18 Oct 2020 | Catering Equipment

Top 10 Equipment Pieces Every Restaurant Kitchen Needs

Top 10 Equipment Pieces Every Restaurant Kitchen Needs

If you’re planning to start, or renovate, your restaurant planning your kitchen equipment and setup is vital successful service. To kick start your planning, here's our list of the top 10 equipment pieces most commercial kitchens will need.

We also recommend you check out our complete guide to Buying Commercial Catering Equipment.

The kitchen will be the heart of your business where your menu comes to life. You’ll need high-quality restaurant equipment that can withstand the pressures of daily use and support the creation of delicious food.

Where to Start with Kitchen Equipment Planning

There are two very important people in your life when designing a commercial kitchen space; your supplier and your chef.

It takes careful planning to maximise the efficiency and functionality of your commercial kitchen. Your supplier will be key to supporting you with this, and they should be able to take the stress away from this part of the process and help you understand and prioritise your commercial catering equipment.

Your chef is the artist. They will be able to advise you on the equipment that best suits their methods and their style. Make sure, when designing you menu, you are always asking what equipment is needed for that particular dish. Create lists of equipment associated with each dish and look for any expensive obscurities.

Do you need that dish on the menu? Does your budget cover the additional costs?

Top 10 Equipment Pieces Every Commercial Kitchen Needs

To help you get started, here's our list of the most common "must-have" equipement you'll need to budget for.

1. Freezers and Refrigerators

All commercial kitchens will require cold food storage. The type you need will depend on the size and layout of your kitchen.

You can choose from reach-in or walk-in units. You may also need merchandise fridges for customers to use.

Consider the climate when purchasing these two items. Darwin's hot climate means you need high-quality refrigeration that is able to withstand the heat and humidity. This is especially true if you plan on keeping the unit outside or close to hot cooking equipment such as ovens or stoves.

2. Ice Machines

Most businesses in the Top End use ice on a daily basis. An ice machine makes keeping drinks chilled easy. The convenience of having an ice machine on-site assures you of a consistent supply to help cool down those customers still coming to terms with Darwin's Wet Season.

We have seen many local businesses opt for the purchase of their own machine as it saves on long-term costs over purchasing ice from a supplier.

3. Commercial Grills

Whether you’re grilling burgers, paninis or pancakes, you’ll need the perfect commercial grill.

If you're looking for a great all-rounder; flat top grills or griddles are the best choice. If you're in the market for something more specific, however, there are tailored grills to suit specific cooking styles and dishes, such as toasted sandwiches or Mexican tortillas.

4. Range, Stove, and Ventilation

If your commercial kitchen prepares food over an open flame, you’ll need a kitchen range or burner. These can either be gas or electric.

Most restaurant kitchens go for gas burners, as they are much faster and more responsive than electric. You will also need to install a range hood to sit over the stoves to suck up grease, moisture and heat.

5. Deep-Fryers

Are you serving hot chips, onion rings, or doughnuts? If so, you’ll need a deep-fryer. The capacity and temperature range required will depend on what you’re using it for.

6. Salamander Grill

This is a valuable piece of equipment for cafes, pizzerias and bakeries.

It's essentially a high-temperature grill for toasting and browning dishes and can also be used to keep food hot. These grills are usually mounted directly on the wall to take up little space.

7. Food Preparation Counters and Surfaces

These are essential to any commercial kitchen, and you'll need to the plan the shapes and sizes you can accommodate. You’ll want to choose equipment that’s made of stainless steel – it’s tough enough to withstand corrosion, contamination from food and endure harsh cleaning solutions.

When it comes to cutting surfaces; the choice is either plastic or wood. Plastic cutting boards are easier to clean but develop grooves which can harbour bacteria.

8. Food Mixers, Slicers, and Processors

Commercial kitchens often need handy food prep devices to support efficient food preparation. Slicers and food processors can be used to drastically reduce your kitchen staff’s preparation time if they need to cut large volumes of food.

If your business involves baking, a commercial mixer will be essential.

9. Kitchen Shelving

Often an easy thing to overlook, suitable shelving will help organise your kitchen and make it easier for your staff to operate. Choose from a variety of sizes and materials to make it work for your kitchen.

10. Kitchen Safety Equipment

Health and safety standards take precedence in the restaurant business. If you don’t follow the relevant regulations, you could get shut down before you even get started.

Do your research on areas such as ventilation, sanitation and waste management and comply with all laws, regulations, and codes in your area.

Work with Your Restaurant Equipment Supplier

The above gives you a starting point for your equipment wish list.

Your next step is to sit down with the experts and work through a tailored plan that reflects your unique circumstances. Always consider if equipment is essential or a luxury and relate the extra expense to your budget.

In these initial stages it’s very important to stick to the budget you have planned. Your supplier should always be transparent and give you honest, expert advice on what equipment is needed. Trust them to create a bespoke list that considers your menu, your chef’s preferences, timeframes and costs.