Designing a commercial kitchen can be a daunting task and it is often a question of how many people you should include in the design process. Too many people and personalities can create confusion that will lead to delays in the design process. It is important to know who you should include and understand how they could add value to the design. In this article, we make some suggestions as to who to include and why.
Architect vs Designer: Discover how you can design a fully functional Commercial Kitchen without wasting time and money.
One of the most common questions facilities managers ask is: ‘Should we hire an architect for our commercial kitchen fit out?’ For most small to medium projects, such as renovating an existing facility or even designing a brand-new kitchen, the answer is no. A Kitchen Equipment Contractor can generally handle both the initial design and the construction end of the project.
For large additions, whole new buildings, and multi-level facilities you may need to consider hiring an architect to help plan the project. An architect will ensure the aesthetic considerations meld with the structural requirements of the project and that the space is both liveable and aesthetically pleasing.
But do you really need an architect and what are the benefits of rather using a Commercial Kitchen Consultant for your next refit?
Here are 5 key tips to help you decide:
Architects are trained in design theory, engineering, and project management. Rates vary by region and the individual architect, but are usually very costly. For example, a typical architect’s fees for the design of a single-room kitchen facility would exceed $10,000, a cost that could no doubt be spent on more useful areas. In addition to this, architects will often charge 5-10% of the project cost to oversee and manage the it. In contrast, Commercial Kitchen Consultants usually incorporate their design costs into the complete package, therefore providing free design in exchange for utilising their supply and installation offering a win-win situation.
- Specific Knowledge
Whilst Architects are skilled at coming up with inventive ideas to solve complex design problems, Commercial Kitchen Consultants have a wealth of knowledge to offer when it comes to practical and functional layout designs. Too often we hear: ‘It looks great but is a totally impractical design!’ Commercial Kitchen Consultants live and breathe kitchens; they have been in thousands of kitchens and heard thousands of stories from the coalface as to what works and what is impractical and unworkable. They understand the challenges and frustrations of chefs; home economics teachers; and other kitchen professionals and they have solutions and recommendations that alleviate these.
- A 360-degree approach
Commercial Kitchen Consultants have a holistic approach to kitchen design. Not only can they advise on benching layouts, but they can also assist with the implementation of equipment and processes within your kitchen. This will ensure you get the technical support you require and optimize for operational excellence. Areas they can advise in include: food storage, preparation, cooking equipment, warewashing, temperature control, fume extraction, and display. The performance specifications, layout and size of these items has a huge impact on the success of the upgrade or new facility. The legal requirements such as hand washing and waste disposal are also taken into consideration.
- Stakeholder engagement
Often the personnel who will actually be using the facility get left out of the design process. Architects tend to consult closely with top end executives, builders and project managers and ignore the end user. The result… a nice-looking facility with disengaged staff who are disappointed with the end product. Commercial Kitchen Consultants go to great lengths to include and involve all stakeholders. Whilst not every idea may be feasible, it gives all parties the opportunity to voice their opinions which often include some very helpful design ideas. The result, an engaged and happy team that feels they had direct involvement in the delivery of the facility.
- And finally, The Project itself
By using a Commercial Kitchen consultant that can both design and construct your project, successful outcomes are guaranteed. The advantages are obvious; the consultant will design the space around products they are familiar with and can install with ease and speed. Modularity, space effectiveness and after sales support are all integral to the success of your kitchen. The consultant will also assist with budget fit and costing options providing you with unsurpassed value and peace of mind.
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