Create the ideal catering kitchen for your needs

 

Not all kitchens are created the same. What you need from a residential kitchen almost certainly differs from what you’d like to see in a commercial kitchen, and a catering kitchen is a space unique unto itself. Without a slew of guests happily chatting at tables beyond the kitchen’s double doors and a service staff scurrying back and forth, the game is changed — and the requirements for a stellar catering kitchen design have to change, too. Helping you manage the evolution of your catering kitchen design is one of the many things Specifi® does well.

 

Specifi® Can Help You Design an Efficient Catering Kitchen

The definition of a great catering kitchen is rather fluid. Caterers can technically prepare food in their own home before packing it and bringing it to a client, but there are a whole host of issues that come along with that method. From strict fire code regulations to potential health code violations, the possible pitfalls are numerous. What’s more, that doesn’t even take into account the need for commercial cooking equipment and expanded prep and storage areas. By building a dedicated catering kitchen, you’re offering clients — or perhaps your own hospitality company — a place where they can honor industry standards while also achieving the quality and quantity of food that consumers both need and deserve.

 

Space and Layout Matter

Space is always a concern during any expansion, but the potentially broad and varied menus typically executed by off-site caterers makes your catering kitchen layout especially important. The flow of your work area, the grouping of workstations, access to hand-washing sinks, refrigeration space and dry storage are just a few of the considerations. The lack of a dining area means that space normally allocated for front-of-house use can be redistributed to the kitchen area, but more space is only better if you know exactly what to do with it. Specifi®’s suite of programs allows you to conceptualize and reconfigure your catering kitchen floor plan, employing innovative 2D- and 3D-drawing technology to bring basic blueprints to life.

Catering Kitchen Equipment Considerations

As you design, you’ll start considering your ideal equipment list. From fryers to freezers, six-burner stoves to gas-powered salamanders, the type of catering kitchen equipment you elect to install will influence your future output immensely. You’ll also need to account for storage shelves, stainless steel prep tables, three-compartment sinks, and outlets placed for easy access when recipes call for blenders, food processors or mixers.

With our comprehensive software Specifi® Design, you’ll be connected to more than 250 manufacturers, with an extensive symbol library and technical details at your fingerprints — so you know exactly what you’re working with no matter how many times you change your mind.

Your Catering Kitchen Floor Plan: From Concept to Reality

Imagine executing a corporate breakfast for 100 people and a tapas-style wedding dinner in the same multifunctional space. Think about how smooth daily operations could be with every piece of equipment ideally situated and your exhaust system installed correctly — the first time! Turn the idea you’ve fine-tuned in your mind into reality or take advantage of Specifi® Design’s seven demostration libraries to garner inspiration.

By its very nature, catering is an unpredictable business that depends on adaptability, but a fully visualized, well-planned catering kitchen design can give you the foundation necessary for growth. Specifi®’s integrated family of products exist to help you harness your drive and achieve success.

Click to watch 3 minutes domostration of Specifi® Design

Fabio Tantaro is Director of Marketing at Specifi®, a global foodservice specification platform. Since joining the team in 2011, Tantaro has utilized his graphic and design skills to deliver creative solutions for the company’s branding, messaging and event strategy. 

3 Reasons to Visit Specifi® at HOST in Milan

With over 2000 exhibitors at this year’s Host exhibition in Milan, demonstrating solutions that range from pizza ovens, smallwares to software applications. How you will spend your time and make the most of your visit will not be an easy task.

To aid your decision making process Specifi® has provided you three reasons why visiting the Specifi® booth at this year’s Exhibition is worth your valuable time:

1 – Discuss Product Futures with the team developing the generation of Design Software

Get direct answers to your questions and offer your suggestions for future improvements.  Meet the team that is providing you the tools that allow you to efficiently create 3D designs of the next great Restaurant and Foodservice Project.

2 – Receive a hands on tutorial on the latest Products

Specifi® recognizes the challenges that designers, dealers and manufacturers face in the world of commercial kitchens and restaurants. We’re transforming the industry by delivering an intuitive, high performing digital platform to streamline your processes while granting you greater efficiency in your business. Visit us where you can sit in the driver’s seat and test out the latest versions.

3 – Customers are requesting BIM designs are you prepared?

Foodservice Equipment Consultants and Designers working with AutoCAD® or Revit® to create 3D plans need correct symbols to represent the equipment they choose. There is still a lot of confusion about BIM in the foodservice market. What is BIM? Get your questions answered. Learn how Specifi® has already delivered BIM catalogs for Food Equipment Manufacturers who are getting specified more frequently.

STOP BY BOOTH D53 – HALL 3

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Design a commercial kitchen should be as thrilling as it is intuitive

The elements that make an industrial or commercial kitchen different from other food preparation spaces are the same things that can make a commercial kitchen phenomenally effective, and it has everything to do with design.

Commercial kitchen design is like laying the foundation to a house. You can certainly change things at a later date, but it’s going to be a disruptive and financially prohibitive process. Fixing a faulty design means lost revenue, exorbitant construction costs, and a whole lot of stress. That’s why it’s so important to get it right the first time. Whether you are building a new commercial kitchen or remodeling your existing layout, Specifi’s professional kitchen design software was created to help our clients do just that.

Specifi’s Kitchen Design 3D Software

It takes a talented team and a lot of moving parts to bring a kitchen concept to life. From designers and general contractors to consultants and engineers, your design-and-execution squad doubtlessly includes a number of people who are quite skilled at what they do. What you lack, though, is a comprehensive piece of commercial kitchen design software. However, with Specifi, there’s one centralized system to oversee everything — from exploring equipment and manufacturer possibilities to making sure every invoice is accounted for and settled on time.

How does Specifi® do all of this? It’s a matter of resources. It starts with 3D kitchen design software that turns flat drawings into fully visualized representations of what your space could one day actually look like. Fill the space between your 3D walls with your dream assortment of branded equipment, and you’ll receive the full complement of technical and commercial details, too. With CAD symbols that self-populate and more than 8,000 other symbols at your fingertips, the possibilities are practically endless.

 

Design Your Commercial Kitchen Floor Plan

The nitty-gritty construction and design details unique to a commercial kitchen are addressed by Specifi’s professional kitchen design software, too. The solution-oriented platform helps you determine where to place oversized items and how to run your exhaust system. You’ll be able to adhere to local health and building codes from the outset, preventing construction or operational delays that can easily sink a business.

Even the administrative aspects of building a commercial kitchen space are encompassed in Specifi® Quote, a user-friendly interface that connects customers and suppliers in a way that makes sense. Create and manage orders, offer quotes or upload equipment details from the electronic catalog. It’s all an important part of getting your kitchen from the design stage to real-life, restaurant-ready excellence.

By investing in a platform that delivers all the tools you need in order to get your ideal kitchen concept executed correctly, you’re setting yourself up to save time and money while accomplishing the kind meticulously crafted commercial kitchen layout that turns a fledgling business into a hospitality juggernaut.

Specifi® believes that designing a commercial kitchen should be as thrilling as it is intuitive. After all, a professional kitchen is like the wizard behind the curtain — execute well back there, and everybody dining out front will reap the delicious rewards. At Specifi, we give you the design solutions that inspire success.

 

Click to watch 3 minutes domostration of Specifi® Design

Fabio Tantaro is Director of Marketing at Specifi, a global foodservice specification platform. Since joining the team in 2011, Tantaro has utilized his graphic and design skills to deliver creative solutions for the company’s branding, messaging and event strategy. 

Ways Social Media Is Changing The Restaurant Industry

Every second, 12 newly active mobile accounts spring up on social media, steadily adding to the 2.3 billion social media users currently active worldwide. Social media is a bona fide global phenomenon, and it’s changing the way we experience everything from day-to-day communication to eating out. Restaurants have become hotbeds of smartphone activity as consumers happily snap pictures of their plates and populate with pithy reviews, forcing restaurant owners to sit up and take notice. Here’s a look at how the social media movement is influencing the restaurant industry — and vice versa.

One Star Away From Profit

Most restaurant owners have a love/hate relationship with sites like Yelp or Tripadvisor. It can be infuriating to deal with amateur food critics who pick apart a business without regard for circumstances beyond its control (no last-minute seating for a party of 30 is not grounds for a one-star review) or respect for the people who work there. On the other hand, Yelp isn’t going away, and according to some sources, the site may hold more power than initially realized: One study found that a restaurant whose average Yelp rating increased by one star could expect a corresponding 5- to 9-percent boost in revenue. Whether restaurant owners like social review sites or not, their influence is undeniable, and businesses have to play the game.

 

Restaurant Marketing in the Age of Social Media

Social media started as a platform purely for peer-to-peer communication, but a lot has happened since then. Businesses of all sizes and from a wide variety of industries are all clamoring to attract the attention of social users by putting up profiles, establishing fan pages, and boosting promotional posts as often as their budgets will allow. Social media offers restaurant owners a chance to re-imagine their marketing campaigns, thanks to digital tools that make the following possible:

 

  • Increased control. Forget funneling promotional ideas through a separate department or outside agency. Social media marketing can be controlled through a computer in the restaurant’s back office or even via smartphone.
  • Responsive campaigns. Analytics looking a little off? Weather forcing a change of plans for the restaurant’s upcoming barbecue cookout? Everything from Facebook ads to pinned Twitter posts can be edited, switched out or deleted altogether in mere seconds, ensuring you always have a way to get the correct information out to your customers, and at lightning speed, too.
  • Ongoing interaction. Given the influence wielded by customers (see the Yelp statistic above), it stands to reason that using social media to build a rapport with clients would be a valuable tool. Reading and responding to comments, acknowledging criticism and being openly grateful for praise shows that restaurants are not only listening to customers but also giving their opinions weight.

 

Interior Design for the Sake of Instagram

We tend to think of Instagram as a place to see beautiful things that already exist, but some restaurant design firms are taking Instagram into account long before they even break ground on construction. Designers are getting inspiration from the colors of raw ingredients, how chefs are plating dishes, and from the lines of the dishes themselves. Oblong tables might be erected as an ode to a shot of farm-fresh eggs while the weathered wood acting as a breakfast bar in a coffee shop may evoke a picture of a dilapidated barn captured in an Instagram snap.

There’s also the desire to build a restaurant that, once finished, will itself become Instagram-worthy. The more customers choose to share their filtered photos of a restaurant’s ivy-covered patio or artfully strung Edison lights, the more that restaurant’s reach extends into the nebulous outer galaxies of social media. It’s free publicity, and more and more restaurateurs are deciding that the potential “likes,” comments and reposts that could come from a customer’s post are reason enough to design a physical space, logo and menu that will stand out on social media.

Social media is an untethered beast with a tendency to act out. It’s nearly impossible to predict with complete accuracy how a business will be perceived by the electronic masses, but restaurant owners can help shape the narrative by embracing social media marketing, reputation management and the power of Instagram. The rest, as they say, is just details.

Fabio Tantaro is Director of Marketing at Specifi, a global foodservice specification platform. Since joining the team in 2011, Tantaro has utilized his graphic and design skills to deliver creative solutions for the company’s branding, messaging and event strategy. 

5 Tips For Designing An Efficient And Functional Kitchen

Success in the hospitality industry requires a good plan, and that’s especially true when designing the blueprint for a commercial kitchen. A restaurant’s kitchen serves as both the heart and brain of the business and all its employees — ideally churning out creativity and galvanizing financial growth in equal measure. When a kitchen’s design is good, it can be the impetus behind immense profit and professional progress; when the design is faulty, it’s hard if not impossible to recover.

Here are the 5 tips that will help ensure your new — or newly remodeled — kitchen is as efficient and functional as possible.

 

1- Always Consider Flow

Great restaurant service is like a top-notch ballet: Each dancer plays his or her part, and when it’s done correctly, those parts come together to form a beautiful, seamless whole. That kind of excellence requires some savvy staging, though — and in restaurants, that means flow:

  • Have definite “in” and “out” doors for staff to use while entering and exiting the kitchen. One “all-purpose door” practically guarantees broken plates and mayhem.
  • Design cold and hot lines according to the steps of service. If you do a high volume of plates with both fried and cold components, for instance, you’ll likely want the fry station and garde manger/garnish to be close together.
  • Consider where you’ll be receiving deliveries and plan the placement of your dry and cold storage areas accordingly. No one wants to lug the twice-weekly seafood haul from one end of the restaurant to the other, and you won’t want to pay for that unnecessary labor either.

 

2- Invest in Great Sanitation

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 13,360 cases of foodborne illness in the United States in 2013, and 60 percent of those cases were linked to restaurants. To prevent becoming a part of this statistic, installing a number of dedicated hand-washing sinks and establishing dedicated work zones throughout the kitchen will allow employees to maintain high standards of personal hygiene. This also helps employees avoid cross-contamination or having to step out of the normal flow of food prep or execution just to clean up.

 

3- Factor in Your Storage Needs

Storage in commercial kitchens can be tricky. You have to keep items like utensils and hotel pans clean, but they also need to be close at hand in order for your cooks to keep up the often hectic pace of a lunch or dinner service. Pantry items require similar attention. Your exact storage needs will depend on your menu, but undercounter reach-in fridges, ingredient bins and heavy-duty can racks may all prove useful and require a fairly large dedicated footprint, too.

 

4- From Wash to Waste

Anyone who regards the dishwashing area of a restaurant as the least important should see what happens when the machine breaks down on a busy Saturday night. In reality, the washing and waste disposal functions of a restaurant are at the very core of its success. Lay out the space to allow service staff to clear and stack plates with ease — the quicker they do so, the quicker your dishwashers can put clean plates and cutlery back into rotation and the less you’ll have to ultimately invest in smallwares.

 

5- Allow for Change

The commercial kitchen has evolved immeasurably over the last few decades and that trend is unlikely to change. The stack ovens you love today might be obsolete tomorrow, and the last thing you want is to have to rip apart your entire layout just to swap out a piece or two. Some elements of your kitchen design might be fairly permanent, but if you can allow for adaptability, definitely do so. The less downtime you need down the line for mini-remodel efforts, the happier you, your customers, and your bank account will ultimately be.

Trends come and go in the restaurant industry with such speed that it sometimes seems like the only constant is change. While that might make designing an efficient and functional kitchen problematic, a great plan can lead to great success.

Invest in a little foresight and the rewards will be truly delicious

Fabio Tantaro is Director of Marketing at Specifi, a global foodservice specification platform. Since joining the team in 2011, Tantaro has utilized his graphic and design skills to deliver creative solutions for the company’s branding, messaging and event strategy.