Back to front: The rising trend of theatre equipment

More often than not, restaurants are adopting what is known as ‘theatre style’ kitchens. This is where the kitchen is a mainly open forum for customers to view, often sitting alongside the dining area.

More often than not, restaurants are adopting what is known as ‘theatre style’ kitchens. This is where the kitchen is a mainly open forum for customers to view, often sitting alongside the dining area. No longer is the chef’s domain confined to back of house. As customers we are now used to being able to take in the sight, smell and sounds of our food at the preparation stage.

Part of the appeal of this approach can be attributed to our ever-growing love of cookery shows and the idolisation of TV chefs. Our curiosity extends beyond the finished article, we are now just as interested in how the dish has been prepared, and what cooking methods have been used. We enjoy and are engaged with the process of cooking and we look to replicate such techniques in our own kitchens.

The blurring of front and back of house means that, more than ever, the equipment that is used in the kitchens have to blend seamlessly with the culture and style of the restaurant. Aesthetically pleasing kit is more important than ever, as form becomes as important as function. Williams’ equipment is all designed with open kitchens in mind. We can provide low level counters that not only provide you with robust refrigeration but also sit within your existing kitchen decor. Biscuit top models are also available, which are perfect for when you need low level equipment to fit under an existing worktop. Similarly, under counter blast chillers such as the WBCF10 are perfect for when you want the flexibility to bulk prepare meals without taking up too much room in the kitchen.

Low level refrigerated counters and under counter blast chillers

Theatre kitchens aren’t just to provide a sensory experience of the food preparation process, it’s also an opportunity to show off the cleanliness and organisation of the kitchen. The idea of ‘baring all’ to your diners instills trust and transparency about your establishment. Williams equipment is all manufactured with hygiene and safety in mind, using foodsafe stainless steel throughout our products. Options such as raised pan holders and cut out wells on refrigerated counters also mean that fresh produce is easy to get to but also displayed in an attractive way.

An added benefit of the ‘back to front’ style of kitchen is that larger or bulkier items can be moved out of cramped back of house spaces out to the front. This is a godsend for those establishments with small kitchens or limited space. And with Williams kit all designed with form and function in mind, you can be sure that your equipment will be an aesthetically pleasing addition to the dining experience.

Similarly, things traditionally confined to back of house, such as drinks storage, can also be brought into the diner’s domain. Williams create beautiful bespoke wine towers that are perfect for storing wine in a stylish and functional way. The range is available in a choice of sizes and a wide array of stainless steel and metal finishes, while the full length glass sides can be opaque, tinted or illuminated, to offer all round style and clean lines. Low energy LED lighting provides a bright clear display and is fully adjustable, offering colour and tonal changes to suit the required ambience.

So baring all is the latest trend for cafes and restaurants. With nowhere to hide, chefs and caterers are having to get used to the idea of being on show to their customers and bringing the showmanship of this in line with the front of house atmosphere.  A challenge indeed! We can help make this transition easier with our range of attractive and hard-working equipment, there’s sure to be a Williams for your needs.  

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