Kitchen layouts say a lot about your business more than you know.
An efficient kitchen layout reflects well thought out plan with the kitchen workflow and working environment in mind.
So far, the previous blogs talked about the Assembly Line Layout, the Island Layout, the Zone Style layout, and Galley Layout, respectively. All four commercial kitchen layout examples have their pros and cons, which you need to weigh when choosing a kitchen layout for your commercial space.
To complete the list, let’s talk about the Open Kitchen Layout.
What is the Open Kitchen Layout?
An open kitchen is a layout that allows customers to see the scenes going on in the kitchen. There is no wall between the kitchen and the customers, although there could be a glass partition that serves as a divider.
An existing commercial kitchen layout can be turned into an open kitchen when a wall is taken down, offering a view to and from the kitchen.
What are the benefits of this layout?
- Open kitchens create distinct energy. It could be both a result of the voyeuristic feel of the customers having a behind the scene peek of food preparations and the opportunities for the kitchen team to showcase their skills. This energy impact’s the restaurant’s atmosphere and the sensory experience of dining. The sounds, sights and smells can help work up appetites.
- As a result, the open kitchen layout provides an engaging, even high-end, dining experience. It can provide an entertaining and unique immersive experience that could work well for the restaurant.
- Open kitchens may lead to better service from the kitchen team. True to our nature of desiring to be appreciated, a Harvard Business Review research says that customer can make employees feel more appreciated, more satisfied with their jobs, and more willing to exert effort.
- It is a good marketing angle to feature open kitchens as part of an exciting dining ambience. Being able to watch food preparation as well as a possible engagement with the Chef can be an enhancing experience.
- Because the kitchen or part of it is in view, it is an excellent way of letting customers know how you take sanitary procedures seriously when you prepare food. It can express confidence on the part of the Chef and kitchen team, and it can make the customers feel safe knowing they are dining in a clean and sanitary establishment.
What should you be mindful of with this setup?
- Guest safety should always come first, and with this setup, you need to ensure a safe distance between the customers and the hot cooking appliances. Sometimes, we think that customers should be smart enough to know that heat is expected when seated to a nearby heating element. Still, your job is to consider the possible risks and what actions your team should take if any inconvenience happens.
- Because customers can see the going on’s in the kitchen, they also have viewing access to the not so glamorous happenings during food preparation. These may include mess during the busy shifts or staff errors, particularly hygiene issues. When you choose an open kitchen layout, your kitchen team should strengthen your hygiene and sanitary measures as these are what most people can easily relate to. Customers may not notice that your sous chef didn’t use the correct knife or pan, but they will certainly see that one of your cooks used a dirty looking towel to wipe their hands with.
- While most chefs and cooks thrive on this setup, some may find this as additional stress on top of the ordinarily chaotic kitchen vibe. Hire people with this in mind. Beyond the entertainment factor, you need people who can still work with this kind of pressure.
- Food preparation isn’t always visually appealing. The commotion of a typical kitchen may be something that some guests would like to avoid. After all, dining out can be an escape from the daily humdrum of life. One option to achieve an open kitchen setup is to feature a separate island where one or two chefs/cooks can prepare special orders to serve and entertain guests.
RELATED READ: 5 Keys to Removing the Risk From Open Kitchens
An open kitchen layout is a commercial kitchen layout where dining guests view the kitchen and the Chef’s team. It is a risky layout that can either work for or against a restaurant. But, when used to its advantage, it can create a spectacular high-end dining experience for customers that will keep them coming back for more.
An efficient restaurant kitchen layout and workflow can make a world of difference to the quality of food and service you deliver and your staff’s well-being.
If you are based in Perth or WA and needs assistance in creating an efficient workflow in your kitchen, give us a call and let us help you make the café or restaurant of your dreams.
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,