Dark kitchen design experts
It doesn’t matter if you call it a dark kitchen, virtual kitchen, cloud kitchen or ghost kitchen, it all serves the same purpose. And with delivery-only food coming into its own this year, more dark kitchens are being installed to serve the growing demand.
Our award-winning design and consultancy service will help you create and install an efficient and ergonomic dark kitchen.
We will work closely with you, your chefs or your partner brands to design and install kitchens around menu requirements, the specific needs of the business and to create a good working environment.
Example multi-cuisine and brand dark kitchen design & walkthrough.
The dark kitchen design process
The most important part of dark kitchen design is the consultation. Taking the time to gain an in-depth understanding of your menu, working practices, and building restrictions, our designers will create detailed plans that will be ergonomic and future-proof.
Once we have a good idea of what you will need in terms of equipment, space and workflow, we will create 3D computer designs. These will give you a good idea of what your new kitchen will look like and how your chefs or tenants will work in it. We design all our commercial kitchens to have the most efficient workflow possible, so chefs have enough space to work, at the same time as sharing equipment with minimal impact on each other.
The consultation process will also include recommendations for the equipment that’s best suited to your current and future plans. State of the art multi-use and self-cleaning equipment not only allows you to offer a more varied selection of dishes without increasing the amount of space you need, but will also save chefs and cleaners a lot of time – allowing them to be even more efficient.
Are you a brand or landlord looking to open multiple sites? We can provide dark kitchen blueprint to help you identify the type and size of the site you need, as well as the potential costs for the installation of the dark kitchen. These blueprints then only go through minor amendments to suit each site, helping to speed up the process of opening.
Dark kitchen design considerations
We understand the different challenges of running a dark kitchen, whether it is your own, a dark kitchen rental or you are the service provider. So when looking at a dark kitchen design, we there are a number of factors that need to be considered to create the most efficient and ergonomic kitchen, which goes far beyond which equipment goes where:
- Deliveries – do you have sufficient storage space to accommodate bulk deliveries? Do you need to consider more regular, smaller deliveries? How will you ensure deliveries for multiple tenants or brands do not cause congestion with collections?
- Collections – are you operating as a delivery-only kitchen for single orders through delivery partners such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat? Or will you have bulk collections because you’re operating as a central production kitchen for your high-street outlets?
- Storage – you need to consider both your dry storage, especially for different types of packaging and also your freezer and cold storage. Will it be one large communal facility? Will each tenant or brand have their own storage space? How will you maximise space in a small kitchen space?
- Refrigeration – refrigeration will have one of the highest operating costs. Will you have multiple cold rooms and undercounter or chef base refrigeration? Switching to a pack-system will help save energy costs whilst reducing heat from condensers in the main kitchen space.
- Hygiene – allergens and cross-contamination should be at the forefront of your mind when designing a dark kitchen. With multiple operators or brands, it is important that the clean down process is as easy and thorough as possible; hygienic kitchen design needs to be considered from the outset.
- Flexibility – how will changes to your own menus, your tenant menus or changing tenants affect the kitchen design? By incorporating multi-use equipment, it should have as little impact on the dark kitchen layout, such as combi-ovens and modern bratt pans such as the Rational iVario range. You then only need to consider menu or brand-specific equipment such as chargrills or pizza ovens.
The good news is that we are not affiliated with any supplier, and this gives us the independence to recommend the best and most appropriate equipment for your needs and budget, based on all the considerations above.
Rental and Shared kitchens
The popularity of food for delivery has led to the growth of dark kitchens which provide flexible-term dark kitchen rental opportunities for catering companies and takeaway brands. Dark kitchen rental enables new catering and delivery companies to avoid the huge start-up costs needed to create their own commercial kitchen. These fully-serviced kitchens offer them the space to expand, launch new brands and experiment with menus.
With our experience in designing large and small commercial kitchens, we understand how to create ergonomic and hygienically safe shared rental kitchens which may be used by multiple operators. What’s more our experience in commercial kitchen maintenance means we know which equipment is the most cost-effective and durable and best able to cope with the demands of shared kitchen use.
Financing and leasing
If you would like to lease your catering equipment, or spread the cost through financing, we can offer you solutions. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for one-off pieces of equipment, or the costs of your entire dark kitchen installation, we can arrange something to suit your budget.
Financing and leasing enables you to use your capital in other areas of the business. You can offset the costs of financing and leasing against profits and pay on terms that suit you.
Use our catering equipment finance calculator to give you a guide on the monthly cost of your project.