The Importance Of Kitchen Design For Banqueting Success
Conference and banquet catering can be lucrative for venues across many sectors, from hotels and universities, to purpose-built events centres. But getting the kitchen setup right for a smooth, efficient and profitable catering operation on such a large scale can be a complex project.
Here Chris Hinton, sales director at Shine, explores three key challenges when designing a kitchen for conference and banqueting.
The key to any successful banqueting kitchen is efficiency and speed. How quickly can you cook meals and chill them down, then regenerate plates and serve when ready? Without the right kitchen equipment in place, you won’t get the right product. You won’t have the means to cook or regenerate the products correctly and you could end up serving cold or overcooked meals.
Ultimately, selecting equipment for a banqueting kitchen will be totally down to the way that the catering team operates. Do they buy frozen food or fresh? Are they batch cooking in advance? Are they regenerating plates in bulk? All of these questions and more will impact the products available to help smooth running of the banqueting operation.
At Shine, we use all of our experience delivering kitchen design and build solutions since 1974 to ask the right questions and design around a detailed catering brief. Because if you don’t get it right at that stage, it could cost thousands in the long run. If a banqueting kitchen isn’t efficient, it can’t deliver meals. And if it can’t deliver meals, it will lose trade.
One of the biggest challenges to delivering a successful banqueting operation is staff competency. It’s not always been the case, but service and front of house personnel today are often untrained, which means they do not possess the skill sets required for silver service or traditional methods of banquet service. Plate regeneration is therefore usually essential.
Apart from the kitchen space and energy consumption required for chilling and regeneration equipment, this increases the value on kitchen efficiency and speed.
All of this means it is critical to get the kitchen flow and equipment choice right. If you can’t serve it quickly and on-time, you will be leaving diners disappointed.
The need for sustainability in any commercial kitchen is greater than it’s ever been, due to a combination of factors including rising energy costs, increased legislation and more stringent targets on energy use across all sectors.
Kitchens are inevitably heavy energy users and opportunity to reduce emissions from the will therefore be welcome. We work closely with clients to help design and build more efficient kitchens from the early stages of the project.
This includes technologies such as demand-controlled ventilation and heating of prime cooking appliances, which reduces energy consumption when systems are not in use, and heat recovery with air source heat pumps on dishwashers, which can reuse waste heat from wastewater to heat incoming cold water. Even correctly sizing equipment such as commercial fridges will have a positive impact on the energy consumption of the kitchen.
The most important thing is to work closely with your design and build partner to make sure all possible considerations have been made and to ensure your kitchen project can achieve the most points possible in building sustainability classification schemes such as BREEAM and LEED.
Find out more about our commercial kitchen design services. Click here. <Shine Design>