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  • jerry woods

Building Ghost Kitchens

Running a commercial kitchen is all about efficiency. This is especially true if you’re operating in a space with a smaller footprint, such as a ghost kitchen. Your commercial kitchen’s layout can significantly impact your kitchen's operations and output.

With the right kitchen setup, you can maximize your space allowing you to optimize food prep, cooking, and team performance. Here are 5 possible commercial kitchen layouts to build.

#1 Assembly line layout

An assembly line layout is built to optimize the assembly of a meal. This is typically utilized for high-volume production, catering, or items in high demand. Food preparation starts at one end, and the dish is finished by the time it reaches the end of the line. With this layout, the washing station and storage area tend to be located behind the line so as not to be in the way.

Assembly Line kitchen looks like this:

Benefits of an assembly line setup:

· Staff can focus on individual tasks rather than handling every aspect of making a dish

· Ideal for limited menus and high-volume

· Promotes fast and consistent production of meals

#2 Zoning layout

This type of layout divides the kitchen into zones according to the type of dish being made. Each station is isolated from the others and often segregated according to the type of meal preparation required for that specific type of dish.

A zone layout allows you to focus on assembling a wide range of menu items.

Zone kitchen layout looks like this:

Benefits of a zone area:

· Ideal for large kitchens and multi-tasking

· Enables staff to focus on areas of expertise

· Improves kitchen flow with plenty of open areas

· Makes it easier to create a wide range of meals from a larger menu

#3 Galley layout

A galley layout is often the go-to setup if you operate in a kitchen space with limited square footage. This type of layout has all of the different stations and equipment positioned along the kitchen walls.

The Galley kitchen layout looks like this:

Benefits of a galley layout:

· Maximizes square footage

· Ideal for ghost kitchens that tend to be smaller than a regular commercial kitchen

#4 Island layout

With this type of restaurant kitchen layout, the chefs and the food are the stars of the show; they take center stage and can often be seen by restaurant guests. All of the cooking equipment is centered in and around the island section.

The Island kitchen layout looks like this:

Benefits of an island layout:

· The island acts as the focal point

· Cooking is a key aspect of the restaurant experience, allowing guests to appreciate the artistry that goes into their meal

#5 Open layout

Like an Island layout, an open kitchen layout allows the restaurant guests to enjoy the show. This contributes to a relaxed atmosphere where the curtain is drawn back, giving the meal a sense of intimacy and experience. Because this type of layout is specific to the restaurant, there’s no clear blueprint. Open kitchen layouts vary depending on the square footage, cooking equipment, food style, and head chef.

Benefits of an open layout:

· Guests are treated to spectacle and transparency where the cooking process

· Ensures that kitchen staff are on their best behavior at all times

Considerations for the optimal kitchen layout

The amount of square footage you have to work with will determine what you can or can’t do with a kitchen. Larger, more flashy layouts such as the open layout and the island layout are great for kitchens with more space. These types of layouts sacrifice the maximization of space in favor of spectacle and atmosphere, but they’d be impossible, or at least impractical, in many circumstances. If you have a small commercial kitchen space, or if you operate a ghost kitchen, an assembly line or galley layout make better use of the limited area.

Designing a ghost kitchen

Are you planning to open a ghost kitchen that is primarily focused on delivery?

If so, you will have less flexibility when it comes to a restaurant kitchen layout because it’s a smaller space and you only pay for the work area you need. The average ghost kitchen is approximately 200 square feet and can function with four staff members, whereas a brick and mortar location is approximately 2100 square feet and requires 25+ staff.

Naturally, with a larger space and more staff members, you can take greater liberties regarding layout. But with a ghost kitchen, your top goal is to optimize the existing space in order to focus solely on order volume.

Despite it being a smaller space, a ghost kitchen comes with many benefits, which include:

  • Lower overhead

  • Reduced risk

  • Improved service

Are you looking to open up a ghost kitchen? If so, BHI allows restaurants to build in a quicker time frame and at lower costs, while providing all of the consultation and design support needed. Contact our team to see what we can build for you

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