Homeinfo library Guide to Restaurant Equipment shopping

Guide to Restaurant Equipment shopping

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restaurant equipment Equipments are tools to profit making in the food business.  Better equipments produce better quality of food.  Having a heavy duty char-broiler can guarantee you rounds of delicious  bbqs in just minutes.   Having your kitchen properly outfitted will get you the benefits of lowering maintenance and repair cost, increase production rate and produce food made with unique recipes that will differentiate you from your competitors.  With this said, it’s properly not a good idea to sacrifice the quality of the equipments with price.  However, doing thorough research is a must before committing to buying any of the equipments as they will stay with the business for quite a long time.  Feel free to use this article as a guideline when shopping for equipments for your restaurant business.

Production Equipment

cooking equipmentProduction equipments are also called cooking equipments.  They are the core of the kitchen.  It does not matter what type of restaurant you‘re opening, you will need to cook, and produce food with these equipments.  However, if you are buying a facility that already has a kitchen, it may already have much of the equipment you need.  You can modify what’s already there to meet your needs and add or subtract any pieces. If you are building your cook-line from scratch, budget anywhere from $30,000 to $ 45,000 for your heavy production equipments.  You may rely on your kitchen designer’s expertise on the spec  and function of the equipments, but it’s probably smart to consult the chef and conduct research with him, because in the end, no one knows more than how you cook your food and than your head chef.  Your designer will always suggest the more versatile and cost effective equipments while your chef may want something more unique that caters to his taste. In general, the cook-line consists of the following equipments:  range, convection oven, fryer, grill, broiler, steamer, steam kettle, condiment stand and a type I hood.  Across from the cook-line is the dish-up area where you will normally find the sandwich prep table, microwaves, toaster, hand wash sinks, and plates.   Somewhere near the cook-line, you will probably find the mixer, slicer, preparation sinks, portion scale, food cutter, baker’s bins and tables, meat grinder, refrigerator and freezer.   This part of the kitchen is called the preparation area. Figure on spending another $1200 to $2700 for small production items like pots and pans, tongs, spoons, ladles, potholders, spatulas, can openers, and other miscellaneous items. For bigger restaurants that serve 70 or more, a service area is usually planned.  This is where the kitchen helper or server will put final touches on the plate and serve side orders like salad, soup, sandwiches, and so forth.  To help the server prepare for the side orders, the following equipments are handy: prep and steam table, toaster, heat lamps, microwave oven, utensil racks, roll warmers, and sandwich tables.  The beverage area may or may not be nearby.   Regardless, a self contained beverage station should include a coffee maker, an ice machine, a beverage stand, a soda system, an ice cream cabinet, and a water station. You’ll end up spending from about $11,000 to $20,000 to equip the service area.

Dishwashing Equipment

Most restaurant owners prefer to lease dishwashers from vendors just like how they would lease a soda machine from Coke or Pepsi.   The vendor will then be responsible of providing the sanitizing detergents to ensure that the machine will work properly to the health department’s standard.  When the health inspector conducts his periodical inspection, he checks the chlorine and other detergent levels.   To lease a low temp dishwasher, it cost about $120-$350 per month, depending on type, size and function of the machine.  There are also high temperature dishwashers which require vapor exhaust hood, also known as type II hood over them.  It’s costly to build the type II hood in the beginning, (about $2000), but high temp washers will bring you the benefits of requiring less amount of detergent and maintenance than the low temp ones.   They also make the dishes nice and hot.  To purchase dishwashers on your own will cost you somewhere around $4,000 to $12,000. Installing the equipment, complete with landing area, dish table, garbage disposal, and three compartment sink, will run you anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000

Receiving and Storage Equipment

The largest and most costly piece of equipment in the receiving and storage area is the walk-in refrigerator/ freezer, which will cost between $8,000 and $20,000. Having walk-ins is handy, since they are important in helping to keep your food fresh.  Instead of arranging for three or more deliveries per week, you may now, arrange for two.  Your food will be easily organized and accounted for when they are put on the shelves inside of the walk-ins, which makes calculating inventory much easier. restaurant equipments pic

Bar Equipment

Having a bar is just like having another kitchen, which in business terms, equal to another profit generating unit.  You have the option of buying a standard bar with refrigerator underneath from an equipment dealer, or you may have one custom made.  Either way, plan to spend $5,000 to$ 9,000 on the bar itself. To equip a functional bar, the following equipments should be considered:  cash register, a three compartment sink with drain boards, an ice bin, an ice machine, a soda dispensing system, a beer dispensing system, wine cooler, glasses, a glasses washer, mixer, blenders, ice crushers, bottle openers, and miscellaneous tools.  Altogether, the bar equipment will cost between $ 12000 to $22000. One of the most important pieces of equipment for the bar is the soda dispensing system.  There are 2 types of automatic beverage dispensers available:  one for mixes and one for liquors.  To start out, a seven valve dispensing system that can calibrate the amount of mix served should be sufficient.  It costs about $150 – $350 to lease this piece of equipment and leasing makes it easier to upgrade the equipment if needed. Another way to go about it is to pour liquor by hand, which is quite popular at some bars. To help with portion control, prepour plastic spouts can be attached to each open bottle.  This prevents over pouring by dispensing a measured amount of liquor into a drink.  Bar equipment manufacturers usually sell these spouts for 28 and up apiece.


  1. -You can never do too much research on what each piece of equipment can do for your operation.   If one piece is more versatile than the other, why not get the more versatile one?
  2. -When deciding on whether to buy or lease the equipments, think about maintenance concerns.
  3. -Do not blindly rely on your kitchen designer to pick out the equipments for you, as they may not be the best choices for your unique menu. Remember, your equipments are your tools to make profits in your own restaurant business.
Posted on: 2012/01/16 at 2:09 AM
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Homeinfo library Guide to Restaurant Equipment shopping