When building out a restaurant, one of the most important tasks is obtaining the necessary restaurant equipment to cook, service, and store the products you sell. Equipment for a restaurant varies for each business, but the core needs remain the same. In this article, we break down the major restaurant equipment that you should be looking at when building out your restaurant.
- Restaurant equipment is an investment; solid restaurant equipment lays the groundwork for successful business operations.
- Knowing when you can save on and when you should splurge on restaurant equipment is the key to making your purchases work within your budget. Understand the equipment that warrants the most investment and go from there.
- Walk through your menu, how your staff will execute your food, and how your customers will interact within your space to get a clear picture of what equipment you need.
Key Equipment for a Restaurant
A restaurant requires many different equipment to operate efficiently and in a way that serves your staff and guests’ needs. Below are some of the key pieces of equipment you will be looking for when building out a restaurant.
A restaurant kitchen needs all kinds of equipment for cooking, preparing, and storing food. Your kitchen will also include equipment—like range hoods and fire suppression equipment—that relates to cooking, preparation, and storage tasks.
A range is basically a large stove top that is used for cooking to order food or prep throughout the day. It is the heart of a restaurant kitchen and integral to most operations due to its importance in getting food out to customers. A commercial range can cost anywhere from $2,000–$14,000. There are a variety of types with different features and cooking niches, so pricing can vary. Choosing the right option will depend on your style of cooking and the capacity needs of your restaurant, and we have created a guide to the best commercial ranges showing you how to make this decision.
Popular range types:
- Gas range: A gas range runs on gas and is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, type of commercial range. They come in many sizes and prices and are generally easy to find.
- Electric range: An electric range is a commercial range with electric-fueled burners. These ranges are often used in restaurants where gas hookups are not allowed or available.
- Induction ranges: Induction-style ranges work off of induction burners to generate a heat source. They offer very consistent and accurate heat control but can be expensive.
- Single-burner ranges: A single-burner range is one that houses a large burner, perfect for large pots and large-batch cooking.
- Wok ranges: Wok ranges are specifically designed for wok-based cooking. They will have a very hot heat source and also often require water flow for the cooling down of the wok line in key areas.
To choose the size of your range, know your measurements in your kitchen and the types of energy sources you have. Also, use your guest estimate to determine if the cooking surface area is enough for you to work with.
Commercial ovens can be equally as important as commercial ranges, depending on the kind of food you serve. They can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to many thousand. Some commercial stoves offer ovens within them as well and can be included in that price. A reliable oven is such a vital piece of equipment for your restaurant, so be sure to focus on your search when looking for one. Use our commercial oven guide to find the best fit for you.
Popular oven types:
- Commercial range oven: Some commercial ranges have ovens included. They will sit in the front of the range, underneath the burners, and can be very useful.
- Standard oven: Standard or radiant ovens warm up the cooking chamber to a set temperature through radiant heat. They are very common in restaurants.
- Convection oven: Convection ovens work by blowing heat with a fan throughout the cooking chamber. They offer a more even and consistent heating experience.
- Conveyor oven: Conveyor ovens are popular in high-volume restaurants, such as fast-casual pizzerias. They bake food quickly on a conveyor belt through different cook cycles.