Setup, Layout & Maintenance of kitchen: Part- 1


Set up is costly, so needs to be useful and perfect at one go or less changes/ modification. The following steps with the help an experienced person can achieve it.

  1. determine the size and space requirement; which depends on –

a)      types of meal/ menu,

b)      no of guest to be served (i.e. covers),

c)      types and capacity of equipment,

d)     Quantity of raw materials, foods (of different stages of production) and other ancillary products to be stored/ dealt with.

e)      Number of personal to be employed [workers needs space to work, move which often should be as per minimum requirement set by the government/law.]

f)       Business policy regarding convenience food.

g)      Provision for extra spaces for future expansions due to increased sale/business, extensions of meal/menu, extension of guest capacity [covers], changes in business trends etc.

  1. Plan the different possible usage/requirement of space. spaces are needed for  –

a)      Receiving area: where raw materials are handed over by the suppliers to us, when we have to check them against their purchase order with size, quality, and quantity.

b)      Store: where all the raw materials are kept for future possible use, after checking at the receiving area. It is again sub-divided as dry store, chillers, deep freezing, wet store, perishable stores, diary stores etc.

c)      Preparation area: where all the pre-preparation works or mise-en-place are carried out, like- mixing, washing, cutting, etc.

d)     Cooking area: this area mainly consists of ovens, ranges, fryers, cookers; steamers etc. and mainly cooking works are being carried out.

e)      Pick-up area: foods that are finished and ready to be taken for services are kept here. Proper steps are taken to maintain the food properties [like hot/cold].

f)       Storage and holding area for semi or partly prepared food materials, processed food materials, stocks, gravies, sauces, pre-portioned cuts/joints/foods etc. This area mainly consists of large refrigerators, walk in coolers etc.

g)      Storage and holding area of different pans, pots, hand tools, small equipment, weighing equipment etc. that are required for kitchen activities. Often it comes adjoin with scullery.

h)      Scullery or pot wash: where all the utensils and small tools are sent for cleaning after every use. It consists of several basins/sinks, air-dryer etc.

i)        Chefs office: the office space is reserved for the paper work of chef, kitchen-in-charge, kitchen Clark, store supervisor, aboyer etc.

j)        Garbage bins: spaces required for waste-bags, garbage bins, or throw-out purpose should also be considered.

k)      worker’s space”: space requirement for each workers so that they can work with easy & safe movements and turns, which are often fixed by the local laws & regulation should be counted on the basis of minimum and maximum number of staffs can work at a time at any given moment.

Based on the above-mentioned factors the minimum and maximum space requirements are calculated.

  1. Make/plan the kitchen design: based on the above-mentioned space calculation, required space is being selected and plans are made for different possible layouts. To make a layout effective some of the points to be remembered are –

a)      Spaces should be visibly/clearly marked for their particular usage.

b)      All the same types of works, based on the work areas, are suggested to be kept together.

c)      A systematic material flow should be maintained while placing/planning the different areas. A simple flow chart like below is always the basic.


d)     Related areas or departments should be close enough to reduce undue running between Pick-up areas should be adjacent to the food service area.

e)      Entry and exit points of raw material, wastages, kitchen staffs, and service people should be different for each. It is to avoid collision and cross-contamination.

  1. Arrange or make provision for systems to maintain humidity, temperature, noise, lights, ventilation, drainage etc. these are required to keep the area comfortable, healthy and hygienic. individual considerations should be done as –

a)      Humidity: regulated humidity content of the air helps to keep most of the food materials well in condition, by reducing moisture loss, thus making it more hygienically safe. It also increases the comfort level of workers.

b)      Temperature: areas required to maintain a cold/chilled environment should be marked, and so as the heat producing areas. Proper distance or barriers should be used to maintain the required temperature, without mixing them. Different temperature zone for store should also be planned accordingly.

c)      Noise: areas/units producing loud noises should be well protected to prevent the noise from spreading. Kitchen noise should not come out to the guest areas. It may be planned in the way to put the no-noise areas in between the guest area and noise-producing areas.

d)     Light source: as far as possible lights should be natural or identical with no shadow and glares. In addition, provision for alternative lights in case of power failure or in any emergency should be made.

e)      Fuel, water source: without these kitchen is dead. However, placing them at wrong places cannot make a kitchen run properly. So important supplies like gas, steam, hot & cold water, drinking water etc. should be placed at convenient and required places. At the same time one should be aware of not to make the spider net and spoil the aesthetic look.

f)       Sewage: effective drainage system should be planed, at least at all the possible sources. It should be planned hygienically to avoid cross contamination with fresh water supply and food materials.

g)      Air circulation & ventilation: effective and stable ventilation system should be implemented at least all the sources of hot air, smoke and grease (such as over ranges and tan doors etc.). In addition, a supply of fresh air should be given to fill the vacuum caused by the exhaust system. It will also provide the natural oxygen and other comfortable factors.

  1. Plan for emergency exit, places of fire extinguisher, fire alarms, emergency lights etc. in case of any fire, explosions etc. exit points should be positioned at regular convenient distance.
  2. Check out the plan as per HACCP norms; analyze, mark the CCPs, generate the instructions for kitchen peoples.
  3. Follow up the effectiveness of kitchen layout over the period.

One response to “Setup, Layout & Maintenance of kitchen: Part- 1

  1. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many
    thanks for sharing!