The collective power of the modern-day kitchen is like nothing else. Creation is at your very fingertips. Novelist Banana Yoshimoto sums it up rather well: “The place I like best in this world is the kitchen. No matter where it is, no matter what kind, if it’s a kitchen, if it’s a place where they make food, it’s fine with me.” The kitchen is the soul of one’s home—and the beating heartbeat of a restaurant. The back-of-house kitchen is where one’s menu comes to life. As a room, a commercial kitchen presents an entirely fresh scenario of opportunities and circumstances—the results truly depend on what one makes of its assets.
Needless to say, startup restaurants and new food service establishments don’t already have a broken-in kitchen to use. Yet this very room will soon enough become a well-oiled machine that steadily handles the stress of daily use. Ergo, the right set of tools and gear are necessary to provide a strong underlying foundation for efficient kitchen operation.
No two restaurants tend to operate identically. While business needs indeed differ, there is assuredly a bit of overlap between the equipment categories that sit-down restaurants and quick-service establishments require. We compiled a list of items that ensures your team can prep, bake, cook, clean, and execute culinary tasks. For your consideration, here is the ultimate restaurant kitchen equipment checklist.
Storage: Racks, Shelving, and Containers
The bedrock of every back-of-house operation is adequate storage space and gear. Sheet pans, racks, shelves, plastic liners, cambros, drying racks, utility carts, you name it—storage equipment is of the essence for a commercial kitchen. Storage containers are ideal, multi-purpose tools for prepping, mixing, or holding items, so be sure to select ones that enhance, not hinder, operations. You can choose handy containers that come with colored lids or markings for a more straightforward organization system. Don’t forget labels and permanent markers for classification purposes.
Planning adequate shelving and sensible storage units is a considerable component of your kitchen’s layout plan. When outfitting a commercial kitchen with storage equipment, consider most what your menu will look like. Hence, what amount of gear and food you’ll need to store. A myriad of durable materials is available on the market to strategically select from.
With your menu in mind, you have a better idea of the best storage products to have in reach when it’s all hands on deck. Consider both productivity and user-friendless when opting for mobile or stationary storage gear. Capacity, shape, size, and cost are the general factors to ponder.
Health and safety are the number one priorities of the food service industry. After going through the legwork of obtaining licenses and permits, having safety equipment on hand is of the utmost importance in the kitchen. Stock up on the most imperative safety items to greater ensure staff and customer safety. Fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, and wet floor signs are commonly sensible items. However, bear in mind other vital supplies for culinary use, such as rubber floor mats, oven mitts, gloves, hairnets, aprons, and safety glasses.
Cleaning Equipment: Sinks and Dishwashers
Cleanliness is equally critical in the food service industry. In a restaurant or food establishment, sinks have several primary purposes: washing hands, washing dishes, or prepping cooking elements. Three-compartment sinks are the ultra-popular choices for commercial kitchens. You can choose to utilize separate compartments for diverse purposes, such as washing, rinsing, and sanitizing. Separate waste disposal, handwashing, and mop sinks have their own cleansing purposes.
Commercial dishwashers are wise decisions for restaurant kitchens. The health department makes such usage mandatory, as dishwashers automatically utilize proper chemicals and keep consistent washing temperatures to prevent spreading germs or foodborne bacteria. Other cleaning equipment includes chemical sanitizers, soap, cleaning cloths, trash bins, mops, brooms, buckets, sponges, and scrubbers.
Cooling Equipment: Fridges and Freezers
All commercial kitchens must have a selected type of refrigeration system. Refrigeration equipment comes in various styles, and your chosen style will depend on the needs of your restaurant. Refrigeration options include reach-in fridges, pass-through options, walk-in coolers, or prep storage fridges. Freezers similarly come in an assortment of sizes and styles to best suit food capacities. Ice machines are also crucial components of any beverage service or offering.
Food Prep Gear and Serving Ware
Food service operations require diverse levels of preparation depending on recipes or menu items. Food processors, commercial mixers, slicers, blenders, spice grinders, and cutting boards or surfaces are few prep products that could be of vital use. Stock up on dishes, cups, and cutlery to plate up and serve delicious food—and wrap or box up quick-service menu items.
Cooking Tools and Equipment
Next up on the ultimate restaurant kitchen equipment checklist is the cornerstone of culinary kitchen equipment: cooking tools. Depending on the scope and scale of your menu, ample amounts of the following small wares equipment are of the essence: pots, pans, lids, baking sheets, mixing spoons, mixing bowls, chef’s knives, spatulas, tongs, whisks, squeeze bottles, etc.
Ranges, Grilling, Frying, and Ventilation Systems
Besides small ware tools, large-scale cooking equipment is obviously paramount to prepare and complete various meals, entrees, and dishes. Cooking the perfect pancake, steak, panini, or burger requires efficient grills or griddles. Electric or gas range setups are pivotal for pan searing, frying, and sauteing. Commercial microwaves and toasters are also handy. Ensure you have adequate space and ventilation for any necessary equipment when planning the kitchen layout. Removing source cooking fumes and providing adequate air is obligatory for everyday operations.
Cooking Ovens: Adequate Style and Size
What cooking equipment is more versatile than a commercial oven? Like any kitchen equipment built to suit business needs, commercial ovens come in a range of styles and sizes. Combination ovens are ideal solutions for a slew of popular foods, utilizing moist and dry heat to create perfect cooking conditions. Fortunately, commercial ovens typically have a longer lifespan than smaller-scale kitchen items, so investing in a top-quality commercial combination oven that is truly engineered to last is a worthwhile endeavor.
Look no further than DSL for your food service equipment needs. With digital humidity controls, self-cleaning systems, and pre-programmed menu selections, you can’t go wrong with a Henny Penny combo oven from our inventory selection. Based in Western Canada, we supply a variety of quality kitchen gear for new establishments or for those looking for an appliance upgrade. Whatever your needs are, DSL is here to serve you with the best equipment on the market. Contact us today!