What Are The Commercial Kitchen Design Standards? 

Commercial kitchens are often large, busy spaces with a lot going on.

To help make the space as efficient as possible, food service companies need to have design standards.

That guide how operations should be organized and elements of the space should be used.

The layout and design of a commercial kitchen largely depend on its operation’s needs.

However, not all commercial kitchens are created equal.

Some may have larger or smaller footprints, more or less storage space, better accessibility for maintenance personnel, or other variables that need to be considered before designing a new kitchen.

Let’s take a look at some key principles behind commercial kitchen design standards so you can create the perfect one for your business.

Start With A Needs Assessment

an image of the commercial kitchen design Standards

Before constructing a commercial kitchen, you must know the minimum requirements according to the commercial kitchen design standards.

Firstly, the cleaning and sanitizing chemicals must remain separate from food storage.

The kitchen counters and floors should comprise materials that you can quickly disinfect.

That is why most commercial kitchens have stainless steel countertops.

The refrigerators, cooking equipment, and gas hookups must pass the inspection tests.

Moreover, having a supply of clean water is mandatory.

Separate washing sinks must be present for mops, food preparations, and hand washing.

Proper cooking, cutting, and baking utensils are crucial.

Furthermore, the faculty must have a food handling license.

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Commercial Kitchen Layout

Assembly Line Layout

The assembly layout is the simplest commercial kitchen layout according to commercial kitchen design standards.

The food preparation section joins with the serving section.

The layout is great for fast food restaurants or spaces with limited menus where efficiency is the primary focus.

It ensures accessible communication between the customer and the cook.

Island Layout

For a spacious kitchen, the island layout works best.

The food preparation counter is in the center while the rest of the stations surround it.

An island kitchen layout fits restaurants with various menus requiring more cooking time rather than serving.

Usually, large restaurants use this layout as it’s unsuitable for limited spaces.

Zone-Style Layout

In the zone-style layout, there is a dedicated station for each process.

You can try understanding it as a kitchen with a separate frying zone, salad zone, soup, and pizza zone.

It eases the simultaneous preparation of different dishes since each site is independent.

The zone-style layout fits larger restaurants, catering services, and event cooking when many dishes require preparation.  

Galley Layout

Commercial kitchen design standards recommend the galley layout for kitchens with limited space.

The stations align along the kitchen walls, leaving considerable moving space for the faculty.

The entrance and exit are on the opposite side of the cooking station.

It prevents the smell from bothering the person coming into the kitchen.

Open Kitchen Layout

The open kitchen layout is unique as it provides an extraordinary dining experience.

The food is prepared in front of the guests, increasing their curiosity and charm.

However, the cooking equipment is at a safe distance, so the heat doesn’t bother them.

The layout works for more prominent restaurants as it requires tremendous space.

Commercial Kitchen Design Standards

Work Zones

The commercial kitchen design standards state that a commercial kitchen has five primary working zones.

They include storage, cooking, preparation, washing, and service area sections.

However, the number of stations varies from kitchen to kitchen.

Some commercial kitchens also have an independent baking unit.

Personnel Safety Standards

Personnel safety depends more on the working staff than the kitchen layout.

However, the kitchen’s design must ensure the heat exhaust is adequate, and there is proper ventilation.

The cooking personnel must also follow precautions when frying, cutting, and handling hot dishes.

Moreover, kitchen clothes should be away from the stove to prevent fire-catching.

Maintenance Standards

Timely maintenance is vital to ensure food hygiene and the durability of the kitchen.

You must practice duct and vent cleaning as neglecting it will damage the vent.

Inspecting the extinguishing fire system every six months is crucial as it helps evaluate its capability in emergencies.

Fryers lead to most accidents in commercial kitchens.

Therefore, inspect the fryers every six months to ensure the internal components are fine.

Sanitation Standards

The chefs must practice proper hygiene by washing their hands properly.

Next, properly washing the utensils is vital to fulfilling the sanitization standards.

Improperly cleaned utensils lead to smelly kitchens and also contaminate the served food.

Waste Segregation

Commercial kitchen design standards prohibit dumping wet and dry waste into the same bin.

Mismanagement of waste segregation causes a foul smell and likely catches the local authorities’ attention, ultimately leading to heavy penalties.

Food Safety Standards

Food safety generally revolves around maintaining the quality of food.

For instance, use bottled foods within their best-before date.

Also, storing chilled foods at the required temperature is necessary for maintaining their freshness.

Dry storage must be dust and moisture-free to prevent mold in the containers.


HACCP ensures the final product is contamination-free.

USDA inspectors evaluate food items to reduce people’s chemical and physical risks.

A commercial kitchen operating without fulfilling the HACCP principles will attract the attention of the authorities in no time.

Storage And Shelving Standards

Storage ultimately determines the goodness of the food.

Like the refrigerator should generate the necessary cold to maintain the freshness of the chilled foods.

Moreover, shelf-sanitization is also essential as a chef opens them while cooking.

Germ-loaded shelve handles will compromise the food’s hygiene.  

Ceiling Finishes and Lighting

Lighting bulbs come in different shades and capacities.

You must choose the right one.

Use heat-resistant bulbs in the cooking area because of the high temperature.

Use cool-shaded lights in cutting and knifing areas to improve focus.

Furthermore, ensure an emergency lighting system to prevent food contamination when the power is out.

Lighting And Ventilation

Commercial kitchen design standards encourage natural light in commercial kitchens.

You can introduce a window or two with fixed transparent glasses for letting in the natural illuminance.

You can use windows for backyard-facing kitchens.

However, for covered kitchens, ventilators are more suitable.

Countertop And Flooring

Spills always happen in kitchens, whether it’s a kitchen top or a floor.

However, frequent damping may crack them.

Therefore, ensure the use of high-quality ceramic floors and countertops.

Equipment And Utensils

Lastly, there are the equipment and the utensils.

The required equipment is essential to maintain the hygiene of the food.

Using everyday utensils for raw and cooked foods results in contamination.

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Key Points to Consider When Designing a Commercial Kitchen

Organize Your Space Using Color Coding

An industrial kitchen deals with different kinds of raw and cooked foods.

Therefore, it is essential to color-code things.

Commercial kitchens use different utensils for each kind of food.

Therefore, color coding helps identify the specificity of the silverware.

Utilize The Right Equipment for The Right Job

This factor has different perceptions.

Firstly, there is the purchase, and then it’s the use.

It would be best if you bought proper cooking equipment for your needs.

For baking cakes, one must invest in a cake oven, not a pizza one, even if it’s cheaper.

Secondly, don’t use one oven for all kinds of baking.

Dedicated equipment is vital for building the perfect taste.

Keep An Eye Out for Safety Considerations

Safety is most important in commercial kitchens.

Since many staff members work in a commercial kitchen, you should factor in an emergency exit.

Also, various kitchen equipment discharge heat.

This may affect the health of the staff members.

Hence, a good design allows both exhaust and productivity.

Have Clearly Defined Work Areas

Defined working areas help reduce confusion as everything is in a designated place.

Dedicated stations allow custom operations as you don’t have to operate the entire kitchen if you only require the pizza station.

Understand Your Staff’s Needs and Wants

The staff is the driving force of any restaurant. So it is essential to understand the staff’s requirements.

Management must also hear the staff’s suggestions.

Moreover, there should be clean clothing available for each staff member.

Commercial Kitchen Design Standards – FAQ 

What Are Commercial Kitchen Dimensions?

A commercial kitchen has dimensions of 1000 sq. feet approximately.

What are the types of commercial kitchen layouts?

Five kitchen layouts include:

  • The assembly line layout
  • The island layout
  • The galley layout
  • The zone-style kitchen layout
  • The open kitchen layout

What is an open commercial kitchen design?

The open commercial kitchen operates in front of the guest room.

Although, the equipment is at a safe distance to prevent inconveniences.

What are the restaurant kitchen dimensions in meters?

A commercial kitchen is nearly 100 meters in dimension.

However, deciding the dimensions based on the house is a more effective metric.

What is the layout of a commercial kitchen?

There is no fixed layout for commercial kitchens.

You can choose a design depending upon the space and variety of menus.

What are the six types of kitchen layouts?

The six kitchen layouts include :

  • One wall layout
  • U-shaped layout
  • L-shaped layout
  • Galley kitchen
  • Island
  • Peninsula kitchen layout.

What are the components of a commercial kitchen?

Five components of a commercial kitchen include :

  • A storage area
  • A washing station
  • A food preparation station
  • Cooking and serving stations.

What is the average size of a commercial kitchen?

A commercial kitchen is approximately 1,000 square feet in size.

Which kitchen layout is the most functional?

The L-shaped layout is most functional as it allows both speed and accuracy.

Also, it works for smaller kitchens.

How wide should a commercial kitchen be?

Conventionally, each seat is allocated five square feet.

For 25 seats, the width will be 125 sq. feet.

How much square footage is needed for a commercial kitchen?

A commercial kitchen is at least 2,000 square feet in dimensions.

Else, it will cause mobility issues.

Can you have a window in a commercial kitchen?

Older commercial kitchens have windows.

However, they are not present in modern kitchens.

How do you calculate kitchen capacity?

As a thumb rule, each seat must have at least 6 square feet of space.

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Wrapping Up

Commercial kitchens are busy places with many processes going on simultaneously.

Therefore, it is essential to design your commercial kitchen to make the best use of space without meddling with the faculty’s speed.

Our article on commercial kitchen design standards helps in this regard.

It highlights every necessary aspect related to designs and area measurements.

Although it talks clearly and simply, if you can’t decide which standards will work for you, you may consider taking a professional consultancy.

Despite the design you choose and the dishes you cook, ensure food hygiene.

It saves your customers from health issues, increases brand trust, and passes the HACCP inspections.