Is a commercial kitchen right for your church?

By RaeAnn Slaybaugh

Editor’s note: CDH Principal Ernest “Terry” Biglow was recently interview by Church Executive Magazine on the scope of building a commercial kitchen

With equipment, exhaust systems, plumbing, electricity, building codes and so much more to consider — all at a considerable cost — building a commercial church kitchen is a big decision.

But, it’s also a smart one.

Any church that wants to add a commercial kitchen to its campus learns quickly that it’s no small undertaking. Depending on the kitchen’s intended uses, there are a multitude of equipment requirements, liabilities, staffing and inspection considerations to navigate — often, more than the church bargained for.

Commercial, by design
To start with, it can be confusing to decipher the differences between a commercial kitchen and a warming, or residential-style, setup. Because these nuances are subject to local health and fire jurisdictions, they vary greatly across the country.

Church design professionals such as Ernest C. (Terry) Biglow, III, AIA — managing principal at CDH Partners, Inc., in Marietta, GA — are used to leading clients through this complex territory. “For one thing, commercial kitchens are subject to inspections for compliance with the local health department, and the number of meals served might influence the frequency of those inspections,” he explains. “And, on the equipment side, anything more than a microwave could be considered a commercial kitchen, in some areas of the U.S.” Please click here to continue reading.

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