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Have you heard about our design only service at Chiller Box?

PUBLISHED: 11/07/2022

We regularly shout about our commercial kitchen fit out and equipment work but did you know we are strong on design too. Our design-only service has been growing in popularity over recent years so today we’re revealing a little more about this element of the business.

The design team will create anything foodservice and catering equipment related in all venues. We’ve worked on restaurants, bars, cafés, delis, hotels, schools, care home kitchens and office restaurants. This has included full kitchens, theatre kitchen, servery counters, deli units with displays as well as food retail, such as a butchers.

Whist our design service doesn’t include front of house, we work closely with architects and interior designers when a client requires this. Our managing director, Marios has been revealing more about what makes a good design.

What do you think makes a good hospitality design?

This starts with us listening to the client and understanding their concept, food offering and their operational needs. We’ll then use our expertise and bring that into the design. It’s key that we get an efficient workflow from the moment goods or raw materials (foods) come in, all the way through. This includes storage, food prep, cooking, delivery to the end user and then the dirties or rubbish going out of the back door. The design of a kitchen plays an important part in efficiency which is so important to many businesses right now.

What research would you do before starting a design?

With the wealth of experience we have in the team a good design comes very naturally to us. We’ve been running for 18 years and across the business we have over 50 years of experience between us. However, if a client has something specific that may be new to us, we will go into our supply chain and research products. For example, at Neat Burger, frying is important and so we explored a mix of options from low budget to the top of the range equipment. We then presented these to the client to discuss. As a growing casual dining brand, they have invested more heavily in those sites where footfall is higher and the equipment is being used more.

As a kitchen designer what are the most important things you should consider before you begin any drawings?

Workflow and food safety are vital, as is making sure you have the right type of equipment to suit the brief. We look at the equipment the client needs, and the space they have available to put it in and then consider how everything flows. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.

How have hospitality designs changed during your career?

The basic principles have remained the same. We are always designing with workflow in mind, ensuring we consider food safety and making sure we avoid cross contamination. As time has gone on, we have seen different trends in hospitality come and go including cooking styles and food trends. For example, sous vide has increased in popularity in recent years as has induction cooking. Ventilation criteria and regulations have really tightened up over time too, so we have to make sure designs meet all the latest rules and regulations.

On a design only project how do you work with other contractors?

When we work with others co-ordination is key. If there is also front of house work we may be collaborating with an architect or interior designer. We may also need to work with a variety of other consultants or contractors such as an MEP engineer, builders, plumbers or electricians. Whether we are doing the build or not, all these elements need to be thought about at the design stage so we know it’s going to work operationally for our client.

What design trends are you seeing right now?

All electric kitchens are becoming more and more popular especially with the rise in gas prices. We are also seeing a trend in cooking with solid fuels such as wood burning appliances like pizza ovens or charcoal cooking. The regulations around this style of cooking have become more stringent in recent times so we need to keep our knowledge up-to-date so we can advise our clients on the appropriate solutions.

How do you think designs will change over the next ten years?

As well as a focus on electric, we are also seeing more dark kitchens. As designers this is about us squeezing kitchens into smaller spaces. Whilst we can’t see into the future and trends come and go, we will always ensure our team have the expertise to support our clients get their projects and developments up and running.

Want to know more about how we can help you with a design?

You can complete our contact us form or call us on 020 8365 5430.