Commercial kitchen worktables are readily available in just about every conceivable size imaginable, having multiple options for tops, legs, undershelf and overshelf accessories to choose from. There are however several aspects of your basic commercial kitchen worktables that can be the difference between paying a few hundred dollars, to over a thousand so it is important to understand the specifications that the manufacturers provide.
Specifications for Commercial Kitchen Worktables
Size ranges for commercial kitchen worktables are theoretically infinite since every manufacturer will make a table at any custom size but it is always more cost-effective to purchase a table in a dimension have on offer. Standard table depths are 24”, 30” and 36” with lengths starting at 24” and increase in 12” increments. Say you have an area that requires a 12’ table. There are some price savings in purchasing a 12’ table, but I have found in my experience that the client is usually better off purchasing 2, 6’ tables instead. This will reduce shipping costs if applicable and make installing the table a bit easier to manage. The other benefit is that as your restaurant concept evolves, you have the ability to more easily rearrange your kitchen should you see it necessary in the future by not being obligated to work around such a large table.
Commercial kitchen worktables are primarily offered with 3 different types of tops, all offering the ability to include back splashes, undershelves, drawers and some manufacturers offer other custom accessories such as cutting board holders and sheet pan racks.
Stainless steel top commercial kitchen worktables are offered having a flat top or what is called a flat top with a marine edge. A marine edge means that the flat part of the table is slightly recessed below the table edge line creating a “gully” to prevent spillage or a slipping of equipment off the side (think rolling ship). On land, I will specify a marine edge on tables that handle receiving or any other situation where an excess of liquid is present to prevent it all hitting the floor. Stainless steel top commercial kitchen worktables come with a choice of steel gauge used in fabrication. This ranges from 18 gauge, the thinnest, to 14 gauge, the thickest steel available for this type of item. Obviously the thicker the steel, the higher the cost so it is important to read all of the specifications for each aspect of the table to ensure you know what you are paying for and if the added expense is necessary for your operational purposes. You can of course get other gauges, but they will need to be custom ordered and are not usually necessary except for special situations that would fall outside a commercial kitchen environment.
Commercial kitchen worktables with poly-tops are essentially worktables with cutting board tops. These are used in areas that are designated for cutting only such as produce, meat and seafood fabrication areas. They are not the sturdiest tables available, but the convenience of having a table with a cutting board top may be of value in a restaurant kitchen design where all the fabrication is done in-house.
Commercial kitchen worktables with word tops are typically referred to as baker’s tables. Wood is a very poor conductor of temperature so they are deal tops for handling breads and pastry type items. You can cut directly on them as you can with a poly-top, but it is not recommended in order to extend their usable lifespan. Some wood top table manufacturers offer a variety of wood types as top options; however, maple seems to be the preferred wood type. These tables do require a certain amount of maintenance to keep them clean bacteria free. Each manufacturer should provide instructions on how to care for the table they are selling.
Regardless of the style and type of commercial kitchen worktables being installed in your commercial kitchen design, it is important to understand the basic specification on offer, particularly if you are purchasing from an online retailer. In the event that you are working with an experienced restaurant consultant, they should be recommended the options and accessories that best meet your needs and budget to ensure you are spending money where it makes the most sense.