Get more space in your restaurant with small pizza ovens or built-in ovens.
The professional kitchen is the cornerstone of restaurant business, so it is crucial to perfectly organize spaces and appliances inside it. Making more space in your kitchen is often a smart move that can improve the quality of work and customer satisfaction as well.
In this article we will address the issue of spaces in commercial kitchens giving advice on how to make the most of every square inch of your restaurant. We will focus on the features of small pizza ovens and we will help you choose a professional oven suitable for your needs that can provide high performance even in tiny spaces.
Nothing is worst than a disorganized workplace
A clean and orderly kitchen is always a happy workplace. Restaurant professionals know full well the importance of having everything in place and close at hand and everyone dreams of working in a spacious, fully-equipped commercial kitchen. Unfortunately, the real world is very different and only a tiny part of professional kitchens shares these traits. Many restaurants don’t recycle litter because they don’t have enough place to put the bins, have cramped kitchens where staff break their backs or, to cut costs, skimp on ventilation systems forcing the personnel to work in scorching hot places with grease smell spreading all over the dining room not to mention bustling waiters that get in the way.
Saving space in the kitchen is key to increase the level of efficiency as well as the quality of service and a simple way to do that is to trade your old bulky oven for a smaller and more versatile one. Small pizza ovens or built-in ovens can also be used for catering activities other than traditional restaurants or pizzerias such as bars, food trucks or street food vendors. All in all, more and more establishments choose small high-performing appliances able to adapt rapidly to the ever-changing customer needs.
Before anything else, choosing the right oven depends on the type of business and on starting a new restaurant or buying an existing one. In the case of a well-equipped commercial kitchen, you could only decide to change your oven for various reasons:
- to improve the overall performance (your old oven doesn’t heat up and consumes too much energy)
- to expand your offer (by introducing new cooking techniques)
- to get more space (either by placing a smaller oven or by installing a high-performing oven that can replace other cooking appliances such as a grill or a microwave).
How to lay out a commercial kitchen
Whether you plan a new restaurant opening or renovation, you have to design a professional kitchen. Its design must allow staff to easily move and perform their tasks keeping in mind the type of food you want to serve. It is also necessary to consider health and hygiene regulations (HACCP) and of course workplace safety rules.
When designing a kitchen layout, it’s important to have a menu in mind because that will affect the choice of the equipment, its place and basically the restaurant workflow. You should take into account structural constraints such as the presence of a load-bearing wall, water or gas pipes, power sockets, entries and exits (including emergency exit) or whatever.
Another major aspect is the ventilation system that has to meet specific requirements according to the kitchen space and the type of equipment. A good solution is to choose certified equipment running without hoods (for instance there are many ovens that don’t need to be placed under an extractor fan).
To correctly arrange the building blocks of an industrial kitchen, you have to outline the various paths that food follows according to the principle of la marche en avant (marching forward):
- Foodstuffs downloaded in the kitchen receiving area
- Food storage and preservation in refrigerators, freezers or cold rooms
- Food washing
- Mise en place
- Cooking according to use and safety rules
- Customer service
- Cleaning and storage of soiled tableware
Conforming to la marche en avant, food only moves in one direction through the kitchen in such a way that clean items never cross paths with unclean ones. In the planning stage, you should calculate the materials cost and size to maximise productivity and to reduce inefficiency and waste. For further information read these tips on how to design a professional kitchen.
How to pick the right oven according to your menu
The restaurant concept, the food that you will serve and the kitchen equipment to make it are closely related aspects. Do you want to open a pizzeria? So, you should perhaps buy a high-performing wood-fired oven. If you think that a restaurant is the right choice, you’d better buy another type of oven and maybe add it to other appliances like a fryer.
You are a bar owner and you want to expand your menu with some fancy dishes? Then, it’s time for a compact oven that will replace equipment such as microwaves, toasters or grills at the same time. At bottom, the type of equipment depends on your menu and as far as small pizza ovens are concerned, they come in different models and prices.
Lots of small professional ovens
There’s an overwhelming offer of professional ovens, a sector that has been booming for years and is now making inroads into home oven market. For instance, built-in ovens were designed for families who didn’t want to fuss about tricky installation and had to deal with small kitchens. The current ovens are high-performing, compact appliances that may be classified according to different criteria:
- The placement. Freestanding ovens stand on their legs or on an even surface while built-in ovens are installed into kitchen units with lateral or vertical opening doors.
- The size. Small-sized ovens have 35-litre capacity while the largest ones may reach over 60 litres. Usually 60 cm wide (45 or 90 cm wide models are available).
- Electric, wood-fired and gas-fired ovens. Electric ovens are high-performing, low-consumption, multifunctional appliances. Wood-burning ovens are the real deal for cooking pizza thanks to their high temperatures but are very expensive and difficult to maintain. Stand-alone or built-in, they often use indirect cooking (the combustion chamber and the cooking chamber are separated). Gas-fired ovens make a good compromise; in fact, they provide great performance at a fraction of the cost of wood-burning ovens and are much easier to maintain.
- Technology and functionality. Modern professional ovens can cook in many a way. In addition to traditional functions (static, convection or grill) the latest combi-ovens integrate convection and steam cooking.
In conclusion, optimising the kitchen space allows you to facilitate workflow and to provide services that best meet the customer needs. If lack of space can in a way limit your business development, picking a small pizza oven may quite be the solution to boost your activity and to add new dishes to your menu. There’s a nearly endless array of ovens, in terms of price and features, so what are you waiting for? Buy your new oven now!