When opening up a new restaurant, one of your most significant investments will be your kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of your business, and a commercial kitchen needs equipment built for busy restaurant usage. No two kitchens will operate in the same way, but there are some basics that all restaurant owners should consider when outfitting a new kitchen or updating an established one. The restaurant kitchen equipment list below covers the basic needs of a commercial kitchen.
The type of oven you need will depend on the kind of food you plan to serve. If you are opening a bakery or are planning to offer house-made bread, you may not need the same type of oven as an Italian restaurant or pizzeria.
In some instances, you may need more than one type of oven, it’s critical to know what to look for when selecting the best oven for your kitchen.
Size – base your size
requirements on how much space you have in your kitchen and how much food you
will be preparing.
Quality – check out brands, reviews, service agreements, and warranties to make sure you are getting an oven that can stand up to a busy kitchen.
Function – this will be guided by the type of food you are offering.
Types of Commercial Ovens – convection ovens, combination ovens, pizza ovens, and conveyor ovens all have different, if sometimes overlapping uses, so decide which one suits your space and style of cooking.
Ranges vie with ovens as one of the most important elements of your kitchen. There are two choices: gas or electric.
Gas ranges – heat up faster and offer better temperature control, they can also be used during a power outage. However, they have a higher risk of gas leaks or fires and are harder to clean.
Electric ranges – efficient and easy to clean, lower risk of fires and gas leaks.
Commercial kitchens are often hot, crowded, and uncomfortable. A ventilation system helps manage temperature control and airflow, ensuring it is a pleasant and healthy workplace. Things to consider when choosing ventilation include:
Air volume flow rate – this
governs how fast or slow the air moves through the ducts. If you plan on
open-flame cooking or grilling, you will need more ventilation.
Static pressure – this ensures the air flows properly and efficiently through the ventilation system.
Energy efficiency – balancing your fan’s horsepower is critical to energy efficiency in the ventilation system. An underpowered fan will burn out fast, and an overpowered fan will waste energy and impact your electric bill.
Size – where your fan is placed will probably be guided by the space available and/or fire code safety regulations. Keep this in mind when planning your kitchen layout.
Noise – fans are often loud, making an already noisy kitchen even noisier. Keep the fan’s loudness in mind when selecting a ventilation system.
Even if you are running a scratch kitchen, a commercial microwave will be useful for steaming, reheating, and defrosting.
There are many different kinds of food processors, these are the four main ones you should think about for your restaurant.
Batch Bowl Processor – this is the style most often found in home kitchens, built for industrial use.
Continuous Feed Food Processor – this style allows food to be constantly added while running, and the processed food is deposited into a separate bowl. These are ideal for busy commercial kitchens.
Combination Processors – works as both a batch processor and a continuous processor. Also suitable for commercial kitchens.
A commercial mixer is a must to make desserts or bread in your restaurant kitchen. Base your selection on the type of food you’ll be making and how often you plan to use a mixer.
Floor Mixers – high-powered, high-volume mixers.
Hand Mixers – also called immersion blenders, these are handheld and used for blending soups and sauces as well as emulsifying, chopping, or mixing at high speed.
Countertop Mixers – these are good for small restaurants and bakeries or when you don’t need high output or have a lot of space.
When choosing a slicer, consider the following, based on the needs of your restaurant:
- Automatic or manual
- Blade size
- Light, medium, or heavy-duty
Food Prep Counters and Cutting Boards
How much space you have in your kitchen will guide what type of prep table and cutting boards you get. Since they will be used for a variety of prep work, choose something durable and versatile, such as stainless steel.
Refrigerator and Freezers
Commercial grade refrigerators and freezers ensure the quality of everything you cook.
- Fire extinguishers
- Rubber floor mats
- First aid kits
- Oven mitts
- Wet floor signs
Storage Racks and Shelving
When looking for storage and shelving, consider whether you want mobile or stationary, or a combination of both. The ability to move your storage when needed can be convenient.
Stock your kitchen with the right amount of:
- Pots and pans with lids
- Chef’s knives
- Spoons for mixing and tasting
- Mixing bowls
- Sheet pans
- Roasting pans
- Baking pans
Proper food storage helps you minimize waste and adhere to food safety best practices.
You’ll need equipment to prep food such as soup or sauces so they remain warm and at a safe temperature.
Depending on your kitchen’s size and the food you plan to serve, there may be some items on this list you don’t need. Or you may need more specialized equipment to go with your restaurant concept. You can find the basics on this restaurant equipment checklist as well as specialized equipment at JES Restaurant Equipment.