What Equipment Do You Need to Start a Restaurant?

Have you been contemplating opening a restaurant? If so, preparation is an essential first step. You will want to devise a plan, find a...
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Have you been contemplating opening a restaurant? If so, preparation is an essential first step. You will want to devise a plan, find a location to lease or purchase flat-out, decide on the perfect menu, plus so much more. Perhaps this seems overwhelming, but instead of allowing your anxieties to dictate your future, congratulate yourself on your new foray into restaurant ownership. As far as types of establishments go, your options are limitless. Depending on your preference, you can consider opening a pizzeria, bakery, sushi bar, or even a vegan food truck. Your final decision should be a reflection of what best matches your hopes and dreams. Since you’re still in the beginning phase of this process, you may wonder what kind of equipment you’ll need, but there is a myriad of different products to choose from. Don’t fret, we are here to guide you.

Point of Sales System (POS)


Instead of keeping a logbook and inventory list, a point of sales system (POS) can make your life so much easier and simplify the tasks that come with running a restaurant. You’ll be able to calculate the total costs of goods sold, which is one of the most important and significant restaurant expenses. The POS system also connects to till-made transactions which will allow you to print out reports, so that you can study ways to lower food costs and increase income.

Ovens & Stoves & More


Most of the time restaurant food is cooked in ovens, or with a stove. Be careful of what size oven and stove you purchase, however. If it’s too small then there won’t be enough room for the volume of sales, and if it’s too big then you’re wasting hard-earned money by purchasing an unnecessary piece of equipment. You’ll also need fryers for any fried foods you decide on serving at your establishment. Consider investing in a heating station, steam cabinets, and/or a steam table to keep food warm before serving customers. For fair pricing and even financing options, you can check out restaurant supply in Seattle.

Refrigeration Equipment


You’ll need refrigeration and storage equipment to keep your food and other items chilled so that they don’t go bad and cause a loss in sales. Make sure to check the capacity and shape before ordering, as you will need a fridge that is capable of handling a large amount of food, whilst fitting into your kitchen’s layout. Depending on what kind of restaurant you decide on running, some ideas for equipment are refrigerators, freezers, ice machines, and beverage dispensers.

Storage Equipment


Aside from refrigerators, ovens, stoves, and other miscellaneous items, you will need storage equipment to keep your ingredients and small wares organized. Different pieces of equipment vary from restaurant to restaurant and what their specialty is. Usually, a restaurant will carry shelves for your walk-in cooler, pans, dinnerware, dry ingredients, and much more. It’s an essential need to have bussing and utility carts in any kitchen. You can use them in the front of the house to bus tables or you can use them in the back of the house to haul around heavy equipment or ingredients. You may also need sheet pan racks to store or transport food or food storage containers.

Figure out what small equipment you might need.

Depending on the restaurant you’re opening up, you should have figured out what large pieces of equipment you may need. But have you thought about the small pieces yet? Of course, you will need pots, pans, dinnerware, glassware, and other small wares. A finer dining establishment may require more, though, such as mixers, dicing equipment, cutlery, and possibly marinading pans for meats and steaks. Most of the time, restaurants also require stainless steel tables and cutting boards for meal prep. You can find most of this for sale at restaurant warehouses.

Gretchen Crawford is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, USA, and currently resides in Tulsa. She is an editor at Urban Tulsa.