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How to equip your kitchen properly

Working out how to best equip your restaurant kitchen can be difficult. There are just so many appliances to choose from! Whether you’re starting a restaurant or setting up a great cafe, you will need to consider different factors depending on your customer’ needs. In this guide, we hope to give you a few tips owners of establishments have found useful in restaurant management.

Get organised

First things first. Restaurant organisation and business management are the most important things to consider when planning anything to do with your restaurant. So firstly, consider what you actually need, then set your budget. By doing this straight away, you can minimise being tempted by all the extra kitchen gadgets which may seem enticing at first but will end up collecting dust in the corner.

Do you have a business plan? It will be helpful if your budget fits in perfectly to ensure good business practices. If you haven’t created your own business plan yet, read our article on creating a business plan to give you some ideas.

Perhaps you are running a family business? For setting up a family owned business, you must learn and remember that consulting your family regularly will keep the business running smoothly. Although customer satisfaction is very important, so is the satisfaction of your staff! Take their suggestions seriously, and you will see the benefits from them working harder, and providing better customer service!

Make a list

Make a list of the only kitchen equipment you actually need. Preparation will give you the ability to find the best value equipment without being dazzled by the deals.

If you have already started your recruitment process for a head chef, ask their opinion - what would give them the perfect kitchen to create magic in?

Consult friends and relatives as well as professionals and suppliers in the industry. Depending on which area of catering you are going into, running a successful restaurant will need you to have the right kitchen equipment. Having the wrong restaurant equipment will not end up saving you money and will instead waste space in the kitchen.

Industrial or commercial kitchen?

Another aspect you will need to consider is whether you are running an industrial or commercial kitchen. Figuring this out will allow you to think of the size and scale of the kitchen appliances you will need: there’s no point of buying a huge freezer if it’s never going to be used!

Hygiene

When equipping your kitchen, it’s very easy to forget about proper hygiene, and correct kitchen cleaning methods. Hygiene in the kitchen is very important in running a restaurant.

When fitting your kitchen, look out or phrases such as ‘easy clean’ or surfaces which are smooth as they will be simpler to clean, likely saving you money and your staff time in the long run.

Hand washing will also be very important in your kitchen, so aside from appliances and cleaning supplies, ensure that your basin has enough space for proper hand washing to take place.

Remember that in order for you and your staff to wash your hand properly, you need to have the right ingredients to wash away the germs!

Suppliers

Try not to underestimate the power of your supplier. Your supplier can turn out to be your biggest friend or a mistake you wish you had never made. Some suppliers are able to provide restaurants with everything they could wish for from ovens to eggs and freezers to floorboards.

But be careful, and don’t let yourself be fooled. Although a supplier may seem to be the most convenient on paper, they may have faults with quality, quantity, punctuality, price or other factors. In fact, sometimes having many suppliers can work out cheaper and safer. One way to avoid making mistakes is to stick to products you know you can trust. Running a restaurant will mean you will go through a lot of washing-up liquid, so to minimise complications, stick to a product you know works well and that you can always rely on: for example, Fairy!

Sometimes, having separate suppliers means you can take the best deals from many different suppliers, and get the best overall deal! It is worth noting that doing so may mean more work for you and your staff in weighing up the difference between offers. However, remember that with new small businesses, putting in the hours will pay off in the long run!

Kitchen equipment

All kitchens

  • Worktops - Do you have enough room to prepare food? Remember to consider space as a factor!
  • Storage - Where will you keep your kitchen supplies? A walk-in storage room, or are cupboards more appropriate?
  • Food Service Equipment - Service trolleys, hot plates, etc.
  • Mixers - Consider the size and the type.
  • Rice Cooker - Consider the size and the type.
  • Kettle - Consider the size; perhaps you will need multiple kettles in different areas?
  • Food scale
  • Oven - Will you need an electric oven, fan-powered, gas based oven?
  • Grill
  • Microwave
  • Fridge
  • Freezer – There are many different types, the most common of which are upright freezers, walk in freezers, and side by side freezers.

Buffet

  • Buffet equipment
  • Soup Warmer
  • Juice Dispenser
  • Coffee Dispenser
  • Cereal Dispenser
  • Hot Plates

Fast food kitchen

  • Deep Fat Fryer
  • Hot Dog Grill
  • Toaster
  • Hamburger Maker
  • Popcorn Machine
  • Hot Drink Maker (coffee /tea)
  • Cold Drink Dispenser
  • Snack Display
  • Milkshake Maker
  • Ice Cream Maker
  • Ice Machine
Now that we have shared some tips on how to start and equip your kitchen properly, make sure to check out other great resources online, including expert opinions that will give you the knowledge and confidence to set up a successful business!

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