Efficiency Engineering for Your Commercial Kitchen

By TriMark R.W. Smith

Efficiency Engineering for Your Commercial Kitchen

When it comes to designing, planning and engineering an operationally sound commercial kitchen, it’s important to understand the intricate costs and considerations involved. Whether opening a new restaurant or just remodeling, there are several ways to help you save and have a more efficient kitchen.

Equipment Purchasing and Installation

A tendency by some customers is to immediately go for the ‘least’ expensive equipment, but there are multiple decisions to pursue before selecting a particular item.

Monthly Energy & Utility Fees

Kitchen equipment can drastically vary between models, making it difficult to determine which would be the best option to save on monthly fees. For example, a less expensive fryer may be 25% less energy efficient resulting in higher utility bills. If it also relies on manual oil filtering, it may require 30% more replacement oil than a higher priced fryer due to inefficiency and waste. Factor in the risk associated with employees handling the oil and all of these issues that can increase your investment cost quickly.

Ultimately, a less expensive fryer could end up costing you more in the long run than an expensive model. This is why it is important to take all aspects into consideration before making a decision.

Energy Rebates

Buying energy efficient products can be very beneficial especially if there are special offers and rebates to take advantage of. One great example is Energy Star. It is a program that awards energy efficient qualifiers on commercial equipment to help save both energy and money.

Product Quality & Ongoing Maintenance Requirements

Determining the best quality product takes more than just a quick glance. Various manufacturers offer equipment options that are specific to certain needs. Be sure to evaluate your menu and consider what would best execute those dishes. Research each piece separately and think about the projected life as well as what ongoing repairs may come with it. These two things could cause an even bigger cost for you in the future.

Minimize Over-Spending or Over-Specifying

Collaborating with a commercial kitchen design and build specialist can help tremendously when deciding on the right equipment. The specialists will ask questions to gain a full understanding of your needs. It’s at this point they can propose the best solution for your kitchen.

For example, if an operator is only planning for 10% of the menu and/or sales to come from fried foods, then investing in a fast recovery time fryer with automatic cook timers and oil filtering isn’t the best use of resources. That cost may be better spent in more critical aspects of your business. Therefore, understanding the usage pattern is the KEY to making the correct decision.

Overall, there’s no one-size fits all solution when determining equipment specifications and considering efficiency, but there are many potential trade-offs that could be made. Be sure to ask a specialist or research strategies to see what you can do to impact efficiency.

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1 Comment on Efficiency Engineering for Your Commercial Kitchen

  1. sean
    May 12, 2015 9:02 am at 9:02 am (4 years ago)

    The costs accrued by commercial kitchens is always shocking to me. Even the power generated by all of the equipment leaves the owners with really high power bills. Not to mention the cost of the appliances, installation, and upkeep. I really like these suggestions on engineering and efficient kitchen. I think that the fact that you point out long-term cost considerations is fantastic. In your example of the fryer that more expensive fryer may pay itself off in as little as 6 months, after that you will be saving money. These are all great suggestions, thank you!

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