The ever-decreasing size of the commercial kitchen is a trend that’s been in progress for several years. Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have temporarily halted the shrinking because of a reduced need for indoor dining, experts predict foodservice kitchens will continue to see a smaller and smaller footprint in the years to come.
One significant reason for the continued shrinking is an increase in commercial property prices. With higher overhead, only smaller spaces fit within foodservice budgets, and operators need to do more with less. An industry report from the National Restaurant Association predicts “the restaurant of the future will likely be smaller and more efficient.”
The same report predicts a significant increase in the number of ghost kitchens, as more operations are seeing a surge in takeout and delivery demand. In fact, the global market size of ghost kitchens was valued around $40 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2030.
As operators anticipate the impaired kitchen workflows that often come from a smaller footprint, they should look to well-functioning small kitchens for examples in efficiency.
Small kitchens exemplify efficiency
C-stores and food trucks — operations with particularly cramped spaces — are demonstrating that small kitchens can be just as impactful as large.
- C-stores are providing more foodservice offerings than ever before, with enhanced quality and expanded selections, all from small kitchens.
- Food trucks are leading the way in workflow efficiency, producing flavorful product quickly and on scale with larger restaurants.
What sets these operations apart as examples to the rest of the foodservice industry? Operators at these small-kitchen establishments understand the importance of choosing equipment that makes an impact and streamlines workflows.
Choosing equipment for shrinking kitchens
Foodservice operators must choose equipment carefully to account for their shrinking kitchens. While past equipment selection has been influenced by name brand or style, those indulgences need to take a backseat to more practical considerations. C-stores and food trucks have demonstrated that there are two important factors to consider when choosing equipment: multi-functionality and flexibility.
A smaller kitchen footprint means foodservice equipment has to be small enough to fit but also powerful enough to make an impact. Multi-functional kitchen equipment can provide much-needed versatility to prepare and maintain many different menu items throughout all dayparts. When choosing equipment for a small kitchen, operators must look at functionality and consider what equipment will give them the most bang for their buck.
Small kitchen equipment can’t be functional only. It also has to be flexible enough to fit into a staff’s workflow — without slowing them down. The right piece of flexible kitchen equipment will allow rote food preparation tasks to become more streamlined. In any foodservice operation, time is so valuable that an inflexible piece of equipment can make or break a workflow, so flexibility must be a top consideration.
The multi-functional, flexible BBS Mini
The BBS Mini is the perfect example of equipment that can make a significant impact with a small footprint. And its offerings are multi-functional, assisting throughout many parts of the food prep process. All the features of the standard BBS models, which auto sift and bread fried-food products, are available with the BBS Mini, helping operators ensure consistent product quality and flavor while cutting labor costs, ensuring food safety and decreasing waste.
It’s flexible enough for any workflow and able to be adapted as necessary to help streamline kitchen efficiency. The BBS Mini comes with a wide range of accessories and configurations, including:
- Built-in mobility
- Breading lug or funnel
- Ice bath
- Dip pot/pan or additional work area
- Back panel
- Protein rails
The BBS Mini accomplishes all this with a footprint as small as 15” deep and 35” wide — perfect for c-stores, food trucks, ghost kitchens and any operation that has limited kitchen space. The “low boy” model can even roll under food prep counters.
Learning from smaller kitchens
As foodservice operators continue to experience shrinking kitchen space, they can take a cue from c-stores and food truck kitchens and invest in equipment that takes up less space but provides a vital impact on their operation.
Learn more about the BBS Mini and its versatility within a small footprint by visiting this product page.