Running a professional kitchen is as challenging as it sounds. Efficiency must always be maintained without sacrificing quality and safety. This means that good kitchen design is integral in streamlining the process, as well as in ensuring that every part of the kitchen is durable and can easily be maintained. After all, a kitchen renovation can be a very costly inconvenience insofar as professional kitchens are involved.
One part of the kitchen which tend to not get enough attention is the sink. After all, for a lot of individuals, the cooking area is regarded as the most important part of the kitchen. But while the cooking area is certainly of essence, anyone who has worked in a high-volume kitchen can certainly attest to how a great commercial kitchen sink can vastly improve workflow in the kitchen. That said, in this article, we will provide you with a guide in buying a commercial kitchen sink to make sure that not only are you getting your money’s worth, but that you are also running your kitchen as efficiently as possible.
What sinks do you need in your kitchen?
One high-quality kitchen sink might work just fine for households, but that definitely is not the case in a commercial kitchen sink. After all, we are talking about several people performing several tasks simultaneously here. This means that having only one kitchen sink would significantly drive up preparation time and when you have a lot of hungry customers waiting, taking too long in food preparation is the last think that you want to happen.
Hence, the first step in buying commercial kitchen sinks is determining how many sinks you would actually need. In a typical commercial kitchen, at least three types of sinks are needed, namely: a hand wash sink, a food preparation sink, and a pot wash sink. Of course, you might need several sinks of a particular type depending on the size of your kitchen. While one of each kind would suffice for a small café, you certainly would need more if you are running a pretty sizable restaurant. Having all three types of sinks in your kitchen would mean that important tasks can be done at the same time, all the while keeping everything sanitary and preventing food items from being contaminated.
What material should you go for when buying a commercial kitchen sink?
After you have figured out how many sinks you actually need installed in your kitchen, the next step is to determine which material to look for when buying your sink. The material is a primary consideration, especially since durability and hygiene are of utmost importance in commercial kitchens.
Generally, you would want to go for something made from stainless steel. Not only is stainless steel very durable, thus allowing you to get your money’s worth, but it is also very easy to clean and sanitize. Not all stainless-steel sinks are created equal, however, and there are two main stainless-steel grades you can choose from: 304 and 430.
The 304 is a commercial grade of metal, made with a combination of chromium and nickel. This grade is non-magnetic and is best suited for commercial tables and kitchen sinks. If you are looking for something cheaper, you can opt for the 430 grade. Note, however, that the 430 does not contain nickel at all, so it is less resistant to corrosion. If you have a major renovation in the near future planned, you might opt for a 430 since it is a lot cheaper to replace. However, if you want something that will last a long time, then you should really invest in a 304.
What design should you choose for your kitchen?
Once you have determined your preferred material for your kitchen sink, the next step is to determine the design of the kitchen sink you will be buying. In professional kitchens, the aesthetic is not as important as functionality, especially since stainless steel is the norm. While you may want to install something chic in the bathroom for guests in your establishment, insofar as the kitchen is concerned, your main goal is to choose something which will facilitate movement and increase efficiency.
That said, when choosing the design for a commercial kitchen sink, the first question you have to ask is: what will this particular sink be used for? For example, for the hand wash sink, something small with a shallow basin should suffice, preferably one with built-in dispensers for the soap and the sanitizer. For the food preparation sink, meanwhile, you will want something with a deeper basin to allow for easy washing of a large quantity of food items at a time. It is also advisable to choose a double-bowl sink design so you can wash fresh produce separately from meat products, thereby lessening the chances of contamination. It is also more efficient that way since two people can work the food preparation area at the time.
Finally, for the pot wash sink, you will certainly be looking for a design with a deeper basin and a larger water capacity, and preferably something with a triple-bowl design. This will allow whoever is working the area to easily wash big pots and pans while at the same time keeping water from spraying all over the place. After all, spills and wet floors can easily cause accidents in high-density kitchens. Having a triple-bowl commercial kitchen sink will also help in conserving water because and washing the dishes more efficiently because instead of running the water continuously, one can dump all dirty dishes in the first basin and let all the remaining food items to loosen up in the soapy water, thereby making the dish washing process a lot quicker and more energy-efficient.
Efficiency, durability, and cost-effectiveness are the primary consideration when it comes to buying commercial kitchen sinks. Unlike in household sinks, aesthetic is not so much of a consideration in professional kitchens as sanitation and efficiency. Hence, in buying commercial kitchen sinks, you should keep purpose and function in mind and keep the pointers above in mind.