Setting up a new restaurant is both exciting and challenging. Depending on the scale and niche, you may end up going after myriad things large and small. Startup cost may be demotivating, but nothing good comes chip these days. Focusing on the essential restaurant equipment and supply in advance will let you have a clearer picture of upcoming expenses.
Granted, not all restaurants have the same prerequisites when it comes to equipment. Full-service restaurants and fast food joints will differ greatly in what is required. Here we will have a thorough look at all the necessary restaurant equipment, how to choose the right setup for your restaurant, and where to buy it!
Restaurant equipment checklist
Firstly, we should look at the list of general categories that need to be addressed and invested in.
- Ranges and ventilation
- Food processors
- Food counters
- Refrigerators and coolers
- Point of sale system
No matter the restaurant type, you will most probably need ovens. Ovens differ greatly depending on the design and designated use. There are commercial ovens, convection ovens, pizza ovens, and combination ovens. When choosing the ovens, pay attention to the quality, functionality, and size.
Ranges and ventilation
After sorting out the ovens, you will have to decide on the ranges and ventilation. Ranges should be chosen accurately and with attention to efficacy and comfort of use for your staff. Gas ranges allow for precise and immediate temperature control and can work even if your establishment experiences a power outage. However, they are harder to clean.
Electric ranges are exceptionally efficient and are easy to clean and maintain. The downside to electric ranges is a higher monthly electricity bill.
With the ranges in place, you need to set up effective ventilation to ensure a proper working environment for your kitchen employees. When choosing the ventilation system, look for the following specifications:
- Airflow volume
- Static pressure
A food processor is a piece of kitchen machinery use for chopping, slicing, mixing, and grinding raw foods and ingredients. There are four main types of food processors that you should keep in mind. Batch bowl processors are the most common and are used for slicing food in various ways. Continuous feed food processors allow your staff to add raw ingredients as the processor grinds them. Combination processors are in between the two mentioned above and maybe your best bet.
If your restaurant will feature a bakery of any variety, you most probably will have dedicated mixers at your disposal. Mixing on a large scale will require a floor mixer that is specially designed for large quantities of ingredients. Hand and countertop mixers are good alternatives if mixing of any kind is not a cornerstone of your food production.
As the name implies, slicers are used by kitchen staff to slice meats, cheese, and other foods. Though not every restaurant may need this type of equipment, you should still consider it.
Food preparation counters
Some of the crucial pieces of restaurant equipment are preparation counters. Prep counters are where your staff will process and prepare the food. Choosing the right kind of counters is of utmost importance. Stainless steel counters and working surfaces are considered to be the best in class. They are easy to clean, disinfect, and durable.
When choosing the cutting boards consider using plastic ones. Plastic cutting boards are also easy to clean and maintain. Unlike wooden counterparts, plastic boards absorb no bacteria and will last longer.
Refrigerators and coolers
Of course, no matter the restaurant size, you will need to buy refrigerators and coolers of some sort. The reach-in and walk-in refrigerators are the two most popular types among establishment operators. When choosing the refrigerator, pay attention to its size and efficiency.
You may also need coolers for fresh greens and beverages that you serve. Consider buying some small coolers that can be placed within reach of your bartenders if you have a dedicated bar stand at your restaurant.
Point of Sale System (POS)
The point of sale system is the brains of your restaurant operations. You will need to keep track of orders, sales, and customer interactions. POS systems also allow for automated reporting, which saves a lot of time and money. When choosing the POS system, pay attention to the following attributes:
- Ease of use. The system should be as intuitive as possible not to add unnecessary pressure to your employees.
- Customization. The more customizable the POS system is the better it is for you and your particular business.
- Offline functionality. While rare, it is not impossible for your internet connection to go down. Having a POS system that can operate autonomously is a plus.
Miscellaneous Restaurant Equipment
Sure, the things mentioned above are just the essentials most restaurants will need to buy before opening. Other important bits will include your tableware, dishes, cooking equipment, sanitary equipment, and more. But with the fundamentals covered, you will have no problem finding other pieces of a puzzle.