How to optimize your restaurant’s kitchen design?

June 20, 2019


Any potential mistakes in the kitchen design would probably cost you a lot. Since these mistakes would repeatedly create chaos and accidents in your restaurant’s kitchen. Therefore, you need to do your due diligence through this phase.

Designing your restaurant’s kitchen involves many parties; electricians, plumbers, and builders. Not to mention that your chef has to be on your designing team as he will be the one to deal with this kitchen and run its operations.


The sections your restaurant kitchen should include:

To run operations smoothly, effectively, and efficiently, your restaurant should include these sections:

kitchen sections

  1. Preparation section:

This is where food is prepared to be cooked or served. It should be placed near the storage section to ease the process of grabbing fresh dishes and moving them to the cooking section.

Tasks to do in the preparation section:

  • Cutting and chopping raw food.
  • Mixing salads and dressings.


  1. Cooking section:

This is where meals and dishes are cooked and prepared. It has large equipment and it includes many stations, as you will read below.


  1. Storage section:

Storage section consists of three separated areas:

  1. Non-food storage: for storing cleaning supplies, clean dishes, and food equipment.
  2. Cold storage: for storing ingredients that need to be kept refrigerated or frozen.
  3. Dry storage: for storing nonperishables and other consumables ingredients.

Make sure to not store any cleaning chemicals near food or food equipment.


  1. Cleaning section:

This section includes consists of sinks to wash utensils, washing machines to clean plates and serving equipment, and drying racks and any other equipment that may be used to clean kitchenware. Place this section between the entrance and the storage section to make it easy for servers to put unclean plates in the sinks and for chefs to find clean plates.


  1. Service section:

This is where your servers’ staff would take prepared orders to the customers. Otherwise, if your restaurant is a self-serve or buffet-style, then this is where customers would pick up their orders. The perfect location for this section is at the front of your kitchen near the cooking section to speed up the process of moving finished orders between the two sections.


The stations your cooking section should include:

Your kitchen may include many stations. It is limited by your budget, space, and menu.


  1. Grill station:

This is where the chef cooks chicken, beef, kebabs, fish, and poultry. A highly skilled and experienced chef should be in charge of this station to produce well-cooked dishes. You can use a charbroiler or a flattop in the grill station.


  1. Pizza station:

If you run a pizza restaurant or your menu offers pizza, your cooking section has to include the pizza station. This station should consist of:

  • A combo reach-in cooler.
  • Special oven if you run a pizza restaurant, or else you could use an oven for multi-use.
  • Pizza screens.
  • Pizza cutter.
  • Pizza Paddle.
  • Sheets of wax paper.


  1. Sauté station:

Assign the most skilled cook for this station, as he would run many tasks and cook many recipes at once in busy days.

Sauté Station should include these pieces of equipment:

  • Multiple-burner gas range.
  • Sauté pans.
  • Seasoning.
  • Tongs.
  • Cooler.
  • Cutting board.


  1. Fry station:

For this station, you could assign a beginner who could run fry and grill stations. As this station deals with frozen food at most, there should be special freezers for this station. Moreover, it should include bowls, tongs, and fry baskets.


  1. Salad and Dessert stations:

These stations could be merged with the wait station, in case you do not have enough space. The cook in these stations is responsible for making salads, cold appetizers and plating some desserts as well. These stations should include coolers, plates, forks, and assembly areas.


Characteristics of well-designed Restaurant Kitchen:

  1. Ergonomic Design:

Its major purpose is to save staff time & energy and minimize staff’s movements to avoid accidents and food spilling, though choosing the right equipment and placing kitchen equipment to comfort staff and optimize workflow effectively resulting in user-friendly kitchen.

Some practices of this design:

  • Placing freezer beside the fry station to ease the duty of the fry cook.
  • Purchasing taller prep tables so that chefs would not bend over to cook to avoid injury and physical exertion.
  • Implementing a good lightening system to ensure that the kitchen staff sees what to do clearly and do it safely.

  1. Flexible and simple:

In case you decide to redesign your kitchen, its design should be flexible. Where it should be simple to save money and time.


  1. Up to food safety and sanitation codes:

No matter how amazing your kitchen design is. If you are not applying food safety and sanitation codes. Contact the department of health in your area and know what are the relevant codes you should apply.


  1. Easy to supervise and maintain:

The equipment must be placed in a way that allows chefs to supervise the entire stations. Where the ease to maintain any pieces of equipment relies on how they are selected, located, and stored.


Flawless restaurant operations start with a good kitchen design. Since it will affect how your staff will execute their duties, which, in return, affect the quality of the food and the service at your restaurant. Accordingly, take your time when you are designing your restaurant’s kitchen and apply what we mentioned above.