Running a cost-effective kitchen is about more than turning off the faucet when it’s not in use or shutting off the lights at night.
Keeping excess labor to a minimum and cultivating efficiencies within everyday processes allow kitchens to run as smoothly as possible. And the kitchen design and equipment have a lot to do with how well that can be done.
There are myriad ways that poor planning or inappropriate equipment choices can lead to inefficiencies, costing your operation time and money. If you haven’t revisited your kitchen specs in a while, it may be time for a water audit or a simpler spec audit to ensure form and function fit your operation.
Here are three considerations when you’re surveying how to make a kitchen run more smoothly:
The first step in creating an efficient kitchen is to match the equipment to the kitchen’s day-to-day needs. What’s on the menu? Will the kitchen need a prep area? Pot sink? Is baking part of the plan?
Consider these options for saving time and money:
- Reduce dish-scrubbing time and use only the water you need with a spray valve matched to your kitchen’s needs. Choose a more powerful flow and spray pattern for kitchens that produce baked-on dishes; go with a lighter, more water-conserving flow for lighter pre-rinsing.
- Choose the right faucet water flow for the job at hand. Low-flow will save water and money at hand sinks and prep sinks. Pot sinks are best left with unrestricted flow to fill pots quickly, saving valuable time.
Walk it out
Making sure you understand how a kitchen will operate under real-life conditions is the best defense against a poor design that could hamper efficiency.
- Place equipment in areas where it makes sense for the tasks at hand. You wouldn’t put the cutting board on the other side of the kitchen from the stove. Consider those same needs when it comes to plumbing. A smooth workflow cuts down on the number of steps employees must take to complete regular tasks.
- Be generous with hand sinks. Studies have shown that employees wash their hands more when there’s a sink nearby, reducing the risk of accidental contamination.
Tools for the job
You know you’ll need basics like sinks and faucets, but there are other tools that may help your kitchen run more efficiently and effectively.
- Streamline clean-up at day’s end with hose reels, which replace the clunky and potentially hazardous hoses piled on floors or in back rooms.
- Consider sensor faucets for back-of-the-house sinks where they can save water (up to a gallon per hand wash) and reduce cross-contamination while also making it even easier for workers to wash hands.
for more information and details on products that can help kitchens improve efficiency and their bottom line.