Key Areas to Consider when Building a Commercial Kitchen at Home

A stainless kitchen on display

Cooking is an enjoyable hobby for many of us. Some people love cooking so much they build extravagant yet functional commercial kitchens in their own homes. Spurred on by the success of television shows like Masterchef, the past few years has seen a jump in the number of people in Australia opening food/cooking related businesses. This is also driving demand for large commercial grade kitchens, especially in the wealthier suburbs of our major cities.

The process of building a commercial kitchen at home is twofold. The first has to do with complying with state legal requirements. This is especially true if the commercial kitchen is linked to a catering business that is to be run from the home. Ensure your kitchen is build to comply with the laws in your state.

The second aspect involves the basic needs of the kitchen. In the case of a commercial catering operation, a higher standard of materials than those that are sufficient in a typical household kitchen are required. Stainless steel sinks and bench-tops will be necessary to handle the extra wear and tear, and higher grade knives, pots and pans will also be needed. Even in specialised, commercial grade kitchens that are not intended for commercial usage you will often find an excess of stainless steel products and high-end cookware.

We spoke with a Brisbane catering team who, with 20 years experience working in the industry, really know their way around a stainless steel kitchen. They gave us the low down on what works and what doesn’t in any commercial grade kitchen.

Obviously, there is also the need to construct a larger-than-standard kitchen area made from more durable materials. In addition, the kitchen layout has to be thoroughly planned in order to ensure smooth flow during operations. Given this, building a commercial kitchen at home can be quite costly. This need not be the case as the traditional home kitchen can be renovated to represent the basic features of a commercially-run kitchen, as long as there is enough space to work with initially.

While space is an issue, as long as there is room to move, then it is possible to give the impression that you are a professional in the kitchen to anyone who comes to visit. If you’re looking for more than just a showpiece however, the more important aspect of building the desired kitchen is coming up with a good construction plan.

potshangingTowards this end, your best plan is to find a qualified and reputable professionals to help you do the job. Here at Cornall DIY we advocate the do-it-yourself mentality, but for most of us when it comes to big jobs like this one, a bit of help will never go astray. If you are planning on running a business from the premises, structural architects may be necessary to examining the kitchen walls as well as the flooring to determine its suitability for commercial operations. These professionals will also prove to be helpful when it comes to preparing the kitchen design to ensure that this complies with existing safety standards. Commercial kitchens involve the use of heavier kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and cooking ranges. For this, the installation of support structures may also be necessary.

In close coordination with the architect, building a commercial kitchen at home should ideally be completed by following a layout. With this as guide, specific workstations can be easily designed alongside other essential features like lighting, kitchen sinks, exhaust systems, storage equipments, and with provisions for water and other specialized equipment.

In this regard, you will likely need the help of several other licensed professionals. These include plumbers to handle pipework installation as well as electricians who will install and inspect the kitchen’s electrical wiring. When hiring, the basic requirements to look out for are experience and the appropriate certifications from the concerned government agency. Do not risk using an unqualified or unlicensed contractor as this could end in disaster and eventuate in a lot more trouble than you could possibly imagine.

High-grade commercial kitchen appliances will need to be purchased. To try and save on costs you can look for second-hand equipment that may be for sale from other catering/food related businesses. If you prefer to purchase your kitchen equipment brand new, take a look online for a wholesaler of commercial kitchens, white-goods and accessories. Ideally, it is best to contact several manufacturers to ensure that the appliances are being purchased at a reasonable price and are suitable for your requirements. Additionally, large stainless kitchen cabinets may have to be installed in order to accommodate the need for more storage space.

Finally, building a commercial kitchen at home should be completed by running a test run of the entire area. Focus should be in ensuring that the electricity, plumbing, lighting, and exhaust systems are fully functional. While building a commercial kitchen can be an expensive operation, if you take your time to do your research, and work with what you have or buy second-hand rather than purchasing everything brand new, it can end up costing you less than you might expect.