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Kitchen Equipment Every Restaurant Needs

Kitchen Equipment Every Restaurant Needs

Last updated on 11/28/2018

When opening a new restaurant or refurbishing an existing business, choosing the right restaurant kitchen equipment is essential for success. Our team of experts created a list of essential restaurant equipment, so you can be sure that all of your bases are covered when outfitting your kitchen. It's important to note that different types of restaurants may require additional pieces of equipment or various styles that may not be on this list. Instead, this list is meant to include items that every restaurant will need, providing a foundation that you can build off of to meet your specific needs.

We broke this article down into five sections based on the different groupings of restaurant equipment. If you're looking for a specific type of restaurant equipment, you can use the links below to jump to that section.

Restaurant Cooking Equipment

commercial equipment in a restaurant's kitchen

Cooking equipment is the cornerstone of any commercial kitchen. When choosing cooking equipment for your restaurant, be sure to think about what pieces of equipment you're going to be using most often. While smaller pieces of equipment may be less expensive, they may not meet your capacity needs if you're going to be using them regularly, costing your business more in the long run.

Here's our list of essential cooking equipment for restaurants:

  • Oven: This versatile piece of equipment can be used for baking, roasting, braising, and much more. As a result, an oven (or multiple ovens, depending on your business) is essential.
  • Range: You can choose either electric or gas ranges, depending on your preferences and kitchen setup.
  • Deep Fryer: While deep fryers are ideal for making french fries, chicken tenders, and other customer favorites, you can use them for frying up a variety of foods.
  • Grill: Charbroilers and other grills impart a smoky and charred flavor that's perfect for many different recipes.
  • Griddles: Similar to grills but with a flat metallic surface, griddles are a mainstay in diners and can be used for a variety of different cooking methods.
  • Holding Equipment: Holding cabinets keep your food at a specific temperature, which makes them ideal for holding food until it's ready to serve or proofing breads before baking.
  • Salamander or Broiler: These products are perfect for finishing dishes, toasting bread, or melting cheese. Also, salamanders have high enough heat output to broil salmon or cook foods.
  • Toaster: If your restaurant is going to be open for breakfast, a commercial toaster is a must for your bread and bagels.
  • Coffee Brewer: Coffee is a popular beverage, and it's a great addition to your beverage service, even if you're not opening a cafe or bakery.
  • Microwave: Microwaves are a convenient way to heat up sauces, defrost frozen foods, and re-heat products.

Additionally, with cooking equipment, it's essential that you choose the right power type for your kitchen. Also, be aware that you may need additional gas hoses and other components to install your cooking equipment successfully.

Check these cooking appliances off of your restaurant kitchen equipment list by using the link below.

>>>Shop Restaurant Equipment

Refrigeration and Storage Equipment

Refrigeration and storage provides you a place to hold your equipment and ingredients. The biggest factor to look for when choosing storage equipment is capacity and shape. You need to choose equipment that can handle the amount of food your restaurant will need, as well as equipment that will fit into your kitchen's layout.

Refrigeration Equipment

Two commercial reach-in refrigerators in a kitchen

There are many different styles of refrigeration equipment, and the style you choose will depend on your type of restaurant and your specific refrigeration needs. But, here are some examples that a standard restaurant might choose:

  • Refrigerator: Some common types of refrigerators include walk-in coolers, reach-in fridges, pass-through options, or prep fridges. It is likely that your restaurant will require a combination of different types.
  • Freezer: Like refrigerators, freezers come in various sizes and styles to suit your needs and food capacities.
  • Ice Machine: Ice machines are an essential component for beverage service at any restaurant. Additionally, cafes, bars, and grocery stores may use ice to make smoothies or blended cocktails.
  • Beverage Dispensers Some establishments like fast food and fast casual restaurants may have self service beverage dispensers, while others may have them at wait stations. When choosing a dispenser, think of how many soft drink options you want to serve and which brand of soda you're going to choose.

You can purchase this refrigeration equipment and everything else your new business needs by clicking the link below:

>>>Shop Refrigeration Equipment

Storage Equipment

Empty mobile sheet pan rack in a commercial kitchen

In addition to refrigeration, every restaurant will need storage equipment for ingredients as well as smallwares and equipment. Here are some standard pieces of storage equipment you'll find in most restaurants:

  • Shelving: You can use shelving in your walk-in cooler or freezer for storing different foods. You can also use shelving for storing pots, pans, dinnerware, dry ingredients, and more. Shelving comes in a variety of sizes and configurations, allowing you to customize your shelving for your space.
  • Bussing and Utility Carts: Bussing and utility carts are essential to have in the kitchen due to their utility. You can use them in the front-of-house area for bussing tables or in the back-of-house area for moving heavy equipment or ingredients.
  • Sheet Pan Racks: Sheet pan racks are designed for storing and transporting foods, but you can also use them for holding and proofing breads. Sheet pan racks are designed to be tall rather than wide, so they have a small footprint, which is ideal for cramped kitchens.
  • Food Storage Containers: Food storage containers are the perfect multi-purpose tools. You can use them to store prepped ingredients, mix up sauces and stocks, or hold dry items like pasta or rice. Best of all, many food storage containers come with colored lids or markings, so you can color code them for easy organization.
  • Drying Racks: Drying racks provide a place to not only store your equipment, but to also air dry it. You can use drying racks for drying dinnerware, glassware, cookware, cutting boards, utensils, and much more.
  • Dunnage Racks: Dunnage racks are similar to drying racks in that they're used for drying equipment, but dunnage racks are usually only a few inches off of the ground. You can use them for heavy items, such canned goods, bags of rice, or large pieces of equipment.

Additionally, when outfitting your new kitchen with refrigeration and storage equipment, consider what your menu is going to look like, and what quantities of food you'll have to store. This will give you a better idea of how many refrigerators, freezers, and shelves you'll need.

You can buy these storage products and more by using the link below:

>>>Shop Storage and Transportation Equipment

Food Prep Equipment

Small commercial mixer on a stainless steel table

When it comes to food prep equipment, different restaurants will have various items on their kitchen equipment list, depending on their recipes. Rather than list all of the potential items you could order, we limited our professional kitchen equipment list to essentials that most foodservice operations would need:

  • Food Processors: These versatile appliances can help cut down on valuable prep time. You can use them to make sauces, combine ingredients, chop vegetables, slice cheese, and much more.
  • Prep Tables: Place appliances and equipment on top of these sturdy tables, or use them as a surface for prepping ingredients or assembling dishes.
  • Mixers: While bakeries and pizza shops might use commercial mixers most frequently, this is a useful piece of equipment that every restaurant should have.
  • Spice Grinders: While using pre-ground spices is economical, freshly ground spices and herbs have a unique flavor that can give your recipes more depth of flavor.
  • Blenders: Most commonly found in bars and cafes, blenders have a multitude of uses. You can use them to make drinks, combine sauces, or create marinades.

Find all of these food prep products and much more for your kitchen by using the link below:

>>>Shop Food Prep Equipment

Smallwares

Chef wearing disposable gloves cutting vegetables

Smallwares are the tools that your employees will use in the kitchen to prepare and cook your dishes. When ordering smallwares for your new kitchen, make sure that you purchase the right quantity, so your employees aren't fighting for the same item. Here's our list of the essential smallwares for your commercial kitchen:

  • Chef Knives: A sharp set of knives are the most important set of tools in a kitchen. Sharp chef knives not only make food prep easier, but they also decrease the risk of accidents and cuts.
  • Cutting Boards: Also, if you want to color code your kitchen to prevent cross-contamination, you can purchase multiple colors of cutting boards and follow HACCP guidelines.
  • Mixing Bowls: When purchasing mixing bowls, be sure to get multiple sizes for different applications.
  • Pans: There are many different kinds of pans, such as sauce, saute, braising, and fry. Consider which types your kitchen needs and in what quantity before placing your order.
  • Pots: Similar to pans, there are multiple types of pots, such as stock pots, double boilers, pasta cookers, sauce pots, and more.
  • Whisks: Whisks are a useful tool that you can use to incorporate air into your ingredients, giving them a light and fluffy texture. You can also choose from the different types of whisks for the one that best suits your needs.
  • Food Pans: Prepare dishes in the oven in food pans or use them to hold food in a food warmer until it's ready to serve. Food pans are especially essential for caterers for transporting food and buffets for serving food on steam tables.
  • Kitchen Spoons: Stir sauces in the back-of-house area, serve foods at your buffet, or remove ingredients from a bowl with kitchen spoons. These versatile tools should be on every restaurant equipment list.
  • Turners: If your restaurant or diner is planning on using griddles, charbroilers, or grills, turners are must-have tools. Choose turners with high-heat handles to keep your employees' hands safe.
  • Tongs: Tongs have a lot of utility, and you can use them for food prep, plating, or serving purposes, depending on your needs.

You can buy all of these smallwares and everything else you need by clicking the link below:

>>>Shop Smallwares

Janitorial Equipment

Person filling a 3 compartment sink with water

Cleanliness is essential in the foodservice industry, so you should be sure that your new business has all of the janitorial equipment and cleaning supplies it needs. Different restaurants may require various cleaning supplies depending on what appliances and flooring they have, but here's a list of essential cleaning supplies every operation will need:

  • Microfiber cloths and cleaning rags: Microfiber cloths and rags have many uses in restaurants, from cleaning up spills, wiping down tables and chairs, polishing glassware, and more.
  • 3 compartment sink: These products are essential for cleaning and sanitizing your products completely and following health codes. In addition to your 3 compartment sink, you'll also need to invest in a grease trap and a commercial faucet.
  • Foodservice chemicals and sanitizers: Choose the right chemicals for cleaning your commercial equipment, and don't forget to also get sanitizing chemicals that keep your products safe for food contact.
  • Trash cans and recycling bins: Every establishment needs a place to get rid of trash. Purchase trash cans and recycling bins and place them strategically throughout your establishment.
  • Mops and mop buckets: Mopping your floors at the end of the day helps clean up any spills and messes that accumulated during service.
  • Wet floor signs: In addition to mops, you'll need wet floor signs to alert customers and employees to take caution when walking on the wet floor.
  • Scrubbers and sponges: Order a variety of scrubbers and sponges with different abrasiveness so you have heavy-duty options for stuck-on messes as well as soft sponges for cleaning delicate items.
  • Restroom supplies: Be sure to stock your restrooms with supplies like toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, urinal cakes, and baby changing tables.
  • Brooms and dustpans: Sweep up food dropped on the floor, dust, and more with these brooms. You can use them to clean up messes in the front- or back-of-house area.
  • Cleaning chemical buckets: Mix cleaning chemicals safely by using these proper cleaning chemical buckets. Additionally, these buckets come in different colors, so you can color code them for easier organization.

You can buy all of these products and more by using the link below:

>>>Shop Janitorial Equipment


This article lists out many of the pieces of equipment most restaurants need hand-picked by our restaurant equipment experts, but there may be additional products your business needs, depending on your menu and style. In addition to equipment, don't forget to stock up on markers, whiteboards, and other office supplies as well as spices, dry goods, and other food and beverage items. But, regardless of what's on your kitchen equipment list, WebstaurantStore has the best wholesale prices and fastest shipping, making us the perfect stop for your needs. Be sure to check out our Scratch and Dent Outlet for discounts on new restaurant kitchen equipment.

Click the button below to find the downloadable PDF.

Download Equipment List PDF

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