commercial-kichen Has anyone built a commercial kitchen?

HellfireFarm

Business Member
I'm looking at converting an outbuilding into a commercial kitchen. I know that the details vary by jurisdiction so I'm not looking for details like that - I'm dealing the the local building and health departments, and the state, on that stuff.

Just looking for some tips on what to consider, things I might be missing, etc. from anyone who has been through the process.
 
No, I can’t say that I have, but I may still be able to offer a couple of nuggets of idea. We did install a commercial grade (high BTU) stove/range in my parents house. The range hood requires at least 700cfm which also must be made up with intake air. That’s a lot of air.

Also, cleaning is going to be a big and perpetual chore. Surfaces such as stainless steel and tile that can be washed (or even hosed) down and bleached and drains to facilitate wash downs might be a good idea.

Maybe reading through what a health inspection covers might provide a few design ideas.
 
Last edited:

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Ventilation (pepper fumes)
Adequate power/gas
Lots of light/lighting
Countertop outlets aplenty
Wipe-down wall panels (vinyl are cheaper than stainless)
Floor drains
Commercial grade tile floor PEI 4 or 5 to withstand heavy appliances/work tables/impact
1673656293888.png
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Also remember most surfaces will need to be FDA compliant as well as all sealants etc. For example there's an FDA silicone for things like sealing seams in stainless etc. All plumbing/fittings NSF, etc. Can't use your regular hose spigot as a water source. Would have to buy NSF/Lead-free.


 

salsalady

Business Member
We built my kitchen around 2005. Codes have probably changed a bit.

We took 1/3 of an existing garage, walled it off, added a full licensed septic tank, tied into existing private well for water.

Water testing required an inline UV unit.

Walls and floors must be "washable". Definitions of that have probably changed since then. Back then...washable...ment using kitchen/bathroom paint.

If you dont have employees, most of the ADA and bathroom requirements might not be applicable. My kitchen is in a building at my home so i dont have to have a bathroom facility in the kitchen. I dont have employees. Employees cannot use the residents's home bathroom, so if you anticipate using employees, plan on a bathroom as part of the facility.

We put in 2 doors, one to the outside standard 30 inch, and a 4 foot door to the inside of the garage.

Surface mounted water and electric. Sourced equipment from used sources.


We put in an open drain for the sinks. REGRET- we were building on an existing garage slab. I should of done a self leveling pour over the existing concrete.
 

salsalady

Business Member
The septic was permited thru the county.

The actual kichen was licensed thru Wa state Dept of Ag for food processing facilities.

Eventually, i got FDA licensed, with on site inspections done by WSDA.
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Maybe reading through what a health inspection covers might provide a few design ideas.
42 pages of regulations :shocked:
I'll be working with the county building dept, county health, and NC Dept. of Agriculture (which regulates commercial kitchens). I have most of the technical details down, although likely not all. They do provide a simplified checklist, fortunately.


Countertop outlets aplenty
Wipe-down wall panels (vinyl are cheaper than stainless)
...
Commercial grade tile floor PEI 4 or 5 to withstand heavy appliances/work tables/impact
Thanks for the reminder about the outlets. I'm getting a new drop on a new meter for a 200-amp panel. Current estimate is I'll need about 40 amps, but why not be prepared?

I was thinking about vinyl for the walls.

THANK YOU for the info about the floor tiles. I didn't know about all that.
Also remember most surfaces will need to be FDA compliant as well as all sealants etc. For example there's an FDA silicone for things like sealing seams in stainless etc. All plumbing/fittings NSF, etc. Can't use your regular hose spigot as a water source. Would have to buy NSF/Lead-free.
I'll be running fresh plumbing, including a filtration system, from my well (looks like they're going to allow me to tap the home well) and getting commercial fixtures. But again, thanks for the info about the silicone, was not aware of that!
Speaking of compliant, you may be required to meet certain ADA requirements and also consider requirements for things like (ADA compliant) toilet facilities.

Lots of things change when you become semi-public.
Not really going that route. This is nothing more than a kitchen for production. TBH from what I've seen, most kitchens (think restaurant) don't appear to be ADA compliant. Although it likely will end up that way simply due to the layout and structure.
Water testing required an inline UV unit.
...
We put in 2 doors, one to the outside standard 30 inch, and a 4 foot door to the inside of the garage.

Surface mounted water and electric. Sourced equipment from used sources.

We put in an open drain for the sinks. REGRET- we were building on an existing garage slab. I should of done a self leveling pour over the existing concrete.
Hmm, I'll have to look at a UV unit. May or may not be required but won't hurt to investigate.

I'm really hoping they won't require 2 doors. That may make the current structure not viable.

Right now the studs are exposed so I'm planning to run everything in the walls. I've done that before so not a problem. I've priced everything based on new equipment and fixtures, so I can hopefully run under-budget by hitting auctions and such.

Fortunately, this structure is raised so plumbing drainage underneath won't be (too much of) a problem.

Thank you all for the input! As always, good info from everyone here!
 

salsalady

Business Member
2 doors arent required, i wanted a window on the exterior wall, decided a door would be good. I also wanted a wide door for moving equipment in and out. I also have a window over the prep sink/table south-facing for light and ventilation.


Make sure to put a vent hood over the stove! My vent hood is opposite the window over the prep sink, works good for a cross breeze when washing, grinding, etc with fresh peppers.

What is your water source? If supplied from a public source ( city or community well) they are required to do testing , UV, etc. If on a private well, you will be required to do an initial test for metals, bacteria, etc. Back in the day, the initial full spectrum test was about $450. Yearly testing is $80 with an every 3 year test about $100.

Testing revealed some kind of potentially harmful bacteria in our well water requiring the UV unit. I would suggest getting a water test done before doing plumbing in case a softener or UV etc is required.

After about 5 years, the UV driver quit. Purchased a replacenent for $350. 5 years later it quit again. Purchased another. That one quit, and model had been discontinued. Bought a comp...that one quit after less than a year.

Ended up getting the plumber out here to replumb in a completely new unit.....$1300.

Plus the UV bulb has to be replaced yearly.

Just info...

Keep us posted. Love seeing new projects as they come along.
SL
 
Last edited:

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
THANK YOU for the info about the floor tiles. I didn't know about all that.
No problem, the PEI is a porcelain rating, as, a lot of people like the look and selection. But if you want those brick red 6x6 squares you see in restaurant kitchens, that is simply called quarry tile and is an excellent choice. You can usually get the red or a grey I don't think there's a huge selection but not sure. Quarry is also used for it's slip resistance due to the natural surface. Just google restaurant quarry tile or similar. The higher the COF (coefficient of friction) number the more slip resistant, you can look for a high COF and PEI if going porcelain. If going quarry it should already be a good COF but you can check.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
I googled this:
Floor tiles receive a rating called a Coefficient of Friction (COF), which is a measure of the tile's resistance to slipping. A tile with a low rating is more slippery than a tile with a high rating. For reference, a tile with a rating of .60 or higher is considered acceptable to ADA and OSHA standards.
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
2 doors arent required, i wanted a window on the exterior wall, decided a door would be good. I also wanted a wide door for moving equipment in and out. I also have a window over the prep sink/table south-facing for light and ventilation.
Hoping there's no additional state requirement, but that's a relief to know.
Make sure to put a vent hood over the stove! My vent hood is opposite the window over the prep sink, works good for a cross breeze when washing, grinding, etc with fresh peppers.

What is your water source? If supplied from a public source ( city or community well) they are required to do testing , UV, etc. If on a private well, you will be required to do an initial test for metals, bacteria, etc. Back in the day, the initial full spectrum test was about $450. Yearly testing is $80 with an every 3 year test about $100.
Water source is a private well. Water testing is required by Ag so that's a given. I think the county offers free tests, but I may spring for a lab to be totally sure. My biggest concern is that I recently learned our county is one of those on a large deep granite slab that may be releasing radon so that test needs to happen soon regardless. Not sure what radon mitigation will require.
After about 5 years, the UV driver quit. Purchased a replacenent for $350. 5 years later it quit again. Purchased another. That one quit, and model had been discontinued. Bought a comp...that one quit after less than a year.
Good info there when shopping, if I need one of those. Take the time and effort to find a reliable one.

And thanks again @The Hot Pepper for the tips on tile!
 
Top