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Whether you are renovating an existing restaurant or opening a new one, it is essential that you choose the appropriate restaurant kitchen equipment. Here, we provide you with a list of the fundamental restaurant equipment that you need so you can ensure that everything is covered when furnishing your kitchen.

It is important to consider that different types of restaurants may need various types, or extra pieces of equipment that may not be included on this list. Take note that the items included in this list are generally what every restaurant will require. They provide the foundation which you can start off to meet your requirements. We broke them down into different sections so you can easily find the particular type of restaurant equipment that you need.

Restaurant Cooking Equipment

The vital element of any commercial kitchen is the cooking equipment. When deciding what equipment you need for your restaurant, it is important to determine what kind of equipment you will be using more often. Although smaller pieces of equipment are much cheaper, they might not be sufficient enough for your needs, especially if you will be using them constantly. As a result, this could cost more in the long run.

Vital Cooking Equipment for Restaurants

  • Cooking Range – This can either be gas or electric ranges, depending on your kitchen setup and choice.
  • Oven – This is a piece of very versatile equipment since it can be used for roasting, baking, braising, and many more. Depending on your business, you might require multiple ovens.
  • Grill – Your restaurant might require charbroilers and other types of grills to achieve a smoky flavor that’s essential in different varieties of recipes.
  • Deep Fryer – Most often, deep fryers are used for cooking chicken and French fries, however, they can also be used for frying different kinds of foods.
  • Holding Equipment – These are usually used for keeping your food at a certain temperature. They can hold your food until it will be ready for serving. Additionally, this equipment can also be used for proofing bread prior to baking.
  • Griddles – They are much the same with grills, however, they have a flat metallic surface. This equipment is the pillar of any diner. Likewise, they can be used for any type of cooking method.
  • Toaster – A commercial toaster is essential if you are planning to serve breakfast in your restaurant. You can use this equipment for your bread and bagels.
  • Broiler – Broilers or Salamanders are ideal for melting cheese, toasting bread, or finishing dishes. Furthermore, salamanders generate high heat which is sufficient enough for cooking foods or broiling salmon.
  • Microwave – Generally, microwaves are used for re-heating food products, defrosting frozen foods, as well as heating up sauces.
  • Coffee Brewer – Coffee is considered a very popular beverage. That is why having a coffee brewer is a great addition to your restaurant even if you are not opening a bakery or a cafe.

Finally, when it comes to cooking equipment, it is necessary that you select the precise power type for your kitchen. Additionally, you might require extra gas hoses and other parts in setting up your cooking equipment safely and effectively.

Refrigeration Equipment

Refrigeration Equipment provides space for holding your ingredients. One of the important factors that you need to look into when choosing this equipment is its shape and capacity. It is important to look for equipment that has the capacity to handle the amount of food in your restaurant. At the same time, be sure that it will be suitable for your kitchen’s layout.

There are different types of refrigeration equipment, so be sure to choose a style that fits the type of your restaurant as well as your refrigeration requirements. The following are some of the standard equipment that most restaurants choose:

  • Freezer – Freezers come in different styles and sizes to fit your food capacities and requirements.
  • Refrigerator – Just like freezers, refrigerators also have different types. Some of the common ones are reach-in fridges, walk-in coolers, prep fridges, and others. Most likely, you will need a combination of different types, depending on the needs of your restaurant.
  • Beverage Dispensers – Some casual restaurants and fast foods are using self-service beverage dispensers. However, there are also others who prefer to place them at wait stations. In selecting a dispenser, be sure to consider the brand of soda and the number of beverage options that you prefer to serve.
  • Ice Machine – It is a must that restaurants should have ice machines since they are an important component of your beverage service. In addition, ice is required for making blended cocktails or smoothies which are usually served in bars, cafes, and even in grocery stores.

Storage Equipment

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Just like refrigeration equipment, the major factor to look for when selecting storage equipment is its shape and capacity. This equipment offers a place for holding your equipment, small wares, and ingredients. You must choose equipment that fits the layout of your kitchen and can handle the capacity that your restaurant requires. The following are some of the standard pieces of storage equipment that are used in most restaurants:

  • Bussing and Utility Carts – This equipment is essential in the kitchen of your restaurant. This can either be used for moving ingredients or heavy equipment or for bussing tables.
  • Shelving – Shelving can be used in freezers or walk-in coolers for storing foods. Additionally, shelving can also be used as storage for pans, pots, dry ingredients, dinnerware, and many more. There are different configurations and sizes that are available, so you can get the chance to customize your shelving depending on the space.
  • Food Storage Containers – These are the ideal multi-purpose tools for your kitchen. You can either use them for storing stocks, mixed sauces, or prepped ingredients. However, they can also be used for storing dry ingredients such as rice or pasta. Most importantly, some food storage containers have colored lids or include markings, so you can easily organize your stuff.
  • Sheet Pan Racks – This equipment is usually used for holding and proofing bread. However, they can also be useful when storing and transporting foods. Sheet pan racks are typically tall rather than wide, making them ideal for crowded kitchens.
  • Dunnage Racks – These are usually used for drying equipment, just like drying racks. However, dunnage racks are generally elevated from the ground. This is ideal for large pieces of equipment or heavy items such as bags of rice or canned goods.
  • Drying Racks – Drying racks are used for air-drying your equipment as well as for storing them. These are essential for drying utensils, cutting boards, cookware, glassware, dinnerware, etc.

Furthermore, when furnishing your kitchen with storage and refrigeration equipment, be sure to consider the amount of food that you will store as well as the contents of your menu. This can give you some ideas on the number of shelves, freezers, and refrigerators that you will need.

Food Preparation Equipment

With regards to food prep equipment, various restaurants are using different kinds of kitchen equipment. Usually, it will depend on the recipes that you are planning to prepare. The following are some of the kitchen equipment essentials that are used by foodservice operations.

  • Prep Tables – These sturdy tables are where you will be placing your equipment and appliances. Its surface can also be used for assembling the dishes or preparing the ingredients.
  • Food Processors – This equipment is very valuable since it can help you in reducing prep time. Food processors are very flexible since they can be used in a lot of things such as slicing cheese, chopping vegetables, mixing ingredients, making sauces, and so much more.
  • Spice Grinders – Although it is more practical to use pre-ground spices yet choosing freshly ground herbs and spices provide a unique flavor to your recipes.
  • Mixers – Commercial mixers are often used by pizza shops and bakeries. However, this piece of equipment can still be very useful for restaurants.
  • Blenders – Commonly used by cafes and bars, blenders have multiple uses. This appliance can be used for making marinades, mixing sauces, as well as in making drinks.

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Small Wares

Small wares refer to the tools used by kitchen staff in preparing and cooking the dishes. When purchasing small wares for your kitchen, be sure to have precise quantities to prevent your employees from fighting for the same item. The following are some of the essential small wares that you need for your kitchen:

  • Cutting Boards – You can buy different colors of cutting boards for color coding to avoid cross-contamination as well as for abiding by the HACCP guidelines.
  • Chef Knives – One of the most crucial sets of tools for your kitchen is a sharp set of knives. Aside from making your food prep easier and quicker, sharp chef knives can also reduce the risk of injuries and accidents.

These are the common equipment used by most restaurants. However, there might be additional items that your business requires, depending on your menu. Aside from this kitchen equipment, you might also need whiteboards, markers, and other supplies. Also, don’t forget to fill your storage cabinets with dry goods, spices, beverages, and other food items.

Mountain Sales & Services has been a wholesale distributor of Food Service Equipment in Colorado since 1980. We sell Food Service Equipment as well as different parts for your equipment. We also offer the leasing of Food Service Equipment. For more information, you may call us at 800-847-2557 or send us an email at