2021 might be filled with a variety of fresh new opportunities and innovations, but let’s not forget that the COVID-19 virus is still around. Most businesses are still suffering from the consequences of the public health crisis, including economic recession.
The pandemic has affected a large portion of the F&B sector, known for being a billion-dollar industry. With most people staying at home, foot traffic for these essential businesses has decreased, leading to a plummet in sales.
But there is a silver lining in the past months’ events: businesses are migrating to a digital platform. It means that moving forward, business owners in F&B and food manufacturing need not spend thousands of dollars in rent to run their companies. With restaurants switching to contactless food delivery, their food preparation team can cook the dishes at home for delivery to customers.
Mobile food delivery applications earned billions of dollars in the past few years and are steadily growing in popularity. Many small and medium businesses have been transitioning to this type of business model. With small food businesses able to process and cook food at the comfort of the owner’s home, this model is ideal for startups or companies that need to slash their rental budget.
However, it’s important to note that a home kitchen is quite different from a commercial one. That said, turning your home kitchen into something you will use for business may be easier said than done, especially where food safety and sanitation are involved.
Restaurant Kitchen Vs. Home Kitchen: Differences in Function
First, we must discuss the differences between a home kitchen and a commercial/restaurant kitchen.
Usually, a home kitchen is limited in size because it’s used mainly for homemade meals for the family. The volume of food prepared in a home kitchen is relatively small and doesn’t require plating, packaging, or other processes meant to impress a fussy customer.
A commercial kitchen is the heart of a restaurant or food establishment. Here, the food transforms from that mouth-watering photo on the menu into a fancy feast for the senses and stomach. This is where all the essential commercial food preparation processes take place—chopping, mixing, cooking, preparation, and plating or packaging. It’s also where utensils, packages, and storage containers are cleaned and sanitized. As the center of activity, the commercial kitchen is where most of the kitchen crew would be, too.
So, compared to a home kitchen, a commercial kitchen needs more equipment, more space for food prep, and more space for the kitchen crew to move around. It should also be designed for seamless movement to prevent potential accidents. And to top it all, the kitchen should have safety protocols to keep food from contamination.
Restaurant kitchens also emphasize the quantity of food produced, especially if the establishment has many customers. A business owner should consider the size of the home kitchen that will be transformed for commercial use and whether it’s feasible to renovate to expand and organize the space. An organized commercial kitchen helps prevent food wastage and cuts down on cooking and preparation time.
Transforming Your Home Kitchen for Commercial Use
If you’re planning to turn your home kitchen into a fully functional area for commercial cooking and food processing, safety and sanitation should be your priority. For instance, your kitchen floors should not be slippery, while the kitchen should be organized with clean tools and utensils. You may enlist the services of professionals that install clean and long-lasting flooring for food processing. They ensure that the kitchen floor and your cooking appliances are free from disease-causing microbes and potential physical hazards.
Once this is done, you may turn your attention to refurbishing your kitchen and installing the necessary appliances. It will depend on your kitchen’s size and what you will be serving. It might be a good idea to step back and review your restaurant’s old concept. Now that dine-in is limited or not an option, let your previous table service crew participate in actual food preparation. It means that you can expand your menu since you have more hands cooking, assembling, and packing.
What types of food are you serving or plan to serve? Do you plan to expand your pastry and cake list? You will need another oven or a larger one. Will you serve ice cream? You need to invest in an ice cream maker and a freezer room. While you are considering every item in your menu, check what dishes are usually in high demand to increase your food preparation space for them.
When moving your commercial kitchen to your home, consider these aspects of your business. You don’t have to spend too much on new kitchen gear and equipment, but if you’re planning to ramp up your business, you might need to renovate your home kitchen. These tips will help you get back on track with your food or restaurant business during the pandemic.