Kitchen Hire Manchester

Kitchen Hire Manchester

Looking for kitchen facilities from which to prepare food items? Struggling for space in your current kitchen? Think you’d benefit from flexible commercial kitchen hire?  Manchester is a hotbed of food producing talent. With food festivals, farmers markets and a growing number of foodies keen to savour locally produced food and beverage items, it’s no surprise that independent food producers are booming at the moment.

Thyme Outside has up to 6 work stations available for chefs/food producers to hire. There are numerous options and packages available, making our kitchen space ideal for both those looking for a permanent kitchen facility or those in need of occasional additional kitchen space.

About our Kitchen

At Thyme Outside we know only too well how difficult it can be to find enough space for food preparation and storage. Prior to moving our entire catering operation to a dedicated commercial kitchen we produced all of our catering orders from our on-site kitchen at our café in Didsbury. Whilst this was fine for a while, it wasn’t at all ideal. Our issue was that we had a busy café full of customers to serve seven days a week. When trying to prepare corporate catering orders at the same time on weekdays and send out food for weddings and private events at weekends, the kitchen could quickly get backed up, making it a constant battle for space.

During this period of time we occasionally looked for additional kitchen space to help ease the pressure when times were busy. We were surprised by the lack of available kitchen hire in Manchester, leaving us little alternative but to struggle with the space we had. On occasion we even had to turn down orders as we simply didn’t have the room to do or store any more.

When we finally got to the stage when additional kitchen space was essential to allow us to grow further and better serve our existing catering clients, we wanted to do something to help others in the industry at the same time. As such, we decided to take on a unit for our kitchen that is larger than we actually need. This wasn’t just us being seduced by a great big kitchen, but actually something we thought we could make work in terms of kitchen hire.

Manchester food producers are the best in the country (or so we think) so having the opportunity to help a few of them out and perhaps work together along the way sounds good to us. Having been in desperate need of increased kitchen space ourselves in the past, but being unable to justify the costs of taking on a lease and setting up a commercial kitchen, we know there is a demand out there for a middle ground. Kitchen space to hire that allows you all the facilities of a full commercial kitchen but without the long-term commitment or expense.

Of course, hiring out kitchen space to other producers is one way of helping us to pay the bills. But we also see our kitchen hire facility as a great opportunity to collaborate with fellow local food producers. That’s why it’s something we promoted from day one, not just as an afterthought. We have space for up to 6 food producers in our commercial kitchen and facilities are available to hire on different terms and with different levels of flexibility – it all depends on what you need.

Over time, we hope that via our kitchen facility, food producers will be able to work with and support each other. Whether that is through sharing expertise and knowledge or by working together to source new business opportunities, we hope to create a food producing community all of our own. We’ll certainly be on the lookout to work with our resident food producers as much as we can – after all, if we can source something from on the premises rather than sourcing externally, it makes sense for everyone!

Kitchen Hire Packages

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to help you to grow your business, our monthly package could be just for you. Costing just £1000 per month plus vat, our monthly package allows you and up to three further members of your team 40 hour per week access to the kitchen facility. Including access to all hot cooking line equipment, a dedicated cooking line space, along with a section of dry storage, refrigeration and freezer space as required, this option pretty much allows you everything you need to base yourself at our kitchen on a permanent basis. 

If you only have certain spikes in demand, perhaps in advance of weekly or monthly events you participate in, our flexible hourly and day rate packages could be more suitable for you. With hourly hire rates from £20 plus VAT per hour (not including cooking facilities) and daily rates at just £120 plus VAT (not including cooking facilities), this is the ideal option if you just need kitchen space on a more intermittent basis. We have two options for our flexible kitchen hire packages – to just include prep and storage space or to include access to full cooking line and additional equipment. To discuss the option most suitable for you or to arrange a visit to check out our facilities for yourself, please contact us.

All of our commercial kitchen hire packages include gas and electricity costs meaning the price you see is the price you pay.

Our full range of kitchen hire packages are as follows:

Casual day rate with access to cooking facilities throughout the day £175 plus vat (8 hours, per team of 2)

£15 per additional chef per day 

£20 extra per hour over 8 hours

Casual day rate (no access to cooking facilities) £120 plus vat (8 hours, per team of 2) 

£15 per extra chef over 2

£15 per hour over 8 hours

Casual hourly rate

Cold prep only £20 per hour

Cold prep with access to cooking line £30 per hour

Resident rate

If you have a regular requirement for kitchen hire and would like to discuss a more permenant arrangement, there may be scope to do so, depending on availability at the time. Please get in touch with us to discuss this. 

On Site Facilities at our Kitchen

Our commercial kitchen is 3,500 square feet and based in Heaton Mersey, South Manchester.

Having been designed from scratch to the full specification of a commercial catering kitchen, all equipment is of a high spec and suitable for daily commercial usage.

Facilities include:

10 meter cooking line,

16 rack Hobart combi oven,

Falcon 80 litre bratt pan,

2 x 6 burner ovens,

Salamander grill,



Hot cupboard,

Large walk in fridge

Large walk in freezer

20 litre fryer,

Use of knives,  pans, mixing bowls, chopping boards, utensils, kenwood mixer, thermo mix, large capacity stick blender,  planetary mixer,

Over 30 meters prep space, raw meat prep table, food wash sinks,

Pass through dishwasher,

Karcher floor cleaner.

Additional facilities on site include:


Office space

Tasting room for clients/meetings

General and cardboard waste

Electric point for standby fridge van

Parking to rear

There is also access to the kitchen directly via a full height electric shutter, enabling easy loading and unloading of vans.

The Benefits of Hiring Kitchen Space

Becoming successful in the food production world is great but it comes with its own issues. You can quickly find that you simply don’t have enough space to prepare your produce – particularly if you originally started out at your kitchen at home. Storage is also a big issue – if the items you produce require cold storage it is likely you will only be able to produce small quantities at a time. Working from home or with limited kitchen space can also make the option of getting ahead by preparing and freezing certain elements of your items unviable.

When you are producing food items, space can come at a premium – both in terms of preparation and oven space. Having more space for preparation, cooking and packaging food can actually reduce the number of hours you need to spend in the kitchen by allowing you to produce more at any one time.

Having additional storage and kitchen space can also aid in the growth of your business. Perhaps you have had to turn down orders in the past as you simply couldn’t fit any more produce into your space. Maybe you have been holding back on trying to grow your business as you know you currently lack the facilities to be able to meet an increased demand. Having a suitable commercial kitchen space to hire means you can take your business to the next level.

Other benefits of hiring our kitchen space include: the opportunity to become a supplier of Thyme Outside, sharing knowledge and expertise with other food producers and the potential to collaborate with other food producers on larger projects.

Who is our Kitchen Hire Suitable for?

The original idea behind hiring out our kitchen space was to target the growing Manchester and Cheshire based community of farmers market producers. With so many of these markets now occurring on an ever more frequent basis, what perhaps started as a bit of a hobby or side-line may have grown to become a viable full-time business. In such instances, it is likely that the original business would have been based in a home kitchen – thereby missing all the benefits commercial kitchen facilities can bring.

However, since we first came up with the concept, we have come across many other food producers of different kinds that could also benefit from kitchen hire.

For example, a café or restaurant that has limited kitchen space on-site may benefit from taking an additional permanent space from which to supply their unit. Additionally, a restaurant with multiple sites may benefit from taking some of their production off-site to an external kitchen so that produce can be supplied from one source – thereby improving consistency.

Alternatively, food producers may either find themselves in a situation where they are too big or too small for their current commercial kitchen. As our hire packages are flexible, it is possible to tailor-make the space to exactly suit your business’ needs. If you only need one work station and no access to ovens/hot line equipment, that’s fine. However, if you are growing quickly and need the option to grow, you can even start small and potentially take more space in the future. Provided you get in early, we’re more than happy to adapt the space and the package as per your requirements.

Our kitchen facility is also ideal for development chefs to hire. Removed from the day to day environment of a restaurant kitchen, our catering kitchen is a much calmer environment, therefore allowing the space and freedom to get creative. We also have a separate tasting room on site, ideal for if you want to train staff or conduct tastings of the dishes you have developed.

We are even open to our kitchen being used as a location for filming. Where film or production companies are looking for a kitchen to feature in a scene, our facilities are ideal. As we are not a functioning restaurant, we are able to be more flexible with our working hours and can therefore accommodate film companies should they want to hire our kitchen. Similarly, if you want to hire our kitchen space for a photo shoot – perhaps of dishes for your website or for action shots for marketing purposes, access can be arranged outside of normal working hours, therefore meaning there is plenty of space to create the perfect shots.

How does our Kitchen Hire Package Work?

Although we want to remain flexible, there are some limited terms and conditions of use that are necessary for us to have in place.

Monthly Resident Producers

For our resident producers, we will have an agreement in place setting out the responsibilities of each party. Thyme Outside require a clear month’s written notice should you wish to terminate your kitchen hire agreement with us.

We will require a security deposit for any damage to equipment or the building. This would be fully refundable on the end of your tenure (should no deductions need to be made).

Casual Hourly/Day Rate Producers

Should you be a frequent visitor to our kitchen, visiting upwards of once per month, the most efficient way to operate would be to keep a damage/security deposit on file for you. This would be refundable in the event you no longer needed to use our kitchen facilities (should no deductions need to be made).

All hirers will need to book in for a half hour induction on all equipment prior to being granted access to use the facility.

Each producer will be designated a cold prep space up to a maximum of 4 people per team.

Producers are responsible for their own team and a required to undertake a thorough clean down of areas and equipment used.

Each business hiring the kitchen space must have their own insurance.

Contact Us about Kitchen Hire, Manchester

If you’re struggling for kitchen space and have been looking into kitchen hire options in Manchester, we’d encourage you to get in touch. We are happy to arrange for you to come and visit our kitchen so you can check out the facilities and equipment we have available and see whether it would work for you. We want to make it work for producers as much as for ourselves so we’re prepared to be flexible.

If you have any questions – perhaps about hours of access or the availability of certain equipment – we’d be very happy to discuss this with you. Simply get in touch with us by calling 0161 434 8686 or emailing us via our contact page.