Whether running a restaurant, catering service or any food preparation business, your kitchen is where the magic happens.
You’ll need the best equipment and materials to get the job done. Stainless steel is so synonymous with commercial kitchens that it is difficult to imagine a professional kitchen without picturing silver, shiny benches. This isn’t a coincidence but rather a result of stainless steel being the ideal material for the food preparation industry due to its versatility and strength. There’s also the enormous benefit of its hygienic quality and quick and easy cleaning of stainless steel surfaces.
But where do you get started when designing your restaurant or cafe kitchen? Here is an overview and guide to stainless steel commercial kitchen fit-outs. In construction terms, a fit-out is a phrase used to define the process of making an interior space suitable for its intended purpose. So, in the case of your kitchen, it involves achieving everything you’ll need to have a fully functional stainless steel kitchen.
5 Benefits of a stainless steel kitchen
Using stainless steel in your commercial kitchen has a lot of benefits, including:
- Function – what good is a commercial kitchen if it isn’t efficient? Stainless Steel is the perfect material for preparing food in a busy environment, making your work efficient and effective.
- Style – with stainless steel’s sleek, clean, modern look that involves lower maintenance than other materials, your kitchen will have a fantastic aesthetic appeal for decades. Stylistically, it’s a look that’s incredibly versatile, meaning it can be incorporated into almost any pre-existing decor.
- Low Maintenance – You’ll want effective equipment with as little maintenance as possible in a busy environment. Stainless steel is easy to clean and resistant to damage, making it ideal for your kitchen.
- Durability – Stainless steel is strong and resistant to chipping and breaking, as well as stain-resistant, and therefore is perfect for everyday use. It’s also corrosion-resistant, as long as you don’t scratch the surface. Even when the surface is scratched, the damage is nowhere near as bad as it would be on other materials.
- Hygiene – Kitchens get messy fast, and good hygiene is paramount for your staff and customers. Stainless benches and kitchen appliances are not only simple to clean, but they repel germs and bacteria.
The importance of stainless steel grade for fit-outs
Not all stainless steel is created equal, so when choosing your contractor, ensure they use the appropriate material for your project. Stainless steel must meet certain requirements to be food-safe, so the major difference between the various grades is their durability and strength.
Grades of stainless steel include:
304 Grade Stainless Steel – the most common material used for a commercial kitchen due to its attractive shine, durability and corrosion resistance.
316 Grade Stainless Steel – has a higher corrosion resistance, especially from chloride, and is often used in kitchens, cookware and marine equipment.
A quality stainless steel fabrication company will prioritise using 304 and 316-grade stainless steel for service kitchens.
Key considerations for a commercial kitchen fit-out
The first thing you’ll need to know is, what is this kitchen for? We know this sounds like a basic question but knowing exactly what you plan to do with your commercial kitchen will be the seed from which your amazing new prep space will grow. A kitchen is a finely tuned mechanism, so careful planning and design are vital to make sure your kitchen is up and running with as few hiccups as possible. Here are a few considerations you’ll need to keep in mind…
Understanding your finances and being realistic about your budget is the number one way to avoid pain and problems down the line. To keep your budget on track, be open with your builder and they’ll find a way to design a kitchen that’ll meet your needs without blowing your finances.
A well-planned commercial kitchen layout needs to be able to accommodate your staff and allow all necessary processes to flow. Too small or poorly designed layouts can lead to people bumping into each other, time wasted or even injuries.
Your choice of material isn’t just about how your kitchen looks but has a practical influence on your daily activities. While some materials look great, they can also be difficult to clean or may not be heat resistant, making them poor choices for a commercial kitchen.
While equipment and bench space will be the first things that come to mind, having proper storage facilities is just as important to running a successful kitchen. We’ve all been frustrated by insufficient storage space, but this can slow down productivity and even raise safety concerns in a commercial kitchen.
If the above all sounds overwhelming, remember that you don’t have to decide this alone. Do some research on other kitchens similar to what you’re planning, or talk to an expert who’s designed kitchens before.
The most important stainless kitchen equipment to invest in
This is where a lot of the action will be taking place, day in and day out, so you’ll want a bench that will take whatever you throw at it. Stainless steel benches provide a sturdy worktop with a hygienic, easy-to-clean surface.
Though it may not be the most exciting part of your new venture, kitchen ventilation is essential in any commercial food prep area. As well as ridding your work area of smoke and steam, a good ventilation system will capture smells, trap grease, increase visibility and limit fire risks, all of which lead to a safer and more hygienic work environment. Stainless Steel is easy to clean and sturdy, making it the perfect material for ventilation systems.
No one wants mould in their kitchen, but without taking proper precautions, this is a real possibility. When exhuming fumes and moisture from your kitchen, your hood will attract grease, so you’ll need a material that’s sturdy but easy to clean. Stainless Steel is the only material recommended for commercial kitchen range hoods because it is the best.
For your commercial kitchen, you need sturdy, sturdy shelves that can handle a lot of weight to hold all your equipment and supplies.
Stainless steel kitchen sinks ensure sanitary washing and rinsing of hands and food. Sinks can be designed with multiple wells to accommodate your kitchen service flow.
Why custom stainless steel fit-outs are best
Every kitchen will be different, as will the space you’re building in, so it only makes sense to custom-build. With a custom-designed and built steel kitchen fit-out, you can create the perfect setup regardless of the room. The right builder can customise everything (including the kitchen sink) to your specifications or help you work out the right dimensions and designs for your setup.
A key part of building a quality commercial kitchen is finding the perfect team. With over 20 years of experience in custom stainless steel fabrication, Martin Stainless Steel has the expertise and skill to bring your commercial kitchen to life. Our range of skills and passion for quality workmanship will mean you end up with the kitchen of your dreams.
Commercial stainless steel fabrication requires an expert, skilled team and with Martin Stainless Steel, you’ll know you’re in the best hands. Get in touch today to discuss your custom stainless steel commercial kitchen.