Design Process

Foodservice facilities should never be designed in isolation and time must be allowed to develop them with opportunities for input from both the client and the rest of the design team. In our experience, there are always wider issues and project requirements to be considered that can influence both specific design details and broader objectives.

We believe that all projects differ and as such whilst a design process follows, each project must be considered on its own.

Over the years, we’ve worked for a wide range of clients in all sorts of sectors. From commercial operations for hotels, restaurants, pubs and coffee shops to education for schools, colleges and universities. From business places and healthcare to leisure with involvement in museums, visitors attractions and museums. Our cross sector experience does however allow for cross pollination of ideas and best practice, rather than being constrained by only single sector experience.

At the outset the type, style and intent of the offer must be discovered and any specific criteria noted. This includes but is not limited to cover capacities, levels of service, team skills and also intended trading periods.
The menu and offer drives the equipment, which in turn drives the space and services. Behind the menu, the food and beverages, how they arrive and how much on site or off site preparation is required sets out the menu and equipment needs. Deliveries and pack sizes also are layered onto understand storage requirements.
With so many manufacturers and different types of equipment, where to start can be a mind field. We understand equipment and recognise that differing types, levels, skill, robustness, capacities, technologies and also budget all play important parts. The specification of the catering equipment with a detailed description ensures inclusion of ancillary equipment required to facilitate the equipment fully and also to qualify the procurement of the equipment through a comparative tender.
A financial plan for the catering is needed to understand where, and on what funds should be allocated to enable the brief to be delivered. There are many different levels of budget, and also of catering equipment and finishes which, when combined enable outline costs and then detailed budget costs to be worked through and to be incorporated into the project costs. The impact of any proposals for reductions should be carefully considered and understood.
Adaptability of equipment is generally applauded as this enables flexibility. Reliability of equipment together with the availability of spare parts, enabling ease of repairs if they are required reduces downtime. Cleaning and maintenance of the equipment is also considered together with how the equipment is situated within any area.
Ease of use
This relates to the overall building, kitchen, serveries, associated stores, bars and also equipment. It covers the flows in and around the building, how the areas will be used, operating capacities and even the service connections for the actual equipment, all of which must be considered.

Foodservice areas are designed with distinct zones to provide a safe food environment, which considers HACCAP food safety, food hygiene, and general health & safety.
Foodservice facilities are configured to occupy the minimum footprint for safe operation so as to minimise construction costs and maximise trading areas. Synergies of equipment and menu items are considered to reduce travel for chefs and front of house team. Overall building and work flows from deliveries right through to waste are also considered.
Catering equipment is a large user of energy, therefore we always aim to minimise the energy required, whilst still enabling the catering operation. Environmental and energy considerations are an ever increasing topic, and one where it can be a challenge to see clearly. We can provide the clarity needed to translate this information and determine the best fit for your operation.

Recognition of the importance of catering design to the commercial success of a project is a great starting point. It provides a solid foundation on which to build the catering strategy and ensures that it is integral to both project delivery and the long term success of the project.

The right catering consultancy will play a vital part in achieving these aims by providing detailed and considered designs, not only of the catering facilities themselves but also, in collaboration with the rest of the design team, of associated and adjacent spaces. In our experience, the relationship of the catering facilities to the spaces around them are often overlooked but with careful design the efficiency of the whole building can be maximised.