Commercial Kitchens

Written by Shirley Parker
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Commercial kitchens can exist in homes if local zoning permits it, so research of regulations is a must before spending a great deal of money on equipment. Even if your state and community does give health and business permits for a spotless kitchen like this, other laws may limit where food produced can be sold. The FDA may not let you fill out-of-state orders for Grandma's Best candy, for example.

It's possible your state won't allow the local Quick Stop to refrigerate your fresh, shrink-wrapped sandwiches for sale to overnight guests at the motel down the block, or to office workers stopping for a newspaper on their way in to a hectic day of "no time for lunch." If commercial kitchens in residences can't be profitable, you might be able to share group facilities, especially if you live in a more rural area. Centers from the New England states to Idaho, and probably from the North to the South, provide training in dietary and sanitation laws, as well as encouragement for people to build their own business, using the actual commercial equipment that has been set up.

Personal chefs expanding into the commercial kitchen area will be competing with established pizzerias, sandwich shops and often, the big chain fast-food establishments. But when chefs offer something different like specialty chilis, or something healthier (perhaps chilled fruit salads in hot weather), they can fill a niche, especially if they offer take-out and home delivery. Taking over an existing commercial operation has built-in risks as well as benefits, but help is available from professional organizations in the food industry.

Commercial Kitchens and Expert Knowledge

Trying to go it alone when branching out to run one or more commercial kitchens is frightening, even if you've earned certification as a chef. So many unexpected things can trip you and dash the promise. Look for associations of people who've already done it, that provide training and ongoing support. Find courses online and study hard. Get the dream right the first time, if you possibly can.

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