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Commercial Kitchen Setup – Design The Concept Menu

Obviously getting any business setup takes time, planning, money, and lots of hard work. Knowing what you plan to serve and the type of establishment you envisage will be the driving force to establishing how much needs to be spent in each aspect. If it’s your first time setting up your own establishment, let’s start by saying it will be an exciting and daunting experience. There are ways you can take some of the stress out of it and give you the confidence you are on the right track. We’ve got some tips for you to consider at the very beginning that we hope may help put some of your concerns to rest, after all, you’re not the first one to start your dream.

In order to know what equipment and space are needed, start by working out your menu. It’s a good idea to have a structured list done in a spreadsheet of all the of food you will be serving. From coffee to the turducken. Thinking of all the little things now may seem like a time-consuming process but it will help you clarify a budget and ensure you have enough of the right equipment and enough space to do what you envisage. For example, if you serve coffee you need to consider not just the space for a machine and grinder but all the requirements that go with serving coffee. How much of and where to store milk, coffee beans, ceramic cups, paper cups, sugar, napkins. You can make use of minimal space by putting some store items on display as is often the case with coffee beans. But it’s unlikely you would want your entire inventory of takeaway cups on show in the service area so you need to plan on having space to store them. Think about how many you want up front for a day or two of service and how much space you need to store a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks  a months worth. This will also help working out the right place when you start looking, not too small that you can’t fit the stuff at your minimum requirements.

Break down the process for all the items on your concept menu for both back and front-of-house when appropriate. Write down every item you will sell, if cooking from fresh ingredients, break down the ingredients with an estimate of how much will be needed. It’s a good idea to note how important each item you list is. You may find one or two items on the menu that need an appliance that would otherwise be rarely used or takes up a lot of space so could it be removed or substituted if space is short?

… A short time later

Now you have a detailed list of all the items that need storage e.g. fridge or freezer. And equipment needed to prepare it e.g grill or fryer. In a spreadsheet, you can adjust quantities based on estimated demand and create a chart to easily visualise the percentage of space each item will take up and what equipment is getting used. If you get this list done at the very start you’ll be able to adjust quantities see how to scale your equipment needs when looking at different premises so you can take some of the guesswork out and undoubtedly prevent a plethora of unexpected issues. Don’t forget you always need to include items needed for cleaning and their safe storage.

Our next blog on tips about things to consider to help find the best location.

Trying to decide on the “perfect” location? Setting up a restaurant or cafe in area with minimal competition can be a great way to offer a new option to people with little choice. We all know a…