Building a commercial kitchen? Why should you use a specialist over a general cabinet maker?

posted in: Aged Care, Education | 0

If you are considering a new commercial kitchen rebuild or refurbishment, it is important to consider your supply partners. A great partner can make for a great outcome in your new facility. Usually, you will need to choose between a Joiner or a professional kitchen Fit-out Specialist and choosing between them can often be a difficult choice for most people. A commercial kitchen is a specialised work space and it is important that the design considers products and services for a functional and compliant outcome. Usually, architects won’t be familiar with designing commercial kitchens which can lead to them specifying non-experienced and general Cabinet Makers that will most likely overlook a lot of aspects in your new facility. In this article we point out some key reasons on why you should use a commercial kitchen specialist over a general Cabinet Maker/Joiner for your new facility.

Experience

A commercial kitchen Fit-out Specialist company has experience in kitchens, this is what they do! They know the market and understand the demands of the space. They can assist with benchtop, cabinetry, and hardware choices to ensure your kitchen space is not only compliant, but functional and long lasting. A specialist can draw on past experiences to ensure you don’t encroach on the same layout, property, and compliance issues that others have experience in the past due to inexperience and bad choices.

Compliance

A commercial kitchen fit-out specialist will be familiar with the Australian Standards and can assist with determining layout requirements for different kitchen types, Not only are there layout considerations, but you also need to consider some compliance factors. Below is a list of some of the questions that need to be considered, a Cabinet Maker doesn’t specialise in commercial kitchens so it is unlikely they would even consider any of the following compliance questions:

  • What size fat collection pit do I require?
  • Do I require a reverse solenoid for my emergency shut off?
  • How far can I place GPO above the benchtop?
  • Do my fridge and freezer need to be vented?
  • What is the best layout for good workflow and ROI?

There is a high chance that a general cabinet maker won’t be able to provide you with these answers but with a specialist, this is second nature!

Product

There is a big difference between a general Joiner and a commercial kitchen fit-out specialist. Kitchen benching needs to be good grade of stainless steel and have containment in specific areas of the kitchen. There are many options for kitchen benchtops that are suitable for their own specific applications and it is a great idea to acquire samples and do you own testing to ensure you are making the best decision. General Benchtops are not suitable for commercial kitchen use, they will not stand up to the long-term rigors of the education and aged care facility requirements.

Surprising enough, there is often very little difference in the costing between general joinery and a specialist commercial kitchen furniture. A good kitchen fit-out specialist will have access to specific products and systems which will work in your favour as they purchase their product in large volumes bringing the cost down significantly. If you look at Return on Investment (ROI) in the long term, the cost of 304 grade stainless kitchen benchtop will pay for itself time and time again compared to a general domestic/commercial product. Ensure you consider ROI in your costing process, a Joiner may appear to be a saving at the time, but the long-term complications of quality, resistance, and compliance may come back to haunt you sooner than you think.

In Summary

  • Have you aligned yourself with an experienced team?
  • Has your kitchen been filtered through the Australian Standards?
  • Is your design fit for purpose?
  • Has your architect designed a commercial kitchen before?
  • Does your supplier of choice have good credibility?
  • Is the product suitable for the application?
  • Have you tested the product?
  • Are you considering ROI in your costings?

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