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Steelplan semi-commercial kitchens: FAQs

Considering installing or upgrading your community kitchen?

You know the power of food to bring people together. That’s why you want to deliver the best possible service to your local community or congregation – and that’s why you need a kitchen space that is not only functional, but durable, hygienic, safe… and designed just the way your community wants it.

We know that designing your perfect kitchen space isn’t always straightforward – especially if you don’t know what your options are. That’s why we are here to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients to help you decide if a Steelplan semi-commercial kitchen is right for you.

What is a semi-commercial kitchen?

A semi-commercial kitchen is the sweet spot between a domestic-style kitchen and a professional catering kitchen. They offer the durability and cleanliness of a restaurant-grade kitchen, with the aesthetics and customisability of a kitchen like you would find in your home – making them perfect for the demands of a community centre or church.

They are the go-to choice for community centres and church buildings, as well as schools, police departments, fire and ambulance stations, care homes, student accommodation, hospitals, and offices, to name a few.

Why not use a domestic-style kitchen for my church or community centre?

Domestic-style kitchens, while aesthetically pleasing, are not built to withstand the regular use and foot traffic of a community centre or church kitchen. They are often built with MDF, which is fragile, difficult to clean, and prone to mould and bacteria accumulation.

For a community kitchen, you need an area that is designed with hygiene and functionality in mind, as well as aesthetics. You can read more about why you should avoid MDF here.

I work in a large community centre. Do I need an industrial kitchen or a specialist catering kitchen?

The short answer is no. Industrial kitchens are often cold and institutional, and frequently over-specified for the needs of a community centre or church.

Semi-commercial kitchens, on the other hand, are uniquely designed for community hubs, and can be equipped with restaurant-grade units and equipment, whilst also keeping in perspective things that community centres and churches need – such as vibrant colours and essential, everyday equipment.

I work in a small church or community centre. Can I use a flat pack MDF kitchen?

You can, but that doesn’t mean you should. While MDF seems like the most economical choice as its cheaper to install, it’s also a false economy.

MDF isn’t built to withstand regular and continued use, and will likely need repairing or replacing regularly. Surfaces are difficult to clean, easy to damage, and absorb spillages, making them a breeding ground for bacteria.

Instead, materials like polyester powder-coated mild steel can offer churches or community centres a highly-effective and appropriately-kitted kitchen for your size and number of visitors, without sacrificing durability, cost-effectiveness or aesthetics.

What is polyester powder-coated mild steel?

Polyester powder-coated mild steel is a durable, strong and easy-to-clean material that is used to make semi-commercial kitchen cabinets, units and carcasses.

It is easier to maintain with over-the-counter cleaners than stainless steel, and it also offers various colour options, so you can customise your units to fit the aesthetic and brand of your community hub.

We explain the difference between polyester-powder coated mild steel and stainless steel here.

What is a kitchen ‘carcass’?

A kitchen carcass is essentially the ‘framework’ that makes up your kitchen and wherein the units are installed. Made of corrosion-resistant 18-grade steel, the carcass is incredibly durable, fire and water resistant, and unlike MDF, won’t provide food for insects.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have equally strong free-standing units or islands, however.

How do I design an accessible kitchen for my church or community centre?

At Steelplan Kitchens, we have specialised in making kitchens for community centres and churches where users often have cognitive, mobility or visual impairments. Compliant with the Equality Act (2010), we work with installers and designers to make spaces accessible for those with all kinds of disabilities.

Read this case study to learn about how colour choices can make your kitchen more accessible. Or, see how this installation helped young people with mobility and cognitive disabilities learn vital life skills in a safe environment.

Why choose a Steelplan Kitchen?

Our kitchens are designed for the unique needs of community centres and churches.

Knowing the importance of blending functionality with style, our kitchens are durable to withstand regular usage, designed to be hygienic and easy to maintain, and aesthetically pleasing to ensure they reflect the colours, values and needs of your community or congregation.

But don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself the variety of semi-commercial kitchens we can provide in our brochure.

Do Steelplan Kitchens cost more than MDF kitchens?

Not necessarily. While MDF kitchens might be made of a cheaper material, they also deteriorate much quicker, making them a false economy. There’s a difference between value and cheapness, and Steelplan’s semi-commercial kitchens are far more cost-effective in the long term than flat-pack MDF kitchens that aren’t built to withstand regular use.

What features make Steelplan Kitchens more hygienic and safe?

Steelplan Kitchens are:

  • Hygienic by design – by using polyester powder coated mild steel, surfaces are non-absorbent, fire and water resistant, easy to clean and don’t harbour insects.
  • Designed with welded sinks in worktops – these minimise mould, bacteria and grime accumulation in wet areas.
  • Designed in a ‘kitchen triangle’ – this eliminates instances of cross-contamination where you may have a servery.
  • Designed for your environment – our free design and consultations service ensures we can assess your space and ‘design out’ any areas that may become hygiene hotspots.

Do you design church kitchens for heritage buildings?

Yes. We have worked with many churches helping to design and build a kitchen that brings modern convenience and features while respecting the heritage architecture of their buildings. What’s more, we know all about exemptions, planning rules and processes to ensure your project runs smoothly.

You can learn more about how we design kitchens for heritage buildings here.

How can I personalise my community centre kitchen?

Our polyester powder-coated mild steel kitchens can be customised to fit the theme and colour scheme of your community centre. Choose from our magnificent range of 18 coloured finishes for your cabinet doors and drawers, or over 1,000 customisable RAL colours.

If you need some design inspiration, our guide helps you decide the perfect colour for your kitchen, considering light, your space, and your user’s needs.

What is Steelplan Kitchens’ Design and Consultation Service?

Our free design and consultation service lets you visualise in 3D what your kitchen will look like in your space. All we need is a few images or sketches and specifications about your current kitchen area, and we can do the rest.

If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen or are already in the procurement phase for your church or community centre, this service can help open your eyes to the possibilities of your space, as well as understand how a Steelplan kitchen could benefit your community.

You can learn more about the service here, and if you are ready to get started, simply contact us.

How do I contact Steelplan Kitchens?

You can use our contact form on our website, email [email protected], or call us directly at 0208 254 0090.

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