Kitchen Design 101 – Getting Started

Section 1 – The Beginning

Once you have made the decision to build a new facility with a commercial kitchen, or remodel/expand the existing kitchen facility in your building, you will need to take one of the following steps to begin:

1. You go directly to the Architect to develop the location and preliminary design for the facility.

2. You request that several Architectural firms provide information on their firms and requests information on the Subtrades (i.e., Electrical/Plumbing/ Mechanical Engineers, Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer),etc.) to evaluate and select a firm to assist you with the project.

3. You hire an Architect or Project Control firm to develop the location and the preliminary design of the facility and prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) for other Architectural firms to provide the Architectural services for the design of your new facility.

Request for Proposal

The Architect developing the RFP may or may not be requested to provide a proposal for this work. The RFP should provide basic information on the project by the owner or architect as to type and size of building, etc. and generally requires information on all of the team members; the architect needs to provide information on:

• Personnel to be assigned to the project and their resumes

• Finances to ensure that the company is financially capable of handling the project

• Firm history

• Similar projects, with examples and pictures

• Methods of operations, explain how they do business

• Resumes and information on Consultants, i.e., Engineers, Landscaping, IT, Foodservice, etc.

Foodservice Consultant

The Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) should also be brought in as early as possible in the planning process to ensure there is adequate space provided to meet your vision of the foodservice area. This does not always happen, and by the time the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) is brought,in most of the floor spaces have been designed or allocated for other purposes.

Section 2 – Kitchen Design 101 – Concept

Architect plus a Kitchen Designer (Foodservice Consultant)

You may have already done a preliminary programming exercise with either an architect or programming firm to develop a location and a preliminary concept for the building. You may have done some of the concept for the facility and foodservice areas (kitchen and servery) but this is just the beginning.

Once you have selected the architectural firm to work with you on the project, they will have further meetings with you to develop and finalize the program for the building that will include the kitchen design. During these meetings, they will assist you with the continuing development of the required areas within the building and the overall footprint of the building.

The Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) is normally not included in the design and programming of the facility at this point. We feel that this is an error in the design process!

Why a Foodservice Consultant?

We believe that the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) should be part of this early design process. We will work with you and the Architect to identify the number of potential customers and operational functions, which will significantly impact the design process.

We will work with you and/or the chef/operator to develop the type of service and food products that will be provided.

We will do preliminary block plans and a sketch of the necessary functional area(s) to allow for the proper amount of square footage. This will allow the square footage required for the kitchen design to be programmed into the project as part of early planning, not as an afterthought.

The information gathered during this stage will be further developed and expanded during the Design Development phase.

Section 3 – Kitchen Design 101 – Program

Foodservice Consultant

Five Oaks Kitchen Design’s approach to a project is to address all planning issues during the pre-design or Concept Development portion of the project.

Five Oaks Kitchen Design will provide the Owner and Architect a “Foodservice Program Questionnaire Form” designed for your facility. (See Appendix)

The program questionnaire will include statements of planning facts, goals, special owner/operator requests, operational characteristics and assumptions, area allocations, and cost estimates.

Unless these items are discussed early and resolved, unspoken assumptions could result in problems as the project develops.

Questionnaire

The Foodservice Program Questionnaire approach gives the Owner, Architect, and the design team the opportunity to understand, in detail, how the foodservice facility will operate and is the basis for the design assumptions. This program is reaction-oriented and we ask all of the team members to review the program, to confirm, refine or expand on any part of the program.

For a design to be effective in the early planning stages, it is important to explicitly state what the directives and proprieties are, so a well coordinated and approved program can be the basis for developing the most successful design.

Foodservice/Planning Considerations

• Corporate Goals & Policies (Operational Objectives/directives)

  • Has the owner pre-established foodservice guidelines, operational profile, or specific financial targets.

• Demand Requirements (Who/How Many we feed)

  • We need to analyze populations by employee categories, location within the facility, and likely participation.

• Serving/Dining Format (How are we serving the employees)

  • Do we need multiple, complementary-format foodservice entities? What are the serving requirements, training/conference center, private dining, executive dining, employee cafeterias, patient feeding, school/institutional feeding, etc?

• Operational Characteristics (How are we going to prepare the food)

  • Should there be an in-house bakery, meat/vegetable preparation area, etc.?
  • Do we need an ingredient control room?
  • Staging areas for remote feeding areas or transport equipment, etc.?
  • How do we encourage self-bussing?

• Functional Relationships (Proximity and adjacency relationships, process flow workstation organization)

  • How can process flow be shortened and streamlined for food preparation, service, warewash, and trash.
  • How can cross-flows or flow restrictions be eliminated or minimized?
  • Have we met all the program objectives?

• Equipment Costs (Capital initial cost)

  • What is the initial foodservice equipment budget and what is the basis for the estimate?
  • How can it be reduced and if necessary, still maintain the design of the project?
  • Long term quality equipment vs less expensive short life equipment.

• Operational Efficiency (Equipment life cycle & labor/staffing costs)

  • In most applications, a 10+ year life cycle is an appropriate factor. Can the facility be designed to use fewer workers, can one person work two stations easily?

• Project Schedule (Planning and Construction management)

  • An early assessment of the project milestones needs to be done to see if there are any constraints on the foodservice planning, bidding, or construction schedules.

• Growth Considerations ( Future Employee Growth)

  • Do we need to develop “soft” spaces for future growth in certain foodservice component areas?
  • Should we size the cold storage assemblies for future growth?

Section 4 – Kitchen Design -101 Schematic Design

Bubble Diagrams

During the schematic design phase, the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) will work with you, and the chef or operator, as well as the architectural team, to develop a floor plan layout using bubble diagrams, of the major functional areas and work stations:

• Receiving

• Storage (Dry, Refrigerator, Freezer, Non-Food, Disposable Paper Goods Storage)

• Preparation Area, dry, vegetable and meat

• Production Area (s) (hot & cold), a la carte cooking/grille

• Waiter pick-up/beverage area (s)

• Serving counters/serving lines

• Warewashing / Potwashing / Pulping

• Other/Specialty Areas

  • Office (s)
  • Toilets/Lockers
  • Bakery
  • Service Bar
  • Service Pantries
  • Executive Kitchens
  • Banquet Kitchen, Dish-up, Staging
  • Tray assembly area
  • Cart Wash

• Seating Areas

By reorganizing the bubble diagram, as necessary, and relocating the relationships of the work areas and flow from one work area to another (with minimal counter flow of product or crossing traffic), we can create a bubble diagram that works.

Block Plans

Once the bubble diagram is completed, we will create a block plan which shows the required square footage for each functional space. This will also further define the space requirements; we will reorganize blocks, as necessary, to incorporate the ideas and fit within the overall plan.

Keep in mind that gross square feet (the sum of all areas on all floors of a building included within the outside faces of its exterior walls, including all vertical penetration areas, for circulation and shaft areas that connect one floor to another.) is larger than net square feet (Net square feet is computed by physically measuring or scaling measurements from the inside faces of surfaces that form the boundaries of the designated areas. Areas defined as building service, circulation, mechanical, and structural should not be included).

Once we have an approved block plan we will create a schematic plan (a drawing intended to explain how something works; a drawing showing the relation between the parts) for your review and approval. We will provide a budget estimate for review based on the estimated cost per square foot.

After the schematic plan is approved, we will move on to laying out the basic equipment as part of the Kitchen Design Development.

To be continued.

Information About Kitchen Designs

Kitchen designs help to make individuals homes more pleasing to look at and functional. Every homeowner appreciates different styles and decorations in this very special place. Designs of today give homeowners better usage of their kitchens by providing better functionality and appearance in this part of their home. Transforming a kitchen to meet your needs can be a very pleasing and desirable task that every homeowner wants to be involved in doing.

An individual’s kitchen is important because it is often used more than any room of the home to prepare food, cook, eat, entertain guest, and for other purposes. Having a space set up to work well for doing all of these things is helpful for getting what you need to do done faster. Kitchen designs may be changing the flooring, adding new appliances and cabinets, rearranging your entire room to fit your needs, adding or taking away wall dividers and adding accessories and storage to your kitchen to give it a brand new look and feel. Kitchen designs help the homeowner get the type of kitchen that they want and make the kitchen a better living space for the entire family. All the tasks and everything that goes on in the kitchen will need to be thought about when preparing for new kitchen designs.

A new design can add more style to an outdated kitchen. New cabinets can do a lot for an outdated kitchen giving it an entire new appearance. The way a kitchen is laid out can make everything more suitable for doing tasks in the room. Kitchen designs can make your work in this area easier getting more done in a shorter amount of time. Each homeowner will have a different idea when it comes to kitchen design. Some people desire more storage and others just want updated appliances. There are people who want to expand a kitchen giving it more space so each person will have to decide for him or herself about what type of kitchen design they will want for their home.

Designing a kitchen is a lot of fun for everyone involved. Deciding what to change can be exciting to the homeowner because kitchen design is like creating an entirely new kitchen. Some of the most desired kitchen designs are adding storage in the kitchen through new cabinets, pantry, cupboards, and shelving. This gives the homeowner more space in the kitchen and allows them to put away clutter that would otherwise be setting out. This will help to keep the kitchen more organized and give it a clean appearance. There are many ways to design a kitchen to help make your home more appealing to you and to others visiting your home. There is no limit to all the ideas that you will be able to come up with for designing your room. When deciding on designs get some ideas from magazines and from looking at other people’s kitchens to decide what would best suit your own space. You will be able to get the style you are looking for and have the creation you have always wanted.

Kitchen Design: What Skills Should You Look for in a Kitchen Designer

Activities that take place in the kitchen set a healthy environment for a family cohesion, this room is generally the most used of all in a family home. The kitchen is generally seen as the heart of any house and therefore it’s design is very important. However, this is only so if the kitchen boasts good working environment, especially those of the cooking equipment. Otherwise, a bad design is equally detrimental to a home and family. Choosing a professional kitchen designer can really make a notable difference to the finished product.

Designing your kitchen could be trusted with two groups of people, either the kitchen re-modelers or you could choose to employ a kitchen designer. However, the specifications of these two groups of people have a huge amount of difference, though they have some some similarities. Generally a kitchen designer will possess better kitchen knowledge in addition to having a wider selection of original layout tips for you new kitchen.

Below are some of the skills that a quality kitchen designer should possess:

Advanced Education levels- first, a good certified kitchen designer (CKD) should have a good understanding of the industry’s set standards that one is required to have to effectively undertake the supervision of a kitchen construction and completion and those involving all the kitchen-remodeling activities. He/she should possess vast knowledge on the national and local design building codes and preferably, the National Kitchen and Bath Association principles. In addition, he should be very conversant with the quality of the material to be used in the construction of different types of product designs, for maximum safety during use. This knowledge will be of great help in making a kitchen project a success.

Originality– one other skill that a designer should be gifted in is the ability of making 100% original kitchen designs. This is possible with most designers since most of them have advanced design skills and ideas and will make your kitchen to be uniquely beautiful.

Good communication skills– this may seem like an obvious qualification but it is very important as it helps the designer to understand the clients specification requirements so that the these can be transferred into functional kitchen designs that are efficient and error- free.

A great researcher– not even the finest designer is good enough to ignore the modern technology inventions in all aspects of life. A professional designer will always be researching to find methods than can be put on place by homeowners to reduce the costs of kitchen design, kitchen renovations and remodeling. He should also be able to find new and better methods that are cost efficient on a certain kitchen designs, without making the final design less grand.

Assessment skills– a skilled kitchen designer should be in a position to evaluate the client’s budget, specifications and more importantly the lifestyle. This will enable him/her to develop the best kitchen layout ideal for the client’s goals. This would probably lead to repeated customers.

Time frame– a skilled designer will find working even with sophisticated clients’ specification easy thus they will design your kitchen into what you want within the shortest time possible, without comprising the quality of the Kitchen Design.