Commercial kitchen design has come a long way from where it began. It has gone beyond function and has morphed into over-the-top design. Thirty years ago, kitchens were essentially designed without aesthetics in mind. They served a purpose to have a space to cook food and that was it. Now kitchens have become a central part of the dining experience. Let’s take a closer look at how commercial kitchen design has changed over time.
Then: Kitchens Hidden in Back vs. Now: Kitchens in Dining Area
Commercial kitchens were traditionally located in the back of a restaurant and hidden behind doors. People did not know where their food came from, it would just seem to magically appear via waiter delivery. Now patrons have a front row seat to all of the action with most modern kitchens incorporating an open floor plan that includes the kitchen in view of the dining area. Cook’s are now part of the ambience, preparing meals in plain sight as people watch and wait for their order to be served up.
Then: Manual Equipment vs. Now: Automated Equipment
Manual equipment meant more work as well as higher safety hazards for workers. Now a lot of equipment is designed to lighten the workload and increase safety. An example of this is automated fryers. Before fryers needed grease changed on a steady basis. Now, with automated controls for oil filtration, and temperature sensors, and even oil quality the need is minimized. This reduces workload and the risk of burn injuries.
Another automated restaurant feature is the incorporation of the kiosk. Before you had to look for a waiter to request additional service. Now, a lot of restaurants have kiosks at the table where you can enter a request for refills and even order dessert. The message is transmitted to staff working in the back who will then fill and send out your order, no flagging down the waiter required.
Then: Standard Appliances vs. Now: Smart Appliances
Appliances used to be basic and only serve one purpose. For example, a refrigerator only kept food cold. Now refrigerators enabled with sensors and WiFi capability provide detailed communication, data and can even self-regulate. This comes in handy for detecting whether food is being kept at cool enough temperatures in order to minimize food waste due to spoiling. Modern appliances have also been designed to a have a sleek streamlined appearance to add a decorative appeal. Commercial ovens often have transparent windows so onlookers can view what’s cooking.
Before kitchens were more behind the scenes and out of view. Today they are part of the dining experience adding entertainment and beauty to a bustling restaurant. An open restaurant layout — invites patrons to be apart of the action — and take in the modern commercial kitchen that adds extra charm to the dining room décor.
If you find yourself in need of a kitchen refresh, to update to modern trends that are equally as beautiful as they are efficient, contact us! Commercial kitchen design services is our specialty.