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Top Products for Small Kitchens

From bulky pieces of equipment to towering storage racks, it doesn’t take much to fill the space in your kitchen. But, what if you run a commercial kitchen that’s smaller than the norm or if you're a food truck owner? Fortunately, some foodservice equipment manufacturers have created lines of compact and multipurpose appliances that are perfect for small kitchens! Keep reading to learn what constitutes a small kitchen, get advice from a small kitchen owner, and find out the best equipment for small kitchens.

What is a Small Kitchen?

Since each restaurant is different, there is no typical size for a commercial kitchen. Most kitchens range from 500 to 2,000 square feet in size, so anything that is less than 500 square feet can be considered a small commercial kitchen.

Types of Small Kitchens

The products listed below can be used not only for cramped restaurant kitchens, but for the following businesses:

  • Food Trucks
  • Concession Stands
  • Walk-Up Window Restaurants
  • Small Diners
  • Small Bakeries

Advice From a Small Kitchen Owner

The best way to learn about how to choose equipment for a small commercial kitchen is to talk to someone who works in one. We chatted with Michael Sirianni, manager and operator of the walk-up window restaurant turned food truck, Buzz, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The business started out with a 9' x 11' kitchen, which is about 100 square feet. The company later transitioned into a food truck, which is an even smaller space, making it essential that no space is wasted.

Challenges of a Small Kitchen

“It’s pretty close quarters with the other employees, but the biggest challenge of working in a space this small is how often we have to order our ingredients,” says Sirianni. Since Buzz specializes in making food with fresh ingredients and has limited refrigeration space, they have to order their supplies more frequently and in smaller amounts, which can be more costly than ordering in bulk.

Choosing Equipment for a Small Kitchen

best equipment for small kitchens

When choosing the equipment he would need, Sirianni had to ask himself, “How do we cook things?” While this may seem like an obvious question, it’s one of the most important starting points to opening up any kind of foodservice establishment.

From here, he was able to figure out what equipment was necessary and what he could do without. “It would be really nice to have a real prep station or a real line, sort of like what Subway has, but there’s just no room for it”, stated Sirianni. To deal with the lack of space, the equipment he uses has to be multipurpose. For example, not only do his fridges provide him with a place to keep ingredients cool and within easy reach, but they also double as a worktable for assembling sandwiches and flatbreads.

Cooking Equipment for Small Kitchens

Other cooking equipment:

Refrigeration Equipment for Small Kitchens

Other refrigeration options:

Sinks and Warewashing Equipment for Small Kitchens

Other sinks and warewashing equipment:

Storage for Small Kitchens

Other storage options:

Holding and Warming Equipment for Small Kitchens

Other holding and warming options:


Working in a small kitchen can be difficult, but fortunately there are many types of foodservice equipment that have multiple functions or that are designed to be compact that can make it easier. When designing the layout of your kitchen, you need to carefully consider which types of equipment you really need and research if there are compact versions of those pieces of equipment. Additionally, small kitchen and food truck owners may want to see if doing heavy cooking in a commissary kitchen is the right option for your business.

Posted in: Facility Design & Decor | Product Spotlights | By Emily Hepner
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