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5 questions to ask when choosing your community kitchen 

Choosing a kitchen for your community centre should be an exciting process – after all, food brings people together, and having a (correctly-specified) place you can prepare it all will make the job of serving the community that much easier. 

However, you won’t make your life any easier if you find out that the kitchen you’ve installed won’t cope with the demand. 

If you’re feeling under pressure to deliver a kitchen that meets your colleagues’ and associates’ requirements, don’t worry: we’ve already explained why you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by a community centre kitchen project, and a lot of it comes down to proper planning.  

So, here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to make sure you choose the perfect kitchen for you and your community’s needs. 

  1. How long will the kitchen last? 

If you think that the cost of installing a kitchen is the most important factor of all, hold that thought for a moment, because a kitchen isn’t a normal purchase you’ll expect to make more than once in your role. 

A good kitchen should last you and your community centre several years, which means that it needs to be durable. 

Framing the question this way, instead of cost, means that you’ll avoid falling into the trap of finding a bargain ‘semi-commercial’ kitchen (that isn’t really semi-commercial as it comes in a flat pack made of poor materials), only to be disappointed when you find scratches, nicks and snapped material after only a few busy days of kitchen usage. 

Tip: semi-commercial kitchens may be the perfect fit – their durable, Zintec polyester powder-coated mild steel makes them resistant to intensive use, and a steel carcass fitted to your space makes installation and replacement of appliances very simple. 

  1. How much does it cost? 

Now it’s time to talk about cost – or, costs, because there are two you will have to look out for: 

  • Upfront costs – the amount you pay for the units, appliances, delivery and installation 
  • Life-cycle costs – any costs to repair or replace kitchen units after the initial purchase. 

Surprisingly, many will be tempted by a low upfront cost for a kitchen, only to find that they’ll need to maintain or replace kitchen units such as work surfaces, cabinets and doors and drawers, which will start to make a higher upfront cost for a more durable kitchen look more palatable. 

At the same time, while some kitchens aren’t made with flimsy materials (such as stainless-steel industrial, restaurant-style kitchens), they’re frequently not practical for a community centre in terms of costs or aesthetics. 

Tip: semi-commercial kitchens are a solid third option – they’re designed to have the strength and durability of an industrial kitchen, whilst also being aesthetically-pleasing and more practical for a community centre’s needs. 

  1. What material is it made of? 

Materials bear heavily on cost and durability. 

For example, home kitchens, particularly DIY ‘flat pack’ kitchens, are often made of MDF or chipboard. With normal ‘home’ usage, they’re an attractive option, because they’re relatively inexpensive & convenient to transport. 

However, they’re rarely useful outside of the home because they won’t withstand more intense wear and tear like you might find when cooking on busy weekends for a lot of people in a Church or community centre. 

On the other hand, materials like stainless steel are durable, but can be expensive to purchase and install. 

Tip: Zintec polyester powder-coated mild steel for your units is a perfect option. Durable, easy to clean and even available in 18 different colours, it has the capability of a commercial kitchen without the cold ‘feel’. 

  1. How easy is it to install? 

Purchasing the right kitchen is one thing – having it installed it is another. So, choosing a kitchen that doesn’t require a lot of effort to install will save time and keep costs down. 

You may be tempted to buy a ‘DIY’ kitchen, partly because it might seem easier at first glance.  

However, you will need to get help, and whilst you can ask installers to do so, the time spent on-site assembling & installing this kind of kitchen will cost you, and if you’re installing a kitchen that won’t last anyway, it’s a waste of effort and money. 

Tip: with Steelplan Kitchens, you get support all the way. This starts with advice on designing a semi-commercial kitchen that is perfect for your space and needs, and ends with installation of a sturdy, ready-made carcass that is very quick to install. 

  1. Where can I see a semi-commercial kitchen installation? 

You can see examples of previous semi-commercial kitchen installation projects in community centres across the country (as well as more advice from Steelplan) here. 

If you want to learn more, get in contact today with our friendly team by calling 0844 809 9186 or sending an email to [email protected] 

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