What Steps Should a Church Take if the Want to Construct a Commercial Kitchen onto their building?

church commercial kitchen

Commercial kitchen design isn’t the sort of topic that occupies the minds of churchgoers. However, for some pastors and administrators, a commercial kitchen is one of their church’s most important components. If they have one, a commercial kitchen takes a lot of time and effort to maintain and manage.

If they don’t have one, it will take even more time and effort to add one to your church. The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not the benefits of the kitchen are worth the resources you have to spend to establish it.

What Type of Kitchen Does Your Church Need?

Before you settle on a commercial kitchen design, you must first identify the type of kitchen you want. Many churches are quick to conclude that their premises require a commercial kitchen, especially large churches with massive structures. However, this isn’t always the case.

The type of kitchen you will construct will depend on the purpose you want it to serve. The type of kitchen also determines the legal requirements you have to meet. Of all the kitchen types, commercial kitchens are the most troublesome where the law is concerned. They are expected to satisfy a multitude of health and safety codes before the authorities can give you the green light to open them.

This is why church administrators are encouraged to ensure that they actually need a commercial kitchen before they construct one. As was mentioned before, the need will determine the type of kitchen. For instance, some kitchens do not prepare food.

The cooks use the facilities to heat and assemble food that was transported from elsewhere. These are called warming kitchens. If your food is prepared in another location, your church can get by with a warming kitchen that will heat and assemble the food.

However, just because the food is prepared in your church doesn’t mean you need a commercial kitchen. Commercial kitchens only enter the picture in situations where the church wants to serve food to the public. That doesn’t include their congregation.

Churches can serve food to the public for any number of reasons. Some of them feed the homeless for free. Others contribute food to poor schools in the area that cannot afford to feed their students. You also have churches that sell food to the public.

A church that serves food to its congregation can technically classify its facility as a residential kitchen. This isn’t always the case. But in many regions, your local authorities will ignore your church activities if your congregation is the only recipient of the food your serve.

If your church serves food to people besides the congregation, the authorities will classify their facility as a commercial kitchen, and they will expect the kitchen to meet all the relevant requirements as a result.

Church administrators are expected to consult code officials before they take any concrete steps to construct a commercial kitchen. A code official will provide guidance on whether or not a church facility counts as a commercial kitchen.

Though, it should be noted that the assessment made before you begin construction might vary from the assessment your kitchen will receive once it is finished. At the end of the day, your church shouldn’t aim for a commercial kitchen design unless they are convinced that it is absolutely necessary.

Once you consult your local authorities, you might be surprised by the number of requirements a commercial kitchen is supposed to meet, not to mention the expenses attached.

How To Construct A Commercial Kitchen in your Church?

You cannot add a commercial kitchen to your church without proper planning. The process will most likely involve the following:

1). Purpose

As was noted before, you should take a moment to determine the purpose of your kitchen. Even if you have already decided to construct a commercial kitchen, the commercial kitchen design will depend heavily on the purpose the facility is supposed to play. You should also account for the number of people the kitchen will serve.

2). Expert Assistance

You don’t have to understand how commercial kitchens work. You can just hire experts. That includes experienced architects and contractors that can be trusted to create a plan, produce a budget, and construct the kitchen.

You cannot add a commercial kitchen to a church by simply inserting a few cookers and countertops. You have to consider factors like ventilation, drainage, and plumbing. A professional can analyze your building to identify the best place to construct your kitchen.

If you have already identified a space for the kitchen, an expert can also find a way to install the kitchen despite challenges concerning the power, plumbing, drainage, and ventilation.

3). Features

A kitchen requires certain features and attributes to pass inspection. That includes doors, windows, a drainage system for the sinks and washers, and fire detection and suppression systems, to mention but a few. You must also adjust the lighting to meet the relevant safety standards.

Your contractor will inject all these considerations and more into your plan before settling on a budget. However, this is why it is important to make a plan. A commercial kitchen might be more difficult and more expensive to install in some places than others.

For instance, if the space you have chosen doesn’t have any ventilation and plumbing systems in the vicinity, you have to spend a lot more money to add those systems to the room you have selected before you can construct the kitchen.

You generate a budget by simply considering the cost of installing the kitchen and its features. You must also consider the additional components your kitchen needs to operate and which you must add to your church beforehand.

Some churches have abandoned their plans for a commercial kitchen because their costs ballooned significantly, exceeding their original budget.

4). Design

Once you resolve all the budgetary and construction complications, you can settle on a commercial kitchen design. If you have the financial means, you can also include a seating area for your congregation.

5). Location

You are expected to select a location before you settle on a design. However, sometimes, the commercial kitchen design you have selected can compel you to change the location. At the very least, once your contractor reveals the look of the kitchen and the components that must be added to support it, you should take a moment to reconsider the location.

First of all, if your budget has grown because the room you selected doesn’t have the amenities needed to support a kitchen, make an effort to identify a new location, preferably one that can support the kitchen’s plumbing, drainage, and ventilation needs.

Secondly, you cannot ignore the fact that the construction of a commercial kitchen is an inconvenience for you and your congregation. Any additional drainage, plumbing, and ventilation systems that must be installed will interfere with the business of your church. In some cases, your contractor may encourage you to close the church altogether until the project is complete.

But that is only one part of the equation. You should also take a moment to consider the impact a fully functional commercial kitchen will have on the operations of your church, especially if the kitchen is expected to remain in operation during church services.

You cannot afford to position a busy kitchen in a location that would cause its activities to disrupt your congregation during a sermon. This is particularly true for kitchens that feed the public. If you expect large crowds to stream in and out of the kitchen at all hours of the day, even on Sundays, you should find a room that is distant enough to prevent the activities of the kitchen from becoming a distraction.

Crowds are not your only concern. You have to keep in mind the noise and the smells that commercial kitchens generate.

6). Licensing and Inspection

You cannot operate a commercial clinic without a license. To get a license, the health department in your area has to inspect your kitchen. You can have your commercial kitchen design reviewed before you start construction.

The health department will keep you from making mistakes that may prevent you from securing a license down the line. Once your kitchen is complete, it has to be inspected. If it passes the inspection, you will get a license. Though, you have to pay several fees along the way. You must renew the license every year.

Is a Commercial Kitchen a Viable Asset?

Commercial kitchens are so expensive to construct that no one would fault you for taking a moment to question whether it is a viable investment for your church. If you have already decided to add a kitchen to your church and your congregation has asked you to justify the cost, commercial kitchens have three benefits:

1). Ministry – First of all, commercial kitchens are a great ministry tool. As was noted before, you can use them to feed the homeless and to make food for struggling organizations like schools.

2). Fellowship – You can use your church kitchen to create lasting bonds between your church members by organizing lunches and dinners. It is so much easier to plan such events when you have facilities inside the church to prepare the food. You don’t have to leave your function’s food-related requirements in the hands of an external party.

3). Revenue – Commercial kitchens are a great source of additional revenue for churches. Because they are so expensive, not everyone that wants a commercial kitchen can afford to build one. As such, you can rent your church kitchen out to other organizations on the days when you don’t need it.

Some companies would happily pay a fair monthly or annual fee to use your kitchen on a regular basis. if you don’t want other people to use your kitchen, you can sell the food you make. You might be surprised by the amount of money you can make from a fully functional commercial kitchen.

Factors to Consider When Constructing a Commercial Kitchen For Your Church

Commercial kitchens are not always the same. However, they tend to share certain attributes which you have to take into account as you consider commercial kitchen designs, including:

1). Size

Commercial kitchens are larger than normal kitchens. This is a given. For instance, they are expected to accommodate at least 50 seats, with each seat occupying 0.5 square meters. Keep this in mind as you consider potential rooms and locations.

2). Lighting

Everyone understands the importance of installing proper ventilation. You need a specific number of openings and they should be protected to prevent insects and rodents from using them to enter your kitchen.

But few people realize the important role that the lights play. Because kitchens are designed to produce food, which is a sensitive product, they must be brightly illuminated. Ambient lighting isn’t enough.

3). Floor

The floor should be smooth and easy to wash. The edges should incline towards a gutter. The walls should be just as smooth and washable. They require a light color.

4). Equipment

Your commercial kitchen design should include slots for your equipment. The average commercial kitchen requires a variety of tools. That includes stainless steel tables that will hold the food as you prepare it.

You need a cooktop with several burners and individual knobs that control them. Naturally, you can’t have a kitchen without a sink. Some people prefer stainless steel sinks. Others favor ceramic. As you might have guessed, one isn’t enough. The vegetable and meat sections are not supposed to share a sink.

Other notable tools include a dishwasher and a fridge. The commercial kitchen design you select should take into account the traffic the kitchen will receive. Think about the number of people the kitchen will accommodate and the way you expect them to flow in and out.

You should clearly mark the routes leading people into the kitchen and out of it. Don’t forget to account for the rooms that connect to the kitchen. That includes the pantry and the storage room. Their presence will affect the flow of traffic.

As you can probably tell, commercial kitchens are quite complicated. Your church needs all the professional help it can get to construct a kitchen that can serve the purpose you have in mind without exceeding your budget.

Worst Church Fires in History

worst church fire

Over the years, the church has been serving as an iconic symbol of spirituality. And beyond that, it’s something we grew up with. Everyone was shocked after the Cathedral of Notre Dome went ablaze. But many churches have burned before for sinister reasons like arson. Here are the worst church fires in history.

Grue church fire

Grue Church fire occurred in 1922 during service and killed 113 people. To date, it remains the deadliest fire disaster in Norway. The church was located in Skulstad, close to the river Glomma. But what surprised many is that an old woman had prophesied the church would go down either by water or fire.

The church was made of wood and was built using the Stave method. Above the nave, there were two transepts wide galleries that could accommodate 700 people. And the transepts had the entrance doors swung inwards.

The interior was built of pine tar while the windows were placed high above the walls. It’s believed that the 17 tons of tar were applied before the fire occurred.

Before the church fire, there were about 700 people who had attended the service – including babies waiting for baptism. But as the vicar came to the end of the sermon, there was a loud voice through the wall. With the three doors opened inward, there was confusion and panic as people tried to escape.

Some fell, and others jumped from the galleries. Among the dead were:

  • 39 children under the age of 15
  • 69 women
  • Eight to ten men

Traditionally, unmarried men used to sit on a separate side (close to the south door) and were able to escape. The Vicar also managed to escape through he was badly burnt by the melting glass.

In June, the deceased were buried close to the church altar. Although the cause of the fire was never discovered, one theory states it occurred as a result of burning candles.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

On 15th April 2019, smoke was seen billowing from the roof of the cathedral. As the church fire spread, the flames reached the roof destroying the oak beams before toppling the spire.

However, the stone vaults survived the fire thanks to medieval building techniques – it’s also a modern miracle. While every Parisian may have been heartbroken by this fire, there was some hope of rebuilding the church.

The fire began at 18.30 and reached the roof within minutes. It destroyed the wooden interior and stained glass windows.

It took about 4 hours for the firefighters to contain it. And they had one goal in mind – to prevent the bell tower from collapsing. As part of extensive renovation, the 16 copper statutes had to be removed. The deputy Paris mayor stated that the iconic building suffered colossal damages, and the team was working to restore the cathedral artwork.

How did the people react? Thousands of residents gathered to the street to watch the inferno in desperation. While visiting the scene, the president said that the fire was fought with professionalism.

A few facts about Notre Dame Cathedral:

  • The roof was mostly made of wood
  • Several statues were removed for renovation
  • A UNESCO heritage was built in the 13th Century
  • The church receives 13 million people per year

St. John’s Anglican Church, Canada

On the Halloween of 2005, St. John’s Anglican Church went into flames. After investigation, the case was believed to be arson although they could not make any leads of the suspect.

Before the church fire destroyed everything, firefighters did what they could to rescue the remains. But due to the raging inferno, they could not get inside the doors. Nevertheless, they managed to put off the fire. The church was later rebuilt like the old one.

Church of the Company fire

The church of the company fire is without a doubt the largest fire to have ever occurred in the city of Santiago, Chile. It happened in 1863 where more than 3000 people died when an oil lamp ignited the veils on the walls. The church fire spread fast due to the flawed design of the doors. The priests quickly retreated, and all escaped unharmed.

Fantoft Stave Church, Norway

On 6th June 1992, Fantoft Stave Church was destroyed by arson. At first, it was believed the fire was caused by lightning or electrical failure, but Varg Vikernes was found to be behind the church fire. After interrogation, Vikernes stated that he was part of a church-burning campaign as part of the war on Christianity.

After reconstruction in 1997, the original crucifix was restored, which survived the fire. While this was no longer a designated historical building, the old church style was restored.

Holmenkollen Chapel, Norway

Holmenkollen Chapel was built in 1903 in the Southern part of the country. In 1913, it was dedicated to church ceremonies like confirmation, baptism, funerals, and marriage.

But in 1992, the church was destroyed by fire. The police concluded that the church fire was a result of an electrical system fault. But it was later concluded Varg Vikernes was responsible. He was later sentenced to 21 years – the longest prison sentence possible. Varg was released from prison in 2009.

The chapel was built with inspiration through massive planks and pin walls. The arches are built with spruce roots using handicraft techniques. To facilitate the construction, the designers came up with a three-dimensional model. Apart from the church, there’s a complex that contains a meeting and assembly hall.

Macedonia Baptist Church

Macedonia Baptist Church was located in South Carolina. In 1994, the Christians set up headquarters to manipulate the welfare system. In 1995, Gary Christopher Cox and Timothy Adron Welch poured gasoline on the floor of the church and then set it on fire. The then president of the US (Bill Clinton) pledged federal help to investigate the church fire. But because the crime violated civil rights, it was investigated by the FBI.

On June 16th, Cox and Welch were apprehended in connection with the assault. The two were charged with first-degree arson with intent to kill.

During the initial trial, there were two other accomplices (Hubert Rowell and Arthur Haley) were indicted on several charges like violating civil rights and the Macedonian Baptist Church fire. All four pleaded guilty and received a prison sentence from 12-21 years.

The Macedonian Baptist Church was destroyed.

San Francisco de Borja Church

In 2019, The San Francisco de Borja church was torched by thousands of demonstrators gathered in central Chile demanding greater equality. The afternoon hours were followed by looting, vandalism, and violence.

According to the local press, the firefighters managed to contain the inferno. On one night of unrest, dozens of metro stations were set including, supermarkets and bus stop.

Apart from the church fire, there were cases of vandalism as prestigious items were stolen. In a UN report, the protestors accused the police of employing anti-riot weapons. Another statement released by bishops said that democracies should feel free to express terror.

Macedonia Church of God

Macedonia Church of God was burned in 1995. The fire damaged everything to the ground and injured a firefighter. Initially, the case was believed to be a result of an electrical fault but was later concluded as arson. It’s believed the blaze did over $20,000 worth of damage.

The State Law Enforcement Division questioned the persons of interest. According to the police, a 27-yar old man was linked to the incident. Unfortunately, the structure burned until nothing was left. Both the FBI and ATF determined the cause of the fire and linked the incident to Michael Jacques.

After the church fire case was concluded, the bishop of the Macedonia Church of God said that the work to rebuild the church had started.

Medieval Norfolk Church

The church fire broke early morning, and the church was damaged 100%. While the firefighters saved the historical documents, they could not salvage anything else. Surprisingly, the bell tower still stands today.

While the investigating authority could not explain the cause of the church fire, it was later linked to the arsenal. It was no frustrating for the Wimbotsham parish councilor because his mother was buried in the church. And that’s why this church was important to the village. The locals tried to put off the fire, but they could not save a lot.

St. Mary’s Church London

The St. Mary’s Church London is arguably one of the biggest church fires in recent history. In 1973, a man set the church on fire. The foundation of the church was built in the early 1900s but was later given modern housing like air conditioning, etc.

The building was built to withstand fire and remains the poorest choice of church arson. This church was out of operation for about a decade, but it was restored to its former glory. While the starting of the church fire was pretty dumb, failing twice was a big mistake.

Emanuel African Methodist Church

Founded in 1817, the Emanuel African Methodist Church is among the oldest in Southern United States churches before the war. Among the oldest congregations is Mother Emanuel but also welcomed blacks from other churches. The congregation was also made of African Americans from churches like:

  • African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Methodist Episcopal churches

In 1818, the church was raided, which led to the arrest of 40 worshippers. But they were sentenced and punished according to the law. This doesn’t stop the blacks from intimidating the black parishioners. In 1820, the white members of the community denied worshippers the right of worship. The church was finally burned down, and 35 of its members were executed.

In 1891, the church was rebuilt, and that’s where it stands today. But as if this horror wasn’t enough, there was another unfortunate event in 2015. A 21-year old committed a massacre and executed nine people at gunpoint – this was worse than church fire. He was captured and sentenced to death.

St. Andrew Hubbard

During the 1666 great fire of London, St. Andrew Hubbard was one of the churches that were affected. According to the parish clerks, the church fire damaged everything to the ground. The church was originally built in 1291 but after it was brought down, it was never rebuilt.

The excavations done in 1936 revealed that the church was founded on a former Roman site.

Holy Trinity the Less

The roots of the Holy Trinity the Less church date back to 1266. In 1606, the church was subsequently demolished but was later rebuilt. In 1871, the church was destroyed by the Great Fire of London. It was demolished to pave the way to an underground station.

Apostle Santiago Church

On March 7, 2121, the Apostle Santiago Church went up into flames. While the church fire was contained before the damage was done, it destroyed the walls.

Built by Spanish Spanish missionaries, this church was home to more than 5000 people. Also, the wooden beams littered the ground. Before the fire spread to major areas, the firefighters managed to save a copy of the paintings.

Since the church was part of a hospital complex, tourists have had a tough time exploring the area. Fortunately, the rest of the ensemble survives.

St. Ann Blackfriars

St. Ann Blackfriars was one of the churches that were destroyed due to the Great Fire of London in 1666. Although the church was refounded by Cawarden, it later collapsed. While no repairs were done after the church fire, the two portions of the graveyard remained open until 1849 – one in the church entry. One of the Ancient Monuments is the nineteenth-century Vestry Hall.

Two Catholic Churches, Chile

According to officials, the fire began as peaceful gatherings but unrest broke on one side of the city. It was after the protestors started to vandalize the national capital, Santiago.

The videos posted on social media showed people vandalizing the church before it burned to the ground. But one church fire that caught many by surprise was St. Francis Borgia Church. This was a contrast as other groups demonstrated peacefully.

When the firemen approached the area, they were attacked with stones. And they had to back off until the area was clear. The dramatic images circulated all over the world. Many people were shocked after watching a video of falling frames and one attacking women.

This news came after the Catholic Church received a lot of criticism, especially on sexual grounds. Also, the pope had appointed a bishop who was believed to cover cases of sexual assault.

It was supposed to be a friendly visit but turned to be chaos. Although the police managed to subdue the protestors, the neighboring cities encouraged street protests.

Conclusion

Because of these horrific church fires as well as other catastrophic fires many positive changes happened with fire safety. We now have an entire industry of fire protection consultant to make sure churches as well as any buildings are safe from fire.

Missing Christmas | Pastor John Lindell

In 2020, many people feel like they are “missing Christmas.” In this message, Pastor John Lindell shows us how, in any circumstance, to experience the life transforming power of Christmas. Our prayer is that God uses this message to encourage you and build your faith.

Missing Christmas | Pastor John Lindell

In 2020, many people feel like they are “missing Christmas.” In this message, Pastor John Lindell shows us how, in any circumstance, to experience the life transforming power of Christmas. Our prayer is that God uses this message to encourage you and build your faith.

Missing Christmas | Pastor John Lindell

In 2020, many people feel like they are “missing Christmas.” In this message, Pastor John Lindell shows us how, in any circumstance, to experience the life transforming power of Christmas. Our prayer is that God uses this message to encourage you and build your faith.