A professional industrial kitchen is designed for strength and efficiency in food production. Most kitchens are set up for a home, with a refrigerator, oven, stovetop and conventional sink all in one area of the kitchen. Industrial kitchens have multiple work zones with different equipment that permits each zone to operate independently. They also include more storage space, better ventilation and lighting, and a concrete floor instead of linoleum or tiled surfaces which can be damaged by many steamy liquids like coffee or soup.
Industrial kitchens have simplified the list of tasks into standardized steps so that everything gets done without confusion or unnecessary waste-producing clutter. Lessons are broken down into the minor task possible, and workers are rotated from task to task. For example, a person cutting the parsley for a Caesar salad will wash the knife between each cut. This prevents cross-contamination.
A smaller kitchen might have one hood for all cooking activities. Still, industrial kitchens may have several different hoods to accommodate additional cooking equipment that produces various vapours, such as gas stoves or deep fat fryers. Professional engineers must appropriately vent these hoods – if not, they can become fire hazards.
The industrial kitchen design seeks to optimize counter space and storage systems through rational spatial planning and efficient layout. Every kitchen zone has an area for preparing food, a site for storing ingredients and cooking utensils, a place for working with refrigerated and frozen foods, and areas for washing dishes and cleanup procedures. All equipment used in these zones is designed to be easy to clean.
Industrial kitchens design also recognizes that there is a lot of repetitive work that goes on in a commercial kitchen. For example, most dishes begin by being chopped on a cutting board before being placed into pots. Industrial design considers this by designing the layout so that all cutting boards face the same way with extra space around them, so no one cuts themselves on the sharp edge of the counter.
Additionally, industrial kitchens have separate workstations for cutting boards and dishwasher and sink stations to allow for efficient washing. A thorough wall connects these stations, so no one has to cross in front of the other. Industrial kitchens also have space to store these appliances in a central location where anyone on the team can easily access them.
Industrial kitchens also have many different types of countertop materials that are designed for specific purposes. There is a separate area set aside for working with meats, one for preparing food, one place to keep food safe from contamination and one location to wash dishes.
For the other tasks that are involved in the preparation of a meal (i.e. chopping vegetables), work surfaces can be either solid or slatted wood. Solid wood gives cooks more stability when cutting with a knife by preventing them from slipping on the countertop. Still, slatted wood is often easier to clean because it has more surface area between the planks, which can be easily washed and dried between uses.
Industrial kitchens are designed to be efficient and practical, but they can also be surprisingly beautiful. For example, industrial kitchens may have a bar of stainless steel countertop with brushed steel appliances on the wall behind it. The contrast and order of the different materials in the kitchen can make for a beautiful space.