Traditionally, restaurants have created clear boundaries between the front- and back-of-house operations by separating the kitchen from the dining area. In these setups, it’s easy to allow the kitchen to spiral into purely ergonomic-based efficiency, slacking on aesthetics and neglecting appearance. A trend is upsetting the standard dichotomy and bringing kitchens out into the open and on display for customers to see. Consider bringing your closed-system kitchen out to the forefront and on display in your restaurant.
Running the gamut from small and cozy to loud and rambunctious, restaurants have an infinite amount of themes and designs. Strangely, restaurant kitchens tend to look mostly the same: a range, a cooler, and a few extra pieces of essential equipment. The modern-day kitchen is breaching the traditional setup and starting to bring chefs and equipment out into the view of patrons, creating a well-blended environment from back to front! So what does it take to make your kitchen a display kitchen?
The relatively uncharted territory of a restaurant kitchen is typically set up to appease the labor habits of chefs. When aesthetics are on the back-burner, equipment tends to be functional but simple. A display kitchen needs to retain the functionality of a traditional setup while catering to the less-inclined customer perceptions. Display kitchens have to not only allow for efficient kitchen prep work, but they must also have that ‘shiny’ factor! Your standard equipment must stay, but investing in a few extra ‘high-interest’ pieces can help create a perception of quality. Customers can form an opinion that the dishes you’re creating are one-of-a-kind based off of the unusual, commercial-grade equipment.
Peelers: At home, customers typically peel their fruits and veggies by hand. In large operations, it can be beneficial to have a commercial-grade peeler! The best part is that these peelers are aesthetically-pleasing as well, making it a great show-piece for your display kitchen.
Juicer: Juicers are another great focal point for display kitchens, as they’re quick, efficient, and impressive. You’ll notice that juice bars always have theirs on display, so take a tip from the pros and add one to your display kitchen.
Cone Makers: If you serve any ice cream in cones, a great conversation-starter is having a chef make fresh-rolled waffle cones. Put the cone maker in the front for guests to watch!
Your kitchen sets the tone for the behavioral standards of the rest of the restaurant. Having a display kitchen can get guests involved in the theme and improve the perception of your menu!
E Friedman Associates