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Badly-equipped kitchens 'can cause problems'

19 | 12 | 12

All hospitality and leisure businesses, from luxury London hotels and fancy restaurants to small cafes and bars, will suffer problems if they do not have a kitchen that it suitably equipped and designed, according to an expert.

Writing in Catering Insight, Radford Chancellor of consultant firm Radford Chancellor Ltd stressed that the budget or capabilities of an outfit are less important than its overall design structure.

Suffering from inefficient use of space or inappropriate restaurant catering equipment will have an impact on any company, he declared.

"For every fantastic kitchen I see, there is a horrendous one too. Sadly, over the years I have seen too many kitchens that, frankly, are not fit for purpose," Mr Chancellor claimed.

With ever kitchen the "engine room" of a catering operation it is crucial businesses of all stripes consider how they can improve the way their operation is run by examining its design.

The consultancy expert highlighted several areas that firms should consider several different aspects when planning the layout of their establishment.

In the initial process of planning a kitchen it is crucial to engage with stakeholders from all levels, including those who will be working in the area. While chefs may lack knowledge of specific health and safety necessities or environmental issues, they understand how a cooking area should be designed in order to make it easy to work in, suggested Mr Chancellor.

Factors such as the size of the establishment and the number of covers it expects to serve regularly also need to be taken into account.

"The big issue in the current climate is budget. Once you know the budget you can start to structure the design around the service requirement, at the same time aiming to satisfy food hygiene practices and complying with relevant legislation," he declared.

A risk assessment should also be carried out at this stage to ensure the site will be safe, as discovering problems further down the line could be expensive and time consuming.

Workflow is the crucial consideration when deciding how to kit out a business' kitchen, Mr Chancellor stressed.

"When selecting cooking equipment consider the requirements of the menu and the ability of the staff expected to use [it]," he said, pointing out that it would be a mistake to invest in hi-tech fittings that nobody can utilise properly.

On the other hand, the consultant stated that purchasing the most efficient and modern technology can have many benefits, reducing carbon emissions and energy bills as well as improving the ability of kitchens to function effectively.

Mr Chancellor concluded that there is always likely to be an element of compromise when deciding on commercial kitchen design, but highlighted the safety of workers and the site's ability to enable service as the two crucial factors to be taken into account.

This follows the news that the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has launched a prior information notice for the supply of green catering solutions, indicative of efforts across the public sector to cut carbon emissions and reduce costs.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801509855-ADNFCR


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