Are you opening up a new restaurant soon? If so, you have a lot to do. Once you nail down a location for your business, you’ll need to outfit your commercial kitchen.
What is a commercial kitchen? It looks much different from the residential kitchen in your home. The equipment is larger, less pretty, and much more functional.
If you want to offer a varied menu to your customers, you’re going to need lots of equipment. If you are new to the restaurant world, follow this commercial kitchen equipment list to ensure your kitchen is fully equipped and stocked with the tools needed for success.
The Big Stuff
When outfitting your restaurant with commercial kitchen equipment, you’ll want to start with the big stuff. This will provide the foundation for your kitchen to be operational. Here are the large items you’ll need.
If you just need small restaurant kitchen equipment, you may be able to get by with a single commercial oven. Higher volume restaurants are likely going to need multiple ovens.
In a commercial environment, these are responsible for cooking, baking, roasting, braising, and other forms of cooking. You’ll be using these all day long for multiple dishes.
The second most-used item in your kitchen is going to be the range. Most commercial chefs prefer the control and affordability of a gas range. Just train your team on kitchen safety so they are aware of the dangers of using open flames.
Once food has been cooked, it will need to be stored in a holding area until it is served to the customer. These are generally cabinets that will keep food warm. They can also be used to proof bread before baking it.
And depending on the type of menu you offer, you may need a few other pieces of equipment. This can include a deep fryer, a grill or smoker, a griddle, commercial toasters, coffee and espresso machines, and a microwave.
You’re going to be buying and storing lots of different ingredients for your restaurant. You’ll need a place to store them all to maximize their shelf life. Adequate refrigeration is one of the basic commercial kitchen requirements.
If you have a large, high-volume kitchen, consider installing a walk-in cooler. This gives you the most amount of refrigeration services to local businesses space to work with and makes for easy organization.
Otherwise, multiple smaller coolers can work. Don’t forget freezers. They allow you to buy ingredients in bulk, saving money, and storing the excess.
An ice machine is a must for serving water and other beverages. And don’t forget a beverage dispenser so that it’s easy to serve up a variety of different drinks.
One of the first items on your basic commercial kitchen equipment list is tables and prep counters. You need ample surfaces to prepare food.
These should all be stainless steel, food-grade tabletops. You can find them in any shape and size so that you can customize your kitchen’s workflow depending on the floorplan.
Choose tables that offer shelving underneath to store large cookware. Make sure to also get a steel three-compartment sink for when washing larger, bulkier dishes.
Commercial kitchens get messy fast. You need to prioritize cleaning as you and your team are preparing food. If you don’t, you’ll run out of clean dishes and cooking utensils far sooner than closing time.
Commercial dishwashers are much more convenient than having to manually wash all of your dishes in a three-compartment sink. As you finish using different utensils and dishes, just pile them up in the dishwasher and start it as soon as it’s full. Shop now so you can get your kitchen up and running as soon as possible.
The Little Stuff
So you’ve got all the big stuff out of the way. You’ll need countless smaller items as well. Here’s what to cross off your list.
Aside from the large cooking equipment, you’re going to need plenty of smaller commercial kitchen appliances as well. One of the most commonly used is the food processor. These let you chop, mix, and grind ingredients and will be used daily in your kitchen.
Mixers help, particularly when needing to bake. Spice grinders allow you to use fresh spices which have a richer flavor. And blenders are super versatile as well.
The number of different utensils you need can be quite overwhelming. But this includes items such as serving dishes. These are the plates, bowls, forks, knives, spoons, and cups served to your customers.
And it also includes all of the small tools used by your team to prepare and cook food. You’ll need cutting boards and chef knives. You’ll want to mix bowls, pots, pans, spoons, tongs, spatulas, and ladles.
There are many different storage solutions you need to consider. If you have a lot of sheet pans, prepared with items waiting to be baked, you can get a sheet pan rack. These can store more than 10 sheet pans without taking up much space.
Install drying racks near your three-compartment sink and your commercial dishwasher. It’s better to let all your dishes air dry.
You’ll also want shelves installed along the walls of your kitchen, as you’ll have plenty of dishes and cooking equipment to keep stocked up.
You also need tons and tons of food storage containers to keep ingredients, sauces, and foods stored safely.
Provide your kitchen staff with lots of trash cans, recycling bins, and food compost bins. Placing these in the right locations can increase efficiency and save time and money.
You’ll want plenty of microfiber cleaning rags and food-safe sanitizers for cleaning surfaces. Get a mop bucket, a durable broom and mop, and wet-floor signs to prevent accidents.
Crossing Off Your Commercial Kitchen Equipment List
Now that you know what it takes to outfit your restaurant, it’s time to start crossing items off of your commercial kitchen equipment list. Start looking for deals on restaurant equipment online. There are also many brick-and-mortar stores that sell general kitchen equipment as well.
The best deals, however, can be found when restaurants are closing down and need to sell all of their current equipment. If you can find these opportunities, you’ll outfit your kitchen for pennies on the dollar.
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