by Vivian Garzon

Buying A Commercial Kitchen Sink: A Quick Guide

Buying A Commercial Kitchen Sink: A Quick Guide

For commercial kitchens, each piece of equipment you have has a pivotal role in how effectively you and your team can work; your choice of commercial kitchen sink is no exception. After all, hospitality has a lot of potential pitfalls and ensuring that every facet of your kitchen, cutlery, utensils and materials is cleaned and maintained properly is vital in ensuring your success.

At BuildMat, we have assisted innumerable businesses in selecting the right commercial kitchen sinks for their needs and requirements. So, to help you get the most out of your next purchase, here’s a quick guide to making sure that you’re choosing the ideal sink for your team.

Material Matters

Theo 1200x500 Double Bowl with Drain Board Sink

This is going to be one of the most essential elements in your sink-selection process, regardless of its intended utility. However, for commercial kitchens specifically, this choice becomes far more important, as commercial kitchen sinks need to be far more durable and long-lasting than your standard basin.

After all, especially when you’re working in a busy restaurant or bar, the use of the sinks will essentially be non-stop on a daily basis. If something goes wrong, it can be very difficult to remedy quickly.

So, Which Materials Should I Look For?

Luckily, when it comes to commercial use, there’s really only one choice that has become the standard for this sort of work: Stainless steel. This is for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Stainless steel is durable and unlikely to show wear and tear with frequent use.
  • It is low maintenance and takes very little effort to clean.
  • It is heat resistant, which can be especially useful in settings that require a lot of cooking.
  • It is relatively affordable compared to other sink materials.
  • It won’t chip or crack, meaning it can go a considerable time without needing repairs or replacement.

With that said, even within stainless steel, there are several different varieties that will provide somewhat different experiences. One popular example is 304 stainless steel, an extremely durable, non-magnetic form of stainless steel that is regularly used to make cutlery.

Also known as 18-10, which relates to the contents of chromium and nickel in its composition, it’s hard to go wrong with this material if you’re looking for an all-around reliable metal.

Another option that is quite popular with commercial kitchen sink manufacturers is 430 stainless steel, or 18-0 as it is also referred to. Whilst this metal is a more affordable variation on the 304, making it considerably cheaper and easier to replace when necessary, it does come with some drawbacks.

As the name 18-0 suggests, 430 stainless steel contains no nickel, making it less corrosion resistant than its pricier alternative. In other words, both are good options for commercial kitchen sinks, however, there is often going to be a tradeoff between durability and price depending on your requirements and preferences.

What Will You Be Using Your Commercial Kitchen Sink For?

Whilst you may have an idea in mind for what a commercial kitchen sink might look like, there are actually a few variants in terms of their intended use. For example:

Hand Washing Sinks - It may not seem like it, especially if you’re a small business that is expanding, but having at least one designated handwashing sink is an absolute necessity, especially for larger kitchens. Kitchens need to remain sterile, and food preparation is quite a dirty job.

So, ensuring that you’re not mixing the moment to moment cleaning of hands in with your food prep is a must. Speaking of…

Food Preparation Sinks - If you’re a business that is preparing and selling food, a food preparation sink is essential to that process. You need a place to wash produce, and ideally, you want that process to stay far away from the harsh chemicals that come with cleaning your pots and pans.

This also reduces the risk of cross-contamination, so you can feel a little safer knowing that you’ve eliminated a lot of potential risks over time.

Pots, Pans & Utensils Sinks - As we mentioned before, cooking food is a messy process at the best of times and one that requires a lot of equipment. If you’re a busy restaurant serving dozens or more people throughout each busy period, then you’re going to have a lot of kitchen pile up in terms of things that need to be scrubbed and sanitised. So, it pays to have a specific area that is reserved for that type of cleaning.

Though there are no specific requirements for what each sink needs to be outside of their materials, this will dictate the size of sinks that you should be investing in.

This tends to work with the smallest requirement being handwashing sinks and the largest being your pots and pans area. However, choices will also depend on the size of your kitchen and the requirements of your particular commercial business, factors that will also dictate the number of sinks required for optimal running.

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Commercial kitchen sinks are a vital part of the hospitality industry. So, with a purchase that is likely going to be with you for a long time, you want to make sure that you’re making the right choice from the start. For a range of stainless steel sink examples, check out some of BuildMat’s options below: