When starting a restaurant business, you should also prepare for the logistics of such an endeavor. As you work on your restaurant business plan and your restaurant checklist, be sure to make room for the basic equipment you’ll be needing. Take note that each area of the business will have different needs. Rather than get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what you have to get, educate yourself on each item by reading all about them below.
First up, we have the most crucial items for the success of a restaurant: kitchen equipment. Many of these are things that you already know by heart, so this shouldn’t be difficult to get a firm grasp of. So you won’t neglect anything, it is best to prepare your own kitchen equipment checklist. You may purchase them or simply lease, in which case you should also prepare an equipment lease agreement. Here’s a look at what you’ll be needing:
Soup kettles, heat lamps, steam tables, and hot boxes are just a few examples of food warmers that you may need. Most of these items are electric-warmed, but there are others that are still fire-warmed. The type of food warmer you will get is going to be dependent on your chosen restaurant-type and cuisine.
If your restaurant specializes in take out meals or fast food, then counters are just what you need. After all, this is where all of your business transactions will take place. Here your staff can print guest checks and orders to those working in the kitchen for preparation. Should you be more interested in display counters, you can even benefit from potential merchandising options.
A mechanical dishwasher does its job by spraying your dishware with hot water. Take note that the temperature for restaurant washings tend to fall under 65 – 71 °C. There are those that achieve sanitation by using either a booster heater or by making use of chemical sanitizers.
Before you start looking for just any sink, know that there are multiple types, each with its own specific use. One, there are hand sinks, which are not meant for washing dishes. Bar sinks are also specifically for glass washing, so the best choice would be kitchen sinks. You can choose between those with a single to four compartments all in all.
This is a tool that is commonly found in delicatessens and butcher shops. Don’t think that meats is all you can use this tool on. Cheese and sausages are other things. Some of the older models are operated by crank, but you may be looking for those with electric motors for the convenience
To help with the tasks of beating, stirring or whisking, you need to get yourself some mixers. Variations of this include eggbeaters, hand mixers, stand mixers, and dough mixers. You may want to get only what you need, but as your restaurant expands, you might find yourself seeking out more variants.
This is considered by many to be the workhorse of any commercial kitchen. Choose a model that not only fits your needs, but also one that fits perfectly inside your kitchen. Note that these are often configured with convection ovens, standard ovens, a storage base, or even combos of these. There are also several models that are known to incorporate griddle tops in order to expand your cooking options.
Food Preparation Counter
These are items that you can place either at the back or at the front. Many restaurants would go for the former, but there are some cases where food preparation counters are visible and accessible to your customers. Its placement will depend not only on your choice, but also on the type of establishment that you are running.
Chances are, you will have already encountered several small appliances in the aforementioned kitchen equipment categories above. To make specific examples, such appliances may include beverage dispensers, hot water boilers, hot dog equipment, juicers, sandwich grills, and more. What you’ll need and won’t need again depends on what cuisine or restaurant type you are operating.
Front of the House Equipment
This part of the restaurant deals with what your customers can see and interact with. When it comes to the equipment, there is a lot to gather. As you purchase each item, do not neglect the equipment bill of sale. It is, after all, the terms and conditions as defined by your input and that of the one selling the equipment. Another reason not to neglect it is because it serves as your official receipt.
On the Tables
Among the equipment you’ll need for tables will include napkins, tablecloths, candles, salt and pepper shakers, and utensils. These things will be even more crucial if you are operating a fine dining establishment. Less so, if your restaurant is more casual, but things like utensils are definitely universally needed.
At Service Stations
To make sure that your service station is well stocked, you need to fill it up with tea cups and coffee mugs. Rolled silverware should also be in abundance. Depending on what your restaurant’s layout is, the service station may also act as a salad and dessert station. As a result, you’ll also need items like salad and dessert plates, dinner mints, sugar packets, and serving trays.
As you tackle the essentials, know that there are always a few extra equipment that you may need at some point. These include high chairs for the children; wall art to contribute to the aesthetic appeal of your restaurant; blackboards where your staff can write down special offers or announce the day’s specialty.
Having a system in place to help you with accepting payments and tracking down purchases for your inventory. There are two central items that restaurants need for this: a point-of-sale system and an inventory control system. Be sure to create a restaurant POS checklist to help you in making sure that you get the best of these equipment.
This is a significant piece of equipment that allows you to accept both debit and credit payments. Besides that, it also helps you in tracking inventory, analyze your sales and customer data, email receipts, perform invoicing, and more. It makes a lot of sense that this system is often referred to as a restaurant’s “technological heart.”
Inventory Control System
This is a system that tends to encompass virtually every aspect of managing your restaurant’s inventory. It lends aid to the purchasing and shipping. You will have an easier time with the receiving and tracking. As useful as these functions are, note that you still need to do them in sequence. Doing so ensures you of having a well-run inventory control system.
Among the most essential for just about any restaurant is to make sure their food is properly sealed and stored. This keeps things fresh and ready for anything that is required of it. Know that there are several uses for the different items beyond just keeping your food safe and that it is essential to have a storage checklist. Here’s a breakdown of what these individual tools are and what else they can do.
This is by far the hub of your restaurant kitchen. The type of oven to get is going to depend on what dishes you have planned. You must consider the cooking methods that will be used in your restaurant. Each menu trend will make use of a different kind of commercial oven. Take note of the different functions before you make a final purchasing decision.
Having a shelving unit helps in taking your storage capacity all the way to greater heights. You can go for all sorts of variations, including chrome wire, epoxy coated, polymer, and anti-microbial. There are also solid shelves, vented shelves, and triangle shelves. Choose carefully with your mind towards what your kitchen has.
Freezers & Refrigerators
Restaurant refrigeration tends to range anywhere from small coolers all the way to refrigerators so massive you can walk inside them. Pick out the type that suits your establishment best. Consider your needs and the size of your kitchen when choosing these types of equipment.
Among the greatest challenges you can encounter whilst running a restaurant is making sure everything is kept clean. To help in maintaining a certain level of cleanliness, you need the right tools for the job. Such tools include mops, brushes, glass wipers, sanitizing liquids, and more. Now it is not enough just to have these things. Your staff also needs to be competent in handling them and carrying out the cleaning tasks. Another thing is that these equipment will also need cleaning as well, so an equipment cleaning schedule is much needed.
Just like with the other areas of your restaurant, there are a lot of items that fall under the classification of ‘safety equipment.’ Cleaning supplies, for example, are also included in this category. A newly mopped floor will, after all, warrant a ‘wet floor’ sign. Apparel such as disposable gloves, protective safety glasses, and oven mitts are also needed. It would be best if you created a safety checklist in order to help you in taking note of what you need to get and what you already have.
Now that you’ve taken a look at what you’ll be needing, setting out to acquire the equipment should now be a lot easier. Take it one step at a time and pretty soon you’ll have everything taken care of for your restaurant. Just don’t forget about your restaurant templates and documents. It’ll also serve as your guide through further developments for you and your establishment.