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Whatever size your commercial kitchen is, you’ll want to make the most out of the space so you can serve as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. A lot of commercial kitchens have space issues and small kitchens are common, so a lot of planning needs to be put in before you start purchasing equipment. 

We have experience in designing industrial kitchens both small and large for a variety of sectors. We wanted to give you some of our top tips about optimising your space. 

Commercial Kitchen Design and Flow

Depending on the type of business you run, you’ll have different pieces of key equipment that you’ll have to place in the space. The location of equipment is crucial, as you need your chefs to be able to work efficiently across the kitchen, without being on top of eachother. A poorly designed kitchen will be difficult to work in. 

Here’s some things you may need to consider:

  • Having to cross paths will be a big cause of frustration for your chefs. It will also delay the time it takes for food to be cooked
  • Consider allergens and dietary requirements and how this can be upheld, as the right flow will prevent cross-contamination
  • Your flow should follow the cooking process; from raw materials to prep, to cooking, to washing up. Remember to consider how dirty dishes will move around the kitchen

Common Small Commercial Kitchen Layouts

Most restaurants will choose on of three basic commercial kitchen layouts:

  • Island Style – placing all the main pieces of equipment in the center of the space, creating an island, with other pieces of equipment places along walls
  • Zoned – key pieces of equipment are placed along the walls in an optimised order
  • Assembly Line – equipment is organised in a linear way, from food prep to the service area

A lot of experts believe that the assembly line layout works the best for most small spaces. It allows you to place warewashing and storage equipment out of the way of the main cooking areas. However, you’ll need to think about what works best for your type of restaurant and how many people you’ll be serving. 

Commercial Kitchen Equipment To Consider For A Small Kitchen

Just because you have a small amount of space, doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself in regards to equipment performance. It’s worth it to invest in key pieces of equipment that are going to make life easier for your chefs.

Multi Use Equipment

For small kitchens, equipment that can perform various functions is ideal. This can be especially important if you serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. You probably won’t use all your equipment for every service so it could take up redundant space. 

A combi oven is a great example of this, as it allows you to poach, roast, steam, grill, bake, fry and sous vide all in one. This means it can be used for every type of service.

You can get combi ovens in a wide variety of sizes. Models will have different features and technology also, so there is bound to be one that suits the needs of your kitchen. 

Induction Cooktops

You may want to consider using induction equipment instead of gas. They use less energy, take up less space and reduce the heat in the kitchen making it more comfortable for your chefs. 

A sensor in the hob means it will only turn on if a pan is placed on it. It will automatically switch off once the pan is removed. This means an optimal amount of energy is used and none is wasted. They’re also very easy to clean, saving you time and allowing your chefs to focus on the cooking. 


For small commercial kitchens, it’s very important to think about the type and placement of refrigeration equipment as this can take up a lot of space. Undercounter options or drawer fridges may work best. If you do have the room for it, a walk in cold room is an even better option. 

A cold room unit can come in any size you need, so you can optimally place it in your kitchen to make it work for your layout. The interior can also be customised for the type of ingredients you’ll be refrigerating.

Smart Commercial Kitchen Storage Solutions

A well maintained and designed storage area will further increase your kitchen’s efficiency. You may want to think about splitting up your cold, dry, and non-food storage. 

Part of this will be considering what produce will get delivered and how often this will be. This will have a big impact on the type of storage you’ll need. 

Get Some Help

Although you may have a good idea of what you need for your kitchen, it’s a good idea to ask an expert (like us!) to assist with your layout and to help you get the most out of the space. 

We’re available throughout the whole kitchen design and installation process. We can provide a free site survey, plan your new commercial kitchen, supply the equipment and then install this for you. 

Get in touch today to learn more. 

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