Running a Restaurant/Equipment Type/Cost


Currently I am focused on equipment type and cost to use in my restaurant. The space is limited in scope about 3,400 square feet. I would like to get 120 - 150 seats in the space which means the kitchen will need to be compact. I want to make sure the the chefs have the space, and equipment to do the job. The restaurant will serve modern American cuisine and be a gastropub. Idea food will be burgers, fries, house made potato chips, housemade pork ribs. mac & cheese, braised short ribs, braised pork belly, whole fried fish just to name a few items. I was told by someone to consider countertop equipment E.g. hotplates, friers, charbroilers, griddles, half size ovens, 10 qt mixer, and  conveyor pizza ovens. Doing research these meet both space and are extremely more cost effective than larger items. My question is could a chef function well with this type of equipment and maintain turnover for a busy gastropub in area with an average income of $90,000+? I appreciate your advice.

Hi Quinn,

Thank you for your question. It definitely does sound like a tight space, but I think it is doable based on the equipment and menu selections you have provided. Although I would suggest utilizing the services of a commercial kitchen designer so you can ensure that the chefs can utilize as much speed and efficiency in their execution of the menu as possible. Particularly in a tight space, you need to make sure everything is at their fingertips and there is no crossover traffic while executing. When I begin any project, my first inquiry to a client is that I need to see their menu. As a chef myself, I firmly believe that the menu drives the design, equipment specifications and storage requirements.

As you mentioned, there are many counter units at a smaller price tag that can work, but a true consultant will show you other options as well that may be more cost effective in the long term, if not the sort term, based on your final menu selection. i.e. a good quality combi-oven for example has the ability to function as several smaller pieces of equipment in a smaller footprint, which would reduce space obviously, as well as possibly reducing labor and utility costs at the same time offering more speed and execution accuracy than several cooks working independently. A good restaurant kitchen design consultant will basically provide you with enough information about the equipment that is out there so you can make the best decisions for your specific concept needs... In my opinion a true consultant is like a true chef; an educator, not a dictator.

That being said, my only other point of note would be that you should make sure you have enough storage... I can't stress this enough. I realize that storage areas do not generate revenue, but without enough of it, you will be spending more time ordering and inventorying and less time managing and growing your business. The final layout you go with should act as the heart of the restaurant, having the ability to function independently without the need for constant oversight and management based on the limitations of the facility itself.

I realize that all start-ups have limited budgets but in my experience, a few thousand dollars spent now on a restaurant kitchen design consultant now could allow you to generate tens of thousands more at the end of the year by ensuring you start off on the right foot.

I hope this helps and please feel free to visit our website if you would like to get more information about what services a kitchen designer should offer.

Best of luck with your new venture!


Running a Restaurant

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Victor Cardamone


I am thoroughly proficient in all aspects of restaurant and commercial kitchen design, development and operational issues. I am also well versed in all aspects of health department permit submissions.


I am a classically trained executive chef with over 15 years of restaurant/hotel kitchen operating experience. I am also president of Mise Design Group, LLC a commercial kitchen/restaurant development firm. My firm focuses on and specializes in commercial kitchen design & development, supply and project management as well as operations consulting.

The American Institute of Architects The American Culinary Federation The National Restaurant Association

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