We don’t want to dwell on the recent upheaval within the industry but we all know that things are now very different and we need to implement more stringent measures and adapt to these quickly for the safety of staff and customers. Even after all this is over, changes in the way we design our commercial catering areas is a positive – these new ways will continue to ensure our eateries are safe.

So, post-COVID19 how do we protect our commercial kitchens through design?

The major drivers in future commercial kitchen design will be operational efficiency, safety, hygiene and adoption of technological advances and how these are used within your commercial space. Although hygiene is by no means a new protocol, the outbreak of COVID19 has forced hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars to adopt new hygiene and safety practices and alter their spaces to allow for social distancing norms – which, excitingly, is giving us the chance to create and develop incredible new concepts for our clients’ space.

Although some restaurants have managed to diversify and take their business online with takeaway orders some have remained closed for many months, so with reduced capacity for inside seating, generating revenue is proving more challenging. Bearing all this in mind, we need to look at cost-effective commercial kitchen designs whereby we look at redesigning the space already available. Increasing floor space can be attained by removing unwanted/extra/unnecessary kitchen equipment that will reduce overheads and improve hygiene standards.

To reduce costs and create a cost-effective design there is the possibility that there will be an emergence of turnkey commercial kitchen design solutions. This could mean that only one contractor is appointed for the project and will carry out all duties on the project, from design to implementation and management of all commercial kitchen equipment – something we at Ceba already provide to our clients. This turnkey solution will reduce project turnaround times and errors that may occur when dealing with one or more supplier, overall, reducing the cost of the project.

There will be a significant difference between some hotel, restaurant, bar and cafe kitchens but each establishment will need to align their space to incorporate the new norm – cleaning and washing, prep and production and food pick-up will all need to have clearly defined areas and so producing innovative designs for smaller areas may be a little trickier – as well as designs marking out new clearly defined spaces, they will need to show sanitation points, staff training areas and kitchen and restaurant processes. It has been suggested that the current recommendation distance between each prep area is a minimum of six feet with chefs ideally should be standing back to back rather than facing each other.

Once your commercial kitchen is installed and up and running, the biggest issue you face is instilling trust in your health and safety and sanitisation policies to get customers back into your restaurants. To give the customer the confidence they need, make sure you shout about your policies!

We have popped a few guidelines together for you below:

  • Explain how your kitchen is encouraging social distancing by increasing floor space – this will mean explaining that you have less staff in the kitchen and that there may be a slight delay in food orders.
  • Employee hygiene – specific areas dedicated to staff hygiene.
  • Washing and sanitising units to be placed at entry points, throughout kitchens, restaurant space and washrooms.
  • Kitchen and waiting staff to wear PPE equipment.

Within your kitchen, remember to have a good ventilation system installed – this should be included at the design stage – it is extremely important that this is not overlooked. There will be hot and cold areas, which will both need to be treated accordingly – the right filtration systems will eliminate the chances of contamination throughout the kitchen. UV filtration systems will also help to kill bacteria that may be present within a restaurant kitchen and is highly recommended.

If you have a project in mind that you would like to discuss please get in touch!