Monday, October 19, 2020
Regulations and catering


To design the kitchen of a restaurant or any other business, you need to know the principal regulations concerning the hygiene and size of it

We have already talked about the set up of the kitchen, but this is based on two main aspects: hygiene and size of the restaurant (concerning the number of seating).

So, let’s see what the sanitary requirements of the kitchen, fundamental to open a restaurant, are. Now, always consider that the dimensions are also imposed by municipal regulations; therefore it is necessary to inquire about those of the concerned Municipality and operate in accordance with them.

Health Code Regulations of a restaurant kitchen: the size

Every kitchen restaurant should be placed in such a way as not to be crossed by incoming goods. The production cycle must also be respected, so as not to create stumbling blocks or logistical problems in the exit to the preparation room.

The shape of the kitchen does not have to be particular. The square one should be preferred, so as not to have sharp or complex corners to clean.

The size of the kitchen depends on the dining area and, consequently, on the number of seats. If the restaurant has 50 seats, the kitchen must be at least 20 square meters, including the washing area. If the room can accommodate 100 people, the kitchen must be at least 25 square meters and over 100 seats the minimum is 30 square meters. The local health authorities, however, differ in these numbers. Some impose a size of 25 square meters for the kitchens of restaurants with 50 seats. In other cases, for businesses having more than 50 covered, an increase of 0.5 square meters is required for each additional place. Therefore, it is necessary to refer to your local health authority.

The fact is that for those businesses that have 100 seating it is necessary to provide an area reserved for washing dishes (washing area) which we will discuss later. Alternatively, they can be treated with epoxy resins.

In the case of the pizzeria, however, the size of the kitchen must be at least 12 square meters and this without considering the oven.

Health Code Regulations: the height, lighting, and ventilation of the kitchen


On average, the height of the kitchen must be around 3 meters, although there may be exceptions, especially for businesses located in historic buildings. Height also depends on municipal regulations. If it is not specified, the minimum allowed is 2 meters. Also, up to 5 employees in the kitchen, the minimum is 2.70mt while with more staff should be 3m.

The walls must be washable up to 2 meters, to maintain a high level of attention to hygiene. The color must be bright, and the tiles must have rounded edges (so that the dirt does not slip between joints).

Concerning lighting and ventilation, not only do windows but also doors contribute to both. The ratio required is 1 to 20 for ventilation and 1 to 10 for illumination. All openings must be equipped with an insect and anti-rodent small net.

Health Code Regulations: the kitchen floor

The floor must be smooth and easily washable, and therefore the material should be chosen accordingly. It must also be washable, light colored, and the tiles must have rounded edges. Furthermore, it must be inclined towards a fine mesh manhole, with a grid and which allows the use of a siphon for washing.

Health Code Regulations: sinks, prep surfaces, and stoves

Stainless steel is the king of surfaces. Ceramic is also accepted, with non-manual taps (pedal or photocell). The kitchen must also have an extractor hood with an outlet on the roof. In fact, above the burners, two types of hoods must be provided, one – as mentioned – with the outlet in the flue or outside and the other with activated carbon filters and wall outlet. The choice between the two systems is free, but it will be essential that all the cooking methods (fryer, rotisserie oven, and floors) have their hood. The various processing sectors must be separate, and that of meat and vegetables must have their own and specific tools, with a dedicated prep station.

Health Code Regulations: food storage

Special fridges must be provided to preserve food according to the type of product. Generally, we consider 4 equipment:

-cold storage rooms or refrigerator for cooked products, ready and semi-finished dishes
– cold storage rooms or refrigerator for meat
– cold storage rooms or refrigerator for vegetables
– cold storage rooms or refrigerator for cured meats, milk and dairy products.

For deep-frozen and frozen foods it is sufficient to have a single freezer. In this case, frozen food must always be protected by a film or special packaging.

Health Code Regulations: pantry, warehouse and washing area

The pantry can be both in a basement and a sub-basement and must include the cold storage rooms. The important thing is that you have a dedicated space, which can communicate with the service rooms directly with the kitchen. Here the dimensions (the minimum is linked to the smaller side, which must be at least 1.5 meters long):

– up to 50 seating (surface area 8 sq. m)
– up to 100 seating (surface 12 sq. m)
– up to 150 seating (surface 15 sq. m)

The warehouse (or deposit) must contain appropriate, washable and hygienic shelving (and therefore, again, the ideal is the stainless steel, since the raw wood is not allowed). It can communicate directly or indirectly with the exercise, and these are the ideal dimensions:

– up to 50 seating (surface area 8 sq. m)
– up to 100 seating (surface area 8 sq. m)
– up to 150 seating (surface area 8 sq. m)

The washing area is the place intended for washing dishes and cookware. This area is not meant to be used for food prep. It must be at least 5 sq. m even when it is fully inserted inside the kitchen while space can get to 8 sq. m in businesses which have more than 150 seating.


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Pierluigi Capriotti
My name is Pierluigi Capriotti to be exact. Despite a degree in Architecture I'm a journalist. I write following temporary monomania and others that are chronic such reading, soccer, travels and food. When I write I use many asides – because I have the impression there is always something more to say. Because in those asides I talk about my passions. So that everybody will notice them but with nonchalance. I've never had a high regard for wisdom. And, thanks God, this helped me to leave for the foodiestrip journey with a spiritual-creative mathematician, an IT engineer who plays the Star Wars soundtrack with the coffee stirrers and a businessnerd. One way ticket. No return.