If you entertain a lot, you might need to make a few changes to your home to accommodate all your guests. For instance, you can knock down a few walls to create an open-plan living area. The kitchen is trickier, however. Most kitchens aren’t big enough to support regular entertaining, and there’s so much that needs to be done to prepare your home for big events.
Upgrading your kitchen isn’t going to be cheap. But your investment will help you plan bigger and better parties in the future. For starters, you’ll need to get the right kitchen equipment. You may have to feed a lot of people, and a simple stovetop may not be enough. You might feel the urge to cheap out on the equipment, but if you’re going to upgrade your kitchen, you have to go all in.
Designing a kitchen for entertaining isn’t as simple as you think. Here are a few tips that will help you design the best kitchen for your needs without breaking the bank.
1. Start with a plan
The first thing you need to do is to create a kitchen plan. That includes the layout and the list of new kitchen equipment. Make sure to include repairs and replacements in your plan. Your new professional range won’t be of much use if there are no readily accessible technicians or spare parts in your area. You also might want to look for Scotsman ice maker parts if you want an ice machine.
Measure everything twice and record everything in a shared notebook or document. That way, everyone has access to the same figures. Mistakes can be expensive, and you want to make sure that all your numbers are accurate. You don’t want to order wrong-sized marble countertops just because you rushed the measurements.
2. Know where to find discounted equipment
Upgrading a kitchen is a significant investment, but just because you’re going all-in on your new entertaining kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t cut costs. Instead of buying brand-new, look for recently closed restaurants and purchase their equipment at a discounted price. Restaurant equipment is sturdier and lasts longer, and you don’t even have to pay full price.
3. Think about alcohol
A party wouldn’t be complete without beer, wine, and cocktails, so make sure to consider alcohol in your plans. It could be as simple as a dedicated alcohol fridge, or you could go all the way and build a bar or cellar. The attached bar’s design depends on the size of your kitchen, and you don’t want it to overwhelm your space.
It all depends on your kitchen setup. Some people prefer to hide the bar away in the kitchen. Staff can then mix drinks away from the party. Another option is to place the bar in full view of people. You can have guests walk up to a bar and order their favorite drink. Don’t forget to stock up on the essentials.
4. Consider the staff
Good wait staff can be a godsend, especially if you regularly throw large parties. You can’t be expected to handle everything yourself, and I’m sure you’d rather enjoy the party than serving drinks and hors d’oeuvres to guests. Make sure your new kitchen has enough room to accommodate waitstaff. That means wide aisles and walkways and ample countertop space for food and drink preparation. Even if you mostly bring in catered food, you still want some flexibility in the way your kitchen works.
You also need to get the right equipment if you want to feed dozens or even hundreds of people. It might be wise to dedicate a storeroom or pantry to glassware and tableware. You’ll also need a big enough ice machine to keep the drinks cool all night.
5. Keep the laundry room nearby
If there’s one thing you need to know about entertaining, it’s that there’s a lot of cleanup involved. A decent-sized soiree could leave you with dozens of plates and glasses to wash. And if you’re planning a dinner, you can add boatloads of soiled linens to your workload. Kitchens and cleaning areas go hand in hand, and if they’re too far apart, you could end up with a mess in your hands.
If you don’t have space for a laundry room, you need to find a way to keep your linens clean. Build a good relationship with a laundry service since costs can quickly add up. If you entertain often enough, they might even give you a discount.
The bottom line
These tips will help you plan the right kitchen for your needs while saving costs. Entertaining isn’t for the faint of heart, and you need to have the right tools and resources to plan a successful event.