Kitchen Planning Mistakes to Avoid
When it comes to running a workplace that is as busy and bustling as a kitchen, the way you organize things can either make or break your food-preparing business.
Imagine failing to pay the due respects to the well-known cook’s triangle.
The results can be truly disastrous.
Your highly esteemed chef won’t be able to find the ground pepper for a couple of minutes and the waiter is going to bump into the chef’s apprentice who’s nervously also trying to find the aforementioned pepper vial. Then the maître d is going to be zipping all over the place trying to figure out why the Confit de Canard isn’t ready yet!?
…To which the chef will say that there’s no pepper in the entire building, that Confit de Canard is not the same without pepper, that his life is sheer misery and pain, and that the apprentice is to blame for it, too, without a doubt!
So, a proper pandemonium – just on the account of not caring enough to make your kitchen a place where a certain workflow (which is essential for kitchens) can be established.
In this article, we’re going to talk about kitchen planning and what common mistakes you should avoid while doing it, so that your kitchen and the entire venue it feeds (whether it’s a restaurant or a small buffet) can be well covered and always smell of freshly cooked delicious meals.
1) Cluttering the Kitchen Triangle
As we mentioned in the introduction to this article, the kitchen triangle is an ancient order of things in the kitchen wise cooks figured out ages ago.
You see, the deal with this kitchen triangle is the following – there are three essential places in every kitchen: 1) stove, 2) refrigerator, and 3) the sink. To make the workflow optimal, these three important pieces on the chessboard that is the kitchen, so to speak, should form a triangle where every extreme point is in close vicinity to the other two.
This way, no time is wasting between taking a cod from the fridge, scaling and cleaning it, and dumping it in the pot – if we take fish preparation as an example. It’s not only the food preparation that is easier to accomplish this way, however. Cleaning up after the workday is over will also be much easier, because you would have been placing the food scraps directly into the sink along the way.
So, make sure not to clutter the space within this triangle with unnecessary objects, because it will hamper the workflow big time.
2) Failing to Capitalize on Unused Space
Having read the entry number one from above, you may be wondering – well, if I cannot disturb the area of the kitchen triangle, where on Earth should I put the microwave, pots ‘n’ pans, and the spices?
The answer to that would be – look up and then look up some more. Shelf space abounds.
You see, no matter how small, any given kitchen will have enough room to store the essential cooking tools, if only you’d bother to set up enough shelf above the stove, fridge, and everywhere, in general.
Of course, you shouldn’t overly encumber some key areas related to the safety and well-being of the employees. For example, you shouldn’t remove the fire extinguisher just to be able to place yet another shelve in its stead.
Remember, safety should always be at the top of the hierarchy in the kitchen, so objects such as smoke-extracting fire ducts, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits should always be ready for use.
3) Poor Lighting
Nothing can throw a clunky spanner into the works of a kitchen as a lack of proper lighting.
Chefs and their entire entourage of helpers, so to speak, often work in long shifts and at times around the clock, so the light they can work with can truly affect their mood and eventually – their productivity.
So, to ensure you’re cooks and their entire staff in the kitchen will be alert and well-lit, so to speak, install large windows so that as much natural light can come in as possible. Also, when there’s no more natural light outside (aka when night descends), make sure that the entire kitchen is well-lit so that your staff doesn’t trip over each other in the darkness.
Indeed, nothing can destroy a chocolate soufflé as dropping it on the floor face first, so to speak.
All in all, figuring out a way to come up with an excellent recipe can be a tad difficult, and finding your own niche in the culinary community takes years, but figuring out the basics only takes doing some homework. So, as long as you’re ready for learning from the mistakes of others and taking baby steps carefully but boldly, you’ll set yourself on the path of success in the future.