Do I Need New Commercial Kitchen Designs For an Existing Site?

When opening a new food business, it’s not uncommon to take over an existing site where another food business has previously operated. Many new owners question whether or not they need commercial kitchen designs for sites that have already housed other hospitality operations.

The answer to this lies in the existing elements at your chosen site and what you’re hoping to achieve with your food business. To start, let’s take a look at what food service design involves.

What is food service design?

These designs are based around commercial kitchens and the service of food and drinks. It is the process that will initiate the success of your food business. These designs document the fundamental principles for kitchen design, including food safety compliance, unbiased equipment specification, maximised floor space and efficient workflows, as well as providing you with accurate information to submit to your local council for relevant approvals. An efficient design will equip you with the tools that you need to ensure that your business has a smooth start with no delays.

When is a new kitchen design required?

So when is food service design needed for an existing site? Just because a site was operating previously does not mean it is compliant. The key areas that require compliance that you need to be aware of are Building, Health and Plumbing. We suggest that you contact your local Council to find out if the site you are considering has all the relevant approvals prior to signing a lease. To gain Council approvals you will require a floor plan design, services plan, reflected ceiling plan and elevations plan which can be completed as part of your designs, through a trusted food service consultant.

Any major structural changes such as moving walls and fixed equipment or making amendments to key finishes on walls, floors and benches in food preparation areas will trigger a design and building approval. Moving or installing an exhaust hood is classified as a structural change, this means a building assessment will be required prior to commencing trade. In addition, if you decide to sell alcoholic beverages when taking over an existing site then you will need to submit a liquor licensing application to your local council. To do this you will need food service consultants to help develop a liquor licensing plan.

Are there other benefits of a new commercial design?

There are also other factors that determine whether or not you need to consider a redesign of the kitchen space. If the type of food on offer will vary greatly from what was served through the original establishment, you will likely need to consider new equipment and layouts. A new design for an existing site will benefit your business as it can provide a more efficient workflow, better-suited equipment, convenient storage space and a new fresh look to the interior of your establishment, all of which will lead to a more profitable business.

With the help and guidance of a food design consultant, you will be able to navigate the challenges of taking over an existing tenancy. Hospitality is a dynamic and highly competitive industry, so we use our expertise to assist you in getting your kitchen open for business. Give us a call to chat about the site you’re looking at for your next food business.