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List of Kitchen Equipment: What You Need

Opening a restaurant can be as daunting as it is exciting. The list of items you need to find and buy can seem never-ending. If we think about the mechanics of a restaurant, efficiency in the kitchen is what leads to a speedy-service, and the quality of the food, for example how it is cooked and presented is absolutely paramount to the reputation of your business. So, rest assured that by having the best equipment for your specific needs, you will be well on your way to a smooth-service and a good name (fingers crossed).

Use our list below as a ‘tick-list’ to ensure you have everything you require in your professional kitchen, and let’s make that opening night is a success.

Oven and Hob(s)

When choosing the most appropriate oven, be sure to do your research. They are an integral piece of kit with a pretty hefty price tag, so pick the most reliable, most efficient, most functional and most appropriate-sized oven for your needs and budget. And don’t forget to shop around, compare reviews and check servicing and warranties. The more investigative-work you do now, the more time and money you can save in the future.

Then think ‘layout’, would you like the hob to be built-in with the oven or separate? By having two-in-one, are you saving space, or losing time by blocking the oven door with a chef attending the stove? Consider the number of covers you are aiming to achieve and the products on your menu, how many rings will you need to efficiently attain these? And where best to position your hob in your kitchen.

Fryer(s)

Many restaurants are headed down the ‘healthy eating’ route, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of the good ol’ chip, or at least we hope not. Does your restaurant require a fryer? There are so many more products you can cook in the fryer and for a much shorter time than in the oven. Consider whether you need one and if so again check the size, price and warranty, as well as the energy consumption and health and safety regulations that come with it.

Microwave(s)

Microwaves are a piece of equipment you may think you can live without, but have you really thought about it? Microwaves are one of the easiest ways of time-saving. You can achieve your food prep at quieter periods and with the help of a microwave, simply and quickly reheat to order. They also don’t necessarily require counter space, consider space-saving by placing them on an easy-to-reach shelf.

Ventilation and Extraction

With all these heat and smell producing appliances, ventilation and extraction are important to air-out your environment, and to improve working conditions. The exterior location of the fan is something to seriously consider. Legal requirements can impact its position to not be too close to public areas or private land. Again, these systems are an investment, so shop-around and do your research.

Fridge(s) and Freezer(s)

Fridges and freezers are imperative to your kitchen. Food safety regulations insist that foods are kept at a certain temperature so these pieces of equipment are non-negotiable. Freezers are also a great way to prolong the life of food, as well as super time-savers. Meals can be pre-made at quiet times, stored in the freezer and simply heated through to order. Without sounding like a broken record, when looking into fridges and freezers shop around, make comparisons, check reviews, consider servicing and warranties, pick the most energy efficient, most appropriate sized and most functional cold-appliances for your space.

 

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Dishwasher(s)

When buying your dishwasher, be sure that it is a professional one, a domestic dishwasher just won’t cut (through) the mustard. You will also need to check that the functions of the dishwasher fulfil your requirements. Some are integrated with a polishing mode, a super-high heat setting, a two-in-one function for glassware and crockery (to name a few). The more the dishwasher can do the higher the price, but the more time saved, and potentially less staff required.

Sink(s)

Sinks are necessary in the kitchen as a health and safety feature. Hands and some food goods must be thoroughly washed before prep can begin. Think about the size of sink that you require. It needs to be big enough to fulfil your needs, but not take up unnecessary space. Soaking crockery in the sink is also a great way to cut the pre-wash cycle on your professional washer, meaning time and energy saved, so think about whether you need a sink-size to accommodate grubby kitchenware, or not. You should have a separate hand basin available for your staff at all times which is used online for hand washing.

Work Surfaces

Have you got adequate space to prepare everything you need on the menu? Consider the best layout for your work surfaces. An efficiently-running kitchen should flow well, kitchen staff should have specific sections for different food types (salads and desserts for example), and functionality should be top of the priority list. When sourcing your work tops, think about the material. Stainless steel is a top-choice when it comes to professional surfaces as they are so easily cleaned. A bare wood work top for example is not acceptable by environmental health.

Knives and Chopping Boards

Every budding chef knows the importance of a good knife and sharpening block. Please don’t scrimp on the knife set, you need high-quality, sharp and professional knives to stand the test of time.

You should colour-code your chopping boards for use with single types of foods (meat, fish etc) This will prevent cross-contamination,

Air-tight, Cold and Heat Proof Containers

To help ensure that your kitchen runs as efficiently as possible, make sure you have enough containers. Sealable boxes are crucial for keeping food for longer. By preventing air from coming into contact with the food, you can seriously prolong its life.

Cold and heat proof containers are key for a smooth running kitchen. You cannot prepare, cook nor store produce without enough of the correct dishes, bowls, tubs, trays, boxes… and so on. Check each one is fit-for-purpose to prevent breakage when coming into contact with hot or cold air.

Serving Equipment

Insist that you have enough tools to complete the job-in-hand, and safely. To avoid cross-contamination, you will need ample serving spoons for every area of your kitchen. Make sure that your utensils are easily accessible. You don’t want to leave a perfect medium-rare steak on the hob cooking to rubber whilst searching for a way to serve it.

Crockery

Matching crockery is crucial for the overall look of your restaurant. Nobody wants to see their dinner served on mismatched (unless intentional) and damaged plates. For a smoothly-running service, make sure that you have enough plates and bowls clean and ready for action. Store them where they are easily-accessible to save time when plating up.

First Aid Kit

Every single professional kitchen must be equipped with a medical kit. Either talk to your hygiene supplier or simply look online. A first aid box won’t break the bank, but in the event of an emergency may just be the most important piece of kit in the kitchen.

Miscellaneous

More often than not as soon as your kitchen is up and running, there will be something else you need to increase efficiency. And that’s fine, continual evolution and improvement is important. But in the meantime, let’s do our best to tick (almost) everything you need off the list-

Washing Machine

Consider how you are going to keep the kitchen towels and chefs looking spic and span. Albeit, not a necessary piece of kit, an ‘in-house’ washing machine is an effective way to keep those greasy fabrics away from your domestic washer at home. And, if for any reason the chef was to come into contact with a paying customer, there is nothing more off-putting than weary-looking whites. Help your chef to feel good-at-work, impress the clients and set the standard you expect from staff with a washing machine on the premises.

Specialist Equipment

Everything mentioned above can be classified as generic equipment that most professional kitchens require. But consider your restaurant specifically, and your particular needs. Are you offering pizza on your menu? If so, you probably require a pizza oven, stone and peel for example. Are you opening a salad bar? If so, maybe you will need to replace some of the cooking appliances with extra cold-stores. The list of options and specialist equipment is endless, speak to your supplier and make informed decisions to have your kitchen running at its most efficient.

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