Choosing a Commercial Sink – Guide

A commercial sink will be in use daily in a restaurant. These sinks come in a variety of sizes, from a small commercial sink to a commercial triple sink. While the first-time owner may not put a lot of thought into their sinks, a seasoned restauranter will.

These individuals know the importance of a kitchen sink and how it will have a central role in their operations.

If you don't know how to choose a commercial sink, this is the guide for you. We'll cover the main sink types and materials to help you choose the right one for your restaurant’s kitchen.

How to Choose a Commercial Restaurant Sink

Do you need a stainless steel commercial sink or another type of sink? What sink parts should you consider? What gauge and type does your sink need to be? We're going to cover all of the basics to help you find the perfect sink for your restaurant.

Let's start with the sink’s gauge and go forward.

Commercial Sink Gauge

Your sink will take a lot of abuse. Intense wear and tear will occur over time. The gauge of the sink may not be the most important choice you’ll make, but it is a vital part of the decision-making process.

The higher the gauge, the thicker the sink will be.

Standard gauges are 14 to 16 for a restaurant. You'll need to choose based on:

  • Usage. If you use the sink for a 24-hour operation, a 16-gauge stainless commercial sink or higher gauge is ideal.
  • Needs. When used in an industrial setting, an 18-gauge or higher option may be recommended.

A 16-gauge option is the minimum for a commercial restaurant, so you’ll want to choose this gauge or higher. If you fall below this gauge, you’ll be looking at models best suited for residential usage.

Purpose of the Sink

Most people don’t think about usage beyond a commercial sink faucet that produces water. The problem is that there are a lot of sink options to choose from based on your use:

  • Bar sink: Underbar sinks are for small spaces and can fit under a countertop or bar. These compact models are designed for small spaces.
  • Mop sink: Also called a janitorial sink, these sinks are used for service and utility. They’re what allow you to keep chemicals away from your food.
  • Handwashing sink: Durable and stainless steel. These sinks may or may not be portable and are designed specifically for handwashing.
  • Sink bowls: An undermount or drop-in option that allows you to customize your sink and create your own space for hand washing or dishwashing.
  • Prep sink: A sink that is often designated specifically for prep work. While these sinks may be similar or the same size as other sinks, they’re set just for prep to enable a streamline prepping process.
  • Soaking sink: Sinks that allow for larger items to soak overnight for an easier time removing stuck-on food items.
  • Multi-purpose versatile sink that may be a commercial double sink, triple-sink wash station or other option. These models add the convenience of being able to designate certain sections of the sink for different “jobs”.

If you know what purpose your commercial sink is being used for, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and choose a sink with greater ease. Speak to your chef and anyone else that will help in the kitchen to find the sink options that you need most.

commercial sink faucet

Space Demands and Requirements

Your commercial stainless-steel sink must fit in your space. Smaller kitchens may only be able to fit a 2 bowl stainless steel commercial sink. You'll need to go into your space and measure where the sink will fit.

It's important to know what the space requirements for each sink are before making a purchase.

A plumber can also help you remodel your kitchen to fit most sinks if necessary. Be sure to measure the space twice and keep these measurements handy when making your purchase.

Water-Saving Models

You can conserve water with the right sink faucet. Since you’re running a commercial business, you’ll be using a lot of water. Conserving water is environmentally friendly and also can save you money.

While the sink itself really won’t be water-saving, the faucet that you choose will be.

Low-flow models can save you thousands of dollars on your utility bills. You'll also have to worry less about splashing when you choose a low-flow model.

commercial stainless steel sink

2 Compartment Commercial Sink

Dual compartment commercial sinks are a great option when you lack the space required for a three-compartment model. These models are good options when you need to increase the space for your dishwashing.

Of course, you’ll need to look through the available sinks and find one that best meets your needs.

3 Compartment Commercial Sink

A triple compartment sink is a good choice for most restaurants because they will be able to be used when a commercial dishwasher needs repairs. These sinks allow for three compartments that are designated for a single use each: wash, rinse and sanitize.

You'll find that while more expensive, these sinks are multipurpose and will enable you to maintain a robust, functional kitchen.

Local Laws and Codes

States and cities have their own local laws in place for commercial kitchens. Inspectors will come to your kitchen and issue citations if you don’t follow local codes. You may be required to have a 3 bowl stainless steel commercial sink that allows you to wash, rinse and sanitize your dishes.

Handwashing sinks will be needed, too. You need to meet hygiene requirements, and employees must wash their hands when handling multiple types of food.

Choosing the right commercial kitchen will allow you to meet these local laws while providing the best service possible to your customers.

You can view all of our commercial sink options online. When you choose the right commercial kitchen sink, you’ll make your restaurant more functional and streamline the dishwashing process.