So you decided to open up a restaurant, mess hall, buffet… Doesn’t matter, you want to make a living by serving food to people. But if you want to make the most of it, you need to set things up properly. You need the right staff, the right location. You need to create a good menu, to get an interior designer to make the place look attractive, to set up advertising systems, etc. But, the most important thing of all, the one element all of these activities rest upon is your kitchen. And a good kitchen doesn’t mean anything without good equipment and gear. For this reason, we have written up this little checklist of items you need to set your kitchen up properly.
You always need to have the right ingredients handy when working in a kitchen, at all times. So, of course, you need to have a place to put them, without them going bad or perishing. This then means you need to invest in proper refrigerators and freezers. Remember, don’t buy the cheapest units you find, you want the industrial grade, huge things that can fit everything you have.
However, think about whether you want reach-in or walk-in units. The meaning is in their names, and it’s up to you to decide what suits your needs better. Walk-ins are obviously larger, but not every restaurant needs one.
You also need to cook, don’t you? This is especially true if you pride yourself on the baked goods your kitchen makes. As always, don’t be cheap, invest your money properly into the right equipment. It’s best if you get a convection oven, since it’s great for roasting, making pies, cookies, dehydrating and toasting things. Then again, baked goods only reacquire a conventional oven. Have a clear plan of what you want to achieve with your kitchen, and what do you want to avoid. It’s all a matter of what you want your restaurant to be.
Of course, you need to actually prepare the food you have. And in order to do so, you need knives, ladles, spoons, pots, pans, steak knives, fish knives, filleting knives, bread knives… So many knives, so many hours spent on keeping them sharp, – trust us, you want to get high-quality knives that don’t need to be sharpened that often. Depending on the size of your kitchen, and the number of people you want to serve, you will then have to decide how many pots and pans do you need. Their sizes will also depend on what you intend to serve regularly.
For example, If your kitchen is in a restaurant that serves a couple of simple, hearty dishes, like stews and soups, then you will want huge, big pots that can hold gallons upon gallons of liquid goodness at once. On the other hand, if you’re making some deep-fried unhealthy goodness, then you probably need a fryer and grills instead.
Food preparation areas (i.e. counters) are one of the more important and more neglected areas of any kitchen. You want prep tables, counters, cutting boards and areas to be of the best quality you can find. Too many people just skimp on this issue and try to save up some money. These are things that are being used daily, and the last thing you want is for a customer to find splinters that fell off a cheap cutting board into their food. Also, getting boards of the right side, and getting durable counters, can make things just so much easier.
You want to be able to move food from one area to the next. For that, you need proper food trolleys. For example, getting Sitecraft food trolleys will help you move things much easier and smoother than if you were just using regular ones. And remember, these can be very useful and important – a waiter can handle only so much.
Sinks seem simple enough – you want a basin into which water falls down and a faucet that works. However, for a proper kitchen, it needs to be powerful enough to wash away any added annoying debris. Furthermore, you want it to be made of good, anti-bacterial material.
If you have a lot of mixing work to do, a commercial mixer is a must. Now, of course, their utility and cost-effectiveness depend on the quantity of a certain food you’re making. If you make your own dough, and you do it often, a mixer can be a true blessing and godsend.
This is the powerhouse of the kitchen, its heart and soul – the heat used to prepare food. It’s best if you can get both gas and electric stoves, but it’s up to you to decide which one is better for your needs. Gas ranges are much more flexible, are easier to control, and are faster to heat up. However, electric ranges are easier to clean and are quite elegant and straightforward.
And there you have it folks, a somewhat comprehensive overview of what you need to get to run a proper kitchen. Your refrigerators, your freezers, a good stovetop and a nice range – these are al vital to keep and prepare food for any hungry customers. However, you also want to make life easier for your cooks. Remember, above all, to adapt all this gear according to your business.