Not all semi-commercial kitchens are created equal. These are the things to look out for – and items to avoid – when buying a semi-commercial kitchen.
You’ve made the choice to install a semi-commercial kitchen – it’s time to start shopping. But don’t jump at the first offer. There are many companies claiming to sell semi-commercial kitchens when that isn’t the case. We’ve gathered what you to look out for when gathering quotes, and what to avoid.
When choosing a semi-commercial kitchen, durability needs to be at the top of your list. Whether you’re creating a place for your volunteers to make a cup of tea, or a café for your church community, it needs to withstand your plans. Kitchens made from powder coated steel are designed to withstand this kind of heavy traffic. Their material makes them hard-wearing and an investment that will last through every summer bake sale and winter cook-off. Plus, as it’s made from powder-coated steel, it’s easy to clean and stays clean – from the inside out.
Some companies may sell semi-commercial kitchens that are like your kitchen at home. These are not true semi-commercial kitchens, and the biggest giveaway is the material they are made of. Look out for wood or wrapped MDF – this is the standard material your cabinet doors are made from at home. And at home, they’re ideal, but not so much for your church kitchen. After only a few years, your investment will start to crack and peel, pushing you to replace it sooner than you expected. Doors that are made from powder-coated steel don’t crack or peel, or absorb moisture (or harbour bacteria).
This is also true for your worktop. Laminates are a popular choice, but once they crack, they can absorb water, causing the surface to become warped and unstable. Search instead for a steel worktop or a hard-wearing equivalent – as investing in this kind of material now will save you a lot of money in the future should your laminate worktop start to fall short of the quality you expect.
Another heavy-duty area in your semi-commercial kitchen is the sink. If you do not have space for a dishwasher, then your volunteers will be spending a lot of time washing and cleaning up after events. The sink they’ll need has to reflect this kind of work and be up to the task of near-constant use during church events.
Companies that sell their wooden version of a semi-commercial kitchen will sell sinks that sit within a hole cut into the worktop – similar to your sink at home. However, much like your sink at home, these kinds of sinks are not impervious to water damage. With every splash, the seal around the sink becomes weaker, and less hygienic. The best way to banish this kind of damage is to get rid of the cracks.
Moulded or welded sinks are the best option for this. Moulded sinks are made directly from the worktop, eliminating cracks from the start. The alternative is to weld your stainless-steel sink to a stainless-steel worktop – giving the same effect, without the cost of a moulded sink.
The longevity of your kitchen will depend on the materials it’s made from. A standard domestic kitchen may be cheaper, but you know what they say – you get what you pay for. These kinds of kitchens aren’t designed for consistent, heavy usage, and as a result, can fall apart in your hands before you know it. If you need advice, one of Steelplan’s church kitchen designers can help you get started.
Deciding to install a new semi-commercial kitchen in your church building is a big step, and if you need help creating your semi-commercial kitchen, speak to our team. They will work with you every step of the way from designing your kitchen to advice on appliances. Drop us an email to begin at [email protected], or call 0844 809 9186.