Tag Archives: Facility Planning

Old thinking vs. New technologies

Old Hotel Phone

Old Hotel Phone

             There was a time when telephones were only available to the elite. As such, it was strictly the most upscale hotels that made use of phones during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Typically, a desk phone would have been available for hotel staff, and a single wall phone located in the lobby area for guest use, with all calls being directed through an outside operator.

        In 1957 Hilton first offers direct-dial telephone service in Hotel. This allowed  rooms to dial out local calls and be billed for them.Another feature was single digit dialing for various services–room service, valet, concierge, front desk, each would have a single digit assigned to them and the phone dial would have an outer mount explaining all this.For long distance calls, hotel operators would ask for time and charges (as most businesses did back them), record them, and add them to the guest’s bill.


Although still considered to be a luxury, this became a turning point for phones within the hospitality industry. As guests could now connect directly to other guest rooms, the front desk, and outside lines, the demand for in-room phone extensions was growing. Over the following decades, the popularity of both residential and commercial telephone systems exploded, enabling hotels to take advantage of the service for accepting advance reservations.
Guest Room Phone
        The next major change occurred in the 1960s, when touch-tone telephones were introduced. Not only did this improve dialing speed, but the technology also made automated phone menus possible. As technology progressed, hotels enjoyed the luxuries of caller ID, multiple phone lines, call waiting, call transfers, and more.
The biggest breakthrough for hotel phone systems came with the launch of the World Wide Web. Although, at the time, many traditional phone companies argued that voice would never be able to travel via the internet, the idea was never abandoned, and as early as 1995 the “Internet Phone” was born. It took nearly a decade to perfect this particular technology, with the world’s introduction to Skype in 2003 as the big game-changer.
At present, hotels and guests has shifted to the Handheld Android Devices and I-pad, I-Phone, etc.



There are various heavy and light equipments required for the commercial kitchens. Determining the specific equipment required for the proposed kitchen is one aspect of design on which considerable time can be spent. During this part of the planning process the food service facility consultant has to estimate accurately the capacity of each of the various types of kitchen equipment to be used. If these capacity estimates are too low, the result will be delays and bottleneck in the food production process. Estimates that are too high will result in expensive and inefficient piece of equipment. The consultant should be careful to take into account any projected increase in business volume, that would require increased equipment capacity, and plan accordingly. At this juncture, he has to make decision about the manufacturer, the model number, attachments, special accessories.

A systematic method of determining equipment capacity required is to analyse each food item appearing on the menu. Whether a la carte (or) daily change menu as in the case of buffets a sample of the typical menus may be sufficient. First, we have to estimate the number of portions to be prepared for a particular period. This estimate is made for every menu item requiring equipment. Next the standard portion size of the each food item has to be fixed. For e.g. (soup-240 ml., coffee-180 ml., etc.) multiplying the estimated number of portions by the portion size will give the total volume if food to be prepared.

Once the volume of food to be prepared is arrived, the capacity of the equipment should be determined with future changes anticipated. Trends can be studied, and then any anticipated changes in foods, sales volumes or meals offered can be projected to see if drastic changes in equipment are necessary. For e.g.: perhaps no freezer space will be required currently, but if the need for freezer space is highly probable is 5 or 10 years, space can be left to add it then conveniently and economically.

The method of preparations and production for each item is then evaluated. Possible alternatives may include a) items individually prepared to order. b) Items prepared in small batches in anticipation of orders, c) item prepared in large batches, d) item that are partially batch prepared and finished when orders are received.

The batch size is next determined for those items that are to be prepared batches. The selection of the batch size is one way that the food service facility consultant can control the capacity of the equipment. Smaller and more frequently prepared batches are desirable because they require less equipment capacity and the foods are fresher when served. Some items that can be held swell after cooking can be made in larger batches.

For those items to be prepared and cooked to order, the maximum no. Of portion to be made at one time is evaluated on the basis of the no. of customers, their menu preference, their arrival pattern.

After determining portions, equipment catalogs may be consulted to match the capacity needed for production with the available sizes of standard equipment. The designer is also careful when sizing some equipment that may have a usable capacity that is somewhat less than the standard capacity.

Equipment Check list

The equipment required for the kitchen varies from one type of operation to another depending on the menu offerings, the nature of food materials, method of preparation, service, personal desire of the owners, manager, or chefs. The following list of equipment is grouped by typical functional areas.

Refrigerated, storage

Cold Rooms:

·                     Shelves

·                     Dairy

·                     S.S.Trolleys

·                     Vegetables

Freeze Room: 

·                     Fish

·                     Meat


Cold Kitchen


·                     Meat Saw

·                     Gravity feed slicer

·                     Meat Block

·                     Reach in Refrigerator

·                     Reach in Freezer

·                     Scales

·                     Work Table with service and drain board

·                     SS Utility Trolley

·                     Mincer – Chopper

·                     Sausage Stuffer

·                     Buffalo Chopper

Vegetable and Salad Preparation


·                     French-fry cutter

·                     Peeler

·                     SS preparation table

·                     Salad rack

·                     Vegetable cutter

·                     Slicer/Chopper



·                 Griddle

·                 Microwave oven

·                 SS worktable – sink drain board

·                 Toaster

·                 Salamander

·                 Reach in Refrigerator

·                 Bread Cabinet

·                 Juice extractor

·                 Coffee/Tea Pantry man

·                 Ice Cream cabinet


Cooking – All kitchens


Bain Marie counters with overhead heaters.

Chinese range

Condiment cabinet

S.S.work table

S.S. work table with sink unit

S.S.work table with OH shelf

Deck oven

Food warmer

Brat pan



Gas cooking ranges (a la carte, Indian kitchen, Banquet, Halwaii)

Refrigerated Table

Reach in Freezer

Reach in Refrigerator


Steam jacket kettle

Pot rack

SS utility trolley

Vertical cutter/Mixer

Dosa Plate

Chapatti Puffer

Wet Grinder

Bakery and Confectionery

S.S.Work Table

Bread Moulder

Bread Slicer

Cooling rack

Convection oven

Deck own

Dough divider

Dough rounder

Dough sheeter

Dough kneader

Weighing scale

Planetary Mixer

Proofing cabinet

Proofing rack

Ice cream machine

Snacks bar


Coffee maker

Food warmer


Fudge warmer


Gas range

Work table

Working table with sink and drain board

Slush Machine

Juice dispenser

Pastry cabinet

S/W grill

Soda fountain

SS utility trolley

Bain Marie counter

Chaat Counter

Dosa Plate

Pot work

Pot rack


Pre rinse faucet

Water agitator

Drying rack

Wet Grinding

Convention wet grinder

Tilting model wet grinder


       A complete discussion of selecting and sizing of all the different types of kitchen equipments is beyond the scope of this study material. A brief discussion of frequently specified major items of equipments would serve to illustrate this part of the planning process.


Deep fat fryers are available in a variety of types, capacities and degree of automatic operation desired. The productive capacity of a fryer is related to the litres of fat in the fryers, the heat input, and the cooking time required for various foods. Typical designs of fryers are based on a fat-to-food ratio 6:1. This indicates that each kg. of food to be fried requires 6 lits. of oil (or) fat in the deep fat fryer. Conventional fryers are tailor made to the requirement of the client to various capacity, 1/2 lit, 1 lit. 3, 5, 7 and so on.

Pressure fryers make another category of deep fryers they are sealed to permit steam pressure to build up between the lid and the fat surface. The steam is generated from the foods fried or by water injectors. The pressure fryer reduces the loss of moisture from foods. Heat transfer in a pressure fryer is greater than a conventional fryer and consequently the cooking time is shorter. The food is brown outside, moist and juicy on the inside.

 BRATT PAN (Tilting frying pan):

The brat pan is one of the most versatile pieces of cooking equipment. Its design is such that it can be used to boil, simmer, grill, sauté, fry and curries. For some items like Indian gravies, sambar, foogath can be done in the tilting frying pan with some savings in time that would normally be spent transferring foods and cleaning other utensils. Brat pan may be free standing; walls mounted, counter mounted and are available in gas and electricity model. There are models which are ignited by electricity and working on gas. The brat pan is tilted by a worm and gear assembly operated by hand wheel. They are tailor made to difference capacities of 50 litres. to 300 litres.


Griddle are flat top piece of equipment heated from beneath, as compared to grills which have heating sources both above and beneath. Griddles are used for high production food service and fast food operations. Grills are more of a specialty piece of equipment. Both gas fired and electric models are suitable for most purposes. Griddle are available in variety of sizes from small i.e. 10” x 20” to as large as 72” x 24”. Griddles are free standing, counter-mounted, mobile or built in as the situation demands. The height of the splashguard, location and the width of the grease trough should be considered when specifying griddles. Combination griddle-grill is also available. This provides greater flexibility for the preparation of different menu items.



Food cutters are versatile piece of equipment that can handle meats, vegetable and fruits. The food cutters can cut, dice, shred, and almost liquefies foods, depending upon the amount of time the food is left in the cutter. The foods to be size reduced are placed in a bowl, which rotates and exposes them to high speed rotating blades. Both bench and floor models are available. Some cutter models are equipped with an attachment hub for accepting various attachments.


Steam jacketed kettles are constructed of two stainless steel bowls sealed one within the other, with almost 2” of space between them for the introduction of steam. The amount of steam surface between the bowls is referred to as jacketing, and models from half-jacketed to full jacketed are available. The operation of steam-jacketed kettles utilizes steam, which is condensed back to water in the jacket to provide the heat for the inner kettle. A condensate line is provided to remove the water that accumulates. The amount of heat input is dependent upon the pressure and amount of steam allowed to enter the jacketed area. There is a pressure gauge to indicate the pressure. In case of excess pressure is let into the jacket, there is a pressure /air release valve to reduce the pressure. These kettles are used to cook rice, dhal, boil milk, and cook vegetables. They are available in 50, 100, 200 and 300 lit. cap.




Gas cooking ranges have open top burners with high-pressure burners, T-22, T-35. They are tailor made for the client’s is requirement. They are manufactured in different combinations such as 2 in 1, 3 in 1, 4 in 1 and 6 in 1. The length and breadth of the range depends on the quantity food to be prepared. In case of a la carte preparation, a combination of high and low pressure burners is used, the area being 14”x 14”. The height of the cooking ranges 33” – 34”. But for ideal bulk cooking the length various between 20” to 24” per range, and. the height is reduced to 18” to 20”. Heavy gauge stainless steel and heavy-duty supports are used for these cooking ranges since it involves bulk preparation.


     A Chinese gas cooking range is aptly designed for authentic Chinese delicacies, with a cast iron dome, to prevent the direct heat on to the chef while cooking with a wok. A 12” to 14” height splash back with a swivelling faucet with controls in front panel for immediate water, and a drain channel at the rear to enable to chef to empty the wastewater is also provided in this equipment. They are ideal with flat open top gas range in the middle for stockpot and dome cover gas ranges on either side for a la carte preparations.




The dosa plate are similar to the griddle which have hot plates specially designed to prepare dosas. The plate is thick machine polished, mild steel with even heat distribution for optimum use.

The M.S.plate rests on stainless steel frame, and it has S.S.top, front and a specially placed oil spillage trough. The splash back on all three sides of the dosa plate to avoid splash of oil or batter. For uniform heat distribution a “V” shaped burner is placed. This unit is available in electric/gas. It is custom-built size to prepare a minimum 2-3 dosas to 8-10 dosas at a time.


Idly steamers are S.S. cabinets with tight fitting doors with gaskets. Steam is injected into the cabinet to pre heat to the required temperature. Idly plates are made of S.S./Alum. with different combinations. The steam is injected from the sides, top and bottom. These cabinets are tailor made to accommodate 2-4-6 idly plates at a time. It is advisable to have 2 plate compartments because steam is lost during the process of loading the idly plates.


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After developing the work places, determining the specific equipment to use, and finalizing the space requirements, the food facility consultant is ready to accomplish the layout phase of the planning process. Some of the equipment layouts for certain functions may already have been completed during the design of the work places. Now the designer will formalize them, first as rough sketches and ultimately in the form of blue prints.

The layout process may be described as two separate stages that occur at the same time. One stage deals with arrangements of individual pieces of equipment, work tables, and sinks with a unit which comprise a functional area or a functional department i.e. one particular area may be developed for the function of Indian and Tandoor preparations, (or) salad and sandwich preparation, as a single unit.

The second stage of layout process involves arranging the functional areas into a total facility. For e.g. the receiving, storing, pre-preparation, production, pot washing areas, and non production areas such a rest rooms, offices are brought together to form the basic floor plan for the facility.

There may be some doubt as to whether these 2 stages of layout are done at the same time. Even though the designer may be working on one stage or another at any given time, layout design must be considered in term of both stages. In essence, the layout of the total facility must be considered when laying out the component areas and vice versa.

Concepts of Layout:

There are 4 concepts of layout for a kitchen plan, they are

1. Materials or products

2. Machines and equipment’s

3. Workers

4. Movement.

1. Materials or products

• The products should be designed for ease of production.

• Raw materials used should require minimum no. of processing steps.

• The layout should protect the material from detrimental factors such as moisture, dust, vibration and temperature changes.

• To provide flexible layout to handle change with product

• Material storage area should facilitate taking inventory.

• Provide facilities for storing waste and scrap materials.

2. Machines and Equipments.

• The equipment provided in the layout should be united to the required processes.

• Maximum use of the equipment’s should be planned.

• Layout should provide for each operations of the equipment.

• Layout should facilitate movement of mobile equipment’s.

• Sufficient access space for equipment maintenance should be provided.

• Proper ventilation and exhausting of equipment to be provided.

3. Workers:

• Layout should safeguard the workers by eliminating hazards.

• Adequate light should be provided.

• Proper exhaust system for fresh air should be provided.

• Layout should be free of distracting activities.

• Design of work place should correspond to the height of the workers.

• Layout should provide adequate work space.

4. Movement:

• Layout should provide for easy movement of material and workers.

• Provide for smooth flow into and out of work place

• Layout should prevent back tracking

• Delays in movement of material should be minimized.

Layout configuration

The arrangement of equipment and work places for functional areas is usually is the form of a straight line or in combination and modifications of straight line configurations. The basic patterns that may be used include;

Single straight line arrangement: This is the simplest of designs, but it is limited in the number of pieces of equipment or work places that can be arranged. The straight line arrangement may be placed along a wall or take the form of an island.

‘L’ Shaped arrangement: This is a modification of the straight line arrangement to accommodate more equipments and work places, it is sometimes used where linear space is limited. The ‘L’ shaped configuration is suitable for separating two major groups of equipment. One group of equipment would be placed on one leg of the ‘L’, the other group forming the second leg.

‘U’ shaped arrangement:‘U’ shaped configuration is ideal for small areas where only one or two employees are working. One disadvantage of this configuration is that straight line flow through the area is not possible.

Parallel, back to back arrangement: This configuration is an arrangement of two parallel lines where the backs of the equipment and/or work places on each line are adjacent to each other. This arrangement centralizes the utility lines required for the equipment. Some time a short wall is constructed between the two rows of equipment, in which case provision for cleaning and maintenance should be provided.

Parallel face to face arrangement: This arrangement utilises two straight lines of equipment and work places where the front face each other and are separated by an aisle space. This is very common configuration that can be used in many areas of facility. This configuration requires two separate utility lines for equipment as compared to the single utility line used in the parallel back to back arrangement.

The final arrangement for most facilities is usually composed of a combination of configuration of equipment and work places. Only the smallest of operations would use a single configuration of the layout facilities.

After arriving at the total area requirement for the main kitchen, the following is the estimated percentage of production/space for functional areas:-

Functioning area Space allotted %

• Receiving -5

• Food storage -20

• Pre-preparation -20

• Cooking- 12

• Baking -10

• Pot wash – KSD -5

• Traffic aisles -16

• Garbage – wet/dry- 5

• Employee facilities- 5

• Miscellaneous -2

If you understand the basic principles of kitchen layout will help take much of the mystery out of the design process. The most basic layout principle is the work triangle. The work triangle is the line drawn from each of the three primary work stations in the kitchen – the food storage, cooktop, and sink. By drawing these lines, you can see the distance you’ll walk to move to and from each area.

The sum of the ideal triangle is supposed to be between 15 and 22 feet, putting each of the three appliances within two or three steps of one another.

The three primary kitchen work stations which create the work triangle are:

1.Food storage– Your refrigerator and pantry are the major items here. Cabinetry like lazy Susan or swing-out pantry units adds function and convenience. Options like wine racks, spice racks, and roll-out trays help to organize your groceries.

2.The preparation/cooking station– Your range, oven, microwave, and smaller appliances are found in this area. Counter space is important in this section. Conserve space by moving appliances off the counter with appliance garage cabinets and space-saving ideas like towel rods and pot lid racks.

3.The clean-up station– Everyone’s least favourite activity is one of the kitchen’s most important – clean-up. This area is home to the sink, waste disposal, and dishwasher. Cabinetry for this station is designed to organize with the trash bin cabinet and roll-out tray baskets for storage convenience.

Your kitchen is probably more than just a place to cook and eat. You may choose to include a breakfast bar, desk, bookshelves, computer station, a TV or whatever in your kitchen.

Triangle reloaded

The work triangle, however is experiencing a remodel of its own. The work triangle was designed for an age when there was only one cook, and only three appliances (fridge, stove, sink).

Here are a few top tips:

• No leg of the triangle is supposed to be less than 4 feet or more than 9 feet.

• There should be no human (well, or non human, of course) traffic flow cutting through the triangle.

• Place the microwave near the refrigerator for convenience

• Walk space should be 42″ wide to account for traffic flow and clearance of large appliance doors or large relatives

• Counter space on either side of the range or cooktop should be a minimum of 15 inches

• An 18-inch counter should be adjacent to the fridge on the same side as the handle

• The food prep area (minimum counter space 36 inches) is ideally located between the fridge and the sink; If the food prep area is between the sink and the range or cooktop, it will involve more travel.

• A lower surface is best for food prep (measure 7 to 8 inches below your elbow height)

• In two-cook kitchens, the fridge and range/cook top are usually shared.

• Two triangles can share a leg, but shouldn’t overlap

• An island with a second sink creates at least one more triangle, and adapts to many uses: wet bar location, flower cutting and arranging, homework station etc.

Now let’s see the layouts:

The single line (or Pullman) kitchen

This is a smart and simple solution for narrow rooms, ideally with one wall over 10 feet long, without windows or doors. However, this layout causes the longest journey distances since you often have to walk from one end of the room to the other. Therefore, it’s a good idea to place the sink in the middle of the line, with adequate space separating it from the range.

• Ideal for apartments and smaller homes

• Works well with the open designs found in many contemporary homes

• Small moveable table can provide eating space

• Can be enhanced with the addition of an island


The galley kitchen

This shape offers the most efficient use of space, making it the choice of many professional chefs. The two rows allow room for lots of preparation space, and moving between activity areas can be as easy as turning around. However, this shape is not ideal if the corridor is open at both ends, since it can cause traffic congestion.

Make sure there is enough room for opposite drawers to be open at the same time (at least 48″). Another important consideration is to keep the cleaning and cooking areas on the same side in order to minimize the risk of accidents while moving hot pans between the sink and range.

• Great for smaller kitchens

• Appliances are close to one another

• Easy for one cook to manoeuvre

• Can easily convert to a U-Shape by closing off one end


The L-shape kitchen

This is a very popular kitchen layout – ideal for a family kitchen, or for entertaining guests, since it can easily accommodate table and chairs in the same room. Using two adjacent walls, the kitchen also benefits from the lack of through-traffic. The sink, range and fridge should be separated by a preparation area.

• Very flexible layout design

• Major appliances can be placed in a variety of areas

• Work areas are close to each other

• Can easily convert to a U-Shape with a cabinet leg addition


The U-shape kitchen

The use of three full walls in a room offers the perfect working kitchen. The fridge, range and sink can be spaced out for maximum efficiency and convenience. This is great news for those who take your cooking seriously, as it provides the best workflows with the shortest distances around the kitchen. This shape also allows for large amounts of countertop and storage space.

• Perfect for families who use their kitchens a great deal

• Provides plenty of counter space

• Efficient work triangle

• Can convert one cabinet leg into a breakfast bar


The island kitchen

A very popular kitchen type, the island layout is perfect if you plan to entertain but requires more floor space. An independent island unit can face a dining or living area, allowing the cook to socialize while preparing. A sink here provides the optimal arrangement in terms of the kitchen’s working triangle. Otherwise, a cook top with a canopy over the island can form a stunning focal point to the kitchen.


The G-Shaped Kitchen

Built very much like the U-Shaped with the addition of an elongated partial wall, the G-Shaped kitchen offers a great deal of space. Ideal for larger families needing extra storage space Plenty of counter and cabinet space Multiple cooks can function well in this layout Can convert one cabinet leg into a breakfast bar or entertaining area



Pot and Pan Washing:

The pot and pan washing function is also preferably done in a separate area instead of combining it with other areas as some small operations may be inclined to do. The basic pot and pan washing function can be handled with a 3 compartment sink and drain boards, sufficient space for storing the soil utensils have to be provided.

In some operations, a large storage area for soiled utensils may be required because they are not washed as soon as they are received. This occurs when the same personnel who wash dish, also wash the pots and pans. Pot washing machines are considered for large food facility if they can be economically justified.

A pot wash area is suppressed by 6” than the regular floor level of the kitchen, to avoid the water flowing into the main kitchen area. A heavy jet washer with water at a temperature of 88 degrees is used to wash pots because they easily remove the dirt and fat and make cleaning easy. Since the pot wash area becomes very messy with waste food and fat, anti-skid tiles are recommended for the floor and white glazed tiles on the three side walls up to 8’ feet height. A minimum area of 10’ x 10’ is required.

Wet Grinding Area:

In India wet grinding area is considered to be one of the supporting services to the main kitchen. There will be a minimum of two wet grinders in any small hotels, so that there is a standby in case of breakdown. Wet grinders are tailor made and are of different capacities. The ideal functional area required for a wet grinding is 10’ x 4’. The area has to have anti-skid tiles for the floor and glaze tiles on the wall to maintain hygienic conditions.

Chef’s Cabin:

The chef’s cabin has to be ideally located, so that, he has a clear view of the entire kitchen. In some organizations and some hotels the Chef cabin is being utilized to store the imported stock of ingredients like, spices, wine etc. Ideally 10’ x 10’ is required for the chefs cabins.

Chef’s Larder

This is a sub store which is located within the kitchen, in the control of the chef. The quantities of material drawn for the day from the main food store is stored in the chefs larder, since there is no space to store this in the individual kitchen, the drawn material is stored in a place with the kitchen, which is called as chefs larder. Chef’s larder is convenient for the cooks, because they can draw material at any given time of the day even after the main food store is closed for the day in the evening. Large quantities of food material should not be stored in a chef larder because it blocks the capital of the hotel.


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