Design Standards for Commercial Kitchen Equipment

The first rule, It must be Safe, second, it must be as efficient as possible!

How safe and efficient can it be? Read more about Design Standards for Food and Catering Equipment for the next Decade.



No matter if you are opening a new restaurant or renovating your old one, your idea is to build and use your commercial kitchen at least in the following 10 years,right?

Building a new commercial kitchen and buying a new equipment is very expensive, so be sure to get all the information about design standards for food and catering equipment for the next decade to be able to follow low regulations and build a commercial kitchen that provides you maximum productive efficiency.

Make The Right Choices In Time


Productive efficiency is concerned with producing goods and services with the optimal combination of inputs to produce maximum output for the minimum cost. To be productively efficient means that your restaurant kitchen must be producing on its production possibility frontier.

If you consider that commercial kitchens are high energy users, consuming roughly 2.5 times more energy per square foot than any other commercial space, and 40% is used for the preparation and storage of food, you can easily conclude that much of the wasted energy is dispersed into the kitchen. New technology made a dramatic reduction in energy consumption, resulting in significant
cost savings.

Energy and Labor efficiencies can give your operation the edge


Restaurant owners who invest strategically can cut energy costs by between 10%-30%. By using professional software for kitchen design and management consulting services, energy savings can be as high as 40%, equating to 3%-6% of operating costs. The most cost effective route to take is having professional food service equipment plans produced for your restaurant needs.

The real concern in commercial kitchens is equipment that is often only 50% efficient. This is exactly what really happened when the low capital cost drives the choice of equipment with a little consideration for the whole life-cycle cost. You must be aware of these facts and do not make similar mistakes.
When investing in new equipment, calculate a sum of all recurring and one-time costs over a lifespan of a product. Don’t forget to include factors such as idle energy rate usage, preheat energy consumption, operating hours per day, production capacity, and maintenance costs.

Get Familiar With Design Standards for Food Processing Equipment


It is very important that you check your country’s laws and regulations regarding food processing and food storage equipment. If your restaurant is located in Europe you must be sure that your commercial kitchen equipment is in accordance with European CEN Standards that provide the safety design requirements for food processing machinery.

Currently, the most trusted name in food safety is NSF International . NSF led the development of more than 75 standards and protocols for sanitary food equipment and has certified thousands of products as safe to use in restaurant and commercial kitchen settings. NSF food equipment standards include requirements for material safety, design, construction and product performance.

The standards are made to establish minimum requirements: definitions, material specifications, design parameters, construction details, and performance of equipment necessary for easy cleanability, food protection, and the elimination of harborages.
If there is a published standard relevant to a machine you are purchasing, this should be specified in the purchase contract.

Tips to Improve Your Commercial Kitchen Efficiency with New Equipment


If you are buying equipment for a new kitchen or replacing some parts, you will need more information about catering equipment that will speed up your restaurant’s kitchen flow and bring your bottom line to the next level. In a case that you are retrofitting old equipment with high-efficiency parts and accessories consider constant audit and monitoring that will give you insights in parts of equipment that should be replaced. Regularly record the energy consumption of the kitchen and set targets for reduction.

Induction Hobs. If you decide to use electric cooking, be sure to buy induction hob. It is up to 50% more efficient than a traditional electric hob because it only turns on when the pan is in direct contact with the electromagnetic field created by its electrical coil. Induction hobs providing huge energy savings and keeping the kitchen cooler, so you will also reduce money on your energy ventilation costs. The kitchen ventilation system represents one of the largest consumers of energy in the kitchen, often because it operates at full capacity even during idle times to control moisture, which can lead to mold growth and structural damage.

High-efficiency Steamers. The old style boiler-based steamers are history. The average old steamer was using 40 gallons of water per hour. The new models of high-efficiency steamers operate without a boiler or a drain so consume only one or two gallons of water per hour. High-efficiency steamers use far less energy and water. With improved isolation, heat loss has been reduced, so it provides the more efficient steam delivery system.

High-efficiency Grills switches itself on only when activated by the product being placed under the heat source and heat up in a few seconds with its infra-red elements.

New age Fryers are much more efficient. They got an advanced burner and heat exchanger design. The insulated pans retain heat so they offer faster cooking and faster temperature recovery times. They also require much less oil during food preparation. Advanced technology offers intelligent filtration system, which extends the life of used oil by tracking frying statistics and alarming operators when the filter must be changed.

Combi ovens can reduce energy costs by around 50% because they offer faster cooking by convection, steam and combination cooking, Look out for automatic fan switch-offs when the door is opened and triple-glazed viewing windows that saving up to 40% energy

The new generation of dishwashers has lots of energy-saving features. Choose the one with a heat recovery condenser device to reuse waste hot water to heat the incoming supply of water. New models have a more efficient wash and rinse pumps and better water filtration technology, which consumes less energy while improving the wash.

Lightening. Use modern sensors, including PIR , the passive infra red, which can detect movement over a range of 12 metres.

This was just an overview of some of the latest commercial kitchen equipment’s features. Whether you are buying the equipment for new commercial kitchen or you renovate your old restaurant kitchen, engagement of commercial kitchen designer, the energy consultant, and installation team is recommended.

Note* A sudden, unexplainable rise in energy usage could be a warning sign that a piece of your commercial kitchen’s equipment needs a maintenance. It is much safer and cheaper to do it in time

The Basics Of Restaurant Design Psychology

In this millennium successful restaurant concept must provide promising brand personality. It is much more than just good food, good service, and good atmosphere.

Creating an amazing restaurant experience with a perfect restaurant design is anything but simple.To achieve this goal, you have to think about all the details that will affect the restaurant workflow and customer experience. “The basics of restaurant design psychology” will teach you how to design a personality of the restaurant with maximum seating capacity, and no “bad table” in the house. So where to start?

Step 1. Start With a Professional Restaurant Designer & Architects

It is very important not to rush into the design and then try to fix mistakes later. You have to spend more time planning, as it is much cheaper to make changes in a software for restaurant design than it is to change a major mistake on a completed building.

While designing a restaurant there are hundreds of interdependent decisions and steps, so the time needed for this project can range from several very intense weeks to potentially a year or more for large-scale development projects.

Step 2. Create Memorable Brand Experience in Restaurant Space

Start with a core idea that motivates the business. It is easy to say that, but how do you find that super idea?

The first thing you must do is to define what you do, who you are, and why you’re doing it. This would be the best start for creating a consistent guest experience. Consistency is very important for a brand that makes promises. And of course, it is much easier to be consistent if your brand design shows who you actually are and represents your real work.

If you still don’t know where to start, maybe it would help to look at what some of your favorite companies have done to build their brand experience. In fact, this is a great way to find inspiration. Look at trends and try to stay one-step ahead. Talk to your designer and explain every detail that comes to your mind. Include your staff, friends, family and everyone who wants to be involved in this process .

Remember that everything your guest sees inside your restaurant is an indication of your brand. Interior design, name, logo, menu and uniforms should all be in step with the experience you’ve conceptualized.

Be aware of your restaurant design budget . It is amazing how often restaurant owners think that they will build the next Starbucks with a small investment. As with any investment, it is important to consider a ten- or twenty-year business plan when deciding where and how to spend money during the design process.

Step 3. From Restaurant Concept to Operation

Once you have decided who you are and what you can offer in your restaurant think about the location and your customer demographics . Who are they? What do they want?

What can you do to satisfy their needs and at the same time offer them something new?

Restaurant design is one of the main factors that create ambiance, and ambiance plays a huge role in getting people in, while food and service are what keeps them coming back, or not. Everything matters and all elements contribute to the operation of a space. From the restaurant’s entrance to circulation spaces, seating areas, to the bar, lighting, cutlery and music – each part of restaurant design affects the business.

Restaurant Design Layout

In basic space planning, the general rule for determining the area allotted is that the dining area should comprise 60% of the total area. This means that the restaurant kitchen, storage area and restrooms should take up 40 % of the restaurant. The design of the seating plan will depend on what type of restaurant you plan to open. If you are opening a fine dining restaurant it may require 20 square feet per person, while the fast food restaurant will require only 10 square feet per person. The general rule is that for every seat in the restaurant it is necessary to provide at least 5 square feet.

Commercial kitchen design layout must provide a particular pattern to optimize performance and efficiency of specific commercial kitchen components for food preparation, cooking, storage, cleaning, and service. All of these components have equal importance for successful restaurant kitchen workflow.

There are four basic types of commercial kitchen layouts:

  • Island-Style Layout
  • Ergonomic Layout
  • Zone-Style Layout
  • Assembly Line Layout

Island-Style layout is the best choice for large square shape kitchens but it can be modified to fit other shapes and sizes. Central section that we call an “island” is set in the middle of the kitchen and it is usually used for cooking, while the food preparation tables are set along the walls of the kitchen. It allows perfect communication and supervision but also leaves plenty of open floor space for easier cleaning.

Zone-Style layout has the kitchen set up in working sections such as dishwashing section, storage section, food preparation and serving section. Major equipment is located along the walls that provides good communication and supervision as the center of the kitchen is completely open. Sections follow the proper order of tasks for the best workflow.

Ergonomic layout applies ergonomic principles to make your staff more productive and efficient regardless of the energy efficiency. The time is the only thing that matters.

Assembly Line layout is a good choice for fast-food restaurants, sandwich restaurants or pizzerias. It is ideal for restaurants with a small number of menu items where the preparation of meals flows in a line.

Before you make a decision about your restaurant kitchen layout be sure to contact your chef as he will know everything about the process of preparation and necessary restaurant equipment that must be included.

Restaurant Lighting Design

Lighting is a highly specialized area of restaurant design. Proper lighting helps create appealing first impressions that set the mood with consistent color and light quality. The first thing you should do is to define your lighting aesthetic that will best suit your target demographic. Then you should follow some basic rules of restaurant lighting:

– Lights must be safe and work properly with low maintenance

– It must be easy to control the lighting throughout the day

– Food must be brightly lit during the dining experience

– Lighting must draw attention to artistic touches

– Pay special attention to reflective surfaces

– It must meet new energy standards

Every watt is counted so be sure to use the low-voltage power that also improves overall efficiency and reduces the heat.

There are essentially three varieties of restaurant lighting: ambient, accents, and featured lights. Ambient illumination sets the baseline, accent lighting decor provides the contrast, and featured lighting has less to do with lighting the space, and more with adding interest to focal points. Determine areas that should be emphasized, and those that need to be minimized.

Defining the space with perfect contrast of brighter and dim areas will bring magic to every restaurant.

Step 4 Make it Flexible

Even when you create the perfect design solution for your restaurant don’t forget that your restaurant must follow trends. Making changes to your restaurant design in the future is something that can be realistically expected. In other words, your design must be flexible.

For example, even small changes in a restaurant menu will require different equipment which means changes in the restaurant kitchen design. Flexibility is the new watchword in restaurant furniture. Seating and furnishings have to satisfy your young and older customers. Pair counter-height and traditional seating and add spice to your restaurant design. Be sure that your restaurant design could respond to market demands in the future.

Let the form follows the fun! Create with your flexible restaurant design the perfect showcase for your food and customer experience.

Good Luck!

New Technology in Commercial Kitchen Design

Technology makes a huge difference in the everyday running of the restaurant. A right concept, applied to your business, can add bottomline income to your existing revenue streams.

Are you seeking an innovative model of cuisine based on the knowledge of traditional products and Slow Food’s philosophy, or perhaps, you need a new kitchen for your Fast Food or Fine Dining restaurant?

New technology in the kitchen combines both, sciences and humanities to develop knowledge of food products and how they can be easily produced for the best customer’s experience. If you make a right choice, it will improve your restaurant workflow and bring you a profit at the same time.
But how new technologies in the restaurant kitchen design could help you to achieve these goals?


Innovative Technologies in Restaurant Kitchen Design


Restaurant’s guests around the world are already signing credit card bills with their fingers on touchscreens and using apps to order at fastfood restaurants. But does this innovation really bring you more money? Or it is just a trend?

If you work in food service industry, you should keep an eye on the innovative technologies that are improving the way restaurants do business, and when I say do business, I mean particularly how to end up with better final products and bigger revenue by implementing innovation in restaurant kitchens. This is the main reason why restaurant owners reinvest a lot of money in kitchen technology that gives them an edge.


Finding New Ways to Restaurant Kitchen Design


When we talk about commercial kitchens, it’s not about size, but what we do with it! Designing a new commercial kitchen is never easy. In the beginning, progress rarely results in what we imagined.
There are so many important factors to take into consideration such as space, budget, seating capacity, the number of staff that will be working in a kitchen, and of course, type of restaurant service.

But the most important question to designing or fitting a commercial kitchen is : “What kind of food you will be serving?”

So, it is obvious that when it came to fitting a new commercial kitchen it took a lot of consultation before the task has been completed. And even when your designer finished his hard work and everything looks perfect, you still need to make a choice and calculation of costs for kitchen equipment.
And yes, problems just start here, and often, designers need to start a new project, cut costs to fit into the budget.

Fortunately, some people recognized the problem that designers faced. And they decided to get creative. They created the perfect solution for both kitchen designers and restaurant owners to leave problems like this in the history, once and for all. They made Specifi Design.

Specifi Design allows you to make design decisions that will not end up with an unrealistic budget for restaurant owners. It is compatible with a range of design tools and data standards like Autodesk Revit but also connected with hundreds of global manufacturers.

It allows you a 3D view of your commercial kitchen with a specification of kitchen equipment that includes technical and commercial details provided by suppliers. It also gives you analysis in realtime of the project with a summary of total list price, power consumption, gas and heat output. You will get the real picture of your new innovative restaurant kitchen in action!

By connecting all important points into the one specification Specifi satisfies both, restaurant owners and designers, but also streamline dealers and manufacturers in the Foodservice Industry so they can work better together.
This software truly revolutionizes the way of the commercial kitchen design. It is a perfect tool for foodservice operators who are looking to take their business operation to the next level.

The industry transformation has happened before, but the pace of change is now much faster. Specifi design together with Autodesk Revit as a BIM software for the 3D technical representation of the layout allowing you to have a real experience of the workflow in your restaurant kitchen.
This is currently the best 3D software platform at the market that transforms and delivers the kitchen design concepts into measurable results.


Aida Behmen – Milicevic, Professional Blogger and Copywriter who has been covering Content writing, SEO, and Online Marketing topics since 2010, already credited with +100 Published Articles.

As a Founder of Aida’s Writings she is intimately familiar with Web content writing, Blogging, Social media, and Marketing strategies.