Starting a restaurant can be an exciting and rewarding venture, but it requires careful planning and preparation to ensure success. One of the most crucial aspects of setting up a restaurant is choosing the right equipment. Without the proper commercial kitchen equipment, a restaurant cannot function efficiently and deliver the desired results.
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In this commercial & restaurant kitchen equipment guide, we will provide you with a list of essential equipment that you will need to run your restaurant successfully. Moreover, we will also provide detailed guidelines on how to purchase the right restaurant equipment to ensure that you get the best value for your money.
So, whether you are starting a new restaurant or upgrading your existing one, this guide will help you make informed decisions about your commercial kitchen equipment needs.
What is restaurant equipment?
Restaurant equipment encompasses a wide range of tools and appliances crucial for running a commercial kitchen. From ovens and refrigerators to kitchen displays and point-of-sale systems, it includes everything needed to prepare, cook, and serve food. Utensils, food storage containers, and various hardware and software are all part of the essential equipment found in restaurants.
Now that you know what encompasses restaurant equipment. Let us look at the commercial kitchen equipment checklist.
Essential restaurant equipment checklist
Setting up a restaurant kitchen requires careful planning and the right equipment to ensure smooth operations and the production of high-quality food. From cooking equipment to refrigeration and safety gear, each type of restaurant equipment plays a crucial role in the efficiency and success of your establishment.
Here is a comprehensive commercial kitchen equipment list, along with explanations of their importance in a commercial restaurant setting:
Ovens: Ovens are a fundamental component of any restaurant kitchen. They allow for baking, roasting, and cooking a wide variety of dishes, from bread and pastries to roasted meats and casseroles. These include Convection ovens, deck ovens, or combination ovens. Regular oven heating element replacement is crucial to maintaining the optimal performance of your restaurant kitchen’s ovens. It helps in ensuring that they continue to produce perfectly cooked dishes for your customers.
Stovetops and Ranges: Stovetops and ranges are versatile cooking equipment that provides direct heat for sautéing, frying, boiling, and simmering. They are essential for preparing a range of menu items.
Microwaves: For reheating and quick cooking applications.
Grills: Grills are indispensable for restaurants that specialize in grilled items such as steaks, burgers, and seafood. They add a distinctive flavor and char marks to the food.
Fryers: Fryers are used for deep-frying foods like French fries, chicken wings, and tempura. They allow for quick and consistent cooking of fried items.
Steamers: Steamers are ideal for cooking vegetables, seafood, and rice, as they retain nutrients and moisture while delivering rapid cooking times.
Braising Pans and Tilt Skillets: These versatile pieces of equipment can perform a variety of cooking techniques, including braising, stewing, shallow frying, and sautéing.
Walk-in Refrigerator and Freezer: Walk-in units provide ample space for storing perishable items in bulk. They allow for efficient organization and easy access to ingredients.
Reach-in Refrigerators and Freezers: These are smaller refrigeration units that provide immediate access to frequently used ingredients and pre-prepared items.
Undercounter Refrigerators and Freezers: Compact and space-efficient, undercounter units, fit beneath countertops and provide convenient storage for ingredients in cooking stations.
Display Refrigerators: Display refrigerators are used to showcase chilled items, such as desserts, salads, and beverages. They are often placed in customer-facing areas.
Ice Machines: Ice machines are some of the most widely used in the restaurant industry for producing ice cubes or crushed ice for drinks and food storage.
Shelving and Racks: Heavy-duty shelving units and racks help organize dry goods, kitchen equipment, and other supplies efficiently. They maximize storage space and facilitate easy inventory management.
Ingredient Bins: These large, airtight containers are used for storing bulk dry ingredients like flour, sugar, and grains, keeping them fresh and easily accessible.
Food Storage Containers: High-quality food storage containers, in various sizes and shapes, are essential for storing prepped ingredients, leftovers, and sauces in a hygienic and organized manner.
Dishwashers: Commercial dishwashers are designed to handle large volumes of dishes, glassware, and utensils. They save time and ensure proper sanitation.
Sinks and Faucets: Sinks with separate compartments for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing are vital for manual dishwashing and food preparation. Faucets with adequate water pressure facilitate efficient cleaning.
Food Prep Equipment
Food Processors: Food processors are versatile tools for slicing, chopping, grating, and pureeing ingredients, saving time and ensuring consistency in food preparation.
Mixers: Mixers are indispensable for baking establishments, allowing for efficient mixing of dough, batters, and other ingredients.
Cutting Boards and Knives: High-quality cutting boards and knives are essential for food preparation tasks. They provide a safe and hygienic surface for chopping, slicing, and dicing ingredients.
Slicers: Slicers are used for slicing meats, cheeses, and vegetables with precision and uniformity. They are commonly found in delis and sandwich shops.
Grinders: Grinders are used to grind meat, spices, and other ingredients. They are particularly useful for making sausages, burgers, and ground meats.
Peelers and Corers: These tools make peeling and coring fruits and vegetables quick and efficient, saving time during prep work.
Mixing Bowls and Measuring Tools: Mixing bowls and measuring tools are essential for accurate ingredient measurement and proper mixing of ingredients.
Coffee Machines: Coffee machines are crucial for establishments that serve coffee and espresso-based beverages. They come in various types, such as espresso machines, drip coffee makers, and French presses.
Blenders: Blenders are used to make smoothies, milkshakes, and other blended beverages. They are versatile and can be used for creating sauces and purees as well.
Juicers: Juicers are used to extract juice from fruits and vegetables, providing freshly squeezed juices or creating base ingredients for cocktails and mocktails.
Bar Equipment: For establishments with a bar area, essential bar equipment includes cocktail shakers, jiggers, bottle openers, and ice machines.
Point of Sale Equipment:
Cash Registers or Point of Sale (POS) Systems: Cash registers or POS systems are used for processing transactions and tracking sales. They streamline the ordering and payment process, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.
Receipt Printers: Receipt printers generate printed receipts for customers, maintaining professionalism and providing a record of transactions.
Order Ticket Systems: In kitchens with a high volume of orders, order ticket systems allow for efficient communication between front-of-house and back-of-house staff, ensuring accurate and timely preparation of dishes.
Fire Suppression Systems: Fire suppression systems, such as fire extinguishers and automatic sprinklers, are crucial for ensuring the safety of staff and customers in the event of a fire.
Safety Signs and Labels: Clear and visible safety signs and labels help prevent accidents and guide staff on proper handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials.
First Aid Kits: First aid kits should be readily available in the kitchen for addressing minor injuries and accidents.
Protective Gear: Kitchen staff should have access to protective gear, including gloves, aprons, and slip-resistant footwear, to maintain a safe working environment.
By ensuring that your restaurant kitchen is equipped with these essential items, you can optimize efficiency, maintain food quality, and provide a safe and productive workspace for your staff. It is essential to consider the specific needs of your establishment and menu when selecting the appropriate equipment.
What to consider before purchasing kitchen tools and equipment?
When looking to purchase commercial kitchen tools and equipment, there are a few key factors to consider. First, determine the type and volume of food you plan to serve to ensure you have the appropriate tools. Next, take into account the available space in your commercial kitchen and budget for equipment. It’s important to prioritize durability and reliability to avoid the need for frequent replacements. Finally, make sure the equipment you choose complies with health and safety regulations.
Research and comparing reviews can be helpful in making informed decisions, especially for higher-priced items like refrigerators and ovens. Creating a list of needed restaurant kitchen equipment can also aid in securing financing or loans.
How much does restaurant equipment cost?
The cost of restaurant equipment varies widely depending on factors such as brand, type, size, and features. Generally, it may range between $40,000 and $200,000. It’s advisable to obtain quotes from multiple suppliers and consider both upfront costs and long-term durability and performance.
How often should I maintain and clean my restaurant equipment?
The frequency of maintenance and cleaning of restaurant equipment will depend on the type of equipment and its usage. Generally, equipment should be cleaned after each use and regularly maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
Do I need to hire a professional to install my restaurant equipment?
It is recommended to hire a professional to install your restaurant equipment to ensure that it is installed correctly and safely. Improper installation can lead to damage to the equipment or even cause safety hazards.