the best options.

  • How long does the food typically stay in storage?
  • How often do I get deliveries?
  • How big is the kitchen space?
  • How much food is prepared on a daily or weekly basis?
  • What type of storage can I reasonably accommodate while still maintaining function in the kitchen?

Cold storage will require freezers and refrigerators, and these come in a variety of sizes and styles, such as undercounter or freestanding. Shop around for commercial refrigeration options that match your needs and budget.

Dry storage will require proper shelving, and you will need to meet the food hygiene regulations, so be sure you do your research.

Now that the food is stored safely and securely, it’s time for ‘food prep’. Prep is a crucial part of your commercial kitchen, and what you need determines how your food prep area will be set up. Do you need to have the storage and refrigeration close by your prep? Is it important to have a combination prep/refrigeration option in the kitchen? If it’s important for you to have quick access to small appliances and other kitchen needs, you will need to have a prep solution that can accommodate all of these.

If you prepare food beyond salads and sandwiches, you likely need commercial kitchen equipment for ‘production’. Here is where you’ll need to consider the size and type of the larger-size equipment, such as a commercial range or oven. As these pieces of equipment take up a lot of space, you will have to consider how much you’ll use them and how they can fit in your kitchen to improve how you prepare food for your customers. Don’t overlook things such as commercial ice machines either, because those are important for your customers’ food and drink experience a well.

Once the food is cooked, it needs to be plated and served to your customers. After the food is served, all dirty dishes, linen and tableware will need to be removed as well. These aspects are part of the service area of your commercial kitchen’s design. Your servers should ideally have a service station where they can easily get the supplies they need to set and clean up a table. If food, once plated, will be waiting to be picked up, a station or area for hot-holding is another factor that makes it easy for your servers to feed customers efficiently and quickly.

What happens after the food has been consumed by your happy customers? Your waiting staff will need to clean up, which means you’ll have dishes – so to the ‘wash-up’. Dishwashing is a must in any busy commercial kitchen and you’ll need the equipment that can keep your dishes sparkling clean and ready for customers. If you aren’t using a commercial dishwasher, it’s crucial that you have a dish-washing system that includes areas for washing, rinsing and sanitation — it contravenes food hygiene regulations to perform all three in the same sinks, so be aware. The dishwasher you will need will depend on how much you need to wash, how big your space is, your budget.

Cleaning the restaurant, not just the plates, must be considered as well. Chemicals, brushes, cleaning cloths — all of these will be used to clean your restaurant. To comply with COSHH, they need to separated and stored away from anywhere where food is stored and prepared, and chemicals need to safely secured. Ensure you have adequate space to keep all of these things together.

Finally, you have to deal with ‘waste’ at your restaurant. Rubbish and food waste must be disposed of, and you need to make sure that you have the right equipment on hand to do so. Bin liners, waste bins, recycling bins, and other rubbish needs will mean that there has to be storage of these products, and you need to arrange your kitchen so that they may be easily retrieved.

Your kitchen requires careful consideration and planning. It, itself, is like a business, where everyone and everything has its part. The task is difficult, but it’s worth it for a perfectly functioning commercial kitchen.

For help or advice please contact the Busychef team on 0500 008075 or email sales@busychef.co.uk

Top 10 Tips for Catering Equipment Maintenance

fireTop 10 Tips for Catering Equipment Maintenance

The only way to get the most benefit and trouble-free service out of your catering and refrigeration equipment is to perform regular maintenance. Regular maintenance, which includes cleaning, will keep everything working in good working order and can catch minor problems or worn out parts before they cause expensive breakdowns. Regardless of the type of equipment, there are 10 maintenance related tasks that you need to do for every piece of catering equipment that you own.

Read The Manual!

The first place you should look for proper maintenance procedures for your specific pieces of catering equipment is the owner’s manual, which comes with the equipment. Generalised tips from an article on the internet are all well and good, but the owner’s manual will tell you specifically what needs to be done to keep your equipment in tip-top shape. Most manufacturers’ websites have downloadable versions of manuals, and the manufacturers should have manuals for older or discontinued models, too.

Fill Out and Return the Warranty Card

The only way to gain the benefits of manufacturers’ warranties for new catering or refrigeration equipment, which usually include x-number of years in free parts and labour, is to fill out the warranty card and return it to the manufacturer. You usually have about a month after delivery to get the warranty card filled out and returned, so don’t put it off.

Educate staff on the proper use of the equipment.

Misuse and abuse are among the leading causes of catering equipment breakdowns, and most warranties will not cover repairs resulting from misuse. Show staff how to properly use, clean and maintain your foodservice equipment to keep everything up and running and eliminate the amount of money you have to spend on non-warranty issues.

Clean all catering equipment daily.

Daily cleaning is perhaps the most important maintenance tip for catering and refrigeration equipment. Daily cleaning prevents dirt, grime and food scraps from building up and causing damage to the machine’s components. Having clean catering equipment is something environmental health officers look for too. Learn more here about what EHO’s look for

a9feaa6c206_634x404Perform thorough cleaning on a regular basis.

Either weekly, monthly or half yearly, depending on the type of equipment, there are deep cleaning procedures that need to be followed. The purpose of more thorough cleaning is to get those places that are hard to reach or to just tackle the grime that accumulates over time.

Regularly inspect your catering equipment.

Any time you perform a thorough cleaning on your catering equipment, inspect any moving parts, electrical, water and gas connections and other components for wear, tear and leaks. Catching and correcting small maintenance issues early (like a water leak caused by a loose hose fitting) can save you from more expensive repairs in the future. You can even set up a service contract with a local service agent and have them inspect your equipment. Try us out at YCE Catering Equipment Ltd by phoning 0113 252 6566 or email service@yce.co.uk.

Replace broken or worn out parts.

Over time, parts just wear out and need to be replaced. If something appears worn out, better to replace the worn out part soon before it causes serious problems. Contact a member of our service team at YCE Catering Equipment Ltd by phoning 0113 252 6566 or email service@yce.co.uk.

tumblr_inline_mi812zliar1qz4rgpBe careful with DIY fixes. 

One way to save money on catering equipment or refrigeration repairs is to simply fix it yourself. If the equipment is new, fixing things yourself may void the warranty, so be sure to read the warranty and know what you can and cannot do yourself. Even if the equipment is not under warranty, overly complex repairs should still be performed by someone with the right skills and qualifications – not some guy the boss met down the pub. Don’t slow down your wait time with unreliable equipment.

Follow chemical instructions.

Whether the chemicals you are using are meant to clean the piece of equipment or the equipment uses chemicals itself, like a commercial dishwasher, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the labels. Improperly mixing to the wrong chemical concentration can be dangerous for your staff and damaging to your equipment.

undersinkcloseProperly care for stainless steel.

Catering equipment and refrigeration is manufactured primarily out of stainless steel. Despite its name, stainless steel can become stained, tarnished or corroded if not properly cared for, so be sure to use mild detergents, soft cloths and wash with the grain when cleaning your food service equipment.

If you would like advice from the experts on looking after your catering equipment, please get in touch with the Busychef team on 0500 008075 or email sales@busychef.co.uk. We have been giving good advice for a very long time.

Do you double hand wash?

imageTip of the Week: Did you know that when restaurant and other food service employees use the toilet, they should wash their hands before leaving the toilet and again in the kitchen before they return to their duties. That’s right – a double hand washing! Double hand washing is excellent practice for all restaurant and kitchen staff before they go back to their duties.

In the United States double hand washing is compulsory as legislated by the FDA, their equivalent to our Environmental Health section of the local authority.

There are 3 essential reasons for this hand washing policy:

1 – It is a simple yet very effective tool in reducing the possibility of a foodborne illness occurring in a food establishment.

2 – Customer perception should be a concern. If an employee comes back from the toilet and continues to take food to tables or serves drinks (and how many times have you seen this happen?), without going back to the kitchen first to wash his/her hands again, how many customers might conclude that the server didn’t wash his/her hands before handling food again?

3 – The easiest way to impress an Environmental Health Inspector is for the Inspector to witness many staff members washing hands periodically through an inspection.

Managers should train staff to wash their hands properly and effectively before leaving the toilet, and again before handling food or drinks.

All food business must have an accessible designated wash hand basin with hot and cold water, soap and hand towels for use by staff. You can buy wash hand basins from busyCHEF by going to busychef.co.uk

Avoiding Accidents in the Kitchen

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 10.00.17The Health and Safety Executive is running a campaign on slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

Slips, trips and falls from height can all have serious consequences. Everyone can do more to ensure that their workplace becomes a safer environment. The effects of slips, trips and falls at work are far reaching, both for those involved, their families and the industries they work in. The cost to society alone is in the order of £800 million per year. The HSE Shattered Lives Campaign website helps raise awareness, provide guidance and encourage employers and employees to take action to help reduce the risk of a slip, trip or fall at work.

Carrying hot oil

Emptying oil from deep fat fryers can be difficult. Make sure you and your staff follow the manufacturers instructions to do this work safely.

Food spill

Food or cooking spills are one of the main causes of slips in kitchens. We all need to be vigilant and clean up any spilt substance that could cause a hazard. Take a look in your workplace and see if you can improve how you work.

Water overflow or leak

An overflowing sink or a leak that causes water to drip onto the floor can create a serious slip hazard, especially on a smooth floor. Stop it from getting onto the floor in the first place: turn off taps and fix leaks quickly. Use drip trays or something similar as a temporary measure.

Floor in poor condition

It’s easy to trip on damaged floors, if you spot an area of damage arrange for it to be fixed straight away, don’t put off repairs. As a temporary measure, highlight the damaged area, report it and where possible keep staff away.

Trip hazards

An unexpected obstacle in your path can cause a serious trip and fall. People need a clear space to work, so make sure boxes, bags, cables and other obstacles aren’t left hanging around. Storage should always be provided for incoming deliveries and bags.

Cleaning

Most slips happen on wet or dirty floors, anything that gets onto the floor needs to be removed quickly and effectively. Ensure cleaning happens at the right time and is carried out in the correct manner using the right products and equipment for the job.

With thanks to the HSE Shattered Lives Campaign website. To download the above poster click here