Retail Storage for a Restaurant
If you’re thinking about building new, modernizing, or retrofitting storage areas for your restaurant, choosing a restaurant’s retail storage is the best way to go.
Restaurant storage goes beyond that of making sure food storage is happening accurately. While that plays a significant role in it, restaurant owners must incorporate many other inventory management strategies into their routines. That way, they’re optimizing space for things like a seasonal merchandise display or a retail display featuring ingredients from a local supplier, for example.
Restaurant inventory management is time-consuming and can draw owners and their staff away from things that drew them into this fast-paced industry in the first place—creating memorable experiences and making delicious cuisine. Having the best restaurant storage systems helps keep owners on track and achieving their goals.
Understanding Retail Storage for a Restaurant
Because no two restaurants are the same, choosing the best restaurant storage involves understanding what options are available and how they’ll meet the owner or manager’s needs. If a full-scale remodel is in the works, or the owner is scanning areas of the facility to see where retail storage can improve, there are many tips and tricks for managing every restaurant’s storage area.
Every kitchen in the restaurant industry needs high-quality shelving and storage for various items. Examples of these items include dry food, equipment, and utensils. That means making strategic choices to ensure the storage system is durable. The main reason is this restaurant storage system isn’t something owners want to replace or change because they’re using it as a permanent fixture. So, it’s critical to make choosing the right materials a priority.
A restaurant owner’s choice in materials depends on their budget, design aesthetic, personal preference, and use. Examples of these materials include:
- Chrome wire
- Coated polymer
- Stainless steel
Why Facilities Should Use Restaurant Storage
When going through storage options for a retail display or another type of restaurant display, owners should ask themselves if the unit must have mobility. If so, then it’s ideal to choose a system that’s mobile instead of stationary. Owners can also choose storage systems that are a combination of both. Facilities can arrange these shelving units in a way that makes the most sense and allows their staff to find items efficiently.
Every storage area in a restaurant, including cleaning equipment and supplies, dry goods, and the staff’s items, should have clear storage demarkations. When planning for food storage solutions, restaurant owners can achieve this goal by pulling out their menus. That way, they can optimize their shelving units according to the most popular items on their menu. That ensures that the ingredients chefs use the most often are easily accessible.
Here are examples of the various shelving options and why facilities should incorporate them into their building designs:
- Dunnage storage racks: This storage system is ideal for storing a restaurant’s heaviest items. These systems keep storage off the floor in many areas throughout the restaurant, including the walk-in cooler and freezer.
- Epoxy shelving: This shelving features sturdy metal construction with a coating of epoxy. That finish makes this shelving system ideal for humid kitchens and moist walk-ins. They’re available in various heights and widths, allowing for many storage options.
- Keg storage shelves for beer coolers: Because beer kegs are heavy, that means the shelves they go on must be exceptionally durable and sturdy. Look for options featuring a reinforced perimeter and have a heavy-duty aluminum construction.
- Wire shelving: These chrome-plated storage systems are ideal for dry storage and a hot kitchen’s heated environment. The wire shelves allow for airflow and drainage and are easy to assemble and add on.
How Restaurant Storage Improves Efficiency
While it can be challenging to identify efficiency gaps in a restaurant, storage plays a significant role. An essential aspect of improving a restaurant’s overall operation is keeping detailed inventory lists for everything from a food item to a merchandise display. That inventory list increases efficiency even further when owners and managers identify each item’s location, making it easier to find.
Ensuring the kitchen is well-organized is another way to increase a restaurant’s efficiency. Taking this step also ensures that the kitchen remains clean and sanitary. That means the restaurant’s chefs spend more time cooking than looking for things or worrying about space’s disorganization surrounding them.
If the kitchen is short on space, that doesn’t mean there aren’t restaurant storage options that can improve efficiency. Restaurant owners can invest in vertical shelving, use hooks for storing utensils, and install shelves for overhead storage. They can consider remodeling a section of the kitchen to include vertical storage that keeps the kitchen better organized and makes everyone’s life easier.
Benefits and Features of Restaurant Storage
When chefs must work in a tight space, they benefit from adjustable and rust-resistant case goods and shelving systems. These systems adapt with drawers, doors, and shelves that provide dust protection and sanity utensil handling. There’s also the option of adding tempered glass doors to the units hanging on walls overhead. These glass doors are durable enough to contain potential spills that often create unsanitary cooking conditions.
Additional benefits include:
- Systems stand against or install into walls.
- Everything is in convenient reach.
- Sloping cabinet tops are available.
- Stainless steel options make it easier to sanitize surfaces.
- Adjustable shelves add additional flexibility.
Many restaurant shelving systems are compatible with polymer mats. These mats fit over each shelf and provide a solid surface. This surface is ideal for holding irregularly-shaped and small items that typically fall through wire shelving.
Additional features include:
- Purchase shelves and posts separately to expand shelving to accommodate changes in storage needs.
- Rust-proof surfaces are ideal for moist environments.
- Highly configurable to match any application, including dry storage rooms and walk-ins
- Units are available with wheels to help staff wheel equipment and food across the kitchen.
- Permanently install security cages in dry goods storage areas or coolers.
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How the Military Benefits from Restaurant Storage
Space is at a premium at military bases worldwide, including where they must prepare and serve food. Because military personnel doesn’t live on MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) alone, bases must incorporate storage solutions for dry goods and perishable foods into their design plans. That way, items are easily accessible during food prep, it’s easier to take inventory, ensuring the food remains the highest quality possible.
Restaurant storage isn’t just for restaurant owners looking for food and equipment storage. These systems are also beneficial to chefs and food prep staff in the government, military, and private sectors. Restaurant storage help keep many items, including food preparation equipment and utensils, in a centralized storage location.
That helps reduce the time military personnel might waste serving for these items. Restaurant storage also helps military bases maximize storage capacities while simultaneously providing security to valuable kitchen items.
Technical Specifications and Design
As the restaurant industry continues growing, so are the needs for better material handling and storage solutions. It isn’t uncommon for restaurant owners to work with in-house engineering teams. Architects and designers provide innovative restaurant storage solutions to many other industries, including the athletic, education, legal, medical, military, and more.
General technical specifications:
- Commercial-grade materials
- Sanitary surfaces
- Adjustable shelves
- Upgrades to corrosion-resistant zinc construction available
Restaurant Retail Storage Solutions
While food storage takes center stage in restaurants, owners must also find solutions for their retail displays, linens, and other non-food items. Implementation of high-quality restaurant storage solutions means a reduction or elimination of disorganized or wasted spaces. The technical specifications for each solution vary by height, storage capacity, weight, and more. Here are two examples:
Model: Quad Deep Lateral Wire Racks: #SMS-94-LAT-1436-21-Q
- Dimensions: (overall) 6’6″ Wide x 5’2″ Deep x 6’6″ High
- Finish: chrome finish (corrosion-resistant zinc option available)
- Opening: three openings with four adjustable shelves
- Post weight capacity: 2,400 pounds per set of four posts
- Shelf weight capacity: Up to 1,000 pounds per shelf for shelves up to 48″ wide; 800 pounds per shelf if over 48″ wide
- Weight: 729 pounds
Model: Rolling Stainless Supply Cart: #SMS-101-SSCM366024
- Cabinet construction: type 304 stainless steel
- Casters: four six-inch swivel-locking non-marking casters
- Dimensions: 3’2″ wide x 2’4″ deep x 5’8″ high
- Finish: stainless steel
- Glass: one-quarter inch thick tempered double-strength safety glass
- Opening: two glass doors and three adjustable shelves
When restaurant owners have expert designers on-staff, it is possible to experience integration with their existing storage spaces within the same footprint. Implementing restaurant storage solutions into an existing footprint involves several architectural and design phases.
Architectural and design phases:
- Spec creation following a thorough site evaluation
- CAD drawings
- Presenting plans to the restaurant owner
- Project integration with existing merchandise storage systems
- Installation of the new restaurant storage solutions
Retail Storage Solutions for Restaurants
Southwest Solutions Group® is an innovative industry leader in designing and installing retail storage for restaurants. Contact one of our design professionals for a consultation today by phone at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message. They’ll walk you through which restaurant storage solution is best for your situation.