Whether you’re starting a new restaurant or re-establishing an already existing one, you need a proper restaurant commercial kitchen equipment list. Only once you have a ready list must you go shopping for the complete set of things you need. Buying the right set of equipment is of great importance as they are a significant financial investment and you’d probably have to stick with the set you purchase for a good 2-3 years. At a minimum.
In this article, we will help you buy the kitchen equipment that you need by providing an in-depth peek into everything that is involved in the shopping process, replete with the kitchen equipment costs, vendor details, types of equipment, requirements specific to the kind of restaurants and a lot more.
Once you have all the necessary commercial kitchen equipment in place, you can then focus on creating delectable dishes for your customers.
What is restaurant commercial kitchen equipment?
Restaurant commercial kitchen equipment are appliances that are used to produce, store and, to a certain extent, cook food. Everything from sleek kitchen stoves to huge refrigerators, fall under these appliances. Today, most of them are electrical but some are still powered by gas.
You can focus on restaurant management systems better once your commercial kitchen is functional.
The commercial kitchen equipment list
Largely the equipment list is the same for every restaurant. Whether you’re a Quick Service Restaurant, cafe, or fine dining, you need certain tools that are absolutely essential for your kitchen. However, there may be some pieces of equipment that are restaurant-specific. We will be covering this aspect a little later in this article.
Let’s look at some of the basic commercial kitchen equipment you need to have in your restaurant.
1. Cooling equipment:-
Any kitchen today would be useless without refrigerators or freezers. Refrigeration prevents any kind of food damage. Different food items come with defined expiration periods so getting your cooling systems in order is the first step. Depending on the kind of restaurant, you can choose the kind of coolant you’d require for your restaurant kitchen.
Refrigerators and Freezers –
There are tons of refrigerators and freezers available in the market today, each having varied capacities and functions. If you’re a small coffee house, buying a reach-in refrigerator would be more sensible (and economical) than buying a walk-in refrigerator.
The approximate price range of freezers is between Rs. 16,000 – Rs. 60,000.
If you’re a brand that deals with all kinds of beverages, let’s say a bar or cafe, you’d definitely need this tool to help you with all those smoothies, shakes and mint punches. Ice-makers come in different storage spaces for various kinds of operations, specific to the number of customers you serve on a daily basis.
Approximately the price ranges from Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 2,00,000
Display freezers –
Yes, there is room for dessert. Display freezers in your restaurant will help give customers the option of looking at pies and cheesecakes before ordering them.
Approximate price range Rs. 16,000 – Rs. 6,00,000
Other commercial refrigeration equipment, are ice-cream freezers, wine coolers, back bar coolers, etc, that are restaurant-specific.
2. Heating equipment:-
Roasting, grilling, baking, rethermalizing and plenty of other cooking processes that involve heating/reheating of food, are taken care of by the commercial equipment involved in this category.
There are two types of ranges both gas and electric. You could opt for either one of these based on the intensity of cooking that happens in your restaurant’s kitchen.
One of the most common and significant electronics that a restaurant cannot work without is a commercial oven. Ovens today are designed to meet the temperature requirements of various cooking methods. Conveyor ovens, high-speed ovens, toaster ovens, rack ovens, are few of the many ovens available today.
Approximate price range Rs. 13,000 – Rs. 1,00,00
Display food warmers –
If your restaurant has ready to serve meals then this food display case is exactly what you need. Display food warmers help keep the food warm and fresh.
Approximate price range Rs. 4000 – Rs. 10,000
You will need to invest in quality grills at your restaurant to help you make those perfect steaks and burgers. Flat top grills are perhaps the most common type of grills used in restaurants today.
The approximate price range of a flat top grill can range from Rs. 4,000 – Rs. 40,000, depending on the brand you want to go in for.
If you have a great commercial microwave in the kitchen, you’re probably equipped (if not over-equipped) to give out a wider range of dishes. Microwaves are used to speed up the heating process. This includes heating specific portions of the food or heating previously cooked food. Or perhaps the dishes that were ready before-time. Essentially, microwaves are excellent for helping out in the rethermalization of food, to serve hot.
Approximate price range Rs. 4,000 – Rs. 1,00,000
Whether it’s beautifully melting cheese on a pizza or giving dishes that perfect brown finishing, a broiler is going to help you achieve it.
Price ranges around Rs. 14,000
There are plenty of other retherming pieces of equipment used in commercial kitchens. Many of them like a commercial toaster, soup warmer, coffee machine, etc., being dish specific.
3. Preparation equipment:-
Let’s now get straight to hardcore cooking. There are so many commercial kitchen electrical appliances available in the market today that have simplified the most basic of cooking processes. We will take you through the appliances you need to have on your list here.
Food processors and slicers –
The function of a food processor is not just limited to finely chopping the veggies. With the variety of food processors available today, you can chop, slice and mix vegetables and meat, make purees, and more. Given there’s a large scale processing of food items in restaurants, food processors have large bowls with high power. Buffalo choppers, batch bowl processors, continuous food processors, and combination processors are the four major commercial food processors.
The equipment that you need to buy in this segment would be food processors and slicers, prices listed below.
Food processor price range Rs. 8,000 – Rs. 48,000
Food slicer price range Rs. 10,000 Rs. 17,000
Mixers and grinders –
An absolute essential in bakeries and pizzeria, mixers are very useful when it comes to complex mixing, kneading, whipping and beading various doughs and batters. Spiral, countertop, heavy-duty, floor and stand mixers are the most frequently used mixers in restaurant commercial kitchens. There are typically three types of commercial grinders, namely, meat, spices, and coffee grinders.
Approximate price range Rs. 3,000 – Rs. 48,000
Be it hot soups or frozen smoothies, commercial blenders are designed to evenly blend food, beverages or sauces.
Approximate price range Rs. 3,000 – Rs. 48,000
4. Washing Equipment:-
Who doesn’t like working in a restaurant kitchen that is spick and span? Ideally, a restaurant commercial kitchen should have three or four compartment sinks for cleaning and sanitizing the kitchen utensils, and washing food items. Other kinds of sinks used in restaurant kitchens are janitorial sinks, underbar sinks, and hand sinks.
Approximate price range Rs. 3,000 – Rs. 47,000
When you’re a full-service restaurant serving a large number of customers, dishwashers literally are a blessing. There are many categories of commercial dishwashers based on individual capacities like a single and double rack, under the counter and conveyor dishwashers. Choose the one that will conveniently fit in your restaurant commercial kitchen.
Approximate price range Rs. 30,000 – Rs. 60,000
Glassware washing and polishing equipment –
These are separate machines, specially designed to clean glass cutlery (mainly glasses) and remove tough spots.
Price range is approximately around Rs. 1L to Rs. 2L
5. Cookware Accessories:-
All cooking utensils fall under this category of commercial kitchen equipment. There should be a sufficient amount of small kitchenware available for each chef in the kitchen. There are many cooking tools like bakery utensils, cooking boards, peelers, graters, etc, which are common purchases for a restaurant kitchen.
Pots and cookers –
The most basic essentials are the various types of pots and cookers. For example, pressure cookers, pasta cookers, boiler pots, sauce pots, etc. All varying in size and storage capacity.
Approximate price range Rs. 3,000 – 13,000
Stainless steel, cast iron, and non-stick pans and the kinds of pans available for cooking. Different sizes can be used based on the number of dishes being cooked.
Approximate price range Rs. 1500 – Rs. 12,000
Knives and spoons –
There are plenty of knives used for cutting anything, be it thick chunks of meat or soft slices of tofu. Kitchen spoons, whisks, spatulas, and other hand tools, assist in stirring and serving purposes.
Approximate price range Rs. 1,300 – Rs. 4,000 (per set)
Porcelain plates go well with a classic wine and dine, whereas steaks and sizzlers look heavenly on stoneware plates. Therefore, depending on the kind of restaurant you’re running you can go for Chinaware, melamine, metal or glass dinnerware for your restaurant commercial kitchen.
Approximate price range Rs. 1,700 – Rs. 28,000 (per set)
6. Tables and Shelves:-
When you open a restaurant you want your kitchen to look a certain way. Kitchen shelves and tables help in making the kitchen look fairly neat and systematic.
Wall mount shelves and racks –
Food items and small electrical appliances can be stored on wall-mounted shelves, from where they are easy to access.
Approximate price range Rs. 1,000 – Rs. 15,000
Prep tables and counters –
Purchase tables and counters that are easy to clean and have a long life. You’d want a surface that’s able to withstand changing temperatures and chemicals used for cleaning.
Approximate price range Rs. 8,000 – Rs. 32,000
7. Safety Equipment:-
With so many commercial kitchen equipment and utensils that are conductors of heat, a restaurant kitchen is highly susceptible to fires. Make sure your kitchen is well equipped with fire and safety equipment like fire extinguishers. Also, make sure your chefs use mittens and gloves while handling hot utensils and heating appliances. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Approximate price range Rs. 300 – Rs. 17,000
8. Kitchen Display Systems:-
Gone are the days when the server used to run to and fro with kitchen order tickets after noting down orders from the table. With a restaurant POS system, orders will be directly displayed on your Kitchen Display System with all necessary modifications, time of order, and more. The staff wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of reading printed KOTs. They can directly read it and start preparing the food without any delay.
The software cost of a KDS is approximately around Rs. 12,000 per year. You will have to separately get a screen depending on your restaurant budget and requirements.
Key reasons why your restaurant should be well-equipped with commercial kitchen equipment
Gone are the days when restaurants hired multiple people for various different functions at the kitchen. There are plenty of reasons why your restaurant kitchen needs new electrical appliances.
One time investment-
Your restaurant kitchen needs to be well equipped with all tools and electricals. One missing piece could disrupt the entire food preparation process. Commercial kitchen equipment are long term investments if used wisely. When used well and serviced regularly, commercial restaurant equipment lasts up to a good number of years. You wouldn’t have to buy them time and again if they stop working due to any technical glitches. Most electrical appliances come with a service warranty. Make sure you have the stamped warranty cards for all the major kitchen electricals.
Reduced labor cost-
Almost a decade back, restaurant kitchens were quite different from what they are today. The chefs were required to do basic things like, slicing fruits and vegetables due to lack of pieces of equipment. Or the pastry chefs would stand for a prolonged period of time, manually whipping cream for baking a cheesecake. Commercial kitchen equipment like the food processors reduce basic manual work like chopping, peeling, etc. They can be easily operated. A chef wouldn’t necessarily need a sous chef to help them out with the initial stages of food preparation. The machine does it for them. Hence, the cost of labor goes down.
Imagine how convenient it will be for chefs to cook when half of their work is done by machines. Yes, we are talking about restaurant automation. Commercial kitchen equipment is more accurate and gets the job done quickly. As a result, food is prepared at a faster rate and the number of tables served increases efficiently. This not only enhances the customer experience but also elevates your restaurant’s overall productivity.
Even the most experienced of chefs can make errors while mixing two major ingredients of a dish. Most commercial kitchen equipments come with various scales for measurement. You would know the exact quantity to be used for a particular dish. This greatly helps in reducing unnecessary waste. This makes it easier to maintain your restaurant’s inventory.
Making the buying of kitchen equipment less chaotic and more streamlined-
With commercial kitchen equipment, the basic initial steps of cooking are taken care of. Commercial kitchen equipment doesn’t occupy large spaces in the kitchen. When systematically organized, there is no cluster of equipment and the workflow becomes streamlined.
Things you must keep in mind before buying commercial kitchen equipment
1. Restaurant’s concept
The commercial kitchen equipment you need at your restaurant largely depends on the theme and the kind of food you’re going to serve there. Once you are ready with the menu, you’ll know better the kind of kitchen equipment you would need to prepare those dishes.
Let’s say you’re a restaurant that serves only Chinese cuisine. You wouldn’t need glass display freezers or a bar counter. If you’re a Quick Service Restaurant, you might need trays to serve customers.
2. Your restaurant’s budget
Every restaurant works on a budget. You don’t have to necessarily buy things that you may not require for your restaurant. For example, a bakery wouldn’t need grills and fryers. Similarly, a fine dining restaurant would require almost all major equipment. Renting kitchen equipment also proves to be very budget-friendly.
3. Easy to use
Sure, commercial kitchen equipment reduces manual labor. But if the machinery is full of complicated buttons and is difficult to use, then it single-handedly dissolves the purpose of using such equipment. Your commercial kitchen equipment must be user-friendly. Something that doesn’t require any training and can be operated by anyone.
4. Avoid crowding your kitchen
You wouldn’t want your kitchen to look messy with too many bulky pieces of equipment, scattered all over the kitchen space. Instead of buying 2-3 pieces, you could buy a piece of single equipment that performs multiple functions. A food processor performs the functions of chopping, slicing, dicing, and grinding vegetables. It also helps beat eggs and grind meat. You wouldn’t have to buy separate knives for doing all of this.
5. Sustaining that equipment
You’ve done your research. Shortlisted all the commercial kitchen equipment you require for your establishment. Then you’ve bought them to run your restaurant kitchen. However, this entire process becomes futile if you don’t maintain your equipment. All the restaurant kitchen equipment must be serviced regularly. Some require cleaning every day, while others can be done on a weekly or monthly basis.
6. Speed and electricity efficient
The entire activity of equipping your kitchen with commercial kitchen equipment is to increase the overall efficiency of your restaurant. Buy things that have good speed and are strong enough to handle the large volume of orders. All of this while conserving energy. Hence, it’s crucial that you buy equipment which doesn’t eat up a lot of electricity.
7. Quality equipment that lasts
Commercial kitchen equipment today is made of many different materials like aluminum, steel, wood and many others. You should buy equipment that are good conductors of heat, non-corrosive and doesn’t turn bad after long usage. Stainless steel and aluminum products prove the be the most efficient and have a longer life span. Although wooden equipment looks appealing, they are not very reliable to use.
8. Check the equipment
Don’t be in a hurry when you’re buying commercial kitchen equipment. It’s important that you check each piece carefully before buying. Often people end up not checking, only to find later that it’s not working. If there’s something wrong, you can get it rectified well in time. And in front of the vendors.
Basic categories of commercial kitchen equipment you need to buy for your kitchen:-
Technology for your restaurant kitchen means, POS systems, Kitchen Display System and the software integrated with it. Kitchen display systems today come integrated with the POS systems so you might not be needing task for this separately. Your POS software provider should be giving you the KDS add-on along with the POS.
For more info on the software needed, refer to this article – Complete guide to restaurant software.
2. Crockery and Cutlery
It basically implies all the implements that are used by your customers to cut and eat food. Engraved plates and glasses, knives, forks and spoons, and more fall under this section. This kind of commercial kitchen equipment is a little tricky as the investment that you plan to make should be in line with the kind of restaurant. Usually, it positively correlates with the cost of two’s at your restaurant. In layman words, if you run an upscale restaurant you may have to go in for better brands whereas for a budget restaurant you might buy local. Customers will judge your restaurant basis the kind of crockery you use, especially if you run a high-end restaurant.
3. Heavy equipment
The umbrella of heavy equipment does cover a large range of products. It usually includes kitchen equipment such as pizza ovens, walk-in refrigerators, dishwashers, etc. The size and capacity of certain equipment here will vary and you will have to make a decision basis that. Let’s talk about refrigeration equipment. If your restaurant seats say, 30 people, the kind of heavy equipment you need would be, say, of a smaller capacity and size as compared to if you seated 100.
Where to buy Commercial kitchen equipment from?
Now that you know what the commercial kitchen equipment list looks like, let’s us further move ahead and see who are the leading manufacturers of restaurant kitchen equipment. There are plenty of manufacturers who sell commercial kitchen equipment for restaurants. And just like everything else, you can buy all restaurant kitchen appliances online via various sites, most of which deliver to all major cities in India.
Things to keep in mind while choosing a vendor for your commercial kitchen equipment
1. Quality above everything else
You NEED quality commercial kitchen equipment for your restaurant. There are no two ways about it. And since its a one-time investment, you would want appliances that have a long life. Using quality products is going to benefit your restaurant kitchen greatly.
2. One that delivers (quite literally)
Your vendors must aim to deliver within the given timeline. Given how busy and quick the food industry is, you wouldn’t want to wait for your commercial kitchen equipment for long as it’s going to affect the normal functioning of the entire kitchen.
3. Transparency in business
Choose dealers who give you a clear picture of all the products and equipment they are going to sell. There shouldn’t be any confusion later. It’s only then that you can continue purchasing from them in the future.
Kitchen equipment checklist
Here’s a quick summary of commercial kitchen equipment that we’ve covered in this article.
- Cooling Equipment –
- Refrigerators and Freezers
- Display freezers
- Heating Equipment –
- Display food warmers
- Preparation Equipment –
- Food processors and slicers
- Mixers and grinders
- Washing Equipment –
- Glassware washing and polishing equipment
- Cookware Accessories –
- Pots and cookers
- Knives and spoons
- Tables and Shelves –
- Wall mount shelves and racks
- Prep tables and counters
- Safety Equipment
- Kitchen Display System
Choose the best restaurant commercial kitchen equipment
Using age-old equipment at your restaurant kitchen is going to burn a hole in your pocket. It affects the quality and efficiency of a restaurant. A classic burger brand in the US, Steak ‘n Shake, had to temporarily shut down at 44 locations, due to a drastic drop in sales. Both the service towards customers and speed were poor. One of the major reasons for this was an ill-equipped restaurant kitchen. They didn’t replace their old equipment with new commercial ones, which eventually led to a decline in good service from the staff.
Purchasing the best-suited equipment for your kitchen will prove beneficial for your restaurant and all its employees. We can’t deny the fact that electrical appliances greatly help in beautifying dishes by giving them a perfect finishing. They make cooking a fun process rather than an exhaustive one. And if maintained well they work for a decent number of years.
The more commercial kitchen equipment you use, the more efficient your restaurant becomes. It aids in increasing sales of your restaurant and everyone leaves feeling content.
Here’s to making sure your commercial kitchen is equipped with everything you need to run a successful operation!