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Choosing the right refrigeration for small commercial kitchens

Space is often a luxury not afforded to small commercial kitchens, as there’s more money to be made by giving the space to additional covers. It can put pressure on smaller spaces to work harder, but with clever design and carefully selected equipment, your kitchen can work efficiently.


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Consider the workflow and the services your kitchen needs to provide. It might be that your kitchen manages all the tasks of a much larger unit, and indeed there are smaller-footprint versions available of all the main kitchen units you might need.

Plan ahead

Planning the kitchen is one thing, but even once the equipment is installed and working, there are things that strong management can help with. Plan your menus in advance, so you know exactly what is required in the way of preparation, so elements can be done in advance. Knowing what your team is able to store will also help the chef significantly . Blast chillers or freezers can be very useful to allow you to prepare things even a day in advance.


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Minimise unused space

Choosing modular units for your kitchen will help eliminate wasted space and will give you the most flexibility in the space you have. Modular designs can work for refrigeration, too.

Take out

Regardless of what’s on the menu, if room is tight in the kitchen, try moving the refrigeration out of the kitchen. Occasional use units such as freezers could be further away, even in another part of the building or even outside in the car park, though be sure to think carefully about what is stored away from the main kitchen to avoid affecting productivity and efficiency. Depending on the nature of your business, space could be helped by having “Food to Go” units in the customer-facing space to make it easier to store food once ready, and easy for your customers to choose their food.

The Caterer explains everything you need to know about current legislation that applies to commercial kitchens, even small ones. Once you have decided on the sort of commercial refrigeration you need, there are many specialist online retailers, like, who will be able to supply the unit.

Choose slimline versions of ‘standard’ equipment and there’s no reason your small kitchen shouldn’t tackle all the tasks a much bigger setup achieves.