Starting a restaurant takes a great deal of time, consideration and money. Purchasing equipment for the kitchen requires high upfront costs, but you probably won't need every piece of equipment listed in the catalog. Sit down with your head chef and kitchen manager before you buy in order to use startup money most effectively. Choose quality, long-lasting equipment that won't falter when your business is getting off the ground.
Ovens and Ranges
A number of oven and range designs and models are available to fit any style and space needs for the kitchen. Both standard and convection ovens are considered necessary, but combination ovens, which combine elements of the two, can be useful if space is an issue. Stove-top space for a griddle, char broiler and burners also need to be considered and will depend on the overall restaurant menu theme. On the line, a steam table for holding hot foods is also required.
Pots and Pans
Quality cookware sized for restaurant volume is a must. Stockpots from 4- to 20-quart capacity is a good place to start along with varying sizes of saute and sauce pans. These will be the workhorses of your kitchen, so buying the best quality will save money in the long run. You will also need 2- and 4-inch hotel pans, baking sheets and loaf pans. Other equipment can include braziers, pasta cookers, steamers, cast-iron cookware and woks.
The Prep Area
Having a good prep table, shelving and adequate equipment for preparing food will save time and money. An industrial mixer, immersion blender, food processor, microwave oven and a commercial meat slicer are some of the bigger ticket items needed.
Utensils and Small Wares
Other items that you will need for your restaurant equipment include bowls for mixing, cutlery, a food scale, spatulas, whisks, long-handled spoons, juicers, zesters, graters and peelers. Larger prep equipment that you need are bus tubs, cutting boards, salad spinners, commercial can openers and food storage containers.
Like ovens and stove tops, your refrigeration and freezer capacity might be dictated by the projected volume of meals served in your restaurant and the space available. Many commercial restaurants use walk-in refrigerator units, and some can even house walk-in freezers. However, good quality stand-alone units are available and can be used safely and efficiently.