Posted on October 9, 2020
What you Need to Know About Buying Restaurant Equipment
Starting your own business is a fascinating adventure, and if this business is a new restaurant, it will be much more so. The gastronomic world is attractive to anyone, after all, who does not like to enjoy a delicious, high-quality dish?
To start a restaurant, not only the decoration, tables, and chair matter, but it is also necessary to buy restaurant equipment for the kitchen since this is the restaurant’s heart and soul. It is where all the food is prepared and built each gastronomic experience of the clients.
The kitchen is where the magic happens, and the menu comes to life, but it is also the place where almost all the heavy work is done: food is stored, prepared, dishes and utensils are washed, has almost unstoppable traffic of chefs, cooks, helpers, waiters and also. Therefore, this site must be planned with great conscience.
What should you consider before starting to buy restaurant equipment?
When it comes to equipping a restaurant kitchen, it is not just about buying the most modern or eye-catching, but some factors must be taken into account to choose the best possible options. This will undoubtedly help everything to work harmoniously and smoothly.
Some of the things you should consider before buying your Restaurant Equipment are:
Almost the entire budget available to open a new restaurant will be used to equip the kitchen. Restaurant equipment is usually expensive due to its characteristics and the variety that is needed, since on the one hand, it is equipment for industrial use. On the other hand, you not only need a refrigerator and a stove, but you need to buy freezers, ovens, fryers, utensils, dishwashers, various stoves, and refrigerators, among others.
Kitchen dimensions and menu to prepare
Before buying restaurant equipment, it is essential to have the menu established and know the space’s physical dimensions where the equipment will be installed. For example, they will not be the same equipment for a pizza restaurant as for a sushi restaurant. On the other hand, the kitchen’s size will help determine the equipment’s dimensions to be purchased, since a reduced space will require smaller industrial equipment than a large area.
This may seem superficial, but in reality, it is not. If you plan to open a restaurant with an open kitchen style or where customers can visualize the kitchen’s interior. It would be best if you considered the visual aspect or the elegance that the restaurant equipment you will acquire convey. In these cases, the more modern models will tend to look much better and will help make the customer experience unique.
We cannot emphasize enough how important cooking is to a restaurant, which is crucial to its success. It is essential to do this, use equipment from brands or distributors that give you confidence, have a quick response capacity, and will treat you as a member of their family.
Current safety and health regulations
Any type of business must comply with a series of regulations to operate within the law’s margins. In the case of restaurants, there are many regulations, including health and safety regulations. It is crucial to study the regulations in force for restaurants before buying the restaurant equipment; thus, you can purchase equipment that complies with the laws and avoid problems in the future.
Used, new or modern equipment
When shopping for restaurant equipment, it can be very tempting to go for used equipment to save money; however, this can be risky. For one thing, second-hand equipment may not be entirely warranted, or it may be difficult to get spare parts for its lifetime in case a repair is necessary. Therefore, before choosing used equipment, it is essential first to verify its conditions of use, useful life, availability of spare parts, warranties, and others.
Household equipment or commercial equipment
While buying home-style kitchen equipment may seem tempting to cut your budget, it won’t actually be functional. On the one hand, domestic equipment is not capable of supporting the tremendous workload in a restaurant, and, on the other hand, it goes against all existing safety and health codes for restaurants.
Categories of restaurant equipment to buy
Once you have managed to determine the budget, the type of equipment, style, brands, regulations, menu, and place’s dimensions, it will be easier to acquire the necessary equipment. A good idea is to divide the kitchen into categories, facilitating the organized purchase of restaurant equipment. Among the possible categories, the following stand out:
- Reception and storage of food: freezers, cold rooms, and refrigerators.
- Utensils: Knives, mixers, peelers, knife sharpeners, cutters, slicers, breading machines, can openers, and others.
- Food preparation and processing: Convection ovens, grills, fryers, plates and hot plates, cabinets, tray ovens, steamers, stoves, microwaves, etc.
- Assembly, storage, and food serving equipment: dispensers, beverage equipment, heaters, juicers, blender, toaster, coffee makers, etc.
- Cleaning and disinfection: Dishwashers, water heaters, and others.
What steps should you follow to buy restaurant equipment?
When you are going to proceed to buy the restaurant equipment, in addition to the above considerations, follow these steps, as they will help you ensure that you buy exactly what you need without making mistakes.
All countries have different regulations and technologies, so you should study its place of origin when buying any kitchen equipment. This will not only help you to deduce the quality and estimated useful life of the equipment, but it will also help you choose the one that adequately complies with local regulations.
Quality of manufacturing materials
Restaurant kitchens are places of heavy work, with many different preparations being processed simultaneously, so it is advisable to buy equipment made of materials suitable for this type of environment. The most recommended is 304 Stainless Steel because this material is highly hygienic, it’s free from corrosion and oxidation.
The external part matters, but also the internal part, since, in many cases, the equipment contains small internal parts made of thermo-hardened plastics, this type of parts tends to wear out over time.
Type of warranty included
Because restaurant equipment is built to withstand many years of constant use, it is vital to make sure that every piece of equipment you purchase includes a warranty of at least one year. And this must be backed by a guarantee certificate, which must include the date of purchase, the invoice number, and your data (personal or business). This will assure you that your product is of high quality and that the guarantee backs it.
Maintenance and spare parts
Kitchen equipment needs occasional maintenance to extend its useful life, and this maintenance frequency will depend on the type of use given to it. If the use to which the restaurant equipment is subjected is constant and daily, it would be ideal to carry out maintenance every six months or, if not possible, once a year. However, it is essential that this maintenance is carried out by specialized centers, in which case you will be able to receive guidance from the place where you bought said equipment.
It is likely that maintenance reveals that it is necessary to change a part; therefore, before buying the equipment, it is necessary to make sure that you can quickly get the different parts and accessories, preferably in the same establishment where you will perform the purchase. This will help you avoid ending up with a very expensive piece of junk.
Technical service for restaurant equipment
As the kitchen’s work is quite demanding and constant, it is more than likely that some of the equipment will suffer some damage over time, so it is necessary to have a specialized technical service. For this, you must buy the equipment in establishments that offer this service, which will prevent completely unqualified personnel from manipulating the restaurant equipment and ending up damaging it more than necessary.
It is not the same to buy a blender or a mixer as an industrial rotary tray oven. When buying restaurant equipment, it is necessary to have a delivery service. Some stores do not offer this service, which leads to having to hire a third-party transport service.
One of the critical problems with this is that sometimes these transport services do not have sufficient security measures to guarantee that the equipment arrives without damage or damage to its final destination. In other cases, the store does have a delivery service, but it may take between 2 and 3 days to deliver the product because they use third-party service.
In any case, it is essential to find out about this detail before purchasing the restaurant’s equipment and, in this way, not get unpleasant surprises at the last minute.
Many restaurant owners and chefs tend to divide the kitchen areas into stations; this makes it easy for them to organize the purchase and installation of restaurant equipment when starting their business. Among the most common workstations in the kitchen, the following stand out:
- Grill station: Gas grills and griddle-style grills are usually found in this station, and it is used in those restaurants whose menu includes this type of food. Likewise, this station usually consists of a refrigerator to store the meat, seasonings, tongs, grill brushes, etc.
- Sauté station (stir-fry): This station is usually occupied by chefs with more experience, since it is in this place where the most elaborate dishes are prepared. This station typically includes multi-burner gas stoves, tongs, stir-fry pans, its own workbench, cutting area, condiments, and your own refrigerator.
- Pizza station: In restaurants that have pizza on their menu, an independent pizza station is usually established, where a work table for pizzas, a freezer to store ingredients, pizza paddle, pizza ovens will be available to the staff. , screens, wax paper sheets, trays, dough cutters, and other utensils.
- Frying Station: This is where the frying equipment will be located if needed for the menu: tabletop or floor fryers. A freezer should go in this area since many of the foods that are fried are previously frozen. Likewise, this station includes containers for the breading, baskets, clamps, and a work table.
- Salad Station: In this station, there is usually a refrigerator to preserve vegetables and avoid cross-contamination, dressings, and other implements, a work table, utensils, and assorted plates.
- Dessert station: This station should also have its own refrigerator as in the salad station; in this refrigerator, the freshest sweet foods can be kept. Additionally, it will be necessary to have a work table with utensils to prepare them and dishes to serve them.
- Cleaning station: this is a mandatory station in all kitchens since the dishwasher will be located here, and utensils, dishes, glasses, cups, and others used by diners and kitchen equipment in the preparation of dishes can be washed and sanitized.
Do not forget that equipping a kitchen does not only involve the restaurant equipment but, in addition, you must include the appropriate utensils and refrigerators for each season, since the utensils used by one station, like the grill, should not be used in another, like the salad or desserts station, since in addition to altering the taste of food, cross-contamination events can occur and risk the health of customers.
Buying the best equipment for your kitchen
Follow these tips and apply them to what you want to get from your kitchen. You will find that it is actually straightforward to get the best implements for your restaurant, since, fortunately, there are many specialized implements with different appearances and dimensions, so you will indeed find one that suits your needs perfectly.
Remember, it is important that, before making any investment, you define exactly what type of restaurant you want to start, what you are going to offer, and what space and budget you have, in this way, you can follow the best possible path to success.
If you follow these tips to buy restaurant equipment, it will surely be easy for you to acquire the best equipment and start your kitchen on the right foot and soon will get a popular and functional restaurant working smoothly for you.