The kitchen as “healthy heart”
The kitchen is the heart of any food service business. Like a human heart, its job is to pump and circulate vital blood during the rest of the operation. Therefore, the location of the kitchen will affect the quality of the food, the number of guests who can dine at a given time of day, the duties and workload of the servers, as well as kitchen employees, utility costs and even the atmosphere of the dining room. . Remember, each of these elements also figures into the overall profitability of the business.
A poorly designed kitchen can make preparing and serving food more difficult than it should be, and can even undermine staff morale. So, if a new restaurateur has little money to spend on professional designers, that money is likely to be better spent planning the location and layout of the kitchen, the area where the overall costs of equipment, ventilation, plumbing, and storage come together. construction for a great investment.
Kitchen designers today also strive to consider the comfort and safety of the people who work in them. They realize that human engineering will have positive effects on worker productivity and morale. Each of the following topics must be addressed to make the kitchen “heart healthy.”
has. Sufficient space to perform the required tasks. In another part of this chapter, you will learn about the various areas of production and preparation in a commercial kitchen. Each of these requires different amounts and configurations of space. A baker shaping rolls, for example, has different space needs than a waiter filling glasses of iced tea. Space requirements are generally influenced by:
1. The number of people working in a specific area.
2. The amount and types of equipment required in the work area.
3. The amount of storage required for immediate access supplies.
4. The types of products that are made in the area.
5. The amount of space needed to move equipment, open appliance doors, etc.
b. Adequate space. If an aisle isn’t wide enough, employees will have a hard time working comfortably in the space, and it may even be insufficient to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If the aisle is too wide, employees add steps and fatigue to their workdays. In addition to foot traffic, there will be rolling carts and equipment constantly. When space is at a premium, some narrow hallways can be declared one-way. However, in general, kitchen aisles should be at least 36 inches wide, and wider if they have two-way traffic or moving cart traffic.
against Intelligent design to minimize the risk of injury. Most people have to stretch, twist, lift and bend to get their work done, but if these movements are repetitive or excessive, they become unnecessarily strenuous and can lead to injuries ranging from back problems to carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, most culinary tasks require the use of some type of surface space. It should be the correct height for the task and located within easy reach of the employees who will use it. Putting heavy equipment on rolling carts or ordering them on wheels also prevents back injuries.
d. Properly designed equipment, in good working condition. Sharp knives, red-hot stoves, and motorized equipment are a part of any kitchen, but they don’t have to invite disaster. Look for security features as you shop. On heated equipment, for example, check the amount of insulation and order insulated handles and door locking safety mechanisms.
me. Comfortable temperature and humidity control. Many restaurant owners are concerned with making their guests feel comfortable, but what about employees who spend entire workdays there? The ideal balance of fresh air, humidity, and air movement is a technical issue best left to ventilation experts. What we have noticed is that many commercial kitchens pay attention to grease control because it is part of the fire code requirements, but in general the kitchen space is not adequately air conditioned.
F. Adequate lighting for required tasks. For kitchens, proper lighting includes attention to glare and shadows, as well as light levels. Tiredness sets in and errors multiply when lighting is insufficient; and good lighting is also necessary to monitor the sanitation of food, surfaces and utensils.
gram. Noise control and reduction. Kitchens can be noisy places, from chefs barking orders to the hum of appliances and rattling dishwashers. It is no longer enough to prevent the noise from the kitchen from spreading to the dining room. We can also learn to plan wisely by thinking of the restaurant kitchen as a manufacturing plant: with a combination of labor and raw materials, a product results. The unique aspect of foodservice is that this finished product is sold at a retail outlet attached to the factory.
Like any other type of manufacturing plant, productivity is highest when assembly lines and machinery are arranged in a logical sequential order to put components together. In foodservice, this includes everything from preparing a salad to delivering orders so no guest has to wait too long for a meal.