Restaurants will usually have food prep equipment positioned in various places throughout the kitchen area. Generally, there is a dedicated food prep area where raw ingredients are sliced, diced and mixed before they go to the cook line, but the cook line itself may have a refrigerated prep table and a couple of commercial work tables on it to for workers to quickly prepare sandwich buns before handing them to the chef.
As far as general placement goes, prep tables and work tables can be placed wherever needed. However, here are some general tips on arranging your food preparation equipment:
Keep Refrigerated Prep Tables Separate from Cooking Equipment
This is where you need to balance function with energy efficiency. A refrigerated prep table right next to the griddle is a great way to assemble hamburgers right as the patties come off the grill, but that will just kill the energy efficiency of both pieces of equipment. To save the most money, place the prep table behind or across from the griddle, so workers can exchange buns and burgers without taking any steps or running up your energy bill.
Match the Heights
When placed in line with other equipment, worktables should be the same height as the countertop or the top of your cooking equipment, such as your range or griddle. Having everything at the same height is ergonomic and facilitates an assembly-line process.
Try Undercounter or Worktop Cooling
If you don’t need a refrigerated prep table with an ingredient rail, but still want cooling equipment on your prep line, consider undercounter or worktop refrigerators and freezers. They save space and labor by combining your refrigeration area with your prep area and also reduce trips to the walk in cooler.