No commercial kitchen layout would be complete without commercial refrigeration equipment and commercial ice machines. When positioning your refrigerators, freezers and ice machines, allow a couple of inches of clearance on the sides and back for proper air flow. Here are a couple of additional layout suggestions.
- Keep refrigeration and cooking equipment as far apart as possible. To gain the most energy efficiency out of your equipment, it is best to place your refrigeration units at the end of a cook line or in the coolest part of the kitchen. Remember, every time the door opens on a commercial refrigerator or freezer, cold air rushes out and hot air rushes in. On a hot cook line, this could pose a problem.
- Put ice machines in their own area. For an ice machine, the hotter the surrounding air, the less ice it produces, so the ice machine should be placed in its own temperature controlled area, but keep the machine close enough to the main kitchen area that workers don’t have to go far to get ice.
- Put the blast chiller last. A blast chiller will quickly cool down hot food so that the food can then be transferred to a refrigerator or freezer. Rapidly refrigerating or freezing pre-cooked foods is actually an energy-efficient way to take the strain off of your refrigerator. The blast chiller can be placed at the end of the cook line so hot leftovers can be chilled quickly. If you are chilling leftovers at the end of the night, the performance of the blast chiller shouldn’t suffer too much since the cooking equipment is presumably off at this point.