School Kitchen Design & Floor Planning

Designing a school kitchen is unique because of all that is required. Many schools will have to feed hundreds of students in a short span of time. Understanding the intricacies of the design, the floor plan, and even the equipment needed will make it easier for you to have a kitchen that your school can be proud of.

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School Kitchen Design

Kitchen designs can vary dramatically – and with student kitchens, you need to make sure that you’re able to serve food directly from the kitchen. If anyone is walking too much, it can lead to chaos. Further, everything has to be orderly in order to get students fed in the short amount of time they’re given for their lunch break.

The assembly line layout is one of the most popular options for a school kitchen for several reasons:

  • The kitchen faces the customer
  • It’s easy to get all of the sides on a student’s plate quickly
  • Food prep and meal cooking are located close to the service area

Most school kitchens have a limited menu for the day. It’s often referred to as “scoop and dump” food because there’s not a lot of time to assemble anything fancy. Students grab a tray and move down the line to identify what entrée and what sides they want.

By having food prep and meal cooking close, it allows for fresh pans of the various items to be replenished quickly.

As you design your school kitchen, you’ll want to consider how much your students will be doing and how much your employees will be doing. Many school districts are giving students more freedom. Instead of a single-file line, it’s possible to use multiple serving stations.

Stations can be broken out into:

  • Main course
  • Salad bar
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Dessert

Much of these decisions will be based on the size of your overall kitchen and dining room as well as district guidelines.

School Kitchen Design

School Kitchen Equipment

School kitchens have changed dramatically over the past few decades. Students aren’t given mindless mush. They’re being introduced to flavor fusions. They’re being given more choices, healthier foods, and even more flavorful foods.

The equipment needed to carry out the menus you wish to create is critical. You need equipment that is not only flexible but also capable of producing large quantities.

If you’re a private school serving 100 students, you may need smaller grills or fryers than a public school serving 500 students. By working with a kitchen designer, you can ensure these things are taken into consideration.

At the very least, there are a few basic types of equipment that you’ll need:

  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Oven
  • Grill
  • Prep counters
  • Steam tables
  • Merchandisers

Particularly when you’re serving students who are capable of picking up some of their own foods, you can choose different types of equipment. Refrigerated and heated merchandisers, for example, allow students to pick up what they need and keep moving. Meanwhile, steam tables may be more heavily used when employees are doing the serving.

You don’t have to deal with the kitchen design and floor planning for your school on your own.

At Mathias FoodService, we have decades of experience working with schools and other facilities. We can build a kitchen design that works for your school based on all of the challenges you face. Once you have a layout, we can work with you on equipment procurement to ensure that you’re able to serve delicious food in a timely manner.

Call us today to set up a consultation and discuss your school kitchen’s designs at length.

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