Flexibility: Key in Banquet Kitchen Design

In the latest edition of Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine, Rippe’s Steven P. Carlson weighs in on the discussion about the significance of flexibility in banquet kitchen design, alongside other industry experts.

Versatility is needed to accommodate different event types.

While restaurant needs are often static and predictable, the same cannot be said for banquets and catered events. A kitchen may need to accommodate a large wedding with plated service or a smaller-sized meeting that has a self-serve buffet. Just as the needs of restaurant and banquet kitchens are different, so are the kitchen designs.

“Catering kitchens are more prep oriented, while a banquet kitchen has a serpentine setup,” says Chris Harkness, chief operations officer, Great Performances, a catering, event and hospitality firm based in the Bronx, N.Y. “For both, flow is as important as mobility, with everything moving from left to right with production.”

Banquet kitchens need to be adaptable as staff will execute different methods of cooking and prep in this space to accommodate the various events and different needs. “The goal of banquet kitchens is to provide a remote foodservice serving area and to get a large amount of food out quickly,” says Cory Moe, senior designer, Special Projects Group, TriMark, Irvine, Calif.

Banquet kitchens also can differ based on location. For example, the design for a restaurant banquet kitchen would differ from that of a large hotel or convention center. “Banquet kitchens also can serve as central production for other venues,” says Steve Carlson, president of Rippe Associates, headquartered in Minneapolis.


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