There was a time when all commercial kitchens were situated behind closed doors and customers couldn’t see what was going on. However, there is now a growing trend for new restaurants to have an open plan layout, where the kitchen is visible from the dining area. What benefits can this bring for both the business and the customers?
The first type of restaurants to go open plan tended to be the larger ones situated in the big cities that were renowned for the quality of their food establishments. In some instances this came about from a lack of space. Therefore, the only way to accommodate everything that the restaurant required was to open up the kitchen area. The trend is now seen across the food sector; from upmarket restaurants to more causal diners.
In many ways this benefits the customer as well and it can embrace their fascination with cooking and watching chefs. This has largely come from watching endless television programmes staring celebrity chefs and contestants. An increasing number of people are choosing to watch these and there are now more than ever on our screens. In the UK, the most watched programme in recent years was the finale of the 2014 season of The Great British Bake Off. This was viewed by 12.3 million people; 50% of that night’s viewers. In these types of programmes they can see exactly what’s going on and they enjoy replicating this in their local restaurant.
Enhance the experience
Having an open plan kitchen lets customers be part of the drama, so that they can see all the action, watch the steam rising and hear everything that’s going on. In restaurants with closed off kitchens, diners are generally left alone while their meal is being prepared. However, with an open plan layout it can enhance the whole experience of eating out.
The customers can see the chefs in action and by watching, listening and smelling everything that is happening it can build up their appetite and increase the anticipation of what’s to come. Often the thrills of seeing staff fighting is what customers want to experience.
Planning an open plan kitchen
If you’re considering fitting an open plan design into your new development or refurbishment, it’s crucial that you get the layout right. Using an experienced design team can help to ensure that the kitchen is functional as well as being stylish. Before you start fitting out your unit, research the type of products that are available, from suppliers. It’s important that your products, including commercial refrigeration units, fit in with the overall style of the kitchen, as they will be on full display to the public.
Installing an open plan kitchen is not just about the functionality. It is also an opportunity for you to highlight the skills of your chefs and make this part of the performance. Italian Restaurants Dublin City Centre http://www.toscanarestaurant.ie/ is a restaurant that has built up a name for itself as a very talented group of chefs. It can help to set the right tone and mood for the restaurant, with diners choosing to come just for the atmosphere.