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  • John Marks

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Commercial Kitchen Designer

All decisions you make for your commercial kitchen today will echo through the next decade. A well-planned kitchen, equipped with quality equipment and maintained with care, can be your reliable ally for 10, maybe 15 years. But a hasty, poorly designed kitchen? That's the kind of error that keeps on taking, demanding fixes and funds you never planned to spend.

Our advice: Choose your commercial kitchen designers wisely so your kitchen will be a source of pride, not a pitfall, for years to come. Here's what to look for when buying design and installation services.

Professional Chef in commercial kitchen

1. Expertise in Efficient Layouts

An experienced commercial kitchen designer brings a wealth of knowledge in optimising the restaurant kitchen layout, assembly line layout, and zoning configurations. This way, you minimise unnecessary movement within the kitchen, ensuring a smooth, logical flow of tasks and improving productivity. The high-quality, timely service elevates the dining experience for patrons and impacts staff morale by reducing stress and confusion in the kitchen.

A well-designed kitchen takes into account:

  • The ventilation system — It's essential for maintaining a comfortable working environment and managing odours and smoke.

  • Easy supervision—Strategic placement enables the executive chef or manager to oversee food prep operations seamlessly and quickly resolve any issues that arise.

  • Adaptability—Your commercial kitchen layout must be flexible enough to accommodate menu changes and new culinary techniques without requiring costly overhauls.

Before hiring a commercial kitchen designer, request their portfolio or case studies of past projects. This allows you to evaluate their design process for creating functional and productive kitchen environments.

2. Focus on Energy Efficiency

Work with a designer who prioritises energy-saving practices for reduced utility bills and a lower carbon footprint. An experienced designer will assess the layout and cooking equipment needs with an eye toward reducing energy use.

This will lead to significant cost savings in the long run:


Energy Consumption

Savings with Energy-Efficient Models



Up to 80% with infra-red elements



Significant due to less water use and better insulation



Up to 50% with Combi-ovens offering better efficiency

Refrigerators / Freezers


Up to 10% through optimization, more with modern features

Commercial kitchen designers demonstrate consideration for energy consumption through their choice of catering equipment, layout designs that promote an efficient workflow, and integration of technologies that minimise energy use while maximising productivity. When presenting designs, advanced software like AutoCAD, Revit, and SketchUp will help them show how energy efficiency is integrated into the kitchen layout, allowing for a detailed review and understanding of the proposed measures.

3. Maintenance and Cleanliness Integration

The designer should demonstrate a clear understanding of the workflow within a commercial kitchen to facilitate easy cleaning and maintenance. This focus embeds best practices into the fabric of the kitchen's design, preventing cross-contamination and ensuring a sanitary environment in line with public health guidelines.

You need innovative and creative ideas that can also support the longevity and reliability of the kitchen's operation. Designs showcasing strategically placed zones for different kitchen activities are signs of a designer's commitment to maintenance and cleanliness.

Additionally, a focus on sanitation should be evident in the designer's approach, with considerations for easy-to-clean surfaces, adequate drainage systems, and proper ventilation to minimise the buildup of harmful bacteria.

4. Regulatory Compliance

Nothing is more helpful than having an expert well-versed in the complexities of health codes and fire safety systems. This knowledge protects your business against fines or operational shutdowns without you having to move your attention from the culinary experience to the bureaucratic hurdles.

Compliant commercial kitchen solutions streamline operations and fortify your business against potential legal and operational hurdles, setting the stage for a successful and reputable name in the industry.

You want to work with a commercial kitchen designer who can consider all the small details that make the big difference in the catering industry — from the proper placement of sinks and waste disposal units to ensuring adequate ventilation and fire safety measures. This meticulous integration of safety and sanitation standards into the design ensures the kitchen functions efficiently and passes inspections with flying colours.

5. Adaptability and Flexibility

A forward-thinking designer addresses current needs and anticipates future changes — your menu evolves to meet customer preferences, so your kitchen must accommodate these updates with minimum or no costs.

Your commercial kitchen layout and infrastructure should support shifts, whether you’re scaling up operations, incorporating new cooking techniques, or transitioning to different culinary styles. To do so, you must incorporate elements like transferable food preparation areas, scalable storage space, and versatile utility hookups into the design.

Benefits of Working with The Right Commercial Kitchen Designer

  • Designers ensure every available space in your commercial kitchen is efficiently used, enhances operational flow and prevents bottlenecks.

  • Their deep knowledge of health and safety regulations guarantees a commercial kitchen design that adheres to all legal standards, mitigating the risk of violations and associated costs.

  • With commercial kitchen layouts like assembly lines or zoning, designers streamline kitchen operations from preparation to serving, boosting staff productivity and reducing service times.

  • Experts incorporate energy-efficient practices and strategically place catering equipment to reduce utility costs and support environmental sustainability.

  • Professionals consider your business's long-term needs. They allow for easy updates to the menu and equipment, saving time and money on future renovations.

  • They can plan around the latest kitchen equipment and technologies, bringing new efficiencies and capabilities to your catering operations.

  • Their commercial kitchen designs prioritise easy-to-clean layouts that uphold hygiene standards and improve efficiency, ensuring a clean and safe environment for food preparation.

Effective layouts facilitate easier supervision and communication among the kitchen staff, improving food quality and faster issue resolution.

Your Commercial Kitchen Design by CMKE

CMKE commercial kitchen design solutions meet the highest quality standards for restaurants, cafes, or food trucks. Our collaborations with multiple vendors ensure you receive tailor-made solutions that optimise space and power consumption to meet your unique requirements.

With a strong emphasis on sustainability, CMKE commercial kitchens aim to reduce carbon footprints through eco-friendly design and installation practices. Coupled with our exceptional customer service and comprehensive maintenance packages for kitchen equipment, we work efficiently to maximise the longevity and performance of your investment.

Contact us for further details about commercial kitchen design, equipment, installation, and maintenance.

We're happy to provide information and guidance for designing or upgrading your kitchen space.



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