Commercial Kitchen Design: Your Essential Kitchen Equipment Guide

December 7, 2021
shipping container kitchen interior

Whether you're opening your first restaurant or a pro with a series of chains, having the right equipment ensures how well your team functions. With more people shifting towards healthier and more innovative cuisine options, restaurants need to up their game and tailor their offerings for these evolving tastes. 

And they'll need to work in facilities with quality equipment and practical kitchen layouts. Let's take a look at the essentials needed for your next commercial kitchen design or renovation. 

Food Preparation Essentials for Busy Staff

Food prep sets the tone for the day. Once everything is chopped, peeled, and pureed, it makes executing menus easier. Cooks, chefs, and bakers can produce meals without scrambling for the ingredients they need during rush service. 

But physically breaking down ingredients isn't the only important part of food prep. It all begins with having the appropriate equipment to get it done. 

Food Processors

From dicing up vegetables to grinding meat, food processors are among the most used kitchen appliances. They provide consistency in the slicing and dicing, which high-volume kitchens rely on. Batch bowl, continuous-feed, and buffalo food processors quickly prepare sauces, dressings, and other condiments. 


Restaurants and bakeries producing bread, pastries, and other confections in-house utilize high-grade commercial mixers. Larger countertop and floor mixers provide staff with the equipment to mix huge volumes of dried and wet ingredients for pizzas and baked sweets. 


Handy yet sharp commercials slicers enable chefs to quickly cut through meats and cheeses to produce a consistent result every time. They're perfect for restaurants churning out large amounts of sandwiches, subs, and various finger foods. 

Food Prep Surfaces

Stainless steel countertops and quality cutting boards are critical to keeping workspaces clean and free from cross-contamination. 

Knives & Sharpening Stones

A high-quality, professional knife—or a set of them—and sharpening stones are among the main instruments chefs need to work. Depending on the type of food prepared, this toolkit often includes a mix of standard and specialty knives.

Food Storage Necessities to Meet Health Standards

County and state laws dictate how and where ingredients should be stored. Health inspectors are on the lookout for how strictly commercial kitchens adhere to these regulations. Let's take a look at the difference between the two different types of food storage. 

Dry Storage

The containers used for dry storage hold rice, pasta, cereal, and other ingredients that shouldn't be exposed to moisture until use. Unlike fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, dried goods don't require the same level of climate regulation. 

Cold Storage

Also known as "cold pantries," these storage units are temperature controlled to prevent fresh food from spoiling. They also reduce cross-contamination as it separates raw and cooked ingredients from touching. Cold storage typically falls into three categories: walk-ins, reach-ins, and specialized refrigeration units.

Cooking Equipment for Hectic Kitchens

When the time comes to turn prepped ingredients into a delicious meal, the right kitchen appliances make everything come together with ease. 

Ovens & Grills

Combination ovens are a big tool in a small package and give fast-moving teams the ability to cook and steam without using multiple devices. But cooks also love convection ovens, which reduce cooking times by up to 25 percent. Meanwhile, pizza and conveyor ovens contain a heated chamber that holds a consistent temperature.


Gas and electric ranges vary from open burners for fast cooking to stockpots used to heat the contents of large containers. Meanwhile, griddle tops and charbroilers give food a smoky taste and slightly charred texture. 


Ventilation systems serve as a significant safety feature to remove exhaust from the cooking area, as in the case of standard commercial kitchen hoods. Upblast exhaust fans sit on the outside wall and dispose of fumes, water vapor while pulling warm air out of the kitchen. Make-up air units replace the harmful fumes with fresh, non-contaminated air making it more comfortable to work in hot conditions.


While many chefs scoff at using microwaves to prepare complete meals, they're helpful to reheat pre-prepared ingredients or sauces. 


Food presentation is everything. Part of executing a kitchen's menu and concept is having plates, saucers, and other dishes to serve delectable meals on. 

Cleanup Before, During, and After Service

No professional kitchen is complete without the devices to keep up with busy lines. It's why there's a section entirely allocated to cleaning and sanitizing dishes, silverware, and other equipment used to cook and serve food.

High-capacity Dishwashers

Dishwashers cut down on the amount of manual labor needed to clean dirty dishes. Most commercial dishwashers range from 120 to ​​180 degrees Fahrenheit, killing germs and effectively removing grease and food particles.

Commercial Sinks & Disposals

Also known as "compartment sinks," these units can contain one to four compartments. Kitchen staff use them to wash, rinse, and sanitize dishes and prep vegetables. As part of the sink's design, disposals do the job of grinding down food waste and preventing plumbing blockages. 

Preventative Waste Removal 

A clean kitchen is a safe kitchen. Keeping your space tidy not only benefits customers but the entire back-of-the-house staff. These are two areas, which are critical to maintain. 

Water Treatment

Water filters supply clean water for beverages, ice, and dishware. They also soften water to prevent steamers, specifically combi ovens, from accumulating impurities and affecting food quality. 

Grease Traps

Grease traps are found underneath sinks and are used to collect excess oils and fats. They prevent these substances from entering the public water system and clogging up the restaurant's pipeline.

Streamlined Restaurant Kitchen Planning & Design 

Shipping container kitchens offer the same quality and performance as traditional construction—and identical equipment. The benefits far surpass those of conventional brick and mortar structures. With pre-designed layouts and an efficient ordering process, ContekPro's shipping container  kitchens are constructed for maximum efficiency and optimum workflow. 

They're built for how your staff works. 

All planning takes place upfront, reducing the back and forth generally seen in routine building planning. Unlike brick and mortar, your kitchen is manufactured off-site and delivered as a fully equipped unit with a single connection point. It's the ideal solution for foodservice provider searching for an alternative to traditional renovation methods or new construction.

Contact us today to discuss your menu and concept to help you design your commercial  kitchen.

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