Demand grows for Resi-Mercial™ kitchen solutions

There’s a new term in kitchen design, Resi-Mercial™, which is a residential look and feel with traditional commercial performance

Resi-Mercial™. That phrase is entering the vocabulary and conversations of commercial kitchen designers more often.

Resi-Mercial is a blend of residential aesthetics and commercial performance becoming more common in professional kitchens. More kitchens than ever are visible to guests, and designers want to show beauty, beyond the traditional stainless-steel appliances and counter tops. They are striving to provide a homelike, natural kitchen feel through a specific selection of equipment coupled with appealing design.  This allows a commercial kitchen to have a residential look and feel while maintaining the durability and performance needed from heavy-duty equipment.

Recently, Resi-Mercial was a panel discussion topic among top industry designers in the Middleby booth at the National Restaurant Association Show. On the panel were Garrin Wong of Elite Studio E, Ryan Rongo from S20 Consultants and Ken Schwartz of SSA.

“We are trying to marry two concepts; we want to have the beautiful aesthetic on the exterior while having the capacity on the interior,” Mr. Rongo said of the Resi-Mercial trend at the event.

Less stainless

According to Mr. Schwartz, the Resi-Mercial look is usually not supported by a stainless-steel kitchen. When planning the design and feel of the space, his questions for the operator to consider are: What can be done to make this commercial kitchen look great? How can we make the space warm and inviting? While the customer is in a restaurant how do we make it feel like someone’s kitchen?

“We are trying to give the guest that warm, nice, home residential feeling,” Mr. Wong said.

Higher end finishes in demand

As the trend of kitchen visibility does not have an end in sight and more cooking areas are visible to guests, a goal is to secure higher end finishes. Designers believe guests will appreciate the look and feel of the kitchen that does not have a traditional institutional set up. Finishes have come a long way in the commercial kitchen and it elevates the aesthetic of the entire establishment.

The panel of designers agreed that Resi-Mercial has been in use in other areas of foodservice, but now the concept is really making its way to the traditional kitchen.

Mr. Schwartz said he is using the Resi-Mercial concept in concierge clubs or higher end hotel suites and if this equipment can take the wear and tear of a traditional kitchen, it will be a trend to watch. He believes there are a lot of opportunities for crossover such as a project with a hotel and residential needs, where both types of equipment are needed.

In office settings executives don’t want their clients to see buffet equipment sitting out so there is a focus on concealing food preparation and storage according to Mr. Wong. As an example, he cited that while adding a panel on a commercial refrigerator could be a challenge, it is a welcome addition to make an stainless-steel unit more aesthetically appealing. Also, a quartz countertop is more visually attractive while still having the strength and durability of a steel finish.

Mr. Rongo mentioned the ambiance of high-end hospitality suites, where guests want to feel like they are in a living room, without an institutional or stainless-steel appearance. He said designers are doing their best to achieve this look without sacrificing performance.

As the demand for Resi-Mercial design expands, designers who are knowledgeable on this trend and product availability will be in the best position to help their customers now and for years to come.

Further details:

For more information visit