Whether you are starting a restaurant, opening the 2nd one, or remodeling an existing one, an efficient restaurant kitchen layout should be high on your priority list. A right kitchen space helps streamline production, offers efficient workspaces to your employees, and decreases expenditure and the table turnover time. Keep reading for the best kitchen layout ideas, ultimately maximizing this space efficiency.
Here are the top trending commercial kitchen layouts for your restaurant
1. Assembly line layout
The assembly line configuration refers to a kitchen layout with a focus on dish assembly. It comprises a central row starting with food preparation (processing raw foods and sorting foods into batches), to meal cooking, and ending with the service area. With these kitchen layouts, the dishwashing station and storage space are usually behind the assembly line.
Benefits of assembly line layout
- Allow employees to focus on individual tasks
- Enable more staff in a restaurant's kitchen as they are in isolated stations
- Let meal production be quick and consistent
The assembly line layout is ideal for fast casual and fast food restaurants or a commercial kitchen with simple/ limited menus and systematic food preparation.
Example of assembly line layout
Chipotle, Roast Kitchen, Sweetgreen, and Saloniki are some popular examples of this commercial kitchen layout. They make space to the side for the back of house workers to make food prep while the front-of-house staff serves.
2. Zone style layout
With this restaurant kitchen layout, you have separate zones for each activity (think food preparation vs washing dirty dishes) or for each type of dish being made (say baking station vs salad station vs frying station). And all the necessary cooking tools are accessible in the particular station. Usually, kitchen storage and dishwashing areas are near the entrance while the service area is near the exit door.
Benefits of zone style layout
- Allow back of house employees to focus on their areas of expertise. You can hire an executive chef for each station
- Makes it simpler to make various meals
- Promote better flow with many open areas
This commercial kitchen layout is ideal for large operations with plenty of staff, diverse menus, and various items that need preparing, for instance, event space kitchens and hotel restaurants.
Example of zone style layout
3. Galley layout
The galley kitchen has all stations and kitchen equipment on its perimeter. In an extra tight space, the cooking equipment sits along 2 parallel walls
Benefits of the galley layout
- Get the most out of the floor plan, as seen in a food truck
- The ring layout in a larger kitchen leaves an empty space in the center, letting employees rotate easily to concurrently work multiple stations.
This interior design is ideal for establishments with few workers and a small restaurant kitchen layout, say food trucks and ghost kitchens that generally have tight spaces compared to commercial kitchens.
Example of galley kitchen
Designing a food truck kitchen around workflow like this, with a food prep station, meal cooking station, and plating one will help your business serve more guests.
4. Island layout
One of the top trending commercial kitchen layout ideas, this floor plan usually has the food and executive chefs take center stage, with kitchen equipment in its center. Other sections like food prep counter space, service area, and area to clean dishes are often in the l shape (along its perimeter).
Benefits of the island layout
- Allow the cooking area to be the functional and visual heart of your restaurant kitchen
- Promote chef supervision and employee communication.
- Leave more open floor space for easier cleaning
This commercial kitchen layout is ideal for establishments with ample kitchen space for employees to get around.
Example of the island layout
5. Open layout
Maybe the most unique out of all the commercial kitchen layout ideas, this kitchen layout has the restaurant kitchen’s storage and area to handle dirty dishes pushed to the back and the food prep station and meal cooking area open to the dining room. Often, the setup is circular to promote flow and movement. A glass partition between the dining area and service area is recommended for guest safety.
Benefits of open kitchen layout
- Help with entertaining guests and improving the quality perception
- Increase the dining room size
- Maximize a small space
- Speed up service (by over 13%), considering less distance between the diners and the restaurant's kitchen
- Enable a 17.3% Increase in customer satisfaction
These commercial kitchen layouts are ideal for restaurants with limited commercial spaces or high-end restaurants. Watching the cook prepare high quality meals is part of the dining experience.
Example of this commercial kitchen layout
6. Ergonomic kitchen layout
This commercial kitchen layout has cooking equipment placed near each other, ensuring that staff does not have to reach, stretch, bend, or move around to get the supplies they need.
Benefits of ergonomic restaurant kitchen layouts
- Improve the comfort of the back of house employees’ physical working conditions
- Enhance speed and productivity as there is less movement in your restaurant kitchens
- Decrease accidents thanks to separate traffic aisles and workstations
These restaurant kitchen layout designs are ideal for establishments with an unorthodox kitchen floor plan where conditions may require more effort from employees.
Example of this commercial kitchen layout
Tips and tricks on how to determine the ideal kitchen layout for your restaurants
1. Involve your executive chef in decision-making
Chef Jet Tila stresses that no input from your restaurant kitchen chef generally implies:
1st, the wrong commercial kitchen equipment;
2nd, the improper ratio of your kitchen to front-of-house;
3rd, not enough kitchen space;
4th, the wrong flow.
2. Understand your space
The standard ratio of the commercial kitchen area to the dining area is generally 40 to 60, which can vary depending on your venue type and the available space. Measure the kitchen space before starting to design it. Square footage aside, remember to consider power outlets, windows, etc.
3. Consider your menu
Your menu impacts your kitchen layout substantially. Your commercial kitchen needs tailoring to your menu as that will decide the appropriate equipment, food preparation, storage, and meal cooking area. Having a cost-effective, turn-key One2 contactless menu will simplify your menu development and planning process.
4. Decide the kitchen’s most significant functions
With your kitchen layouts, you need to consider preferred elements over others based on your menu and business model (e.g., serving delivery orders only or both delivery and dine-in customers. All of them cannot be top of mind.
5. Satisfy code requirements for kitchens
When designing your commercial kitchens, you must meet local food safety regulations, health codes, staff safety protocols, etc. Check with the FDA, OSHA, and the Department of Public Health in your state to learn the involved standards. Also, review all relevant licenses and permits involved.
Key considerations that you might not want to miss when designing your restaurant kitchen
Proper ventilation/ air ventilation and natural light aside, you should consider:
Importantly, your commercial kitchen layout enables the executive chef to supervise the work and promote communication between staff. For example, use fewer partitions or walls.
2. Energy efficiency
According to the Energy Information Administration, restaurants’ energy consumption per square foot is 3 times more than other commercial firms. The Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine suggests:
1st, put equipment in your commercial kitchen strategically so that the exhaust hood can take away hot air quickly;
2nd, place cold storage far away from heat sources to prevent appliances from working harder.
One of the greatest mistakes a commercial kitchen can make in designing the kitchen layout is not considering maintenance. One fine day, your cooking tools and equipment will need repairing or replacing. So, we suggest making your restaurant kitchen modular, letting you move some areas around to access the broken equipment, say fridges.
4. Kitchen equipment
Some equipment your commercial kitchen might need include gas range oven combinations, heat lamps to keep food warm, commercial fryers, open cabinets, drying racks, cold storage equipment, and three compartment sinks.
Practically any restaurant kitchen can benefit from the One2 ordering system that is intuitive, smart, scalable, and trusted. With it, your entire back of house team can see every order created and have a smooth line of communication with the front-of-house team, minimizing errors and fulfilling orders quickly.
According to Blondies Cocktails, "We enjoyed working with One2 during the pandemic to promote Blondies Cocktails, including assistance with logistics and online ordering."
1. What are the key elements of my restaurant kitchen layout?
2. What should be my top goal when designing a ghost kitchen?
It should be optimizing your current space to prioritize order volume. One2 ghost kitchen software eliminates your need for POS, simplifies the ordering process, and helps you get discovered with powerful SEO enhancements.
According to Sushi X, a Chicago-based award-winning Japanese Restaurant, "Thanks to One2 for developing our online menus and SEO! Since we started working with them, our website visits have doubled!"
3. What chain restaurant uses a kitchen layout like a submarine?
71 Clinton Fresh Food has a submarine galley-like layout with 5 chefs and 1 placing food on plates and washing dishes.