The ultimate guide to choosing a commercial kitchen to rent in 2024

March 1, 2024

Caterers, delivery brands, multi-chain restaurants and even start-ups are all facing the same issue - navigating the market of commercial kitchen providers to find a solution that best suits their business needs.

Food businesses are increasingly opting to rent commercial kitchens instead of building their own due to improved financial flexibility and reduced overhead costs. However, with the increasing number of options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which provider to go with, and what type of kitchen to rent. In this guide, we will explore the key factors to look for when exploring the space.

Understand your business needs

Before starting your search for a commercial kitchen to rent, it's important to have a clear understanding of your business needs. This includes the purpose of opening a new commercial kitchen, the type of food you'll be producing, your expected production volume, and any specific equipment or storage requirements. Having a clear idea of these needs will help you narrow down your options and find a kitchen that meets your requirements.

Types of commercial kitchens to consider

Central Production Kitchens

Central Production Units (CPUs) are designed for large-scale food production and centralising operations. Ideal for catering companies and multi-chain restaurants, they often come equipped with extensive equipment and lots of space to accommodate high-volume production.

Delivery Kitchens

Delivery kitchens, also known as dark kitchens, are on the rise with the boom of food delivery services. These kitchens are designed solely for preparing food to be delivered to customers and are typically located in areas with high demand for delivery services. They tend to be more cost-effective as they don't require dining space or storefronts.

Shared kitchens

Shared kitchens provide a space where multiple food businesses can operate simultaneously. This model is especially beneficial for start-ups or smaller operations that may not require a kitchen full-time and are looking to reduce costs by sharing the space and resources. Shared kitchens often come with basic kitchen equipment, which can reduce CAPEX investment for small businesses.

Understanding which type of kitchen supports your business model best is crucial in the decision-making process.


Location is a crucial factor when choosing a commercial kitchen to rent. Consider the areas where you'll be sourcing ingredients and delivering your products, as well as the proximity to potential customers. You'll also want to ensure that the kitchen is easily accessible for your staff and suppliers. Keep in mind that a convenient location may come with a higher rental cost, so it's important to find a balance between accessibility and budget.

Available Equipment

One of the main benefits of renting a commercial kitchen is that specialised equipment is often included. When touring potential kitchens, take note of the equipment available. If you have specific equipment requirements, make sure to discuss this with the kitchen owner before signing a lease. Additionally, consider the condition and age of the equipment as this can impact your production efficiency and costs.

Storage Space

Depending on the type of food business you have, storage space may be a critical factor in choosing a commercial kitchen to rent. Consider the amount of dry, refrigerated, and frozen storage you'll need for your ingredients and finished products. It's also important to consider whether you'll need specialised storage facilities, such as temperature-controlled areas, to maintain the quality and safety of your food.

Health and Safety Regulations

Before renting a commercial kitchen, it's crucial to make sure that it meets all health and safety regulations. This includes proper ventilation, sanitation, and food storage practices. In some cases, the kitchen may need to meet specific industry standards or obtain certain certifications. Be sure to inquire about these requirements when considering a rental.


Renting a commercial kitchen can be a cost-effective solution for food businesses, but it's important to carefully consider the costs involved. In addition to the monthly rental fee, you may also be responsible for utilities, insurance, and any additional fees for equipment usage or storage. It's important to factor these costs into your budget when comparing different rental options - sometimes what looks like the cheapest option is actually much more expensive.

Evaluating Additional Services and Features

You should also consider what additional services and amenities each kitchen provider offers. Services such as waste removal, communal areas for staff, kitchen porter services, partnership introductions, and the availability of site managers can significantly impact your operation's efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Waste Removal

Efficient waste removal services are important to maintain hygiene standards and workflow. Enquire whether the kitchen rental includes waste disposal and whether any additional charges are applicable.

Communal Areas

Employee welfare should be a priority, and the availability and quality of communal areas for staff can enhance team morale.

Kitchen Porter Service

A kitchen porter service can be a great added benefit in improving the efficiency of your operation. If this service is available, it can save time and labour costs, allowing your team to focus on food preparation.

Partnership Introductions

Some kitchen providers act more like a strategic partner, by leveraging their network to introduce you to other potential partners, suppliers, and distributors. This can provide growth opportunities and valuable industry connections.

Site Managers

The presence of a site manager can ensure smooth operation and quick resolution of any issues that arise. This can allow you to concentrate more on generating demand and improving food quality.

Considering these services and how they align with your business needs can guide you to a more informed decision when selecting a commercial kitchen to rent. Look for providers that offer more than just simply the space.


As your food business grows and evolves, you may need to make changes to your production process. When choosing a commercial kitchen to rent, it's important to consider the flexibility of the space. Will you have the ability to expand or make modifications if needed? Are there any restrictions on operating hours or access to the kitchen? These are important questions to ask before committing to a rental.


Finding a commercial kitchen to rent can be a daunting task, but by understanding your business needs, considering location and equipment, ensuring proper storage and safety measures, and carefully evaluating costs and flexibility, you can find the perfect kitchen for your food business. Take the time to research and tour different options before making a decision, and don't be afraid to negotiate terms with the kitchen owner. With the right rental, you can set your food business up for success.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.