5 Types of Commercial Kitchen Layouts


Designing the perfect commercial kitchen layout is vital for restaurant owners looking to maximize efficiency, productivity, and safety. With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which layout is best for your business. In this article, we’ll explore five types of commercial kitchen layouts, each catering to specific restaurant styles and food preparation needs. From the assembly line layout to the open kitchen layout, we’ll provide the advantages and disadvantages of each design to help you while designing your commercial kitchen. Get ready to take your restaurant to the next level!

1. Assembly Line

The assembly line layout focuses on a single path for food preparation, cooking, and serving. It’s ideal for high-volume restaurants that serve a limited menu and want to ensure quick turnaround time for customers. This layout is commonly seen in fast food or fast-casual restaurants offering built-to-order options, such as the Potbelly Sandwich Shop or Freedbirds World Burrito.

The advantages of this layout are that it prioritizes efficiency and minimizes the amount of space used. It also enables team members to complete tasks without leaving their stations.

One of the disadvantages of this layout is that it requires a significant investment in factory space, equipment, and labor. However, these costs can be offset by the efficiencies of a well-organized system.

Automation is another key aspect of this design. The use of robots can help reduce labor costs, save time, and increase accuracy.

In addition to robots, many other types of automated equipment can be used in an assembly line design. These include cobots and conveyor belt systems.

As a result, it’s crucial to research the different types of equipment available and decide which ones are most appropriate for your restaurant’s needs. This will ensure you make the most efficient use of your kitchen space and create a positive customer experience in your restaurant.

Regardless of your layout type, ensuring your kitchen is safe and comfortable for your staff is important. Having a clean and healthy environment can greatly improve your employees’ productivity and increase your business’s longevity.

2. Island

Kitchen islands are a popular layout choice because they offer various advantages. These include added storage, extra seating, and more workspace.

Many homeowners design their island counters differently from their cabinets, creating a dramatic focal point. Some also use a different countertop material, which can be a great way to add personality to the kitchen.

Another advantage of a kitchen island is its ability to double the storage space in your kitchen. This can be particularly important in small kitchens that lack the storage or prep areas needed for everyday cooking.

Some islands even include extra amenities, like a sink or a microwave drawer. This can free up valuable kitchen counter space for other uses, such as preparing food or serving guests.

This layout can be very effective in restaurants, with many people working in the kitchen. It ensures that chefs congregate in one area and handoffs between sous chef, cook, and expo go smoothly.

Despite these benefits, kitchen islands can be challenging to install. This is because they require a lot of wiring and venting.

On top of this, kitchen islands can visually weigh down space and make it appear cluttered, says designer Jennifer Cannell. “Making color choices that alleviate this visual weight can be key to a successful island,” Cannell says.

Nevertheless, it is possible to create a kitchen that features a kitchen island without disrupting the flow of the work triangle. Ideally, the kitchen island should be designed to easily access the stove, refrigerator, and wash area.

3. Zone-Style

Commercial kitchens are critical to any restaurant and should be designed carefully to ensure safety, efficiency, and sanitation. This can be done by determining how much space you have available, what kind of appliances and storage you need, and how much communication is required between back-of-house (BOH) staff.

The type of food you serve will also influence your decision. Choosing the correct layout will help your BOH team work more efficiently, improving your restaurant’s overall productivity and food quality.

A zone-style layout is a great way to keep your kitchen organized and divide the different tasks of preparing and creating food. This layout allows a range of dishes to be prepared and created at once and helps your BOH staff communicate and coordinate their work better.

Using a zone-style layout can be a good choice for larger restaurants to separate your kitchen’s different food preparation stations to minimize the chances of cross-contamination. However, this is not ideal for small restaurants serving only a few different foods.

Another disadvantage to the zone-style layout is that it can be difficult to move around the kitchen if you need to get from one station to the next quickly or efficiently. Additionally, monitoring the kitchen’s progress can be hard when each station is separated from the other by a wall.

The best way to choose the right kitchen layout is to assess how much space your restaurant has available and what kind of service you offer. This will help you determine whether a zone style or island layout would suit your needs.

4. Galley

Galley layouts are one of the most common types of commercial kitchens. This layout is based on the kitchens on ships and is great for when space is limited or you don’t want to have a lot of appliances in your kitchen.

They are an excellent way to make the most of your kitchen space and provide an easy working area to use and move around. They also tend to be cheaper and easier to maintain than other designs.

A kitchen’s layout is important when choosing a new home or redesigning your kitchen space. Each type of layout has several advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your preferences before making any decisions.

The galley kitchen is a classic design perfect for kitchens with limited space and has been used for hundreds of years. It typically consists of two parallel counters on each side and a walkway running through the center of the room.

This kitchen is a very efficient cooking space, allowing one person to move easily between different workstations while providing plenty of countertop space. It also allows for symmetry, which makes it an ideal design for maximizing openness in small spaces.

It is also a practical design for storing dishes, pots, and pans. In this kitchen style, you can often find a sink, fridge, and stove within a few steps of each other, which means there are fewer trips to the storage room and the pantry to grab what you need.

However, it’s also a very cramped design and can be difficult to navigate if there’s not enough natural light in the space. It’s a good idea to use shelving instead of wall units in this design as this will help to make the space feel lighter and airier.

5. Open Kitchen

An open kitchen layout is ideal for restaurants that want to show off their cooking skills and create a unique experience for guests. It allows chefs to display their expertise and cooking equipment in front of diners and allows for communication between staff members, making this layout a great choice for larger commercial kitchens with a large back-of-house team.

While this layout is a popular option for many restaurant owners, there are some disadvantages to using an open kitchen in your commercial kitchen. First, it can create a lot of noise and isn’t always easy to keep clean.

Another inconvenience is the lack of privacy that an open kitchen can create. This is especially true if you like entertaining guests, and the noise of a mixer or other appliances can easily travel from the kitchen to your living area or dining room.

One solution to these problems is using a large kitchen pass-through window. This will let the light in and make it less obtrusive to the rest of the room, but you may also need to install blinds or shades to prevent anyone from seeing anything while you are in the kitchen.

This design is a great option for larger commercial kitchens with diverse menus requiring multiple food preparation stations. Each station is assigned a specific task, so the kitchen can be organized by dividing each task rather than having them all in a single line.

It’s also not a good fit for small kitchens and isn’t something restaurants with limited square footage should attempt. Regardless of your kitchen layout, ensure it meets your restaurant’s space needs.

Hey there! I'm Tim, the founder, and author of Too Slick. I created this blog to share my passion for all things related to family, home improvement, health, drug education, and more, with a focus on making your life easier. My goal is to help you lead a healthier, happier life by providing practical tips and insights. Let's learn together and have some fun!


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