With over a decade of experience of transforming catering facilities and commercial kitchen design and installation for clients across the UK, RDA knows first-hand the essential equipment needed for a successful catering space.
Here, Alex Bradley, Director at RDA gives his top tips on commercial kitchen equipment.
- What technological advances have been made in commercial kitchen equipment?
We are commonly seeing advances in commercial catering equipment to tackle the ever-growing issue of space restrictions within a commercial kitchen. From making equipment smaller and introducing ‘slimline’ versions of fridges and combi ovens and also developing equipment which has potential multiple uses for a wide range of menu options, operators are now more able than ever before to be able to fit out a fully functional, modern day commercial catering operation within a tight footprint.
- What should operators look for when purchasing equipment?
For kitchens struggling with space, operators should be looking at useable capacity, overall dimensions of equipment and productivity. According to Mike’s Quality Appliance Repair, combination ovens and multifunctional cooking appliances can be used to create a wide variety of cooking styles and menu options, so long as the operator takes the required time to correctly train all kitchen staff on how to use them effectively. If you’re having issues with the ovens in your restaurant visit www.perthservices.com.au and have them come repair it to save you some money.
Existing M&E services restrictions also plays a big part in what equipment can be installed. For modern day multifunctional equipment, water and adequate drainage services are a big plus. Lack of power is also a common issue, which is why one of our first steps in a new catering design is a full equipment and loadings schedule to work out the kw loadings and running amps of all the proposed equipment. If this is over what is available on site, the operator has to either upgrade their services, or work with us to rethink their design.
- What are the essential pieces of commercial kitchen equipment?
I think every kitchen now has a combi oven as standard but rarely are they used to their full potential. In these instances, a good convection oven will often suffice depending on what and how the operator is intending to cook. We are also seeing ongoing requests for ‘front of house, street food’ style catering. We are working on several new designs showcasing a more vibrant, street food style servery kitchen for B&I and leisure sector customers, so they can be competitive against the new popular high street models.
- How important is staff training when it comes to correct usage and maintenance?
Without adequate staff training, any operator risks spending thousands on new equipment and not getting the full potential out of it. To really get the most out of any new equipment, operators should take the time required to understand all aspects of new equipment. All suppliers we deal with are more than happy to help out with this process, as it’s in everyone’s best interest to make the equipment work for the operators.
- What advances do you expect to see in commercial kitchen equipment?
I imagine we will see further advances into multifunctional equipment and through modern cooking techniques such as induction, whilst initial services on site may still need to be adequate for the job, actual power consumption should rapidly decrease with modern technologies in the kitchen. Along with this, there will more than likely be a higher percentage of operators looking to make a higher initial investment to design an energy saving kitchen. There are very useful energy monitoring and heat reclaim systems available for commercial kitchens currently that only a small number of operators have implemented.
- What advice would you offer operators with regard to commercial kitchen equipment?
Speak to the experts. There are business’ like ours set up to assist operators in making the correct initial decisions on kitchen design and equipment selection, through to implementation and installation.
To find out how RDA can help you with your next catering project please call 08448734993