Restaurant Equipment: The Essential Checklist
The average cost of opening a restaurant in Australia is around AU$650,000. Be prepared to shop around for restaurant equipment, contact food and beverage suppliers, develop a marketing plan, and hire staff. You must also take into account the cost of renting or buying commercial space.
Every restaurant owner wants to have the best kitchen equipment and hire experienced chefs. Sure, you can take out a loan, but there are many small costs that add up quickly.
One way to reduce your expenses is to shop around and compare prices. But first, you must determine what type of equipment you need. An energy-efficient commercial dishwasher, for instance, could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Not sure where to start? Use this restaurant equipment checklist to make an informed decision!
Key Aspects to Consider When Shopping for Restaurant Equipment
First things first, draft a business plan for your restaurant. If you already have one, consider these aspects when shopping for restaurant equipment:
- Space requirements
- Products and services
- Energy efficiency
- Regulatory compliance
- Equipment usage cost
- Power sources
- New vs. used restaurant equipment
- Water-saving features
- Equipment style and design
- Buying vs. leasing
- How much food you’ll produce
- Your budget
Energy-efficient appliances, for example, may cost more upfront, but you’ll save a fortune in the long-term. This type of equipment can reduce your energy bills by 20 to 40%. Snowmaster features over 2,000 products, so go ahead and take your pick!
Consider your space requirements, too. The last thing you want is to reconfigure your restaurant layout or return the equipment because it takes too much space.
Make sure you actually need the kind of equipment you’re planning to buy. Consider investing in multipurpose appliances, such as combi ovens, to save money and space.
Another aspect to consider is your target audience. If, say, you run a vegan restaurant, choose materials like wood, bamboo, or wicker for furniture and decorations. Don’t even think about leather dining chairs and sofas!
Now that you know what to look for when buying restaurant equipment, add these items to your list:
Refrigerators and Freezers
The highest quality refrigerators and freezers can maximise kitchen efficiency. These appliances can also make it easier to achieve regulatory compliance and prevent food poisoning. Plus, they’ll diminish food waste and reduce utility costs.
Consider your budget, menu, cuisine, and space requirements when shopping for refrigeration units. A vegetarian restaurant, for example, requires a different type of refrigeration equipment than one selling meat dishes.
Even if you’re on a budget, you should still get brand new refrigerators and freezers. Older units tend to have higher maintenance costs and consume more energy than new equipment. Depending on your needs, you can opt for:
- Commercial upright refrigerators
- Drawer fridges
- Countertop display fridges
- Wine refrigerators
- Under bench fridges
- Chest freezers
- Blast chillers
- Freezer drawers
- Ice cream makers
Freezer drawers, for instance, are a perfect choice for small spaces due to their compact design. Some models feature up to six drawers and can accommodate up to 425 litres.
Commercial Cooking Appliances
Next, consider the type of food you’ll serve in your restaurant. Take into account the size of your kitchen, too. With these things in mind, look for cooking appliances that fit your budget—here are some examples:
- Combi ovens
- Convection ovens
- Char grills
- Chicken rotisseries
- Commercial cooktops and stoves
- Deep fryers
- Hot plates
- Griddle plate toasters
- Pizza ovens
- Wok burners
- Pasta and noodle cookers
- Stockpot burners
A restaurant specialised in Asian food, for example, could use deep fryers, dim sum steamers, hot plates, and teppanyaki plates—in addition to a commercial oven. A high-quality wok burner can make it easier to cook delicious stir fry dishes, while a Bratt pan is ideal for preparing large-scale meals.
Another good investment is a combi oven. These commercial kitchen appliances allow you to cook with hot air, steam, or both. Therefore, they can replace both a convection oven and a steamer, leading to cost savings.
In addition to cooking equipment, you’ll need a couple of blenders, juicers, and drink dispensers. Research the different models available on the market and choose a trusted brand.
The Hamilton Beach BBS0850 Summit Blender, for instance, features hundreds of pre-programmed cycles plus a USB port for sharing programs. This makes it perfect for restaurant franchises, café chains, and other establishments that share similar recipes.
Commercial Kitchen Utensils
From cutting boards and mixing bowls to knives, you’ll need a wide range of kitchen utensils for food preparation and cooking. Remember, it’s all in the small details.
Discuss your options with a professional chef. Make a list of kitchen utensils that are suitable for the kind of food you’re planning to serve. Look for products made of stainless steel and other durable materials.
Restaurant Furniture and Decorations
When you decorate your home, you want to make it look cosy and welcoming. The same goes for your restaurant business. Ask yourself what kind of mood you want to create and what your perfect customer looks like.
Consider the lighting, furniture, decorations, room temperature, and music. Every detail should match the overall theme of your dining venue. Reach out to an interior designer to see what it takes to create the perfect ambience in your restaurant.
Think about your storage needs, too. A commercial kitchen needs shelves, drawers, work tables, and other pieces of furniture. Take into account these aspects when estimating your expenses.
Turn Your Dream into Reality
Shopping for restaurant equipment comes with its challenges, but this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dream.
Write everything down, look for inspiration, and add new items to your list along the way. Visit your favourite dining venues and try to determine what makes them stand out. Research your competitors, too.
Most importantly, connect with trusted restaurant equipment suppliers and other vendors. They know this industry inside out and can help you jump-start your business. Contact our team to discuss your needs!