The Best Kitchen Design Firm for Me

I received a question about how to select a restaurant or hotel kitchen design firm. Sometimes my views are a bit unique since my opinions are from an operators perspective, but that usually makes for a more interesting debate I think.

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For years, restaurant and hotel kitchen design and development was left to the entrepreneur and his or her architectural design team to figure out, based simply on ideas, experience and gut feelings. Today, with the tremendous availability of information on the internet, anyone; with a little digging, can research and find their desired specifications to make this process a little easier. And for those with a little padding in their design budget to work with, there are even commercial kitchen design firm specialists, whom you can hire to provide you with construction plans that meet not only the needs of your operation, but also better prepares you for the inevitable growth and expansion every successful restaurant will encounter.

Whether you are designing your own kitchen with an architect, or if you’ve decided to hire a professional restaurant kitchen design firm, the first step that must be taken is to develop your menu. The menu should be the driving force in every aspect of designing the operations of your restaurant, particularly if you need to develop a Restaurant HACCP Plan. Some consultants will say that there are “rules of thumb” that can be used to determine what exactly you need and where it should be placed, but with the restaurant industry being one of the most volatile businesses in the world, it is paramount that heart of your business be developed around the vision or message you intend to provide the public.

Once your menu is finalized, you can begin taking the first steps in programming the space. This should be done with a substantial amount of input from the chef that will be operating it, or by a kitchen design firm consultant; who has practical experience working as a chef in the restaurant or hotel industry. It is of great importance that the operations of a kitchen be developed in a way that provides not only for adequate workspace, but for a workflow that allows the culinary and service staff the ability to quickly and efficiently prepare and serve your product to your guests in the format that is customary to your concept. Fast food should be served fast and casual dining should be casual and expedient, but regardless of your concept, everything you serve must be handled, prepared and served safely to meet or exceed your local health department guidelines. Your future business depends on it.

Here are some other valuable blog posts in this series:

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