So, you’ve decided to open up your own restaurant. Before you can get to the cooking and bringing in customers, you’re going to need to build a kitchen.

There’s more to good restaurant kitchen design than a place to prep your food. It should be as gorgeous as it is functional. The layout you choose needs to center around the food that you’re going to be preparing and of course, it should comply with your local health and safety codes.

Once you have a design that can do that, it’s all a matter of opening up shop and filling empty bellies.

Check out this guide to learn more.

Commercial Kitchen Layouts

Before you can break out the designing software and start planning your dream commercial kitchen, you need to decide what layout you want to use. There are five main types, assembly line, island, zone-style, gallery, and open kitchen.

Assembly Line

The assembly line layout consists of a row of islands. Food prep starts on one end and is passed through the line until it’s ready to go out to the customer.

This design works best if you have multiple chefs in the kitchen who are all responsible for a certain aspect of the cooking.


Island-style commercial kitchens have a central meal cooking area with several other stations around the perimeter of it. Many people go with a food prep station, dishwashing area, and storage area.

This layout makes it easy for your kitchen staff to communicate with each other and allows for the head chef in charge to give orders.


The zone-style layout is sort of self-explanatory. Each activity that goes on in the kitchen has its own special section. You could have a sandwich zone, soup and salad zone, and whatever else you think you’ll need.

This design will keep your kitchen organized and allow you to prepare several different types of meals at once.

In a gallery layout, all the equipment and prep stations are on one parameter of the kitchen. It’s a pretty tight fit.

If you’re working with a large space then the few commercial kitchen layout options we mentioned above will suit your needs. If you’re cooking in a food truck, however, the gallery design is the only choice you have.

Open Kitchen

An open kitchen allows your customers to see what’s cooking behind the scenes. Any of the layouts we mentioned can be paired with an open kitchen if you take out one of the walls.

Your customers will find it entertaining and it will set you apart from your competitors. Just make sure that you keep the hot appliances well away from the customers.

Restaurant Kitchen Design Considerations

We know, choosing a layout isn’t easy. Keep these factors in mind to help narrow down your options a little.

Make a List of Food to Prepare

Make a detailed list of all the foods that you’re thinking about offering on your menu. This will help you determine how much food prep and storage space you need.

For example, if you have a lengthy menu with tons of food options, you may not want to go with a small gallery restaurant kitchen layout.

Involve Your Chef

You can involve all the kitchen designers you want but the truth of the matter is, nobody knows your kitchen quite like the head chef in charge. They know your menu and how much space will be needed to accommodate it.

They’ll also have a good idea of how to design the space so it’s functional to all the cooks. Listen to their judgment.

Research Your Local Codes

Your local health codes will have a huge bearing over the design of your kitchen. You have to keep health codes, safety protocols, and fire codes in mind.

If your food prep station is too close to unsanitary areas like your sink, you may get shut down faster than you open.


How big of a menu do you have? Do you have daily specials that cause you to have to shake things up every day? Are you planning on making seasonal changes to your menu?

You’re going to need a restaurant layout that’s flexible to all these tiny changes you’ll be making throughout the year.


Your kitchen needs to be so easy to navigate that a novice could cook an outstanding meal in it. Only use the exact equipment you need to save space and to make things a little easier on your cooks.

Training and Supervision

Your main cook is going to be training line cooks and other chefs. They’ll need plenty of space to do it. Consider including a small room in the back for this purpose.

Your head chef is also going to need to have room to supervise everything that’s going on in the main kitchen, so don’t over clutter things.

Energy Efficiency

Commercial kitchens use up quite a bit of power and can come with some extensive energy bills.

You can cut the price down by strategically designing your kitchen. For example, don’t put any of your cold storage units near something that gets hot. This way the fridge won’t have to work as hard to keep things cold.

Create the Commercial Kitchen of Your Dreams

Are you planning to start up your own restaurant? You’re going to need to put quite a bit of thought into your restaurant kitchen design.

It should look good while being functional and easy to use. It also needs to meet all the health codes and standards in your area.

Now that you’ve got your kitchen open, you’ve got to work to keep it that way – and we can help. Check out our blog daily for all the latest business advice.

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