New member 1st post, opening my own place

Hello from Pouslbo, Washington. My wife and I are on the path to open our own place in about 6-7 months called Pazzo di Pizza (Italian for “Crazy about pizza”)

I am sure I will be spending lots of time on this site with searching the archives, reading post,etc.

I have a simple question to get this started. We are designing our kitchen area along with the floor plan (total space is 1820sf with expected seating for 60) with space for a game room.

What would you change or do differently in the design of your kitchen? Any kitchen planning tips anyone can offer is greatly appreciated.

I am so excited, this is a 20 year dream to do this and our town is in desperate need of not only a quality pizza, but a place with dine-in service. :smiley:

I would suggest you start with a sheet of paper…sounds simple enough, yes? But draw out a map of your kitchen and then start to think about how the work flow will go. Far too many times I have been in a pizzeria where workers were tripping all over themselves putting in orders, making pizza, cutting and boxing them, getting dirty dishes to the washer, etc.

What you want is a circular flow in the kitchen. Make it so the orders will come in at one point, move over to the make line, go into the oven, come out where they can be cut and boxed or plated…think about subs and sandwiches (if you have them)…will the cooks be tripping over the sandwitch guy? Will the waitstaff be getting in the way as they expidite orders? What you want, in so many words, is an assembly line (you don’t put the hood on a car before you install the engine). Give thought to how things will come in, go together and get out the door. Also, think about where your dishwasher will be and place the washer in a location where you can get dishes in and out from the dining area and the kitchen without clogging up the flow of work. I am sure some of these other guys can offer some advice too. Good luck.

Great information and same line of thinking. I remember the first pizzeria I worked in back in high school had a terrible flow, a “one butt kitchen” if you know what I mean.

The circular idea is exactly what I was thinking following a clockwise pattern from front counter moving right to a salad/pizza prep line to the oven to chop/box table and back to the counter.

I have a local design company working on this as they specialize in restaruant design. A lot of work at this point but hopefully all worth it.

Keep the tips coming!

When I relocated my store in 2001, I never anticipated growing my sales to the point that they are at now. My 8X10 walkin cooler is overfilled every week despite twice a week delivery. My phone counter only has room for 3 POS stations, so I’ve had to put a station in the back of the store on our dough table. My 4 ft cut table is tight and difficult to work on. All of this was fine for the volume I was doing when I opened in this location, but now a major renovation is needed to continue to grow the business.

But by far, the biggest regret is not setting up an office within the store. I spend so much time doing marketing/accounting at home because I have no space to do it at work. I would much prefer to do this at work where I could be there to oversee everything that’s going on.

Space and growth are a concern. I am looking to lease space in a new retail hub that has the following as anchor stores - WalMart, Home Depot, and Office Max. Other stores include Starbucks, about 5 banks, SleepCounty, Desert Sun and a few other indy shops. A hotel is schedule along with about 260 redidential homes and tournament soccer fields.

With the price at $28sf +triple net ($4.50sf) for a space of 28x65 it runs nearly $5000 a month just for this.

Poulsbo is projected to double in population in the next 5-7 years (in the city is 8k, with surrounding area pushing it to 28K) and this is the only major retail center available for growth.

The only competition are the following in order of sales numbers
Central Market - local grocery store with pizza service
Papa Murphy’s
Seabeck (indy)
Westside Pizza (indy)

The top 3 do not offer dine-in service and the last two have a max of 15-20 for seating.

I would give myself more room. My business has grown from around the 320k to almost 580k in 2 years and even with growth in mind at the time of construction I am starting to feel the lack of space. I couldnt have made it much bigger but even an axtra 30sf would have helped me. Spend money now that will save you later.

I was trying for the end space on the retail strip so I could also have an outside patio for nice weather seating. Some how I got beat by a coffee shop.

Anyone have an idea how much seating I can get out of 1820sf when you consider I will need two bathrooms, a game room in the 10x10 to 12x12 range and then adequate kitchen space, walk in, dry storage, dough area, dish area, etc?

Any chance of putting the walkin outside attached to the store? This would save you considerable space.

I would say the chance is zero as the layout shows the back of the space is a small parking area and access for deliveries for the OfficeMax.

By the way, sorry, just realized I was not logged in before, thus the guest status.

How big of a walk in? I have been trying to figure this one out as I plan to have about 6-8 taps of local brewed beer. May have to scale this back as space is needed for storage of the kegs, plus dough, plus…

Start drawing.
Sketch the place as exactly to scale as you can with known limits - windows, beams, walls, restrooms, etc.
Then make little cutouts the same scale of key equipment - beer coolers, pizza oven, walk-in, make-table, cut table, mixer, prep sink, dishmachine, etc, etc. Then you can shuffle around the equipment and see how the kitchen flows and gets filled up. OR, you can do this with software…

make sure u add a walkin freezer and if your frying chicken wings add 2 fryers I didnt and 8 moths later i hadd to add and figure out for more room

I have 2100 Square foot. I seat, 55 people. My building is 30 foot wide, and it’s split almost down the middle. Left side is dining & restrooms, right side is kitchen, walk in, dish, dry storage, and office. 8 of the 55 is at a bar looking into the kitchen.

It works okay. The only thing I would have done different was make sure my back door wasn’t exposed to the dining room. It’s really annoying when drivers are going in and out and people are trying to eat.

I am getting ready to add another door to cover up the back door - annoying problem to have.

BOX STORAGE can be easily overlooked as well as storage of other paper goods…I love my refigerated chefs bases with broiler, griddle and burners on top…had to add another fryer so make sure your hood is sized properly…also added delivery so needed more room to stage deliveries… additional 2 POS stations were needed when we thought only 2 were enough…drainage for floor cleaning
Oh yeah…REMOTE REFIGERATION! keep the compressors out of the kitchen

Good tips and ideas. Small items can easily get over looked on a project like this. On the remote compressor, is this due to noise or something else?

I like the idea using scale pieces for equipment and moving them around. I will have to work this up during the week.

What size walk-ins do most of you have? I was thinking something like a 10x12? I need enough room for for your typical products, kegs, etc.

Thanks everyone, keep it coming.

I’ve worked on several restaurant designs, not just pizza. Personally, I could not imagine working this out on a piece of paper. Draw the dimensions of the space on a graphics program. Draw boxes the sizes of the equipment, counters, isles, walls, etc. Then place everything where you ideally would like them. Then just keep thinking through the process. Move the pieces around as you see fit. That way if you have a new idea you can easily see if it fits rather than redrawing and measuring the whole thing over and over. You can grab any equipment measurement from the internet. Be sure to ask your designer what isle space is needed, how many sinks you need, bathroom spacing etc. If you do not know this before designing its all for not.

One thing I am constantly amazed at is the expensive hallways some people put into their stores. Much of the time when a restaurant takes over a space the restrooms are located at the back of the facility. Figuring they are saving money, they leave the restrooms where they are and make a hallway for their guests going all the way back. Saves you money upfront, but that will cost you money every month going forward in lost productivity or seating.

Another suggestion is to visit all the restaurants and like businesses you can. When I found a store I thought was really done well I would go and hang out there several times a week with a pen and note pad.

Make you kitchen mobile and versital as much as you can. In a chain I was working with, we developed a new flagship store. We have moved grills, fryers, cold tables, ovens and prep tables around several times in the year and a half since it opened trying to get it just right. Since this will be your first store you will not even come close to getting 100% right. So plan for it.

Its very cheap to put in extra electrical and data drops during construction, but it gets very expensive after the fact. If you think you may need a water or gas line somewhere have it stubbed out for future.

Good advice pizzapirate. I am one of those idiots that left the bathrooms where they were at and now need to do a complete renovation because I need the space that the hallway takes up. Pretty difficult to plan without closing shop, which I don’t see as an option. I’ve also regretted not running phone lines and electrical to extra places prior to opening. I tried to open with one 5 ton AC for my 1150 foot delco, and since had to add a second. Wish I had went larger to begin with.

Pazzo- The advantage of remote compressors are the noise, the heat they produce, and when they need maintanence or repair, a service guy is not in the way, and it is easily accessable.

Wow! Great information Anyone know of a graphics program that is easy to learn and maybe a free download? You are correct piratepizza, drawing on graph paper gets a little old when you want to make even a minor change.

I will check with the building owner on the remote compressor, maybe it can sit outside and have the walk-in on the back wall of the unit.

Luckily I have time to hopefully plan this at close to correct as possible. The building has not even been started yet and is not scheduled for completion until August (more likely September).

It’s not really made for it, but I tried “design” programs and found them lacking - ended up doing restaurant layouts using Microsoft Visio.
It let’s you make things to scale, all different shapes, has some useful pre-made shapes (chairs, tables, plants, counters, etc).

When I design layouts for more stores I use plain ole Microsoft Excel. In some municipalities that’s all I need as long as the walls are not weight bearing.

Pazzo di Pizza, If you need help with your layout just send me your measurements and I’ll show you how I set up my stores. Just be patient with it. I’ve got a few hours today to play but after that I’ll be busy for a while, so if you don’t get back to me today it might take a little while. -J_r0kk

Personally, I use Adobe Illustrator, but you can use just about any cheap graphics program since all you will be drawing is rectangles.

Use 1/4 scale for all your drawings. One inch equals four feet.

I draw “working boxes” in different sizes (ie 2’, 3’, 4’, 5’ etc) to use as tools to space things out as I am moving things around.