If you have a small commercial kitchen space or a restaurant kitchen with an awkward layout, then you're likely all-too-familiar with the challenges associated with a lack of functional space. Unfortunately, space issues can have a negative impact not only on your kitchen staff's efficiency, but on cleanliness and food quality as well. The good news is that with a little careful planning and the right tools, you can maximize workspace and storage in even the tiniest of commercial kitchens.
Invest in Smart Storage Solutions
The key to making the most of your kitchen's limited space is to invest in food service equipment that's compact, versatile, and efficient. The more function you can get out of one piece of equipment, the better. For example, rather than having separate refrigerators, freezers, and stand-alone prep counters, why not invest in a combination refrigerator/freezer with a built-in worktop? Furthermore, many restaurant equipment pieces these days feature under-shelf storage, fold-away storage, and other space-saving options.
Maximizing counter space is also possible with the right accessories. Consider, for example, a vertical rack for all your kitchen's cutting boards, or racks for storing and organizing baking sheets, pot/pan lids, and other accessories that can otherwise clutter your counter space?
Utilize Vertical Space
While your kitchen may be limited on functional floor space, there are likely ways to better utilize your kitchen's vertical space to maximize storage. If you haven't done so already, consider adding commercial hooks and wall shelving for additional storage of small kitchen items, appliances, and accessories. Durable hooks can be affixed to walls or even ceilings for convenient storage of pots, pans, and other cookware. Adding commercial grid wall systems with hanging accessories to a kitchen wall can also help to make better use of space. Empty walls carry a great deal of potential for even the smallest of restaurant kitchens, especially when it comes to wall storage solutions and racks. Of course, you'll need to be careful when installing shelving and other storage solutions to ensure they're safe, meet weight requirements and up-to-code.
Streamline Your Equipment
Last but not least, while it may be tempting to stockpile all the latest kitchen gadgets and cookware, unused equipment can become a huge waste of space. Consider meeting with your kitchen team and going through your equipment to determine what's essential and what your kitchen could do without. Often times, a single appliance can do the work of several separate appliances. For example, an immersion blender can do the work of both a blender and a food processor. Invest in multi-purpose appliances to save space and make your kitchen more efficient overall.
These are just a few simple ways to maximize space and functionality in any commercial kitchen. You and your kitchen staff may be surprised at what a difference the right storage solutions (and a little streamlining) can make in your kitchen's overall function. From there, you can enjoy greater safety, productivity, organization, and cleanliness—which is a winning situation for your business, staff, and patrons alike.
Need help maximizing the space in your kitchen? Let the experts at Metro help with a free space audit. You can find your local Metro representative here.