Restaurants need a lot of equipment to operate. When furnishing your restaurant’s kitchen, you’re going to be dealing with an extensive restaurant kitchen equipment list. There’s much to be done, but don’t rush into buying restaurant equipment too quickly. Take some time to consider what you need for your space and your restaurant type, what you can afford, and who you want to buy it from.
When buying restaurant kitchen equipment, look for high-quality items that will stand up to constant use over the years. Consider using restaurant financing to make the purchase more manageable. Make sure the restaurant kitchen equipment items you choose make sense for your kitchen layout and the flow you envision for the actual cooking equipment.
Before tackling your restaurant kitchen equipment list, consider the following:
When buying restaurant kitchen equipment, start by looking at the quality. Consider whether the equipment is brand new or used. If it’s new, is it from a reputable manufacturer? Where is it made? What is it made from? If you’re looking at buying the equipment used, consider how old the equipment is, where it’s coming from, and what kind of shape it’s in. Be sure to take a look at the equipment in person before making the purchase so that you can inspect the appearance and function for any flaws. Consider which types of restaurant equipment you’ll be using most often. For those items, buy the highest-quality you can afford.
2. Space Consideration
Before you buy restaurant equipment, spend some time looking at your restaurant kitchen’s blueprints. Think about how your team will move around in the space and consider how your restaurant kitchen should be laid out. Figure out how much space you’ll have for everything you need. The goal is to have an efficient layout that flows well without being overly crowded. Don’t forget to check the dimensions of every piece of equipment to ensure you can fit it all through the doors and into the kitchen.
Pricing is an essential consideration when buying restaurant equipment. First, think about which pieces of equipment are most important to you. The restaurant kitchen equipment that you know you’ll use every day warrants a higher price tag, since you’ll want to go for better quality on those. For the others, think about ways you might save some cash, such as by looking for multipurpose equipment that can do multiple jobs in one. An example is a combination oven, which can cook by convection, steam, or a combination of both. Another way to get a good price is to buy used — just be sure you thoroughly inspect the equipment before buying.
4. Ease in Using and Cleaning
Whatever restaurant kitchen equipment you buy, it needs to make sense for cooks to use day in and day out. Watch videos, talk to the sales reps, and try to see the equipment in action in order to determine if it will be easy to use every day. Consider ergonomics, ease of opening and closing doors, storage options, and any technological features, which could be either helpful or difficult to operate. When it comes to cleaning, take some time to review how to clean the equipment daily, weekly, and monthly so that you can effectively plan side work for staff. Equipment made from stainless steel is especially easy to maintain and reduces the chance of harboring dangerous bacteria. Look for the NSF symbol to ensure equipment meets safety certifications.
5. Choosing the Right Supplier
Choosing the right restaurant kitchen equipment supplier goes a long way in ensuring that you receive high-quality equipment you can count on. The best suppliers will help walk you through equipment selection with plenty of resources and without giving you a hard sell. Additionally, be sure to ask about help with installation as well as policies on maintenance and repair services for the inevitable day when your equipment needs service.
6. Hiring a Restaurant Kitchen Planner
Especially if you’re building a new restaurant or completely renovating the kitchen, hiring a professional restaurant kitchen planner can be a great help in figuring out the type of restaurant kitchen equipment you need. A restaurant kitchen planner will talk to you about your concept and menu, then help design a kitchen that makes sense for your space and the food you’ll be cooking. They can also help steer you away from kitchen equipment that you don’t need, saving you precious space and money.
7. Checking for Leasing Option
Opening a restaurant is expensive, and buying restaurant kitchen equipment is no exception. Leasing restaurant equipment can be a good alternative as part of your restaurant business plan. Leasing allows you to pay monthly for your restaurant equipment rather than all at once, saving you some capital for other expenses. Lease payments may even be tax-deductible as a business operating expense.
Another benefit of leasing kitchen equipment supplier is the opportunity to return the equipment at the end of the lease term. If business is booming, then you probably also have a buy-out option, depending on your lease terms and credit. Potential downsides are that not all equipment and supplies qualify for leasing, like flatware and cleaning supplies. You may also have to face high interest rates and early termination fees.