An effective kitchen design is an outcome of thoughtful planning; which defines the size, concept, operational strategy and equipment to be used. A restaurant kitchen is the backbone of any food-service business and all production and speed of execution begin with having a functional kitchen design. Your kitchen setup will effect everything from receiving your inventory to delivering dishes to the customer. A poorly designed kitchen will suffer from increased production costs and will decrease staff effectiveness who are bearing the brunt of an inefficient system. Hence, one should devote considerable time preparing a layout and a plan and consider the following vital principals while surveying such a venture.

Effective Restaurant Kitchen Design Checklist

Market Research – Checking feasibility of an Idea

People have new and creative ideas to make the food service business more innovative and interesting. But what apparently looks like success might not be very feasible in the market and a variety of factors rely on it. To check the feasibility of the idea, a thorough market research needs to be done to see if your plan fits the market and if the customers buy what you are selling. Here are a few things which need to be on your research check list:

  • Market demand for your product – The Menu
  • Location of your restaurant
  • Culture of the local demographic
  • Food Habits of the locals
  • Economy of the area

Budgeting – Making the numbers work

Once you see your idea blooming in the market after sounds research and evidence your concept is needed, the next step would be to chalk out a tentative figure for your capital Investment. You’ll need to come up with a figure which is close to accurate so that you can budget accordingly and move into the design of your restaurant kitchen. The restaurant kitchen design will generally have an impact on various aspects including capital expenditures pertaining to equipment, staffing requirements and quantity of work stations. Since all the business will be generated from the kitchen itself, a strong budget is not only recommended, but a necessity to ensure you are on the correct path.

Restaurant Kitchen Plan – Building core foundation

After you have finalized a tentative business plan budget, you can make a feasible restaurant kitchen plan keeping in mind those budgetary constraints. Now since you have figures in hand, you can begin to start deciding what are absolute must haves and would likes. For e.g would you want to go for stainless steel vs nickel plated aluminum, would you like to purchase used or new equipment, or to what extent do you want to automatize the process by purchasing automated machinery for fast food processing and delivery.

Preparing a restaurant kitchen plan is one of the most vital and critical jobs to be accomplished of all the aspects of developing a restaurant. Many factors will need to be addressed while drafting a functional kitchen plan; which I have detailed in the blog post- “Why Restaurant kitchen plan is Important?”

Cost Cutting – Wherever possible

This would be the most innovative and strategic job on the list since cutting operational and production cost is one of the top priorities for any owner to succeed. Since it will have a great impact on your budget, ideally you should consult an experienced restaurant kitchen designer or a chef, since they have hands on experience dealing with the things day in and out and they will be in a better position to tell you what you would actually in need in the kitchen and advise you on where it makes sense to spend valuable capital.

For example, buying used stainless steel tables or sinks makes sense, but buy a used refrigerator and it goes down in the midst of a Saturday night service and you may be hard pressed to find someone to come fix it.

Selective Hiring

A chef is the king of the restaurant and he/she should be able to not just create recipes to delight the masses, but also cater to the special requests of the customers on a moments notice. When hiring of a chef for a new restaurant, you cannot put a value on the experience of one who has opened a restaurant previously. Bringing him/her onto the payroll during the restaurant kitchen design process will not only help to ensure they provide input on the space they will be spending most of their working hours in, but also ensures the chef will know exactly what they will be walking into when the doors open and can plan accordingly to wow everyone on opening night!

We’ve helped develop dozens of business plans with clients over the years, and know how daunting of a task it can be when you are starting from scratch. We always recommend using a software platform to make things easier after you’ve completed your food cost analysis, using our Free Food Cost Calculator. Palo Alto Software has several programs to help entrepreneurs develop their business, sales and marketing plans. We encourage all of our clients to use since it makes life so much easier, theirs and ours! We’ve placed some links below to their software that you can view by clicking the banner.

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