Finding the Right Equipment & Supplies for Your Restaurant
New Restaurant Equipment:
For restaurant owners just starting out, the search for the right equipment and supplies can be daunting. Figuring out exactly what you need is a difficult task. For any restaurant, there will be a long list of equipment and supplies that need to be procured before even opening, and that list is different for each person and each restaurant.
Determining What Equipment You Need:
The equipment you need will largely depend on your menu and your restaurant concept. However, here are a few general guidelines to follow when you first make up the list of equipment you want to purchase.
When deciding how much equipment you need, the key is to limit your equipment. Evaluate your menu to determine the fewest pieces of equipment that are needed to produce all of the dishes. For example, if you own a sandwich shop, your absolutely essential equipment needs might be limited to commercial refrigerators, refrigerated prep tables, ice machines and meat slicers.
Add strategic extras:
The list of essential equipment should be your basis for purchasing. However, if you have extra room in the kitchen and enough extra capital, you can purchase extra pieces: for example, a commercial food processor or cheese Melter. While this equipment may not be a necessity, it can reduce the kitchen labor required to produce your menu, enhance the final taste or appearance of the food or make your kitchen more flexible in case you need to change your menu in the future.
Determining What Supplies You Need:
Most commercial kitchens need basic kitchen utensils on hand, such as scoops, spoons and spatulas. Often, fledgling restaurant owners overlook purchasing these necessities until the last minute, so before opening, be sure to consider even the smallest things you will need.
Speed up your kitchen:
Purchase handy food prep supplies, like vegetable cutters and slicers for high volume produce. Commercial kitchen tools like these can help increase your workers’ productivity.
Stock up for storage:
The last thing you want to do is overlook your storage requirements. Every restaurant will need food storage and shelving to hold its supplies. Many full-service restaurants will also require food service carts to help move supplies from one area of the kitchen to another.
Do not overlook the tabletop:
Every restaurant will need smallwares. Quick-service establishments will need disposable restaurant supplies, while full-service restaurants will need reusable dinnerware and drinkware. Most restaurants will also need other supplies for their tabletop, like condiment containers, tabletop signs and food baskets.