How To Rent A Commercial Kitchen

When you are new to the food industry it is difficult to know what where to start when building your own food business or brand. With term’s like dark kitchen, pub kitchen and catering kitchen it’s difficult to know where to start. We will break down the different types of kitchens available to rent and which kitchen maybe best suited to you. Read on to find how renting a commercial kitchen can help and your food business. 

Licensed commercial kitchens or kitchen shares within existing businesses can take many forms – either as a long term or short term solution or a time shared arrangement reducing the costs of both kitchen providers and users. 

In this post we will look at various aspects of renting a commercial kitchen including the different types of kitchen’s available, what these name’s mean, the types of users and the costs you will incur when renting a commercial kitchen.

Renting a kitchen is full of variables and each kitchen type has a different type of use case and each has its own benefits and pitfalls.

When looking for a kitchen to rent it is important to consider the various use cases and what types of kitchen are available to meet these needs. 

There are 4 main type of kitchens available to rent:

Catering Kitchens

Unlike dark kitchens and commercial catering kitchens, CPU’s aren’t typically used to create food for a delivery only service. CPU’s give one kitchen space to businesses to do all of their food prep and cooking, ready to be served in various outlets.

Central Production Kitchen

Food businesses pick CPU’s since it’s easier to keep the food quality reliable, This reduces costs and improves the production, management of staff and control of ingredient’s by using one central kitchen.

Dark Kitchens

A Dark kitchen, also called delivery kitchens or ghost kitchens, help delivery only food businesses to create and sell their food. The idea of Dark kitchens is to allow you to reduce your costs of having a full dine in restaurant with associated fit out and appliance costs by offering food only through popular delivery apps. Many vendors also sell and deliver direct to consumer without the fee’s attached to using these delivery apps and services.

Pub Kitchens

Pub kitchens to rent or pub residencies are pub kitchen rental which tends to be on a longer term or permanent basis within an established food and beverage venue. The majority of rentals tend be pubs to kitchens to rent. Generally these  pub kitchens to rent will usually have an established front of house. I.E a place for customers to visit the pub, come in, sit down a dine.

What types of businesses rent commercial kitchens?

The flexibility of all short term business kitchen types – A Dark kitchen, catering, CPU’s and Pub Kitchens – is what differentiates them from a long term lease for a restaurant business or cafe for to rent. This  means that the spaces can be adjusted to the needs of various businesses throughout their lease or can terminated at short notice.

Lets take a dive into the food businesses renting short term and shared kitchens for their everyday tasks.  These include;

Street food vendors

Coffee shops and cafes

Bakers and Bakeries

Takeaway owners

Catering companies


Large restaurant chains

Food development 

Contract lengths for renting a commercial kitchen

The use case for every business is different. Someone operating a pop up kitchen will have different requirements than and require less kitchen space or kitchen time than a large national chain renting as CPU full time for food prep and distribution to remote hubs.

When searching for a commercial kitchen, the length of time you need to use the space for will probably be your biggest factor. If you only need to rent a commercial kitchen for a day, it is unlikely that a you will be looking at a kitchen with a long minimum contract length. Many kitchens will have a minimum term of 3 months but these differ on a kitchen to kitchen basis.

Many of kitchens offer flexible contracts with the option to switch to a rolling contract after an initial long or short term period. This handy if you think you might need to close, shrink or grow, further down the line.

For a smaller business, start up or someone only requiring a 3-month popup, it makes more sense to rent kitchen equipment than have the outlay or uncertainty of buying equipment. On the flip side catering company who have been in business for a long time can often afford the initial outlay and will often be more beneficial to buy kitchen equipment as this can be passed from unit to unit or job to job.

Thats a brief overview of how to rent a commercial kitchen. Now it’s time to browse the site or contact us to discuss your requirements. We will put you in touch with the right space for you.

Don’t forget to consider legalities and licensing. Read our post here to find out more. 

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