March 2, 2022
10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Restaurant Kitchen Equipment
Most restaurant owners understand that the type and quality of the equipment in their commercial kitchen is bound to affect the quality of food they serve. What’s more? Quality equipment can help you save on energy costs and even water bills – provided you choose the right models from trusted manufacturers. While choosing restaurant kitchen equipment for your establishment might seem like a tedious task full of research and comparison, we’re here to give you some essential tips so you can select the best pieces of machinery in your commercial food business. Continue reading to know the ten most important factors to watch out for when selecting equipment for your restaurant.
1. List Out & Understand Your Kitchen’s Needs
The first step in outfitting your kitchen with the best restaurant equipment is to prepare a list of all your needs. Take into consideration what you intend to serve your customers, the number of customers you plan to serve, and the types of food you want to offer. These factors will give shape to your list and help you when choosing equipment.
2. Decide on Your Kitchen’s Design
Your commercial kitchen space and its layout are bound to determine your equipment choices and how efficiently it will perform during operations. Consult with your chefs, planners, and designers to ensure you have an elegant layout for your kitchen that helps your workers function comfortably and with speed.
3. Invest in High-Quality Equipment
Make no compromise in the quality of equipment you purchase for your kitchen. It is always advisable to invest in trustworthy commercial kitchen equipment as it helps you save money in the long term. High-quality products often come with legitimate warranties, service plans, and allow you to cut costs on utilities. The old phrase, “You get what you pay for” is especially true when purchasing restaurant equipment.
4. Consider the Kitchen Space Available to You
It’s important to measure both your kitchen area and the area occupied by each piece of equipment to help you build an organized cooking space. A cluttered and cramped kitchen with extremely large equipment will hinder your staff during work, on the other hand, small equipment incapable of handling your needs will end up slowing down work and eventually – delivery.
5. Food Safety Requirements
Verify all the equipment you purchase against the existing food safety norms in your area. Breaking health codes and food safety statutes can warrant hefty fines and sometimes even entails jail time. Do your research and consult with a legal advisor in case you’re unsure about food safety laws.
6. Value Speed & Energy Efficiency
Equipment speeds are very important when you’re running a high-volume operation. This is especially true in the case of food processors, ovens, and grills as these pieces of equipment decide the turnaround times for a good portion of your orders. It’s also extremely important to procure energy-efficient equipment. They cut down your power consumption and allow you to claim benefits for running a greener restaurant.
7. Ascertain Warranty Periods
It’s important to verify all the warranty agreements at the time of purchase to avoid incurring charges later on. It’s always wise to verify the warranty period provided by your dealership with the manufacturer so you can rest easy when you need to get your equipment serviced or repaired. Create an Excel sheet that documents all your equipment and their warranty timelines as well as contact information.
8. Make Cleaning & Maintenance an Easy Task
Cleaning and maintenance are necessary for all commercial equipment considering the nature of materials they deal with on an everyday basis. Regular cleaning and servicing ensure your equipment lasts for a long time and works in the best state. Create cleaning schedules for all machines with your restaurant manager to help distribute the task among all your staff.
9. Look for Water Saving Features
Equipment that conserves water is not only good for the environment, but it also helps you save on utility bills. Since a commercial kitchen is a very water-intensive operation, it makes both fiscal and ecological sense to cut water usage wherever possible for all business owners.
10. Understand Building, Fire, & Health Codes
It’s important to consider the building, fire, and health codes of the area your restaurant is located in. Since these statutes vary in each location, it would be wise to get in touch with the experts to understand these codes and comply with all of them when outfitting your restaurant. Non-compliance with these laws might lead to penalties and fines, so ensure both you and your staff are well-versed in all local area building, fire, and health codes.
Equipment for a commercial kitchen is integral to the quality of offerings it puts out. Customer satisfaction and your establishment’s reputation rely on the type of equipment you use. This makes the task of choosing restaurant kitchen equipment an immensely important one as it directly impacts the success or failure of your establishment. Be sure to consult with your accountants, designers, chefs, and legal experts in addition to this list to ensure you procure the equipment best suited to your needs.
Damon Shrauner, Senior Sales Consultant and VP on B2B Sales at CKitchen, working in the foodservice equipment sector since 1994. With his expertise in market analysis, product placement, sales, and project management, he will always tell you what to do for the best of your business.