How to limit odor and noise from your commercial kitchen

November 25th, 2014 by wp | No Comments »

Kitchens are usually very noisy and they smell like food at all times. The noise bothers the people outside the kitchen and the smell at times when resides in the kitchen for too long and blends with other smells, creates an odor that bothers the people inside the kitchen.
But there are ways one can minimize odor and reduce noise. Here, we have a list of some ways that can make it possible
Limiting Noise
1. Acoustic fabric covering
Sound proof wall panels with acoustic fabric covering can help limit the kitchen noise. These panels and fabric are easily available in the market these days. A lot of people use them for their recording studios for the same purpose. You can also make these acoustic panels by yourself if you want to save money.
2. Sound absorbing tiles
By installing sound absorbing tiles on the walls and the ceiling of the kitchen one can easily keep the noise from going out of the kitchen. These tiles are now very common and can easily be found in the market.
3. Using more fabric
Using fabric furnishing like curtains, table cloths, rugs etc help a lot in limiting noise.
4. Retrofit acoustic windows
Use retrofit double glazed acoustic windows to block the kitchen noise from going out and traffic noise from coming in.
5. Sound absorbers
Markets are filled with several kinds of baffles and banners that absorb sound. They are called sound absorbers. They are usually hung from the ceiling and you might have seen them in hospitals, where the main purpose is to create a quiet environment for the patients but they can also be used in the kitchens.
6. Soundproof doors
Installing soundproof doors in the kitchen can help a lot in ensuring noise limits. These doors can be bought from acoustic stores and regular doors can also be made soundproof at home by installing foam to them using a double stick tape.
Limiting Odor
1. Exhaust fans
If you are looking for something that will help you get rid of that odor that has been prevailing in your kitchen, you need a powerful exhaust fan. Exhaust fans play a vital role in the ventilation system of any area. They not only eliminate odors and but also eliminate humidity by removing moisture and thus aid in improving the quality of indoor air, whereas high humidity levels can cause bacteria growth which usually results in increasing health issues.
Things, you should keep in mind while buying an exhaust fan for your commercial kitchen is that it should be powerful, energy efficient and not too noisy.
2. Fresh air
Fresh air is a natural odor eliminator. Build your commercial kitchen in a manner that lets fresh air come in to your kitchen from time to time. When this air leaves, it will take the odor away with itself and will leave your kitchen smelling clean and fresh.

Nobody likes smelly kitchens and because commercial kitchens are usually always busy, the odor can ruin the atmosphere. Also, when you limit the noise, it gets easier for you to concentrate on your work and not disturb people outside the kitchen.

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How to start your mobile food truck business

November 20th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »

Mobile food trucks are an easy way to make a handful amount of earning. If you are planning on running a mobile food truck business, this might help you get started.
First things first
The first thing you will need to do is contact your state’s department of health to decide what permits and certifications you will require to start a mobile food truck business. They will also give you a list of areas in town that you will be allowed to engage in. You may also be required to get a food enterprise license, tax permit and food handler permit.
Deciding what to sell
Deciding what to sell can be a hard decision to make. Stick to one kind of food in the beginning. Since you will only have a limited amount of space it will only be feasible for you to specialize in a certain kind of cuisine. Most mobile food trucks sell hotdogs, burgers, Mexican food, cupcakes or bagels.
Make a menu of all the items that you are planning on selling. Make sure that these items are the kind that can be eaten without having to sit down. This is because you will not be having a seating area for your customers. For example, instead of selling gourmet Italian food, you can sell Chinese stir fry.
Your mobile kitchen
There are several kinds of mobile food trucks available in the market. Some companies provide fully equipped mobile food trucks for rent. You can either go with that or you can also build a truck and transform it into a mobile kitchen yourself. While doing that you will have to be careful about a lot of different things including maintenance and safety.
Location
Street corners, parks, parking lots and beaches are usually considered ideal locations for a mobile food truck business. Before starting your business, you will need to ask your license office about areas that are acceptable and restricted for such kind of business. After that you can take a tour of the area and can decide a prime location for your mobile food truck.
Purchasing food items
While purchasing your food items, keep this in mind that you will be needing food items in bulk quantity so purchasing food items from a local departmental store might not be a good idea. In fact it would be better if you consult wholesale retailers because they are usually the people who supply food items to restaurants and sell items on a lower price.
You can also consult a hotel or restaurant owner or manager and ask him if he can make arrangements for your food items purchase with the hotel food items’ purchase.
You should always buy wholesale napkins, cups, plates and utensils. This will help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Promotion
Promotion makes businesses boom so never underestimate the power of promotion. You can not only get flyers distributed but you can also put up large, attention seeking menu boards. Social networking sites are also used for promotion purposes these days.
Earning extra revenue
Do not just stick to one location. It is recommended that you keep an eye on all the events happening in your area. You can easily earn extra revenue by selling at fun fairs, carnivals, car shows, spring break season or farmers markets.

Not all businesses are super successful from the very beginning so the best thing to do is to stay motivated and not be disheartened by the initial responses.

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How to design an outdoor kitchen on a budget

November 17th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »

Kitchen is the heart of the home. While kitchens were formerly only used for cooking they are now also used for those little family and friends’ hangouts. They are now the new living rooms because unlike old times, kitchens are not just kitchens. They are so much more.
These days, kitchens are evolving and outdoor kitchens are playing a huge role in keeping the guests entertained with the host’s presence, the engaging aroma of the food and the beautiful weather.
For people who want to build an outdoor kitchen on a budget, DIY is the best option. But when it comes to DIY, one should keep in mind that durability, efficient design and practicality should be their top priorities.
Here is how you can build an outdoor kitchen on a budget.
1. The grill
Outdoor kitchens are usually considered incomplete without grills. While grills can be insanely expensive, you can choose to spend less by getting a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills cost a lot less than other types of grills. Make sure you have sufficient amount of lump charcoal to go with it. You can also turn a planter into a grilling station.
2. Efficient Lighting
Good lighting is necessary if you want to want to use your outdoor kitchen after nightfall. Choosing the right kind of lighting on a low budget can be difficult. LED lights are usually a cheaper and durable option. Make sure they are water resistant as you will need lighting on your cooking service and the serving table.
3. Handy Tool kit
While shopping for tool kits, do not go for the designer tool kits as they are usually over-priced. Pick a nice tool kit from a departmental store. Make sure it includes skewers and a fork thermometer.
4. Storage and counter
Plenty of storage space is a must for outdoor kitchens. Otherwise you’ll have to run back and forth to the house for all the arrangements. When on a budget, you can either build a wooden cart yourself or you can also get one of those carts from a furniture store which has a steel top and a few drawers. One thing that you can do is protect the wooden surface from water, grease and UV rays by using preservatives like TWP 100.
5. Drinks Storage
Insulated steel beverage tubs are great if you cannot afford a refrigerator for your outdoor kitchen. Buy a stand to go with your beverage tub that has at least two trays in it and voila! You have your mini refrigerator with room for glasses and napkins as well.
6. Shade
Inventive design can make your outdoor kitchen a comfortable and reasonably priced area for outdoor entertainment. You can create a DIY sunshade by draping fabric over poles using tent pins or you can also get a low cost canvas umbrella if you have a small setup.
7. Sitting Area
If you have some old chairs and tables, bring them to use by repainting or re-polishing them or go to a garage sale and find something amazing at low prices.

Keep it simple and efficient. Choose a place that makes you feel comfortable and you are good to go.

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How to start a kitchen business from your own home

November 13th, 2014 by Amanda | No Comments »

According to statistics, home based businesses have higher survival rates than other types of businesses. Starting a kitchen business from your own home may seem a little off-putting at first and you do have a lot of work ahead of you but once you get a hold of it, everything will start getting easier.
1. Considering the local zoning ordinance
For your home based business, since such businesses are regulated by local zoning ordinance, you will need to find out what you are legally permitted to prepare in your kitchen for business purposes because such ordinances differ significantly in what they permit people to do depending on different areas.
In a lot of places, it is not allowed to prepare food for public in home kitchens and only commercial kitchens are allowed to be used for businesses. In such cases, you will need to rent a commercial kitchen.
2. Water examination
You will also need to get your water examined from a private company or your local health department. Especially, if your water source is from a well then the water must be tested and checked in a laboratory for coli-form bacteria.
These test results and your recent water bills are usually asked for with the license application.
3. The kitchen
It is always advised that even if one is running a food business from their home. They should have a separate kitchen for commercial usage since the hygiene standards should be maintained according to the regulations in the kitchen that you use for your business.
This is because at home we have different hygiene standards that might not be as strict as the commercial standard regulations.
For example, we might let our children, family members and pets enter our personal kitchens but we cannot let irrelevant people enter our business kitchen. But, if one cannot afford another kitchen they must make sure that the kitchen they will be using for business purposes should meet the required standards.
4. Acquiring a license
Acquiring a license should not be difficult if your setup is according to the required regulations. According to your business type you might need zoning variance, food and safety certificate and/or catering license. Make sure you have all kinds of licenses and permits for the type of business you are willing to start.
5. Developing business plan
Developing a proper business plan is usually not that difficult at this point since you are aware of all the regulations. Now it is your time to decide how you are going to execute that idea that you have in mind. You will need to make arrangements for all the things you will need for your business.
6. Promotion
Promoting is necessary to let the masses know about your business and to get the word out, you’ll need to make use of social media to advertise about your business because it is one of the best ways to do so. Other than that you can also distribute flyers, get your ad printed in the paper. Initially, to attract customers, you can introduce amazing deals too.

Now that you have all the licenses and permits, and a well equipped kitchen, you are ready to start selling and making money.

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How To Market Your Commercial Kitchen

November 10th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »

Setting up a commercial kitchen is hard work. It requires months of planning in advance. Not only that, it also requires having a sound budget plan to back up all the expensive and creative ideas that you want to employ.
Starting from the actual construction phase, the work toll just gets bigger and bigger, ranging from designing an appropriate theme based layout to choosing the cutlery and printing of the menu.
The actual success of your business venture; however, may not depend on any of those factors. Of course, they will be dependent on each other to perform the most suitable outcome, i.e. a smashing entry into food entrepreneurship but this simply will not be enough.
Your new commercial kitchen will need to market itself to ensure continued success. Marketing of a product is as, if not more, necessary to guarantee good ratings. Therefore, here we will discuss all the ways in which you can promote your commercial kitchen.
Why Wait for the Grand Opening?
It doesn’t matter that your commercial kitchen is still in its construction phase and has months before its completion. You should start promoting it. Start by distributing flyers and pamphlets outside schools and shopping malls, set up bill boards, and distribute menus. If you have already thought of a date for the grand opening, include it in the marketing material. Also, make a page for your kitchen on Facebook and Twitter, and spread the word.
Open Shop with a Big Bang
Start circulating flyers almost a week in advance. The flyers should include information about the attractions in the event (such as special guests and entertainment), and discounts and giveaways being offered. Make sure to list the names of your sponsors and media partners who helped, as most people attend such events to increase their network. You can further ensure that more people attend by making an e-vite, and sending it to all your contacts, who will send it to their contacts and so on.
Rally for a Cause
At this point, your commercial kitchen should be performing well as expected of a new venture. One thing to remember is, the whole project will take some time to jumpstart. Don’t expect results or profits to score high in the first few months. What your budding enterprise needs is more exposure through bigger channels. You can sponsor an event or a local charity fair in exchange of having your commercial kitchen promoted by the organizers. In addition you can also rent space for a stall at your local farmer’s market.
Social Media
Remember the Facebook page? Don’t let it gather digital dust, and use it. There is a whole lot of stuff which you can do on social media. You can keep your fan base updated about the latest additions and news of your commercial kitchen. You can also post a complete visualized menu as well pictures of any event that takes place at the venue.
With these tips of the trade, you’ll have an up and running business in no time. Feel free to comment if you have any queries or tips that you would like to share regarding the subject.

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How to Clean Your Commercial Kitchen

November 6th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »

Managing a home kitchen is hard work. Imagine how much harder it would be to manage a commercial kitchen to manage. Not only manage but to keep it clean as well! The commercial kitchen is the heart of your new business venture for all intents and purposes, and thus should be treated with special care and treatment.
In a commercial kitchen, you have to prepare food in bulk quantities for a large number of people. After being used all day long throughout the week, your kitchen might become a little worse for wear. In other words, your commercial kitchen will need maintenance from time to time. Without regular maintenance, you will expose your kitchen to a lot hazards and will significantly reduce the life of the equipment being used there.
Repairing or replacing damaged or faulty equipment will cost you a pretty penny. However, this can all be avoided by using the most basic maintenance tip – cleaning.
Cleaning your commercial kitchen means dividing the job into 4 parts – dishes, floors, cooking areas, and trash.
It would be more helpful for you to make a schedule and assign people to different cleaning duties.
Cleaning Small and Large Wares, Dishes, and Mechanical Equipment
Cleaning dishes makes up a large portion of kitchen duties at the end of every shift. Therefore, make sure that all dishes are properly washed, rinsed, dried, and sanitized according to local health codes. Similarly, cleaning of small wares such as utensils and their holders and large-wares like pots and pans should be done with the same care. Mechanical equipment such as food-processors, choppers etc. should be taken apart piece by piece and then cleaned with a cloth and soapy water after being put back together.
Cooking Areas, Hot Equipment, and Cutting Boards
The area where the food is being prepped and cooked is the one which gets messy the most. Use wire brushes and hard tipped pads to remove the grease encrusted on the tops of stoves and ovens. With the help of industrial strength cleaner, wipe away using a cloth (be sure to do this after the equipment has been cooled off). Wipe and sanitize tables, counter-tops and cutting boards using a sanitizer solution. Make sure that excess fluid doesn’t remain behind, as that will be a hot-spot for bacterial growth.
Taking out your Garbage
Your commercial kitchen will produce a lot of garbage, every day. Ensure that the garbage disposal bins and cans are properly and promptly cleaned and dealt with after (or during) every shift. The insides with bins should be given extra care, and should be lined with plastic bags to help collect garbage easier.
Remember, food wastage and food being spoiled is not the same. Spoiled or ‘expired’ food should be thrown out before its expiration date.
Keep the Floors for Last!
Why? There is no point in cleaning the floors of your commercial kitchen during the shifts as it’ll only get dirty with all the traffic. Sweep the floor, (after dusting on all the flat surfaces, windows etc.) then mop using hot-water so that the grease and other food particles expand and stick to it. Let it air-dry, then with the help of multi-purpose cleaner mop the floors again, repeating the process with normal water to remove the soap. Let the floors air dry. Lock and leave the premises.
If you have queries or invaluable feedback regarding this topic, please feel free to leave a comment.

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Design your Commercial Kitchen Wisely

November 3rd, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »

You don’t even realize how important your commercial kitchen design is until you start working in a poorly designed kitchen. Kitchens which are carefully planned and designed smartly keep interruptions to a minimum and save time while you’re working in the kitchen. You should consider several factors when planning the layout of your commercial kitchens.
Available Space
Considering the available space is very important whether you are building a commercial kitchen inside an existing building or from the ground up. Utilizing the space smartly will be appreciated by the chef, owners and kitchen workers. Making the most out of your available space will save money and time during the construction phase and increase profitability over the life of the kitchen.
Ergonomics
A kitchen designed to consider ergonomics will help the kitchen workers stand at one spot and perform all their tasks with minimal movement, bending, reaching, walking and turning. It improves the efficiency of kitchen workers and chefs. Ergonomics also helps in reducing the number of accidents, injuries and fatigue in the kitchen because the equipment is arranged according to what is most comfortable and efficient for the chef and other kitchen workers.
Energy Efficient
Energy cost of commercial kitchens is usually high, so energy efficiency should be a primary consideration for any commercial kitchen layout. It is best to buy energy efficient equipment for your kitchen which will reduce maintenance cost and monthly bills. Cooking equipment should be strategically placed to maximize the efficiency of the exhaust hood. Smarter energy management leads to reduced wastage of resources and better working conditions.
Health Codes
You need to review your preliminary plans with your local city and state building inspector. You might have to modify your design in order to meet the health and safety codes. Disposal drains and waste area should be kept far away from the food preparation area. Try to get a copy of the rules and regulations before designing your commercial kitchen.
Employee Mobility
To maintain a smooth running kitchen, it should be arranged in such a way that employees get to move around easily without bumping into each other.
Flexibility
For any commercial kitchen, design flexibility is very important. Layout of the kitchen is usually designed keeping a certain menu in mind. A change in management could change the menu, which can affect the overall layout of the kitchen. A commercial kitchen should be designed in such a way that it is flexible to the changing trends.
Appealing Design
The layout of the kitchen can appeal to the customers. Exhibition kitchens allow customers to see everything that goes on behind the scenes, appealing to the senses.

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Ways to Reduce Costs in your Commercial Kitchen?

October 30th, 2014 by Amanda | No Comments »

Food service operations can be costly over time. Managing these costs becomes a difficult task especially when you cannot compromise on the quality of food and service. There is not much we can do with the fixed cost of commercial kitchen but there are always ways to control costs that lead to greater profits.
Hire Skilled Workers
Excellent culinary skills of the kitchen team will automatically translate to less production waste. Skilled workers will cut the meat and vegetables in such a way that it will prevent wastage of the kitchen inventory. They will know how to utilize stock to its maximum capacity. Keeping a chart of wastage can help with ordering, allowing you to order only as much as needed.
Training of your employees can also improve the productivity in your kitchen. Train your employees to multitask, so that on slower days, one worker can fill multiple roles.
Invest in good quality equipment
A heavy investment in good quality equipment can offer cost savings in the long run. Modern kitchen equipment will be highly efficient and reduce the maintenance cost. Consider investing into energy efficient equipment. Buying slicers will let you slice your own meat and vegetables and reduce the wastage.
Price your menu items wisely
Stay aware of the market food prices so that you can adjust your menu accordingly. Gradually increase your menu prices without alarming the customers. Pricing items too high will make it hard to sell, resulting in losses.
Bulk buying
Through bulk buying, you can get discounts on your purchase. Keeping good relations with your suppliers will also help you reduce cost through bulk buying and discount offers. Buy products that are in season so that you get them at cheaper prices. Off season fruits and vegetables will always be more expensive. You can adjust your menu according to the season.
Switch to cheaper ingredients
Changes in some ingredients will make almost no difference to the taste of the meal. Replacing powder milk with regular milk will bring no change in the taste but make it more economical. Pineapple leaves make a great alternative to mint.
Make your commercial kitchen energy efficient
Reducing energy usage in the kitchen will result in lower monthly bills. By adopting smart cooking practices, you can help save energy costs. Switch off all the equipment when not in use. Try utilizing the natural sunlight as much possible as you can. Dishwashers should only be used when fully loaded. Make cooking operations automated by buying equipment with timers and thermostats so that energy is saved up.
Daily Specials
This is a great way to use up the excess food and adds alternative options for the customers. Also, it trains the staff and chefs to think about more creative ways of cooking.

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Rent a Commercial Kitchen for Baking

October 27th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »

If you have a passion for baking cakes, pastries, breads and other baked goods and you want to monetize that passion, then renting a commercial kitchen is the best option to get your bakery business up and running. Renting commercial kitchens provide small businesses the opportunity to flourish without the expense of building and equipping their own commercial kitchens, which becomes too expensive. These kitchens usually have all the necessary equipment for your baking needs. Moreover, most states do not even allow baking in home kitchens.
Here are a few steps you will need to take into consideration before renting one.
Step 1
The type of kitchen you need depends on the nature of your business activity. If you are planning on running a full time business, it will be easier for you to rent the whole space instead of sharing one with someone else. If you plan to run a part time business and produce lower volume of goods then sharing kitchen space is the best way to go, it reduces the cost of setting up a new kitchen from scratch. Of course, your budget plays a major role in the kitchen space you rent. Most commercial kitchens charge an hourly fee of $10-$25 an hour.
Step 2
Verify all the legal requirements for running a business out of a commercial kitchen before setting up shop. You may require showing proof of a business license and food handler’s certificate which usually cost up to $250 and is earned through attending a half day class and taking a short exam The liability insurance which is important to any small business before signing off the lease papers. Different kitchens require different application material. It is better to apply for the necessary items prior to renting the kitchen to avoid delays.
Step 3
Search for a kitchen that will meet your needs. You may look for commercial kitchen ads in newspaper and Yellow Pages. You can check at restaurants which sometimes rent out their space during or after business hours but make sure the kitchen is available at the timings you need.
Step 4
Tour the kitchen; making note of everything provided to you. If you are sharing the kitchen, ask what equipment you will have access to and if you will get enough storage space for supplies and other items. If you need refrigerated space, make sure you ask that too. Try renting a kitchen near a grocery store so that delivery is easier.
Step 5
Once you have chosen the best-fit kitchen according to your needs, fill out the application and pay the application fee if it is required. Sign the lease papers as required by the owner; make sure you read all the terms carefully before signing. Ensure that the kitchen offers everything you need to run your business so that there are no surprises once the lease is signed.

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How to Set-up a Commercial Kitchen

October 22nd, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »

Setting up a Commercial Kitchen is not an easy task. A lot of planning and research needs to be done several months prior to the actual set-up. Funding and capital is required, not to mention approval of the Health Department. Different states have different laws concerning this particular subject, so you may need to fulfill a number of requirements before setting up shop. Also, keep in mind that the start-up of any business is full of risks and speculations. You have got to not only figure out the costs at start-up in the initial phase, but also think 5 or 10 years ahead in operations.
Having a Business Start-up Plan
Having a sound business plan is always a good idea, for it includes all the information or summary of the entire plan. You will have an overview of not only the funding and costs which you’ll have to put before gaining profits but also the unique aspects of your commercial kitchen. You will have an idea of what your budget is, thus making decisions accordingly.
Theme of Your Commercial Kitchen
When you have determined what needs to be done before opening up your commercial kitchen, you need to decide on a theme. This is most important, as the theme of your kitchen will either make or break your business. You need to determine what type of establishment you want your commercial kitchen to be. Will it be a bakery, an up-scale restaurant, or a fast-food joint? What cuisine will it serve? What will its target audience be?
The Right Location
The ultimate maxim for buying real estate property is its location. Certain factors influence the worth of the property such as the general area, the other property nearby, and the foot traffic the area receives. The location of your commercial kitchen business is going to determine whether it’s going to be an immense hit, or a down-right failure. For this step; you’ll have to go out and find the best locations in which you can set-up, keeping the theme of the commercial kitchen in mind. You’ll also have to look out for competition – if you are opening a pizza place at a location where two other pizza places already exist, you will have a tougher time penetrating the market.
Layout of the Commercial Kitchen
After you find the ideal location to open up your new business venture, there is still the ultimate task of planning the design and layout of the commercial kitchen. For this you can hire an architect if you don’t have any expertise in this area, or you can make a blueprint of the layout yourself. A well-designed commercial kitchen is integral to efficient, safe, and profitable food-preparation. The points you have to consider are ergonomics, functionality, and ensuring health and safety codes are being met. This will minimize your costs dramatically, by ensuring that you won’t have to revise and re-model once construction starts.
Are you thinking of setting up a commercial kitchen? Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding this new and exciting venture.

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