What layout options are available when designing a commercial kitchen cooking suite?

Commercial kitchens come in all different shapes and sizes and the design is generally dictated by the available space. Whilst the main zones of the kitchen such as preparation areas, storage, dishwasher area, hot pass and cooking areas need to be situated to create efficient workflow and, there are some other considerations.

Should your commercial cooking equipment be against a wall or as an island style suite in the middle of the kitchen?


Although, it can be a single line of cooking equipment generally this layout would mean two separate rows of cooking equipment situated back to back to form an island. This option requires sufficient space and is only viable with larger suitably sized commercial kitchens. The kitchen space would require a suitable depth to allow sufficient work space in front of both sides of cooking equipment, and therefore wouldn’t be possible in narrow kitchens or galley style kitchens.

The advantage of the island style cooking suite is that two zones can be created whilst the chefs can still benefit from good communication whilst facing each other across the suite. The cooking suite can also be positioned adjacent to a preparation area that is easily accessed from both sides of the cooking suite.

  • Improved Chef Communication
  • Create Separate Cooking Zones
  • Centralised Location within the kitchen

This style of cooking arrangement will require an island ventilation canopy and a central services spine, usually with a services riser to enable the dropping of services such as gas, electric and water from above and distributed through the spine to the relevant appliances.

Questions that you should ask yourself when considering an island style cooking suite are:

  • Do you have sufficient space?
  • Can you get ventilation duct to the center of the kitchen?
  • Can you get the required services such as gas, electric, water and waste to the center of the island
  • Will an Island style configuration help or hinder the kitchen workflow?


Another option for cooking equipment and possibly the most common is to have a wall type configuration where all of the equipment lines up against a wall. This maybe the only option available where the kitchen is smaller, or if it is long and narrow like a galley style kitchen.

The advantages of this layout are that it is usually easier to get services such as gas, drainage, water & electrics to the appliances. Wall type canopies are also more cost effective and generally cost less than island style installations.

  • Easier to get services to appliances
  • Generally more cost effective
  • Suits most sized kitchens


Peninsular style cooking suites are where the suite extends out into the kitchen with one end of the suite against a wall. In essence it is very much like an island suite where cooking equipment can be fitted back to back, however unlike an island suite you cannot walk the entire way around the suite.

This type of cooking configuration boasts many of the advantages of an island cooking equipment layout, and can be created where the kitchen is not quite large enough for an Island style layout. The only drawback is that you cannot walk the entire way around and therefore if the kitchen design is not carefully considered; it can leave parts of the kitchen isolated and not easily accessible to all of the operators.

  • Many of the advantages of an Island suite
  • Easier to get services to than an Island suite
  • Can leave parts of the kitchen difficult to access
  • More costly than a wall suite