Efficiency in commercial kitchen design
Part Two – Ergonomic Efficiency
The ideal for any commercial kitchen is that it should be designed ergonomically. Just as a kitchen owner will want to achieve the maximum possible efficiency in the use of energy so he or she will want to maximise the efficiency of his or her staff. As a by product of this efficiency the kitchen will become a better and safer place to work in, which will probably have the knock-on effect of further improving staff efficiency. However it is not easy to achieve an ergonomic kitchen and many of the problems rest in the design and the balance between the factors of budget, space available and equipment.
Indeed the busy owner would be well advised to retain the services of a specialist commercial kitchen designer with extensive experience in this field.
A firm of specialists tasked to design an ergonomic kitchen would be first interested in what sort of food the kitchen prepares and by extension, what sort of food is stored and how it is stored. The designer will wish to know all of the items on the menu and how they are prepared. Without this basic information no further plans can be made. It is impossible to plan ergonomically without knowing what sort of equipment will be required.
Once the designers have established what is made in the kitchen then they can go on, with the owner’s input, to prepare a list on the all the necessary catering equipment. This will cover all the fields of catering operations – such as storage, refrigeration, display and storage. A specialist design company will ensure that all of this equipment meets the required health and safety standards. If they are also specialist suppliers of catering equipment then they will be able to help the owner with his or her choices. Once the equipment has been selected it must be carefully measured in all three dimensions and the measurements written down.
This all important matter will be the next step. The owner may wish to start from scratch or refurbish an existing kitchen space. Specialist designers can advise on the suitability of a location and also make sure it complies with local planning regulations. They will also be able to tell the owner if the available space is sufficient and bring to attention any problems with access points, the electricity supply, the plumbing and the drainage. With these potential problems noted, the owner can take appropriate action.
The Ergonomic Plan
Because commercial kitchen designers are experienced in ergonomic matters they will be able to produce a plan that makes for maximum labour efficiency. They will probably supply the owner with a series of ‘virtual kitchen’ walkthroughs, using the specialist software that they have available. The result will be a plan that enables staff to move efficiently and safely around the workplace.
The experienced commercial designers can also help to ensure that the ergonomic kitchen is also a compliant kitchen that will satisfy any of the relevant authorities who come to perform an inspection.
posted on 20 December, 2013