Kitchen Fit-outs: Custom or Flat-pack?

A restaurant kitchen is one of the most intense workplaces out there. Our people work hard, but we always know that when the trades clear out and the kitchen staff moves in, things are only going to get busier. During a rush period, a commercial kitchen has to function like clockwork. However, the space allocated to the kitchen sometimes seems like an afterthought when compared to the dining room area. Then, to add insult to injury, a lush interior design for the dining room often takes full precedence over a well planned, well fitted kitchen. After all, the customers will never see the kitchen.

commercial kitchen

Stainless steel is the standard material for almost everything in a commercial kitchen. When it comes to kitchen fit-out, there are two extremes: a commercial kitchen pieced together out of pre-made, flat pack stainless steel components and a well planned, custom manufactured kitchen. Of course, there are in-between options, where pre-manufactured components are used for some things and custom components are used to fill in the odd-sized gaps. Depending on the job, that may or may not be cost effective. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to simply get the whole thing done by one fabricator.

Flat-pack Kitchens

Flat-pack kitchen components are mass produced in standard sizes. Sinks, counters, shelves and all kinds of standard commercial kitchen furniture can be purchased pre-made at a low price. These kitchens are quick to assemble and inexpensive to buy. They can easily be packed up and sold or transported to a new location. They’re a functional and adequate solution for many commercial kitchens, especially when there’s enough space to carry out all of the kitchen’s functions efficiently without perfectly fitted equipment.

Custom Kitchens

With custom manufactured stainless steel kitchens, every bit of space in the kitchen area can be taken full advantage of. Custom commercial kitchens can be meticulously planned, and they’ll be a perfect fit for the space, no matter how small or how odd. There will be no dead space. Sometimes, the construction process uncovers new information. At those times, the design of custom stainless steel components can be altered right up until the time of production. There’s no doubt that a custom commercial kitchen will likely make better use of the space available than pre-made components could. There are simply more options.

The question is, are the benefits of a custom kitchen worth the additional costs? It depends on the space, on the type of food that will be prepared and on the profit margins. It’s true that people go to restaurants to eat, and lavishing money onto the dining room at the expense of the kitchen’s efficiency and comfort can really backfire. Customers like to sit somewhere nice, but they also want good food that’s prepared properly and brought to their table in good time.

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