Modular kitchens for daytime eating: the appliances and utility of offering cold storage, quick heating and easy washing up

November 8, 2021

Kitchens of olde were originally made of furniture that was fairly flexible.

Essentially a kitchen is made up of storage, tabletops for food prep plus a sink for washing and appliances. We all like to think of stainless steel appliances looking all shiny and chic – imagining the complexity of their inner workings and magic behind how they connect to things but really, that doesn’t need to be the case.

Open bar/kitchen at StartWell coworking in Toronto

We’ve played with all sorts of appliances in our bar and food service areas on campus at StartWell and found that the most used ones are simply fridges and microwaves. Due to fire safety we rarely encourage cooking at our workplace and even when we have had superstar chefs cooking here they use our induction stovetops and convection ovens – small appliances which can store easily, don’t pose fire threat and still offer tremendous flexibility and control of temperature.

Without complicated stoves you don’t need gas lines or high powered electrical outlets in your food service spaces, which means that you can built simple kitchen spaces to be located more flexibly near where people will enjoy lunch etc… In fact, we’ve separated the concept of a kitchen such that people can store and reheat their meals in areas near their office and then opt to take Tupperware to separate washing areas if they’d like – most folks just take their dirty dishes home, saving our team a ton of headaches keeping multiple wet areas clean.

Often cases people order food in and simply discard recyclable containers. Funnily enough, when they bring food from home, we’ve seen that people don’t want to spend time washing up their containers at their workplace but do want to wash their hands – so wet areas just being available in washrooms suffice.

In the off chance that you want to add utility to your washrooms where plumbing may already be, we recommend adding deep kitchen style trough sinks to washrooms to give coworkers sink space should they need it (just make sure to put mesh filters in the drainage.) Always nice to know that messy washing up doesn’t get in the way of clear sight-lines in common space which add aesthetic and functional purpose.