Shared Commercial Kitchens Support Start-Ups, Fill Vacant Space

The coronavirus recession has devastated independent restaurateurs, but it hasn’t stopped the spread of commercial kitchens, those facilities that serve as co-working spaces for food truck operators, caterers, and other food producers.

Commercial kitchens are coming to downtown Orangeburg, SC, Oak Creek, WI, and other locations.

In Oak Creek, a restaurant that didn’t survive the recent recession will become a round-the-clock commercial kitchen. The Common Cookhouse, which opened in September, will lease space to caterers, food trucks, and other small food businesses.

In Orangeburg, the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association is developing a community commercial kitchen at the downtown market pavilion.

“It will allow startup businesses to be able to prepare their consumables and hopefully grow into a full hospitality business over time,” says Interim City Administrator John Singh. “It is also beneficial for encouraging food truck operators.”

South Carolina requires food truck operators to have licensed commercial kitchens to prepare food for their trucks.

With the addition of a commercial kitchen, the downtown pavilion’s use could also be expanded to include weddings and other catered events.

Commercial kitchens have taken root in cities big and small. The facilities allow startup restaurants and other food producers to operate while sharing the costs of expensive equipment such as refrigerators and convection ovens.

More on shared commercial kitchens appears in the December issue of Downtown Idea Exchange. Click to learn more about Downtown Idea Exchange and other resources for revitalizing downtowns and commercial corridors.

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