Safety Issues in Designing a Restaurant
There is a long list of things to do during the construction design phase. There are many aspects to consider, and this stage lays out everything for you to properly assess each component to view which part needs improvements or has issues. As people say in the industry, the more you spend time properly planning things, the less time you’ll need to execute them. Safety is maybe the most overlooked but critical aspect of building and designing a restaurant.
The business typically deals with fire, oil, grease, and other potentially destructive hazards. For this reason, the space should have features that can deal with issues relating to these problems immediately, like smoke vents that rid the area of harmful particulates, for example. Let’s dive further.
The Influence of Design in Food Safety and Quality
Safety may not be the first thing in most building owners when thinking about a restaurant kitchen layout. However, the structure of your interior, particularly the kitchen and staff zones, has a considerable impact on the food safety standards you serve to your customers.
For example, poor design leads to the placement of dishwashing appliances near food processing stations in certain circumstances. It violates building codes because dirty water and dishwashing equipment can compromise the ingredients, contaminating the food with undesirable and harmful microorganisms.
When planning your restaurant’s kitchen layout, keep cross-contamination in mind. It entails ensuring that workers do not give food to customer tables in the dining room via dishwashing rooms. To achieve desirable results, you’ll need to collaborate with food safety specialists, building contractors, and trained architects specializing in restaurant design. Cross-contamination and sanitary violations are less likely when a company has more expertise.
Grease and Plumbing
All prep drains must indirectly link to the sewer as a basic guideline. Good drainage is critical for ensuring high safety and health standards. You must also consider small details, such as placing small drainage in the flooring for quick and efficient cleaning. You must also address adequate grease disposal in restaurant construction requirements. A restaurant owner can manage grease in various ways, but the most practical approach is to install grease traps.
These technologies monitor and gather grease from floor drains, deep fryers, and other locations and autonomously segregate it from the water surface, guiding it to a waste receptacle, preventing sewer blockages and obstructed plumbing. There are various models to pick from, but it’s advisable to check with a construction company first. An expert design-build construction business will guide you through the specialized plumbing requirements for your restaurant kitchen.
Your restaurant may have considerable and costly interruptions due to a fire. Fire prevention systems are necessary for restaurants, especially in places designated as food prep areas, to protect personnel and customers. Sprinklers, sensors, extinguishers, and wet chemicals for combating grease fires are all examples of fire suppression systems that you can place in your commercial kitchen area.
The hood exhaust systems are amongst the most effective fire suppression systems. The hood is by far the most likely place to spontaneously combust because of its location, typically above equipment such as burners, cooktops, and fryers. The fire suppression system extinguishes a fire as quickly as it begins.
For maximum fire safety measures in your business, you’ll need high-quality design, equipment, and installation. These features are mandatory and a requirement for most building codes. Your architectural plan will contain smoke alarms and sprinkler systems if an emergency occurs.
The kitchen must be your top focus because it is the most sensitive to harm. The appropriate materials and flooring for your kitchen could be lifesaving and cost-effective. Commercial building codes require commercial kitchens and food establishments to have the correct type of flooring.
Consider these rules for when you choose a flooring:
- The flooring must be easy to maintain and clean.
- It should be resistant to chemicals and safe around food.
- It should not be porous or slippery.
- Finally, the flooring must be heat resistant.
HVAC and Ventilation
Kitchen ventilation is the most crucial part of HVAC design for restaurants. It is vital for optimum airflow and maintaining temperature control for the dining spaces. It would be best to have an expert contractor who understands the optimal HVAC design for restaurants to provide adequate ventilation. It’s critical for both safety and hygiene reasons.
Kitchens are ideal locations for fungal growth, dampness, and structural damage because of the water, heat, and steam it typically contains. Despite how uninhabitable it sounds, you still want clean air for your employees and visitors. Proper ventilation will reduce the risks to a minimum while ensuring that your facility is a pleasant place to dine. Air quality is essential for your restaurant’s performance, safety, and code compliance.
For optimal airflow, HVAC design is quite essential. It would help if you instructed your experts to carefully build and construct these vents and ducts to avoid specific problems. Restaurant HVAC systems must be more powerful and more significant than those used in most homes. Installation is somewhat more challenging and necessitates the observance of several rules, such as:
- It would be best if you kept your cooking equipment, such as fryers, at a safe distance from the HVAC system.
- Restaurant HVAC systems must meet the highest requirements, allowing the proper external and internal air exchange quantity.
- You must adequately design and seal the air ducts.
If your restaurant’s HVAC system isn’t up to code, it’s a recipe for catastrophe. A poorly built and fitted HVAC system will likely cause issues and potentially hazardous adverse effects. A seasoned construction company will recognize the need to conform with building codes and select the right HVAC contractor to install your ventilation system.
Building an adequately equipped restaurant is not a do-it-yourself project, so choose an expert building contractor who specializes in restaurant operations to guide you through the process. Bear in mind that there are rules to observe, like maintaining appropriate hygiene and avoiding unsafe circumstances. First and foremost, do your homework and ensure the safety of your investment.
In case you have any architectural, structural, and MEP design including fire sprinkler design requirements, or need multifamily ADUs design including structure, and HVAC design, feel free to contact us. We provide you with the full permit set design + T24 for your request.
Chris Jackson is an experienced Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. He is currently employed by Best Access Doors, an access door supplier in the US and Canada. He has been working for the company for more than 12 years now. His area of expertise is on Negotiation, Roofers, Sales, Project Estimation, and Facility Management (FM)