In Need Of Some Inspiration For Your Commercial Kitchen?


Commercial kitchens are a niche area within the design industry because of their technical requirements and, as a result, it is a space that some clients can find daunting. Commonly, the kitchen or café area is one of the last spaces left to design as schools are unsure what they want to achieve from the space. However, kitchens are actually one of the most important spaces to consider in a school refurbishment because they are used day-in day-out and are essential to the successful running of a school by keeping students and staff fed.

Unlike standard kitchens, commercial kitchens require a lot more planning, product knowledge and spatial awareness. There are two main considerations when designing a commercial kitchen which are:

– Where will food be cooked?

– What happens after everyone has eaten?

At Pinnacle, our job is to guide schools through the design process and work with clients to design their ideal kitchen. We identified that contractors prefer working with one centralised FFE Consultant, so we are onboard at the early stages of a project. We understand the requirements of educational spaces and can facilitate the increasing demand for kitchen and café space.

Visualisation of Sixth Form Café


Alexandra’s Top 10 Tips For Designing A Commercial Kitchen

Let’s explore Alexandra’s top 10 tips for designing a school commercial kitchen or café space and how Pinnacle can help with your commercial kitchen design…

  1. BIM: Pinnacle are working at BIM Level 2 as standard. Our 3D systems enable us to clearly visualise to our clients what they can achieve from their space
  2. Budget: Budget is typically the main constraint in any refurbishment project. Some catering equipment can be expensive, but we can help advise schools about what equipment will be cost-effective and reliable for their kitchen. Most kitchens are designed to be bespoke for that particular space but, if budget is a concern, we can select general equipment that will meet specifications
  3. Equipment: Choosing appropriate washing appliances and cooking equipment is one of the most important decisions in a kitchen design. As we work on all different educational spaces, we know what products will be efficient for everyday use and understand education-specific product warranties
  4. Food: Food is at the heart of the kitchen so what type of food or drinks a school wishes to serve in their kitchen or café is important. Hot and cold food have different requirements so it is helpful to think about whether your school will follow a food schedule and how many students or staff you will be catering for
  5. Frequency: Depending on what type of school you are will affect how often you will be using the kitchen or café. If you wish to have one central hub for all hot food, you can expect a higher amount of traffic than if you have smaller cafes designed on every floor of a building
  6. Quantity: A school must consider how many students and staff their kitchen will be catering for because this will affect the quality of the equipment and the overall cost of the project
  7. Regulations: Our team have full knowledge of the specific regulations that must be adhered in order to make a kitchen safe for staff to work in and for students to dine in. These rules must be followed even in the initial spatial survey stages
  8. Service: Whether a school intends for the kitchen to be a self-catering (grab and go) style design or whether there will be chefs making the food front of house is an important consideration as this will impact the design
  9. Space: From the initial consultation, we will consider what is the best use of space in the building. We analyse features in the back of house e.g., delivery points, food storage areas as well as front of house e.g., entrance/exits and the flow of the building
  10. Usability: Schools need to consider what all parties require from the catering space. The head chef will have different requirements to what the architect wants so we can help negotiate between stakeholders to find a suitable outcome


How can Pinnacle help?

We are highly experienced FFE Consultants who understand the need for clarity right from the beginning of a project. We provide accurate costing and guidance throughout the design process and have evaluated the considerations required for a commercial kitchen space.

Our expert knowledge in school refurbishments and design means that we understand the requirements for schools, whether it be a DfE school or an Independent Academy, and the different requirements of rooms. As we provide other Specialist Packages such as DT and Sports equipment, we understand complex and niche spaces. Our previous projects with Food Technology rooms means we can also design for Colleges who specialise in catering kitchen courses.

Want to know more about how Pinnacle can help with your commercial kitchen? Speak to our friendly team today.