Hotel Kitchen Design Guide

When it comes to hotel kitchen design, there is so much to think about. Designing a hotel kitchen goes way beyond the replacement of equipment, and there are so many important considerations to take into account.

Over the years, we have had the privilege of working with a wide range of hotel clients, from world-famous five-star hotels in London with Michelin-star restaurants, to large adult-break hotels in the countryside that focus on buffet dining. Many of these kitchen projects have gone on to win awards for both kitchen design and project management.

This blog will explore everything you need to know about hotel kitchen design. Whether it’s a refurbishment of your existing kitchen to make it more efficient, or a brand-new hotel kitchen installation.

What do hotel kitchens have to accommodate?

Of course, this depends on the scale of the hotel and the overall dining offering for guests, but hotel kitchens will generally need to accommodate:

  • In-room dining/room service
  • Breakfast
  • All-day dining
  • Dinner
  • Fine-dining or Speciality Restaurants
  • Functions & banqueting such as Awards ceremonies & conferences
  • Catered events such as weddings
  • Bars

It is also essential that hotels can offer unique menus, catering for all dietary requirements, and dining experiences to draw in customers that are not staying in the hotel.

In some hotels, there will be one central kitchen that is then divided into smaller specially designed sections for the food services being offered.

For example, the 5* Park Lane kitchen project that we designed includes areas for in-room dining, breakfast, banqueting and even a chef’s table experience catering for just 16 diners. This meant that the ergonomics of the space are crucial in it working effectively in a combined kitchen area.

In-Room dining Kitchen

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Hotel Kitchen Design Efficiency

We know that efficiency, cost savings and sustainability are high on everyone’s agenda. That’s why the efficiency of a hotel kitchen design is the primary consideration when starting work on a new project. The requirements of a hotel kitchen will need to be identified before we can being working on drawings or even sketches.

Some key considerations will be:

  • Your menu or menus
  • Types of dining (i.e. those listed above)
  • How many covers you will serve during the day, both on a regular basis and at peak (i.e. if you have a large function)
  • Your main hours of food service.

Only once we understand this will we be able to create an ergonomic workflow that will increase the ease and efficiency of how your chefs operate. By creating a better workflow for your operation, it will increase your brigade’s efficiency and in some cases, reduce the numbers of chefs you need at any one time.

Demand Based Ventilation
The Stafford London Cooksuite
The Stafford London Cooksuite

If you operate 24 hours and 7 days a week, it is important that all designs suggested for the kitchen allow for maintenance and repairs to be carried out without any major disruption caused by engineers.

For example, equipment should be positioned into the design without the need for it to be pulled out, and multi-use equipment considered so that in enables flexibility if a certain piece of equipment is being worked on.

Did you know that we have engineers that start, on-site, at 5am, all who have adapted to the hotel’s way of life to ensure your maintenance and repairs are done with as little disruption as possible?!

We have demonstrated that our award-winning hotel kitchen designs can provide a full return on investment within three to four years based on reduced energy consumption alone. This is based on intelligent, ergonomic designs and the application of energy-saving equipment and monitoring systems.

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Hotel Kitchen Design Environment

The overall aesthetics and environment of hotel kitchen design play an important part in its success and are often overlooked. With staffing being a challenge (both recruitment and retention), it is more important than ever to consider the overall look, feel and environment of the kitchen.

Our philosophy is to:

  • Introduce colours and textures
  • Open the views across the kitchen, creating a better working environment
  • Use technology to increase chef wellbeing and morale (such as induction, lighting and extraction)
  • Look for other revenue streams, like the introduction of exclusive chef’s tables or cookery classes

We give our clients initial 3D visualizations to give them a broad idea of the aesthetics and ergonomics of the space. This is very important because it means the flow of the space that we are proposing to our client is understood from the outset; it’s about more than what equipment goes where.

Once clients are happy with the initial drawings, we provide them with 3D renders and walkthroughs to give clients and chefs the chance to fully realize the kitchen.

This maximizes the use of space with all details thought through and visualized, especially important in City hotels that notoriously have limited kitchen space.

Hotel Kitchen 3D Design

Hotel Kitchen Equipment

If you haven’t been involved in a hotel kitchen or upgrade for a while, you could be surprised by the innovative technology that’s available, which is able to transform your hotel kitchen design, efficiency and menu, giving you greater options both now and in the future.

  •  Heavy Duty Bespoke Fabrication – this is essential in your hotel kitchen! It will mean your kitchen will withstand the test of time, unlike modular equipment, which will need to be replaced within a few years of installation. Bespoke fabrication will mean that your kitchen will be hygienic and quicker to clean between and during service. This is also essential in hotels for preventing cross-contamination and for reducing labour at the end of a busy shift (or those that operate 24/7 and need to be cleaned during service). Heavy duty hotel kitchen fabrication really should be a fit and forget item for many years!
  • Induction – leading the way in modern commercial kitchen equipment is induction cooking! It makes the environment safe from burns, reducing staff sickness and increasing staff retention by removing ambient heat from the kitchen. Reduced energy consumption is also achieved as the appliance needs no preheating and the hobs are only on when the pan is in contact with the cooking surface. The instant heat provides more than 50% of a standard hob which is perfect for late-night food orders for in-room dining. This helps to drastically reduce running costs by 70% and cleaning by 90% as the equipment only needs soapy water rather than chemicals which can be a major cause of damage to equipment. What’s more, by removing gas entirely from your kitchen, you remove the need for costly gas interlock systems!
  • Multi-Use Equipment – Amazing for hotels with small kitchen space, but larger kitchens can reap the benefits. For example, the Rational two pan iVario gives you the flexibility for a combination of frying, deep-frying, sous vide, boiling, confit, pressure cooking or slow cooking food. Alternatively, the iCombi Pro range allows chefs to bake, roast, steam and cook a wide variety of foods. Multi-use equipment enables you to cook various items on your menu without specific equipment that takes up space but only used occassionally.
  • Holding Cabinets – Temperature-controlled holding cabinets give kitchen staff a head start before a busy period. These appliances allow for additional food production, and a faster service time with the food staying at a hot or optimum temperature for serving. The Unox Evereo can safely hold food in a ready-to-serve condition for hours and days, meaning overnight in-room dining can be handled by night staff and not a dedicated chef. Coupled with the latest speed-oven technology, such as the Unox Speed-X, means you can make your operation super efficient!
  • Ventilation – Our vented ceilings allow additional equipment to be added or items moved without the need for a new canopy, providing flexibility for future expansion and changes to the menu. Designs include gloss white panelling which brightens the kitchen space, improving the working environment, as well as LED lighting for optimum cost saving. Ultraviolet (UVC) light is used to break down grease and odours, increasing efficiency and reducing the impact on the environment. You should also implement demand-based ventilation for further cost savings; this means the ventilation will adjust its extraction rate based on what is happening in the kitchen below, all automatically without the need for any input from your team.
Vented Ceiling
Vented Ceiling
  • Granular Pot Wash Machines – These help to reduce running costs and wastage as well as improved cleaning results and working conditions. They use less energy to operate, despite the additional electrical load. This is due to using less water and chemicals to operate, combined with less staff. With the inclusion of thousands of plastic beads that fire at the pots and pans, meaning all dirt and grease are loosened allowing the cleaning chemicals to fully work, giving perfect results every time. This all prevents the need for pre-soaking and scrubbing before going into the machine. Just remove any loose food and the machine will do the rest! Some machines have the flexibility for plate and glass washing, which can be improved with reverse osmosis technology. This water softening system creates excellent results with no hand polishing. State-of-the-art electronics and wash cycles combine with this to give excellent results, with a basket waiting that will not let the machine run until a full load is ready to be washed.

Energy Management Solutions

DeManincor is a leading force in the pioneering methods for the reduction of life cycle costs. As most of the electrical loading is required on the initial heat up for appliances such as the cooking range and combi ovens, their  Total Control System-TCS®, has been designed to distribute the power to the relevant equipment at the right time. In turn, the TCS® can reduce your power loading requirement by up to 50%, optimizing the usage of electricity and reducing your energy consumption. The systems can also be used in conjunction with existing equipment to help reduce costs in your kitchen.

In short, it manages power where it is needed most, limiting the total connected load and reducing energy consumption.

Induction and refrigeration are also connected via the DeManincor TCS® monitoring system which can help to provide an ROI within 5 years or less, whilst remotely warning of running issues and breakdowns, providing the ability for equipment to be fixed before it is an issue; even without an engineer on-site.

Remote Monitoring Software
Remote Monitoring Software

Real World Client ROI Example

Our Client’s five-star hotel in Hertfordshire had a full re-development of their main buffet restaurant, which included both front and back-of-house areas. TAG were appointed for the design due to the integrated crossover between restaurant and kitchen, as well as other kitchens across the estate!

Because of the style of the re-development, it required a large amount of refrigeration, which we ran on a remote pack system to help maximise energy efficiency and reduce usage. Whilst at the same time being able to offer maintenance support on a remote monitoring system.

Refrigeration Cost Saving (£) per annum

Existing costs are based on standard refrigeration using built-in individual compressors.

New running costs are based on a remote refrigeration pack system with power management system.

Existing Running Cost (£)

New Running Cost (£)

Total Savings (£)

Cooking Range Cost Saving (£) per annum

Existing cooking range running costs are based on a traditional gas and part electric cook suite.

New running costs are based on a fully electric induction cook suite with power management system.

Existing Running Cost (£)

New Running Cost (£)

Total Savings (£)


With the rise of food tourism, hotels are more than just offering guests a room. They have become masters in offering a mixture of cuisines to complete the overall experience. Guests and customers are looking for something unique, they are looking for variety, and they are looking to be matched to the perfect dish in a hotel restaurant.

One popular trend is to open hotel kitchens up to give diners a more theatrical experience. The reduction in the amount of heat produced through the use of induction, alongside improvements in fan technology has enabled hotel restaurants to become a more inviting environment. This means you can invite guests into the spacing, add drama to the dining experience, especially where chefs are working with charcoal ovens and pizza ovens!

The additional advantage of a theatre-style kitchen is that it shows diners the food being freshly prepared and freshly cooked, giving them more confidence in your menu.

Chef’s Tables are becoming increasingly popular as part of providing a more interactive experience. Part of our redesign for a 5* London hotel was the inclusion of a private client room with a panorama window overlooking the kitchen, adding to the exclusive feel of private events held at the Chef’s Table and giving the hotel an additional revenue stream.

Hot Pass
Chef's Table

Start your hotel kitchen design journey…

Over the years, we have had the privilege of working with world-renowned five-star hotels for all of their kitchen design and installation requirements.

Many of these designs have gone on to win industry-recognised awards, save our clients significant running costs and provide a true return on investment.

If you’re looking to review your hotel kitchen design, or looking at a brand new project, we’d be happy to help! Get in touch below!

Interested in talking to our hotel kitchen consultants? Get in touch!