Restaurant Kitchen Equipment
Restaurant kitchen equipment offers many logistical problems for managers to consider. Expensive new equipment often costs more than buying an established restaurant or building. Entrepreneurs might consider leasing equipment, limiting production and adjusting menus to take the greatest advantage of existing equipment, restaurant space and business volume until growing sales justify further capital expenditures.
Used Restaurant Equipment
Buying an established restaurant offers the benefit of needing minimal equipment, and most owners can customize their kitchen capabilities by adding a few key pieces of equipment. Used equipment also offers benefits for new owners or established restaurants.
- The cost of equipment, new or used, also includes repair and maintenance expenses. For example, coolers, ice-making machines and freezers need frequent service.
- Taking over an existing restaurant requires inspections of all equipment. Sometime, repairs or upgrades might be necessary.
- The costs of refrigeration, heating units, shelving and storage could run from $100,000 to $500,000 dollars, so used equipment could provide an affordable way to get the doors open for business.
- Used equipment often needs service, so finding a reliable service technician makes practical sense.
- Training employees could prove difficult with used equipment because manufacturers provide fewer support resources for second-hand owners.
Analyzing Equipment and Personnel Needs
The planning process helps to optimize how restaurants use their equipment. Owners and managers can choose equipment that chefs can use for multiple cooking tasks to save money. Leasing specialized equipment reduces the strain on capital budgets for new businesses. Another strategy involves outsourcing certain products to other vendors. For example, daily deliveries of fresh bread and catered desserts offer strong menu benefits without requiring the major expenses of buying commercial ovens.
Personnel also need to have experience with equipment or get the proper training. Most new equipment manufacturers offer training resources, videos, operation manuals and other aids. Safety and profits depend on proper equipment operation. Online buying guides, reviews and promotional literature help owners choose the right makes and models of kitchen equipment for their needs.
- Remember that central kitchens with high-capacity cooking equipment require staff to handle heavy ingredients, which could prove problematic for some people.
- Large equipment forces workers to reach greater distances for cleaning and maintenance. A 400-gallon steam kettle requires workers to climb to add ingredients and keep the machine clean and sanitary.
- Some equipment produces high levels of sound, so sound-dampening techniques might become necessary.
- Producing large volumes of food in central kitchens leads to safety risks because repetitive and monotonous tasks cause judgment errors and employee burn-out.
Types of Essential Kitchen Equipment
The types of kitchen equipment that restaurants need depend on type of cuisine, anticipated volume, space limitations and staff qualifications to operate the machinery. Key equipment for most restaurants include the following items:
A staple in all kitchens, commercial ranges handle many cooking tasks, have an oven for limited baking and can function as a grill for pan-searing.
These ovens bake faster than standard ovens, heat up more quickly and generate energy savings.
Most kitchens need commercial dishwashers for proper sanitation and faster cleaning speed. Restaurants frequently run out of silverware and dishes during busy meals.
Restaurants might need one or more fryers even though restaurant trends favor fewer fried foods. Some restaurants keep dedicated fryers for seafoods, fries or other restaurant foods. Special fryers combine deep fryers with pressure-cooking technology for faster chicken preparation.
All restaurants need suitable refrigeration for perishable foods, and many commercial-kitchen designers choose to place smaller units close to grills and flat-tops to limit opening walk-in doors and speed up access to ingredients for busy chefs.
Small restaurants might get by with food processors for their mixing needs, but large mixers expedite many common kitchen tasks including bread-making, mass production of desserts and pastries, combining ingredients thoroughly and making proprietary condiments.
Grills and Flat-Tops
Restaurant that cook lots of meats and breakfast foods usually need flat-top grills, charcoal broilers or other devices for volume cooking/
The right food-preparation equipment saves time and money, consistently delivering high-quality food. Smaller kitchen wares could prove important for managers to consider because they allow people to perform tasks at multiple stations and save the capital investments needed for high-capacity equipment. Used equipment, leasing and outsourcing also provide ways to deal with equipment or funding shortages.