As the UK eases itself back to normality, the need for community and companionship is felt more keenly than ever – so is now the right time to open a community café within your church? We look at some of the factors to consider before you take the plunge – and give you a few pointers to help you get started if you do.
Could a café at your church provide a much-needed hub in your community after lockdown – be it for your congregation or the wider neighbourhood? Ask around to gauge what role your café could fill, whether it’s as an affordable lunch spot or as a safe place for people to gather. Although restrictions are now easing, it’s also important to think about how your café could safely operate in a post-lockdown world: from air circulation to spatial requirements.
How much space do you have at your disposal? A smaller kitchen and dining area might have been serviceable in the past, but thanks to the pandemic, premises now need to consider social distancing, both in the kitchen and front-of-house. Even once restrictions are over, it’s likely that people will be looking for large, airy spaces over smaller, cramped cafes.
You may want to look at extending or remodelling your kitchen to increase available space, or could even build a new, made for purpose kitchen/café building on church grounds (such as the site of an old scout hall or storage facility).
Health and safety are more important than ever. If you’re going to open a community café, make sure you have a space that is easy to keep hygienically clean and in good working order. Is your current kitchen up to the task? Take a moment to consider its age, the materials it’s made from, accessibility, fresh air circulation and any important safety issues like loose tiles or crumbling kickboards. It may be time to invest in a new kitchen that’s up to the task of supporting a busy café safely.
A semi-commercial kitchen is an affordable and effective choice: more durable than any kitchen with MDF or chipboard (like a domestic kitchen) but warmer and less severe in appearance than a fully-commercial steel model, it’s ideal for a community café, whether it’ll be run by professionals or volunteers.
If you’re exploring the idea of a community café and want some friendly advice on how a semi-commercial kitchen would work in your space, contact the Steelplan Kitchens team on 0844 809 9186. We’ve created semi-commercial kitchens for churches up and down the UK, and can discuss your plans, our products and how to create the perfect kitchen for you and your community
The inherent strength of metal and a combination of the benefits listed on this page mean that a steel Kitchen will far exceed the life expectancy of a standard wooden carcass kitchens in semi-commercial environments.
The polyester powder coated steel is impervious to water. No more swollen chipboard or rotting MDF.
The metal is fire resistant and the powder coat finish formulated so that no toxic fumes are emitted in the case of fire.
Unlike wooden/chipboard cabinets the Steelplan Kitchen carcass does not contain any material that may sustain, harbour or encourage insects or bacteria.
The powder coated finish means that the units can be kept to an extremely high level of cleanliness and hygiene at all times. Essential when used in health locations.
It looks great! The hidden steel backbone is dressed up with a choice of doors to produce whatever look and feel you want.