Restaurant Kitchen Equipment | 8 mins read

A Complete Guide to Commercial Restaurant Kitchen Equipment

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Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

The Importance of Restaurant Kitchen Equipment

According to studies, average restaurant startup costs are estimated to range between $175,500 and $750,500. Restaurant equipment is a necessary investment that every restaurant must carefully contemplate. The equipment commercial restaurants use makes a significant difference in their product and service. Food storage and prep equipment that may be suitable in a home kitchen are not suitable for commercial kitchen needs. Thankfully, there is equipment commercial restaurants can invest in that is designed specifically for commercial kitchen needs.

The most important aspect of restaurant equipment is the security it supplies regarding food safety and quality. Improper restaurant equipment can lead to poorly prepared food products. Even more dangerous and important to consider are various food safety concerns. If commercial cooking equipment does not keep food out of the danger zone food poisoning can occur.

Customer service capabilities are heavily reliant on proper commercial cooking equipment. For example, a lack of prep tables or prep equipment available will lead to slower serving times. Reduced service speed often leads to decreased returning customers and as a result less bottom line profitability.

A List of Kitchen Equipment Every Restaurant Needs

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When considering what equipment food service professionals should invest in, consider what items are going to be utilized most. The equipment restaurant staff will use most must be high quality and reliable. Without the equipment restaurant workers need, restaurant success is unlikely.

There are many different types of restaurant equipment in addition to specific business type considerations. A coffee shop will likely have a much different equipment need than a convenience store will. There are also more particular questions like deciding between combi ovens or convection ovens for cooking. Ultimately, a commercial kitchen must consider a lot when deciding which restaurant equipment investment is best. Equipment commercial restaurants need commonly include-

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Cooking Equipment

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Cooking equipment is foundational for every restaurant kitchen. Essential cooking equipment items range from gas ranges to deep fryers. Ovens are incredibly versatile pieces of commercial kitchen equipment. For example, an oven could be used for both baking and braising.

There are also both combi ovens and convection ovens available. Convection ovens are a commercial oven type where fans circulate air within in order to evenly distribute heat. Combi ovens utilize steam, convection, and a combination of steam and convection cooking methods in a single appliance. Holding equipment supplies specific temperatures to maintain food safety.

A deep fryer and gas ranges are well known fast food service cooking equipment staples. Different types of fast food service restaurants may have specialized cooking equipment. For example, bakery equipment in a coffee shop or pizza ovens in a pizzeria.

Refrigerator Equipment

Different types of refrigerator equipment range from a commercial ice machine to stainless steel freezers. Every restaurant has different types of refrigerator needs to consider. Different types of refrigerators available include pass through options, reach in fridges, walk in coolers, and food prep fridges. Many restaurant kitchen staff opt for a combination of refrigerator types.

Beverage equipment including commercial ice machines and soda dispensers are restaurant supplies staples. Different types of ice machines are available for purchase depending on business needs. For example, an ice cream shop or coffee shop will likely have different ice machine requirements.

Things to Consider Before You Buy Kitchen Equipment

Every restaurant has much to consider before kitchen equipment is purchased. Unfortunately, businesses that rush to equipment shop too quickly can end up with improper supplies. Significant restaurant equipment considerations to determine before initiating equipment shop efforts include-

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Space

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Different types of commercial kitchens have varying blueprints and spatial capacities. Before beginning to shop commercial pieces it is crucial to consider commercial kitchen layout specifics. Larger pieces of cooking equipment such as heavy duty deep fryers must be measured accurately. The measurements equipment supplies and space required can then be accounted for in the blueprint. Pieces equipment needs to operate must also be measured and accounted for. Every restaurant must also guarantee that kitchen equipment can fit through all doors necessary.

The layout of a restaurant kitchen is also important to consider for maximized efficiency. Ideally, the equipment commercial restaurants invest in is complimentary to the workflow. For example, businesses typically designate separate areas for food prep equipment and food storage equipment. Prep tables and a food processor are often placed strategically within the food preparation area to maximize efficiency.

Better accessibility to prep equipment like cutting boards or different types of knives can optimize food preparation times. When measuring the food storage area, different types of foods and their associated storage requirements must be considered. Finally, by designating the food storage and food prep area in complementary positions, workflow is improved.

2. Pricing

Restaurant professionals that shop commercial kitchen equipment often references pricing as a top consideration. Equipment commercial kitchen staff will utilize the most warrants a higher investment. However, every restaurant has different financial resources and priorities. Thankfully there are tips for restaurants that need to shop commercial kitchen equipment stores for the first time.

There are also ways to save money with equipment shop efforts. Some of the equipment food industry professionals need can be purchased used. Although, it is important to remember that buying used commercial cooking equipment can come with its own issues. Another tip for kitchen equipment purchases is to consider multipurpose pieces. For example, combi ovens supply businesses with the ability to cook and steam. Many consider these pieces equipment goldmines as they can lower investment costs significantly.

Average Costs of Restaurant Kitchen Equipment

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Understanding the average costs of restaurant kitchen equipment helps avoid overspending. The average cost for kitchen and bar equipment is estimated at around $115,655. Necessary restaurant furniture including prep tables can cost around $40,000. Due to its high cost, planning and budgeting for kitchen equipment is a wise decision.

Equipment shop preparation can be difficult with such a wide range of average prices listed. For example, deep fryers generally are priced at $500-$8,000 and convection ovens cost anywhere from $1,200-12,000. Prep tables are often fitted with commercial sinks for maximum accessibility range between $450-$2,500. Refrigerated prep tables are even more expensive, ranging between $1,000-$9,000. Freezers and reach in coolers can range from $1,100-$26,000. Walk in coolers and freezers sit at an average price range of $6,000-$15,000.

Specialized accessories commercial restaurants require may also be specific. An ice cream shop soft serve commercial ice cream machine can cost $1,600- $21,000. A coffee shop stainless steel espresso machine ranges from $1,200-$20,000. As such, before restaurants shop commercial stores it is crucial to understand both specific restaurant equipment needs and wants.

How to Source the Right Restaurant Kitchen Equipment

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Sourcing proper restaurant equipment is not an easy task. The first step that many restaurants take is to locate commercial kitchen suppliers. Asking other food service businesses about their own equipment shop experience is also wise. Established and experienced food service business owners who shop commercial equipment often can supply valuable insights.

Different types of restaurant kitchen suppliers may offer specific perks. Perks range from free shipping to an excellent customer service department that will make sure satisfaction is guaranteed. Understandably, deciding between different restaurant supplies can be complex and confusing. If a restaurant is unsure which restaurant supplies are needed for their operations they can contact customer service directly.

If costs to shop commercial equipment are too high at a new equipment shop then there are other options available. Commonly considered options include both used and rented restaurant kitchen equipment. Rented equipment supplies a much lower investment cost and is especially useful for pop ups or test runs. Used equipment supplies less damage to the restaurant's budget. Experts advise professionals to make sure to check any recently closed restaurants for auctions.

Pros and Cons of Buying Used Kitchen Equipment

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Not every restaurant has the available capital to purchase products new. For some establishments, used restaurant equipment is an appealing option. However, there are pros and cons of purchasing used kitchen equipment that professionals must make sure they are aware of.

Pros of Buying Used Kitchen Equipment

The most significant benefit of purchasing used commercial kitchen equipment is the price savings. There are various reasons that equipment supplies are sold used. For example, used restaurant equipment could be found at a convenience store closure auction. Alternatively, a convenience store with an upgraded equipment need may sell older equipment that is no longer needed.

Cons of Buying Used Kitchen Equipment

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Although the price savings on restaurant equipment is rightfully appealing there are also downsides to purchasing used items. The most significant risk of purchasing used commercial kitchen equipment is the lack of product history. Every restaurant takes care of its commercial kitchen equipment differently. As such, used restaurant equipment may not have been maintained properly.

An additional concern for purchasing used restaurant equipment is a lack of warranty. As soon as used kitchen equipment changes ownership, damages are the new owner's responsibility. Additionally, if the equipment restaurant owners purchased breaks, business operations may be halted. Many restaurant kitchen staff members have experienced these issues with used commercial kitchen equipment.

Conclusion for Restaurant Kitchen Equipment

  • Restaurant kitchen equipment is a significant investment for every restaurant to consider.
  • Excellent kitchen equipment helps avoid food safety issues and increases customer service capabilities.
  • Cooking and refrigerator equipment are common restaurant kitchen equipment purchases.
  • Commercial restaurant equipment can be bought new, used, or rented.

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