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Building commercial kitchen, dining and classroom facilities

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We are a non-profit community based food ministry a) providing low-cost gourmet meals in a fine-dining setting, b) preparing and delivering no-cost meals to shut-ins and others in need, c) providing cooking classes and job training for at risk youth and developmentally disabled, d) catering services to community on a cost-plus basis. We are completing our forth year of full-time operations using commercial kitchen facilities of two local churches. 


At this point, we have outgrown the facility we use in terms of kitchen capacity and availability for our use. We maintain all licensing and all our volunteer cooks are licensed by the state, County, etc. We use our host kitchen's equipment, with the exception of commercial convection oven and all our pots, pans, utensils, flatware, serving items, etc.


We have been approached by a potential funding source for a kitchen, etc. of our own with a preliminary question about our space requirements, ideal layout, etc. We currently serve 150 people in dine-in facilities and do not anticipate increasing this load. At this point, we have no floorplans, etc. -- the question/opportunity came out of the blue.


Where can I locate stock plans or formulas to estimate space requirements for stand alone reception, dining, kitchen, storage, facilities that can give us a starting point?

post #2 of 4

if everything u are right now fits perfectly for 150 people


measure out everything u have right now

reception, dining, kitchen, storage, facilities


and... divide

for example u have a 100 meter storage



100:150 = x:200

find out x (this is simple approximation... may vary with reality by a bit )

or like ur recipe for pasta is 10kg of pasta serving 150 people

then how many kg for 200 people


post #3 of 4

Usually your municipal health dept. will give you minimum requirements for storage and refrigeration space, and some will have a kitchen to dining room floor space ratio.


After that, every kitchen and dining room are different.


Kitchens are usually dictated by the infrastructure. Ventilation is the biggest cost, so the hood is usually located in the most logical spot for hvac system--this dictates where the stove will be.  Dishwashing area is almost always located as close to the dining room as possible. After that, other pieces of the puzzle are fit in, sometimes with dry storage and/or walk-in coolers or freezers located away from the kitchen (downstairs, down two halls away, etc.)


Dining rooms are dictated by the amenities the building has to offer: Entrances, windows, balconies, high ceilings (NOT desireable in a kitchen but very much so in a dining room), they all should be taken advantage of.


I guess this all sounds a lot like, "which came first the chicken or the egg?".  But well planned restaurants almost always take full advantage of the building's amenities.  However, many restaurant supply companies will design your kitchen and dining room to municipal requirements for a fee or for a minimum percentage of the equipment needed to outfit the place.  This can be very good deal.


Hope this helps

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your thoughtful and informative post. We are in a small community (12,000 people) and our health department does a great job, but beyond setting out requirements for mop sinks, storage areas, etc., they don't have any guidelines for space ratios  -- kitchen to dining. We currently use a facility with 7800 square foot dining area. We'd like 8000-8500 square feet with ability to physically and/or visually pare down the space for smaller groups. Current kitchen is too tight a squeeze and pantry/storage area is wholly inadequate. Dish machine and dishwashing area is badly laid out and the kitchen planners sacrificed function to make the kitchen "home-like." There is no walk-in refrigeration. As a guess, I have put down 4,000 square feet for kitchen, dishwashing, pantry, storage, mechanicals, and a separate bakery operation. Since we would in essence operate it as community kitchen, renting it out to caterers and small food-service operations that do not have access to a commercial kitchen, as well as use it on a 3-4 day a week basis for our own purposes, we need a broad range of equipment. 


We're too early to call in kitchen designers and architects. We're still in the process of getting some very general ballpark space requirements together in answer to a request from a potential underwriter. I don't want to scare an underwriter off by asking for the moon; at the same time, we need to get serious about making sure we don't limit ourselves now that we are ready to move forward to "a place of our own."

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