Typical commercial kitchen guidelines for design may vary by state, country or town so it is important to understand the requirements for your location. Every aspect cannot addressed in a single post; so, we will cover each item below in grater detail in upcoming posts. All health department permitting authorities acquire their sanitation guidelines from the Food and Drug Administrations Food Code. Some implement the code in full, whereas others implement only aspects they deem necessary for their population. Local construction codes on the other hand, may vary significantly based on location so here we will outline some of the most common requirements when discussing commercial kitchen guidelines.

We develop projects all over the US as well as internationally, so we follow the FDA Guidelines when we develop hotel, commercial or restaurant kitchen design concepts. This ensures we meet and sometimes exceed the local regulations for sanitation. This approach may seem excessive to some, but I’m sure we can all agree that there is no such thing as being too sanitary in a commercial kitchen design layout.

Every commercial kitchen will typically require having most of the following aspects integrated into their foodservice design.

  • Commercial sinks for various uses throughout the kitchen.
  • Garbage disposals may be required based on your menu concept and local sanitary sewer codes.
  • Grease traps that are connected to the main plumbing system or individual sinks are required in many locations in order to prevent excess organic material from entering the sewer system.
  • Dish machines may be required based on your service concept.
  • Exhaust systems located over the cooking equipment, typically with integrated fire suppression systems.
    • Exhaust above your dish machine may also be required based on the model of machine selected.
  • Ice machines, not necessarily just for beverages, but also for the proper cooling of hot foods such as stocks, soups, stews, etc.
  • Adequate refrigerated, frozen and dry storage will be required for all commercial kitchens with the size of each being determined by the menu and frequency of product deliveries.
  • Garbage storage and removal areas are required to be away from food handling areas and should include some form of pest prevention and control.
  • Materials and finishes selections relating to your ceiling, walls and flooring will all vary based location, but following the health department manta of “smooth, non-porous and easily cleanable” should help guide your selections.

Your contracted restaurant consultant should advise you as to which of the above requirements pertain to your concept as you progress in the pre-design programming phase of your project.

Make sure to review all of our Commercial Kitchen Guideline Articles below:

Equally as important when looking at the kitchen is how it relates to other areas of your project so we also suggest you read our posts about overall restaurant interior design.


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