How to Build a Church Kitchen

Alicia Howe

Church dinners offer parishioners time to bond with their church leaders and other parishioners while enjoying a meal in a safe, comfortable atmosphere. It also allows the church to host charity events, to earn extra cash toward upgrades or renovations within the parish, or to provide warm meals for those in need. In order to successfully build a church kitchen, you must know proper design and safety guidelines.

Start small, and add to your church kitchen as time goes on.

Step 1

Decide what type of kitchen your church needs. If your congregation is large, you will need to plan for a commercial kitchen. Find out the rules and sanitation guidelines for commercial kitchens in your area from your local board of health.

Step 2

Use a professional builder to build a kitchen that your budget allows for. Start small, but plan for growth. Include in your building instructions water, power, ventilation and drainage systems for the kitchen size that you want someday, but only include appliances that you need right now.

Step 3

Make sure your builder designs a commercial drainage system that allows all of your sinks and dishwashers to drain properly into one location. Also, add windows, doors, fans, a smoke detector and a ventilation canopy with grease filters to properly ventilate steam, cooking odors and more. Include enough lighting for safe food preparation.

Step 4

Begin with a warming kitchen design that includes ample counter space for serving food, a couple of ovens and refrigerators, several microwave ovens and a sink. This will work for potluck or charity dinners, where most of the food is brought by parishioners already cooked, and you just need space to warm the dishes, serve the food and clean up.

Step 5

Set up tables and chairs for your parishioners to sit and enjoy a meal. Include enough to accommodate for the amount of people you expect without overcrowding the area. Call a plumber to set up a restroom for your guests.

Step 6

As your parish grows in size, or as your funds increase with donations or grants, add dishwashers, sinks and cooking appliances to give you the ability to cook, prepare, serve and store food. This will involve numerous sinks, stoves, refrigerators, freezers and more.