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Things to consider when designing your church community kitchen 

Is a good kitchen a good kitchen wherever it is? Far from it.

Take the kitchen designed for your home. Maybe it’s perfect there, but put that same kitchen in your church and it’s probably a disaster. Everything from the design to the materials and the equipment will be wrong. To get the right kitchen for your church’s community space, here’s what you need to factor in to your design.

  • Who will use the kitchen the most?
  • What kind of building will the kitchen be in?
  • How much space do you have?
  • What material should the kitchen be manufactured from?
  • What will you use the kitchen for?

Who will use the kitchen the most?

Your priority should be making the kitchen as useful and accessible as possible. That means designing it for the people who will use it. It’s the same principle as you’d apply to a home kitchen, but with more people to consider.

If youth groups are going to be the most frequent users, then you might want a brightly coloured design to make the space as warm and welcoming as possible. If you’re likely to have a range of ages and physical abilities in the kitchen, then be sure to cater to those needs with the equipment and the layout you choose.

What kind of bulding will the kitchen be in?

Of course, the location of your kitchen will influence a lot about its design. A kitchen in a church annexe, a separate hall, or within the church building itself will all be different.

You may be in a listed building, and unless your church is in one of the exempt denominations, you may find it difficult to get planning permission for certain alterations such as ventilation. That shouldn’t put you off — you simply need to factor it in to your approach and talk to an experienced Steelplan consultant.

Even in a more modern building, space will probably be limited, and you need to use it efficiently to maximise the kitchen’s potential. You can also use colour to make a smaller space seem more spacious and user-friendly.

How much space do you have?

Speaking of smaller spaces, many churches have to squeeze a kitchen into a limited area that was never intended for that purpose.

That can be limiting, but it doesn’t have to be.

A very smart design can create beautiful and functional kitchens in areas you wouldn’t expect. Don’t worry if you don’t have an eye for design — there are tools and experts who specialise in creating full visualisations out of the most basic ideas.

At Steelplan, we use a 3D visualisation tool to bring a design to life, which we use to help you visualise your new kitchen, even if all you have is a rough sketch and a few ideas. You’ll get to see exactly how your kitchen will look before you embark on the project.

What material should the kitchen be?

Here is where the domestic kitchen differs the most from a church or community kitchen. The materials for a home kitchen are perfect for that setting, but in a communal space they can be a disaster.

Materials like wood and MDF with vinyl wraps deteriorate far too quickly under heavy use, they easily absorb liquids, and they’re harder to keep clean and hygienic.

With that in mind, some people think their only option is to install a restaurant-style commercial kitchen made of stainless steel. That’s not ideal either —the result will be an unwelcoming, institutional kitchen that nobody wants or likes to use.

So, what should your kitchen be made of? You need something durable, but still accessible, so polyester powder-coated Zintec mild steel is the best option. It’s easy to clean, well-equipped, and hard-wearing, but also allows you to create an area that’s complementary to the overall look and feel of your church building and community.

What will you use the kitchen for?

The purpose of your kitchen should dictate a lot of the design. It will decide how you lay it out, and what equipment you need. If you’re cooking hot meals, you’ll need to think about the scale of production: how many hobs you should have; how big an oven you need; and what kind of extractor fan you’ll require.

You will also need to factor in building services – for example, can you modify the fuseboard or gas delivery system? This will influence whether you use gas hobs or electric ones (and is something Steelplan can advise on).

NB. If you’re making food, you will also need to register as a food business. It’s an easy process, it’s free, and the registration can’t be refused.

If you’re just making drinks and heating food, there’ll be fewer requirements, but do consider whether you should future-proof the kitchen by installing certain features, in case you choose to do more in due course.

If you are thinking about a new kitchen for your church, a Steelplan kitchen is the hygienic, user-friendly, and long-lasting option for your community.

Use our free design and consultation service, and you can see exactly how your new kitchen could look, with a 3D mockup to visualise the result.

Get in touch with our team here or by calling 0208 954 0090.

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