Setting up or refurbishing a new kitchen can be more intricate than you think. While many of the key items of catering equipment remain unchanged from business to business, the layout of your kitchen can often be personal to you and your preferences. The size of the business and the predicted output will also go some way toward determining what type of equipment you’ll need and the best ways to install it.

Failing to plan a commercial kitchen properly won’t only cost you in initial outlay; it may also affect efficiency and productivity, which can cause you to lose money later down the line. Here are some tips on choosing and organising the right commercial catering equipment.

Placement of refrigeration

Refrigerated storage options – which can include both chilled and freezer units – are clearly an integral component of any commercial kitchen. When you’re choosing the size of your fridge and freezer units, you will need to consider not only the amount of produce you wish to store but also any leftovers or prepped food that might need to be chilled. For larger businesses, an entire cold room may be required. Otherwise, chest freezers or upright cabinet units can suffice. It is important that there is direct access to refrigeration units so that deliveries can be quickly stored with minimum disruption to kitchen activity.

Ovens and extraction units

Normally, the key choice you’ll have to make when it comes to ovens is whether to opt for gas or electric. Gas ovens offer better control and are cheaper to run. However, electric ovens ( tend to be cheaper up front and provide greater temperature control. It is important that all commercial kitchens have extraction and ventilation systems that meet the required legal specifications, so check all of this out before installing your system.

Washing and waste

Cleaning your crockery and safely disposing of your waste is also important. Ensure that the dishwasher you choose matches the volume of crockery and utensils required. In some cases, an under-the-counter system will suffice; other times, a conveyor system may be needed to cope with high volumes of crockery. Consider investing in a waste compressor and ensure that there is direct access to your bins that won’t compromise the cleanliness of the kitchen.