Investing in the right equipment is crucial to your restaurant’s success. Whether you’re a new business owner or a seasoned entrepreneur, we’ve listed down the most important equipment and tools you need to have.
You may need more or less of these items, depending on the types of food you’re offering. However, this guide covers the most basic and essential equipment used in most commercial kitchens today.
An oven is usually the centerpiece of any commercial kitchen. It comes in different types: standard, convection, combi, conveyor, and steam.
If most of your products are baked (such as bread and pastries or roasted meals), a combi or a conveyor oven is more appropriate.
2. Ranges and Ventilation
The style of your cuisine is a major consideration when choosing cooking ranges. Choose an induction range if you need to cook at lower temperatures or a gas range if you need to cook fast and with a high level of consistency.
3. Food Processors
A reliable food processor will save you lots of time and energy in food preparation, helping you serve your customers on time.
Be sure to select the size and capacity for your daily needs. Look for units that come with multiple attachments and bowls so you can perform a variety of tasks in less time.
Whether you’re making huge batches of sauces or making bread and pastries, you need a high-quality mixer.
Most commercial restaurants use standing floor mixers that can hold 20 to 60 quarts of dough. Do note that baking mixers vary and you may need a separate mixer for making doughs and another for mixing cake batters.
5. Refrigeration Units
When buying freezers and refrigerators, always consider the size and capacity of your restaurant. If you need hefty storage, you’d benefit from a walk-in cooler.
If you’re running a food truck or have a limited floor area, under-counter refrigerators work best. These units are fitted under existing countertops and can be used as stand-alone work surfaces.
For pizza and sandwich shops, refrigerator prep tables are ideal. They are designed to be used on the cook line or preparation area for quick access to food and supplies.
6. Restaurant Cooking Equipment
Your A to Z restaurant equipment doesn’t just cover the big stuff like cooking ranges, ovens, and freezers. You also need to stock up on the smaller items you use daily.
The right tools make your life (and your cooks’) easier. Make sure you have plenty of the following items:
- Pots and pans
- Chef’s knives
- Baking pans
- Roasting pans
You also need dishwares such as plates, platters, serving plates, and bowls. A microwave is also very helpful equipment that allows you to reheat premade dishes in less than a minute.
You may also need other equipment like coffee makers, ice makers, blenders, etc.
Another important part of a commercial kitchen is the washing area, which is regulated by local health departments. To ensure food safety, the following equipment is necessary:
- Commercial kitchen sink/scullery sinks made of stainless steel
- Prep sink
- Handwashing station
- Commercial dishwasher (pass-through dishwasher, conveyor dishwasher, or under-counter dishwasher)
- Disposal sinks
- Mop sinks
Any kitchen will benefit from having ample storage. Keeping things organized is the best way to stay productive and efficient.
Firstly, a commercial kitchen needs to have a separate receiving area for supplies. Raw materials and ingredients should be stored properly and according to their classification. That said, you need separate storage units for frozen goods, refrigerated goods, and dry goods.
Storage equipment should also include shelves, cabinets, air-drying racks, storage containers, and utility carts.
Certain technologies can help streamline your operations by helping you manage your menu, inventory, and your staff.
- Kitchen Display System (KDS) – this is a digital screen that displays order tickets and monitors the time it takes to prepare each dish.
- POS (point-of-sale) System – this allows you to track sales, cash flow, and food inventory.
With the help of this guide, identifying the tools and equipment you need to launch your restaurant doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
When purchasing restaurant kitchen equipment, pay attention to the quality. Whether you choose to buy new or used equipment will depend on your budget. However, you have to ensure that you’re investing in the equipment that you can use and rely on for a long time.
Other things to consider are your kitchen size and space, ease of use and cleaning, installation, and maintenance.