What Equipment Does A Restaurant Kitchen Need?
Refrigerator, freezer, oven, ice machine—these are the restaurant appliances many people think of first. But in order to have a restaurant kitchen that runs smoothly, you’ll need top-quality commercial kitchen equipment specific to your menu and kitchen type—and these appliances go beyond the basics.
No matter what kind of restaurant you’re opening—sandwich deli, pizzeria, fast food, or specialty dining—you’ll need a solid equipment base to support your staff, delight your customers, and grow your business.
Restaurant Kitchen Equipment Requirements
The right restaurant equipment can mean the difference between success and failure for your business, so it’s important to start out on the right foot. There are basically three types of equipment you’ll need to consider for your food service business:
- Refrigeration equipment
- Cooking equipment
- Sanitizing and cleaning equipment
Depending on your business’s unique needs, you may need different restaurant appliances. But as a general rule, every restaurant will need at least something from each of these categories.
Related: How To Choose Between Used And New Restaurant Equipment
When it comes to preparing and storing food, it’s all about keeping your cool. From fresh fruits and vegetables to dairy products and raw meat, restaurants need proper commercial refrigerators and freezers to ensure they serve safe, top-quality food. Common commercial refrigeration equipment includes:
- Commercial refrigerators: These include walk-in coolers, reach-in refrigerators, and holding fridges. A typical restaurant kitchen will need a variety of commercial refrigerator types to keep food cool at different stages of the preparation process.
- Commercial freezers: Reach-in freezers are a must for almost every type of restaurant. Reach-in freezers make it easy to access ingredients in a bustling kitchen environment, while the commercial-grade design ensures durability and consistent internal temperature.
- Prep tables & chef bases: Delis, pizzarias, and restaurants with an emphasis on fresh vegetables will need a refrigerated prep table to ensure ingredients stay cool and fresh.
- Commercial ice machines: Commercial ice machines come in a wide variety of sizes and ice production capability. From compact countertop ice makers, undercounter ice machines, and commercial ice dispensers, the right restaurant ice machine can keep your customers’ drinks cool and keep service running smoothly.
Most kitchens will need some form of cooking equipment. Even delis may need a toaster oven to heat warm sandwiches, while pizzarias may need specialty pizza ovens. In most cases, a commercial kitchen will usually need a range, oven, and holding equipment. Some kitchens may need a grill, griddle, deep fryer, broiler, toaster, or microwave in addition to the standard cooking equipment. Common cooking equipment includes:
- Combination ovens
- Pizza ovens
- Conveyor ovens
- Convection ovens
- Gas ranges
- Electric ranges
- Ranges and ventilation
Sanitizing & Cleaning Equipment
Commercial kitchens have to maintain strict compliance to health codes, so proper sanitization and cleaning is crucial. That means you’ll need the right cleaning equipment to ensure your commercial kitchen is spick and span at all times. In order to accomplish this, you’ll need:
- Sinks: Most commercial kitchens need at least three sinks—a designated sink for handwashing, food washing, and mops. Some states and cities require designated spacing between sinks to avoid cross contamination, so be sure to check the rules in your area.
- Dishwashers: Keep your glassware, silverware, and kitchen utensils clean with a commercial dishwasher.
- Miscellaneous cleaning supplies: Such as mops, brooms, vacuums, trash and recycling bins, and wet floor signs.
Renting Restaurant Equipment
If buying all your commercial kitchen appliances means spending a chunk of change early on, renting is always an option. Commercial ice machine rental, in particular, can offset up-front equipment costs and can provide initial stability for your budget.
Related: Should I Purchase or Rent My Commercial Ice Machine?
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