Sponsored by Vulcan Equipment.

Many factors impact the success of your restaurant. And while we often think of food quality as the most important thing, the reality is that what's happening in the back of the house not only directly impacts food quality, but it can ultimately make or break both the diner experience and your restaurant's overall performance.

One oft-overlooked but critical area of consideration? Kitchen layout. Here's a closer look at four reasons why kitchen layout matters, along with tips for making the most of yours.

1. Safety

Accidents happen. But accidents that happen because of poor kitchen design and layout are inexcusable for one reason: they are avoidable. By factoring ergonomic design principles into your kitchen design, you minimize the movement and flow of your kitchen staff, thereby maximizing safety.

Other safety-minded considerations in addition to the physical setup of your commercial kitchen? Proper ventilation and lighting. Not only does a steamy or smoky kitchen make for an unhealthy work environment for your employees, it can also lead to unpleasant smells for diners.

Adequate lighting, meanwhile, supports visual control of food while simultaneously supporting restaurant safety. In fact, according to FDA Food Code Chapter 6, Section 202.11, all "light bulbs shall be shielded, coated, or otherwise shatter-resistant in areas where there is exposed food; clean equipment, utensils and linens; or unwrapped single-service and single use articles."

2. Productivity

If your employees are constantly tripping over things—from equipment to each other—they're wasting time and energy. Designing a kitchen for optimal productivity involves two primary factors: choosing the right equipment and arranging it in the most sensible and streamlined way.

This can be especially mission-critical in tight spaces; it's what makes high-performance, low-footprint equipment like the Vulcan Minijet™ Combi Oven and its 12" gas and electric ranges smart additions to any commercial kitchen. While both of these innovative pieces of kitchen equipment "think small" when it comes to space, they're large on performance.

Vulcan's CEF Countertop Fryer and Countertop Hotplates, meanwhile, free up valuable square footage, leaving floor space free and clear of obstacles that can lead to everything from trips to spills.

Lastly, don't forget the benefits of seeking out equipment designed to let you do more with less. In addition to the Minijet, Vulcan's refrigerated chef bases and stands also do ingenious double-duty by service as both a prep surface and storage space.

3. Cost Savings

But a well-designed kitchen layout is about more than productivity. Says The Balance, "Having a well-planned restaurant kitchen doesn't just keep food flowing to the dining room—it can save you money in time and waste. If your staff knows where everything is located and understands the rule of FIFO (first in, first out), this will help reduce food waste and spoilage. It will also make prep and cooking times in the kitchen more efficient."

4. Employee Satisfaction

Rising industry turnover rates are vexing to today's restaurant operations. One of the simplest ways to keep employees? Make their workspaces as comfortable and convenient as possible. More productive employees are happier employees, and happier employees stick around.

From food preparation and storage to meal cooking and service, the components of kitchen performance and efficiency are very different and yet inherently interlinked. Unfortunately, commercial kitchens that lack mindful design often suffer across the entire process. However, choosing the right equipment and laying it out in the most efficient and effective way can have the opposite effect in the form of bottom line-boosting benefits across everything from employee satisfaction to overall food quality.

If you have questions about the equipment mentioned here or to set up a time to talk about how we can serve your supply and equipment needs, please give us a call at 1-877-673-7414. You can also shop Vulcan at Mission Restaurant Supply, visit: https://www.missionrs.com/manufacturers/vulcan.


Masterful design. Precision performance. State-of-the-art innovation. For more than 150 years, Vulcan has been recognized by chefs and operators throughout the world for top-quality, energy efficient commercial cooking equipment that consistently produces spectacular results. Trust Vulcan to help make your culinary creations turn out just right—each and every time. Vulcan is part of ITW Food Equipment Group.