Break rooms are designed to give employees a place relax, eat lunch or just get a few minutes away from their work stations. Depending on the size and complexity of the break room, many companies install various pieces of kitchen equipment in the lunch room to give employees some of the same amenities they’d have in their home kitchens.
The coffee maker is arguably the most important item in a break room. Office workers that do not have a constant supply of fresh coffee can become irritable and unmotivated because their caffeine levels are dropping. There are several different types of coffee makers available for break rooms of all sizes. Smaller break rooms can make do with residential models, but large break rooms will need a commercial-grade break room coffee maker to keep up with demand.
In the break room, microwaves serve the same function as they do at home or in a commercial kitchen; they cook and reheat small food items. Office workers will use the microwave to reheat their leftovers, make a frozen meal or pop up some popcorn for an afternoon snack. Smaller break rooms should only need a residential microwave. However, if the residential model is not keeping up with the demands of the lunchtime crowd, you may need to upgrade to a commercial-grade microwave.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and oftentimes office workers only settle for a cup of coffee. However, a toaster in the break room will encourage them to bring in their own bagels, bread or toaster pastries to better balance their breakfast. You can select either the standard pop-up toaster or provide a toaster oven for more versatility.
Eating out every day will get expensive, but if your break room has a refrigerator, employees will be more likely to pack a lunch and stay on the premises. This not only saves employees money, but it also increases productivity because workers will take less time to eat on site as opposed to going to a restaurant or deli, where wait times can extend the lunch hour. If the refrigerator is too small or unable to keep foods properly cold, invest in a commercial refrigerator which is more powerful than a residential unit.
Every breakroom, no matter the size, should have at least one handsink available for employees to rinse out or wash their dirty dishes and their hands. The most common type of handsink used in a break room is a drop-in hand sink that sits in a countertop cutout.
Unfortunately, dirty dishes do not wash themselves, so most break rooms will have either a sink or dishwasher to handle the task. If you are a smaller company, you should be able to get by with a residential dishwasher, or an undercounter dish machine, but if you have a large workforce or are providing meals to the public, a commercial dishwasher may be necessary.
Most residential refrigerators will make some form of ice, whether it is by using ice cube trays or a built-in ice maker. However, breakrooms that serve a lot of employees often opt for a standalone ice maker that can produce and dispense more ice than the typical built-in unit. Some countertop ice makers/dispensers will even dispense water, so you will not need to purchase water bottles or a water cooler.