Making a family business out of dining: A handy guide to getting the right commercial kitchen equipment
If you come from a family of culinary experts, getting into the restaurant business is the next logical step, where you can combine your family’s collective love for food with a business model where everyone does what they love most. However, getting into the restaurant business is no mean feat. It requires extensive research and planning, or you will end up spending a fortune in places where you could have instead saved a considerable amount.
The requirements of a commercial kitchen are markedly different than that of a domestic kitchen. Commercial kitchens are typically larger in size, comprising equipment that isn’t usually found in their non-commercial counterpart. When you’re in the market to shop for new commercial kitchen equipment, be prepared to spend on equipment that is of good quality, so you’re building a kitchen that can withstand prolonged, heavy-duty use in the long term. Hence, it’s essential that you research equipment options that are available in the market and understand what purchases you must make, as per your budget and individual requirements.
We list a handy guide to buying commercial kitchen equipment and accessories for your restaurant business:
Work with a commercial supplier
Commercial kitchen equipment is an expensive purchase, so it’s important that you work with reputable suppliers in the market that have years of experience behind them, instead of comparing suppliers solely on prices. Discuss your requirements with your chosen supplier and ensure you’re offered adequate warranty and frequent maintenance.
Start with the basics
While the requirements of your kitchen would depend on the cuisine and menu you will offer customers, there is some basic equipment that is seen in all commercial kitchens, with minor variations in size and features. These would include dishwashers, mixers, refrigeration, storage, cooktops, sinks and faucets. Of course, you would need to invest in equipment that suits the size of your kitchen and the expected usage volume.
Buy specialised equipment relevant to your menu
It’s important to determine what the majority of your menu will look like, since this will inform what specialised equipment you will need to invest in. For example, if you plan to open a salad and juice bar, it’s highly unlikely you will have any use for a commercial deep fryer. Similarly, you will need a kebab machine if you have kebabs on your menu. Determining the menu first will ensure you aren’t spending on equipment you don’t require.
Inspect and test run equipment before you go live
Once you’ve had all your commercial kitchen equipment delivered and installed, you need to inspect it for any potential defects, in which case you’ll need to have them replaced. It’s also important that you test run all equipment much before your kitchen goes live, so you can identify any issues any have them rectified, instead of dealing with any obstructions later. Ideally, you must factor in any delays that may occur due to issues with equipment so you aren’t left struggling to meet deadlines.
Once you’ve completed the major tasks such as ordering and installing commercial kitchen equipment, your next step is to order flatware, cutlery and table accessories that would suit the requirements of your menu. You also need to bear in mind the overall décor of your restaurant, since this would influence your choices. Similarly, team uniforms need to be utilitarian and durable, without compromising on comfort.
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