Starting a food business is hard work. One of the barriers that many new business owners face is finding a licensed commercial facility or commissary kitchen where they can produce their food legally.
Building a facility can cost thousands of dollars, and taking out a long-term lease on a kitchen can be financially risky before you know if your company will thrive. You could find a restaurant with available kitchen time, but they often come with scheduling and storage limitations. None of these options are really great for starting a business. So what’s an aspiring food entrepreneur to do?
Fortunately, in recent years, commercial kitchens have become increasingly popular and are a perfect solution to your culinary needs. Let’s take a look at what commercial kitchens are and why you might want to consider using one for your business.
WHAT IS A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN?
Commercial kitchens—also known as a shared-use, commissary, or incubator kitchens—are commercially-licensed spaces where chefs, bakers, caterers, and other culinary professionals can prepare their goods legally while providing the scheduling and budgetary flexibility that many small businesses need.
There are several ways to rent a commercial kitchen, and the method can vary. Often, you are charged an hourly or daily rate to use the space, although some kitchens charge for monthly memberships. Upon renting the space, you join with other food entrepreneurs in sharing otherwise expensive resources like cold storage, equipment, and cleaning supplies.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Aside from compliance, finding a shared-use kitchen to call home comes with many benefits. To name a few…
You have the peace of mind knowing you won’t risk getting shut down by the health inspector since the kitchen is licensed and insured. However, you still need your own product liability insurance, food handlers card, and a business license. But these are small potatoes compared to the expense of owning your own licensed space or the risks that accompany cooking from home.
Since shared-use kitchens require all of its members to have a business license, food liability insurance, and food handling training, you work alongside other businesses that operate legally. You can rest easy knowing another business’s risky behavior won’t shut you down. Many shared kitchens provide additional resources and education like food safety training, access to mentors, bookkeeping classes, and access to sourcing and sales opportunities — all to help you grow your business.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN?
Finding a commercial kitchen to call home comes with many benefits including:To name a few…
Most commercial kitchens charge hourly or daily rates, which is pretty affordable compared to other options, especially for newer or small businesses with budgetary restraints. It also allows for scheduling flexibility, so you never have to pay for time or space that you aren’t going to use.
When you join a commercial kitchen, you become part of a culinary community that can support and assist you in your professional endeavors. This networking with fellow professionals can be invaluable as you grow your business, make connections in the industry, and increase your presence in the community.
Peace of Mind
Commercial kitchens can provide peace of mind by knowing you won’t risk getting shut down by the health inspector since the kitchen is licensed and insured. And while you still need your own product liability insurance, food handlers card, and a business license, these are small potatoes compared to the expense of owning your own licensed space or the risks that accompany cooking from home.
Since shared-use kitchens require all of its members to have a business license, food liability insurance, and food handling training, you work alongside other businesses that operate legally. You can rest easy knowing another business risky behavior won’t shut you down.
Many shared kitchens provide additional resources and education like food safety training, access to mentors, bookkeeping classes, and access to sourcing and sales opportunities—all to help you grow your business.
WHERE DO I FIND A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN?
In response to the growing desire to find clean, friendly, and affordable licensed spaces for food entrepreneurs to rent, our friends at The Food Corridor built The Kitchen Door—an easy way for you to find and connect with professional kitchen spaces in your area. Simply search on The Kitchen Door by city or zip code to find available kitchens nearby.
WHICH COMMERCIAL KITCHEN SHOULD I CHOOSE?
Once you have a list of kitchens, it’s important to choose the right one for your food business. Be sure to consider:
- What equipment you’ll need
- How much and what type of storage space you require
- How much support you want from the kitchen staff
- What operating hours will work with your schedule
- If the kitchen culture is a good fit for you and your team.
Don’t forget to ask about extra perks like demo space, business services, conference rooms, etc.! Once you have selected a few kitchens that might meet your needs, use the “Contact Kitchen” feature on The Kitchen Door to request a tour of the facility. You’re almost ready to get cooking!
WHO’S THE KITCHEN DOOR?
The Kitchen Door was created to help food entrepreneurs like you succeed by making it easy to find fully-equipped, commercially-licensed kitchens for rent. The Kitchen Door is fulfilling their mission of enabling efficiency, growth, and innovation in local food. By partnering with the right commercial kitchen, your business can keep overhead costs down, reduce risk, and increase your chance of success.
The Kitchen Door is unlike other search engines. Their team is actively working to serve you regularly updated information and a comprehensive list of available kitchens. So, whether you’re a chef, caterer, baker, food truck, or any other food entrepreneur, The Kitchen Door will help you find an extraordinary place where you can cook, legally!
Do you have a kitchen you want to offer up to an emerging food entrepreneur? Make extra revenues in your off-time and connect with qualified renters easily. See how The Food Corridor can make getting started, even easier.
The Kitchen Door is an official FLIP Insurance partner. To learn more about FLIP and how our insurance policies can benefit your company, check out our services or contact one of our licensed insurance agents today.