Designing a Commercial Kitchen: A How-to Guide

Designing a Commercial Kitchen - Fitted Kitchen

Of all the various factors that go into creating a successful catering business, a professional kitchen is the beating heart of the operation. 

Whether it’s event catering, a restaurant, takeaway place or a pop-up shop, the story is always the same. If the kitchen is not set up correctly, or the floor plan is sloppy, the rest of the business is much harder to run. 

To ensure this doesn’t happen and to give you the best chance of success, here’s our how-to guide for commercial kitchen design.

The Importance of Catering Kitchen Layout

Designing a commercial kitchen well is a key ingredient when it comes to business growth.

This may sound like an obvious statement to make, but it is surprising how often the kitchen design and set up of cooking equipment are overlooked when it comes to central production units and commercial kitchen spaces.

When it comes to kitchen installations, a well-thought-out design and layout will help create adequate space to work, and help operations run efficiently, as well as smoothly. 

How to Design a Commercial Kitchen Plan

Each dark kitchen is different. Each chef works differently. You need to make sure you can design and fit your kitchen out any way you choose, and most importantly, you need ample space to work if you want a slick work flow. 

Consider the most important factors when it comes to making your kitchen flow. 

  • Layout
    • Island style
    • Assembly line layout
    • Zone-style
  • Food preparation areas – size & proximity 
  • Temperature control
  • Storage areas
  • Safety regulations 
  • Kitchen Equipment 
  • Food service area – if you have a storefront or dining room

Vital Ingredients of the Best Commercial Kitchen Designs

A catering kitchen on its own is like a heart without veins and arteries. It needs both input and output. However, it also requires storage space in order to work effectively. 

So, we can divide the kitchen area into three parts – delivery (in and out), production and storage.


A busy kitchen needs a good reliable flow, both in and out, to keep things moving efficiently. Most modern kitchens are working at all hours so you need to consider how your deliveries of meat and produce are getting to you and once there, how easy it is to offload and store, ready for use.

A loading bay with 24-hour access is a must, as well as cargo lifts, large doors and flat, open, well-maintained floors. Once you’ve got this right, it will take care of incoming and outgoing deliveries.


Food storage safety is key to any business, big or small. 

If you need to keep buying small orders of your supplies you know you’ll be paying too much. A large, secure and safe storage unit and cold room onsite will allow you to buy in bulk and keep things to hand when you need them. Look for constant temperature monitoring for the preservation of raw foods and pest control too, for ultimate food safety.

Check how hard it is to take your supplies to the kitchen. It’s going to reduce efficiency if you need to go from one building to another every time you need to resupply.


This is where the work is done. A good working kitchen needs plenty of space: for commercial catering equipment, day-to-day work, and food.

Other essentials include good access and ventilation system, practical food prep areas, as well as gas, water and electricity points. 

Designing an Eco-Friendly Space

It’s more important than ever to be mindful of our impact on the environment. From the foods we eat, the ways we travel and the energy we use, and this eco-friendly mindfulness must translate to the way we design and run our kitchens. 

But how do you design an eco-friendly commercial kitchen? Be aware of the materials you are using throughout your kitchen and consider if there are more eco-friendly options available such as stainless steel, porcelain or glass – these are all great materials to use if you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Other ways of creating an eco-friendly kitchen include using energy efficient appliances or lighting, being selective in the cleaning chemicals that you use, saving water where you can plus much more. If you have a sit-in dining area in your business, eco-friendliness should also be extended to the front of house. 

Designing a Commercial Kitchen: The Dephna Solution

We have years of experience when it comes to commercial and restaurant kitchen design.

The kitchen spaces at Dephna range from 400 to 4000 sq ft, allowing you to design and fit-out your kitchen exactly as your needs require. They will help you get your unit ready for production, as well as offering storage and cold room options that will work for you.

The spacious loading bays are available 24-hours a day, as are all access points and lifts. Dephna is stringent in its security, safety and maintenance in all Dephna sites in the London area. Their state-of-the-art units have all the electrical, gas and water points you need, along with full Paxton access control so you can come and go when you want.

If you have any questions regarding setting up a new commercial kitchen, or want to take a tour of our commercial or delivery kitchens, contact our friendly Dephna team. We’re always happy to help with any aspect of setting up and running your kitchen.

by Dephna

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