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January 12, 2021

How To Choose The Right Equipment For A Restaurant Kitchen

Many factors come into play when choosing the right equipment for a restaurant kitchen. Let’s explore these decisions from a restaurant design perspective. 

We’ll do this by highlighting refrigerators, one piece of equipment that you’ll find in most commercial kitchens, and looking at a few items to keep in mind when designing a restaurant.

Using KCL, the foodservice industry’s leading restaurant design software, we will walk you through how to select the right commercial kitchen equipment and visualize your final design.

KCL Restaurant Kitchen Example

Steps to Simplify the Process

Here are the steps to take to simplify the process of designing a commercial kitchen:

  1. Go to app.kclcad.com.
  2. Search our catalog of over 131,000 pieces of restaurant equipment from 230 top foodservice manufacturers to find the product that you’re looking for. 
  3. Choose the 2D or 3D CAD blocks to include in your restaurant design.
  4. Design your kitchen using KCL NapkinSketch, AutoCAD®, or Revit®.

 

You can do this now with a free trial of the KCL design software; sign up today.

Example: Refrigerators

When it comes to incorporating a refrigerator in your restaurant design and ultimately a finished kitchen, there are a few things that you’ll want to consider.

Usage and Type of Refrigerator

First, think through how the restaurant will use the refrigerator. This step will help you determine the type of fridge to install along with other options.

For example, if the back-of-house staff needs to grab items out of the refrigerator quickly, a reach-in refrigerator with hinged glass doors might be the perfect solution. If the doors need to be left open while the staff prepares pre-plated foods, an air curtain refrigerator might be the best choice. 

Below is a shortlist of refrigerator types that you may encounter in a restaurant kitchen, along with the KCL URL. Simply click on the link next to a type to view a list of models you can include in your next restaurant design.

To view all of the refrigerator models available in KCL, visit app.kclcad.com and search for “refrigerator” within the “category” tab.

Size

Now that you know how the restaurant will use the refrigerator, you’ll need to find one that fits in the restaurant kitchen that you’re designing. To find the dimensions, choose a refrigerator model in KCL and open the attached spec sheet. 

Here’s an example of a spec sheet from Continental Refrigerator.

When choosing a refrigerator for a restaurant, make sure to pay special attention to the height of the casters or legs. In the example spec sheet, 6” casters are included, but 3” casters or 6” legs are available as options. 

Also, make sure the door swings open the right way for the kitchen you’re designing. Left or a right door hinge is typically an option that manufacturers include within a spec sheet. When placing a refrigerator’s CAD symbol in KCL NapkinSketch or AutoCAD®, the door swing is identified by a dashed red-line.

Utilities

Once you know the refrigerator will fit, you’ll need to verify that it meets all of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) requirements for the restaurant kitchen you’re designing. In KCL, look for the light bulb symbol to view models with highlighted utilities.

For a refrigerator, the utility section will tell you the number of amps, volts, type of electrical cord/plug, and other vital details.

A screenshot showing the KCL Utilities section for a model of restaurant kitchen equipment.

ENERGY STAR

Choosing an ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator for a restaurant is a great way to save money. According to their website, “commercial refrigerators and freezers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are on average 20 percent more energy-efficient than standard models because they are designed with components such as ECM evaporator and condenser fan motors, hot gas anti-sweat heaters, or high-efficiency compressors, which will significantly reduce energy consumption and utility bills.” Equipment with the ENERGY STAR certification may also qualify for rebates from local utilities.

Within KCL, look for the blue star next to a model in the search results or the ENERGY STAR certified seal on a model’s detail screen.

An example of a model of restaurant equipment within KCL with an ENERGY STAR certification

Choosing The Right Restaurant Kitchen Equipment

A lot of factors go into choosing the right equipment for a restaurant kitchen design. This article was only the tip of the iceberg, but we hope that after reading it, you have a better understanding of the types of things to look for when planning a restaurant design and where to find the information you need in KCL.

Restaurant Kitchen Design Made Easy!

Don’t delay. Design restaurant kitchens anywhere and on any device with KCL software. No computer necessary.

Sign up for a 14 day free trial today!

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