The saying “small is beautiful” has never had more relevance to the foodservice industry, with more businesses looking to create kitchens with limited space. Whether it’s for a restaurant wanting to maximise available dining area, a café looking to expand its offering or a mobile caterer, picking equipment for a small kitchen doesn’t mean having to compromise performance.
The things you need to consider when planning a new kitchen stay the same no matter how much space you have available. Firstly, you need to design a menu. Once you know what ingredients you’ll need on a regular basis you can begin working out what refrigerated storage equipment you’ll need.
Now you can begin preliminary work on the layout of your kitchen area. You’ll need to take into account existing doors and windows, electrical outlets and plumbing connections. Obviously, you need to make it a comfortable place to work, so leave enough room for staff to move easily too.
Choosing the right equipment is a key part of designing a kitchen, regardless of how much space you have. You’ll need to pick equipment that maximises the use of space. The equipment you need will depend on your plans. For example, a coffee shop might be able to function with limited refrigeration, but if you’re planning on preparing food with lots of fresh ingredients you’ll need more refrigerated storage.
There are a range of compact refrigerated products available to the market such as undercounter cabinets. Williams Aztra cabinets are specifically designed with smaller kitchens in mind, with a front-venting refrigeration system. This allows great flexibility in positioning, without compromising on energy efficiency. Flexibility can be further enhanced with optional drawers available in both high and low temperatures.
Meanwhile, Jade slimline counters have a reduced depth of just 50cm, but with the same features and storage capacity as the standard Jade counters. The biscuit top variants are designed to fit underneath an existing worktop, creating an integrated working area. Available in refrigeration and freezer versions, they have a range of customisation options. For example, they can be fitted with a combination of doors or drawers, providing easy access to ingredients. Flexibility is increased on standard counters with optional raised pan holders or cut out wells to maximise the preparation space.
While you might associate walk-in storage with larger businesses, Williams coldrooms use extremely flexible modular construction techniques that enable them to be built to almost any specifications, allowing for use in many situations previously thought uneconomical or even sited externally to extend available kitchen space. Modular refrigerated cabinets can also be adapted to fit non-standard spaces, ideal for older buildings or odd shaped spaces.
Picking the right equipment can help your business get the start it needs, while providing a foundation for growth. Just because your business is small doesn’t mean your ideas have to be!