The rise in popularity of the open plan kitchen began in the home (thanks to Kevin McCloud and his never ending quest for light and space) and in peoples pursuit of the dream room, countless walls were knocked down to create airy and user friendly family homes. But the open plan kitchen has an arch enemy – cooking smells; while it’s nice to have a house that smells like cookies or freshly baked bread, the same cannot be said if you have had seafood or a strong curry for dinner! It’s not just the smells that can turn up your nose, after a while, poor extraction can mean that you can have a dirty kitchen with greasy build up.
Luckily, for the home kitchen there are a vast range of elegant and design friendly extraction hoods and ventilation systems that can pop up, come down and hide away if you so desire, and they also offer superb functionality.
The media horror stories over the last decade has meant that the open kitchen trend is becoming increasingly popular in restaurants and eateries of all size and stature. Not only does it allow chefs to showcase their talents in creating culinary delights and commanding the their team in their natural habitat, whilst allowing the sights and smells to really work up an appetite in anticipation, but it offers a sense of transparency and honesty to its customers – there is nowhere for them to hide, we can see exactly how our meal is treated at each stage, offering quality assurance and an appreciation of the craftsmanship that has gone into the meal.
As well as adding an extra dimension to the diner’s experience, it’s a very clever stance from a branding perspective. CanopyUK recently undertook a project with global food giant Pizza Hut who decided to embrace the new trend in branding by taking their famous red colour from the dining area into the kitchen in the form of bespoke extractor hoods. Pizza Hut rebranded in 2014 to appeal to the younger generation of eaters, complete with a vibrant new red logo, a colour that they were keen to flow throughout all of the rooms in the restaurants.
Biting at their heels is fast food chain KFC who revealed new contemporary plans for their 870 Uk stores last year. The new concept outlets will feature semi open plan kitchens, as well as more informal furniture like low hanging copper lights and inviting comfortable booths. Eager to improve their reputation, the open plan chicken will allow their customers to see how fresh the food is that is being prepared. The contemporary theme will also run into the kitchens as outdated equipment has been updated for new technology, giving the area a streamlined and modern appearance.
This is a theme that is seeing a surge; large restaurant chains and independent venues are all upping their game in providing their diners with an all-encompassing dining experience. From the moment they walk through the door, the brand and its values flood the senses, from the menu, the décor, the bar and now the kitchen, where the mundane stainless steel is being replaced with customised equipment – making it both a functional and aesthetically pleasing focal point.