You simply can’t walk past a high street restaurant without getting a glimpse of the inner workings of the kitchen.
With our interest in TV chefs on the increase and the need for transparency in the food industry, the open plan kitchen is fast becoming a trend that offers restaurants the opportunity to showcase their kitchen talent.
It was recently reported by The Daily Mail that amongst the many brands that are eager to be more honest about their food, KFC are going to be leading the way in a bid to secure their future in the fast food market.
Taking the lead from the biggest names in the commercial food industry, the trend is now trickling down to the independent restaurants who are out to prove they have just as much to offer, if not more in the way of experience dining.
It’s no longer just about serving up great food. Diners want to feel as though they’re getting a unique experience and seeing their food go from pan to plate.
John Ellingham from Canopy UK explains further, “We’ve had the privilege of working both in open plan kitchens in fast food chains such as Pizza Hut, as well as highly established independent restaurants such as Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts. From our years of experience within the catering industry there’s never been such a big need for food establishments to be clear about the process that their food takes. Diners want to see the journey and feel part of it”.
Of course implementing an open plan kitchen is no easy feat but it can be achieved when the right steps are followed and there is clear communication between both the kitchen staff and the restauranteur.
Call in the Experts
As a chef your focus should be on the food, so calling in the experts to help you design the kitchen you require is the best way to ensure that you get the functionality you need as well as an attractive design.
If you know what you need from your kitchen consult with other businesses and industry professionals who can cater to the budget restraints that you have.
There are often cases where restauranteurs are eager to please their new kitchen staff with a pre-built kitchen, but this can in fact be a costly decision later on down the line as it may not fit well with the process the staff needs or fit the requirements for achieving the menu.
If you’re lucky enough to have free reign over the design of the kitchen, call in the experts.
It’s More than Functionality
The key elements of an open plan kitchen is the fact that they need to be functional, offer the same health & safety standards as a traditional kitchen, but also impress the diners who have full view of the process.
As well as providing outstanding food, there is now an opportunity to showcase the skills that are in the kitchen and make it just as much a part of the menu as the food.
Make the kitchen work in tune with the interior of the restaurant and give it the same feeling as the environment.
The benefit of many open plan kitchens is the fact that it is often the contributing factor in setting the mood in the restaurant, so it works for bringing an atmosphere that diners will come for.
Find More Ways than One
When you’re limited for space in a kitchen, as many independent restaurants can be, it’s essential that you make the most of the room you’ve got and attempt to find kitchen equipment that’s got multi-functional uses.
Movable modular units are often a favoured choice as they are not only clean and compact, but they also give you the chance to move them if you need to chop and change the kitchen layout.
Think outside of the box with your equipment and it could provide you with better solutions.
If you’re looking to rejuvenate your restaurant with this trend take into consideration each of these steps and do a little research at how some of the big brands have implemented it.
You could certainly learn a trick or two.
John Ellingham – Director Canopy UK