Designing a Dual Kitchen

(for Dine-In and Delivery)

Delivery requires a unique setup compared to traditional dine-in design. To effectively accommodate delivery without compromising on-premises diners, there are three areas where restaurants can design thoughtful changes that balance these dual objectives: Space, Operations, and Traffic.


Rework the configuration of equipment and prep spaces to create space for delivery operations.


  • Identify a convenient location for refrigerated delivery related items such as sauces, desserts, and drinks.

  • Install a warmer for hot holding or purchase catering cambros to keep hot food hot while waiting to be picked up.

Dispatch (Tech)

  • Set up delivery dispatch near the point-of-sale or near pickup shelves to allow for ease of use and quick response.

  • Install wall mounted tablet covers to free up space on your prep tables.

Dispatch (Drivers)

  • Identify a location near the entrance for holding orders that are ready to be picked up.

  • Create a designated location for drivers to park their vehicles when picking up orders.

  • Invest in highly visible and clear signage to direct drivers to designated parking and pick-up spaces.


Make small operational changes during busy delivery dayparts.

Food Prep

  • When possible, use pre-assembled and stackable containers.

  • Design a delivery menu with items that have a  quick finish to minimize work at the dispatch station.

Inventory Management

  • Plan for the unexpected with tight inventory control. Track volume week-over-week. ( And keep an eye out for upcoming events and weather that may significantly  influence order volume!)

Strategic Scheduling

  • Designate a team member who will manage delivery dispatch and handoff orders to drivers.


Consider a new flow of traffic in and out of your space that facilitates efficiency and prevent accidents.

Guests & Drivers

  • Separate online ordering pickup from high traffic dine-in areas by creating a dedicated waiting area. 

  • Utilize pickup windows, pickup tables, and shelves at the door to make the dispatch process quick and efficient.  

  • If space permits, consider offering curbside pickup options for guests.

Back of House

  • Ensure employees involved in order fulfillment have all materials needed at their station to reduce kitchen traffic. 

  • Ensure the order expeditor has easy access to delivery packout and dispatch areas. 

Front of House 

  • Assign specific employees exclusive responsibility of entering the kitchen to run food – minimizing traffic at a potential bottleneck.