Cooking is the best hobby where it gives soul satisfaction not only to the person who cooks but also gives immense pleasure to the one who enjoys the delicious recipes. Cooking is a really fun and a joyful experience when you have to cook in your personal kitchen and serve your friends and family. When it comes to cooking in a restaurant or any commercial space where your paying guests are waiting for the delicious aroma and tasty cuisine, you have to cook under immense pressure and a restricted time limit.
What image do you perceive when you think of a commercial kitchen? A large slab or table surrounded by many chefs cutting, frying, cooking, shout for orders etc. right! It is all true but if you have an organized kitchen the food can flow seamlessly without any effort or disturbance from the preparation table to the service table. A properly organized kitchen has a predefined space for all the gadgets and equipment and everything is in its own place. An organized kitchen helps increase the efficiency and productivity of all the equipment as well as the chefs who transform the menu to life. The performance of the chefs is considerably improved in an organized environment where they do not have to waste their time locating the equipment needed at a particular line in the process of cooking.
Be it any restaurant a commercial kitchen will have the common basic structure, storage, food preparation, giving life to your cuisine, serving and cleaning or washing zone. Let us find out some unique hacks to organize our commercial kitchen to smoothen the process of cooking at such a large scale and let the chef feel himself in heaven while enjoying cooking.
First of making a list of all the items that need to be stored in your commercial kitchen and segregate them in different groups like food storage, non-food storage, and cold storage. Food storage items can further be split into perishable food items and non-perishable food items. Non-food storage consists of disposable products like tissue paper, disposable spoons, toothpicks, a section for cleaning supplies includes detergent, dish bar, scrub, and a section for the clean dishes from your cleaning/washing area where you keep your washed cutlery and other utensils. Cold storage is the special area where food items that need to be refrigerated or froze are stored below the room temperature to keep them fresh for a longer period of time.
Apart from all this, you will also need big and small equipment and gadgets to give life to your cuisine and those also need a specific place in your commercial kitchen.
All the items should be organized in the shelves and racks properly labeled and according to the sequence in which they are used. There should be a line of processes and the storage designs should be in accordance with the line of the process.
If you have a smaller kitchen space you can also use the wall mounted shelves and storage space. Place all your items labeled so that anybody can find the items easily.
The perishable items like spices should follow the principle of FIFO, First In First Out. The oldest items should be used first and so on. It will make the optimum use of your goods.
The first basic step in giving life to your menu is preparation. If everything is ready cooking does not takes much time. Preparation table includes a washing area, cutting and chopping space and mixing, blending and grinding part. On the food preparation counter, the raw food is collected and chopped and grouped into batches as they are to be used in the process of cooking. This area should be near to or aligned with the storage area so that the chefs to grab each and everything without delay and move the preparation to the cooking line.
The second most important step in your commercial kitchen is the actual cooking process. in this area, you will need to have large commercial equipment like ranges, ovens, fryers, grill, and tandoor. The main cooking area can be segregated further according to the type of process involved during cooking like baking, grilling, frying etc. Cooking will finally lead to platting and is almost the last process of your kitchen before serving, so it should be near to your service area.
The service area takes the efforts of the chefs to the customers and is the most important part of our commercial kitchen. The service area should be organized at the outermost part of your kitchen to reduce the area between cooking platform to the customers. There can be two ways, either the waiters will take the food plated from the service area to the customers or the customers will come to collect their food delicacies from the service counter. In both the cases, it needs to be organized well to maintain the decorum of the place and serve the customers in the best possible way.
Last but surely not the least cleaning or washing area also is one of the important junctions of your commercial kitchen. It includes equipment like sinks, ware washing machines and drying racks. This section of the kitchen must be located between the entrance and the storage area of your kitchen. From the entrance, it will be easy for waiters to put the dirty dishes in the sink easily without disturbing the rest of the kitchen and it will also be easy for the chefs to wash raw foodstuff if it will be near to the storage area.
This was a great learning indeed to organize a commercial kitchen. Zone out your kitchen and let the food flow effortlessly from one stage to another till it reaches the customer’s table. Place a dry erase board to keep track of your inventory and keeping your kitchen organized. Choose from the different layout patterns that suit your menu the best to keep your commercial kitchen most organized. At last, follow the motto of every commercial kitchen MISE. EN. PLACE to save energy and efficiency and making cooking a really fun and enjoyable.