Are you curious about the real cost of restaurant kitchen equipment? If so, then there is a good chance that you are in the process of setting up a new restaurant, or you hope to be able to open one in the future. Whatever the case, you can rest assured that kitchen equipment is going to consume a big chunk of your budget. Does that mean this equipment is too costly? Well, this depends on various factors; all the same, I was able to compile some information that might be useful to you.
If asked to describe what restaurant kitchen equipment is, I’d say it’s any equipment that provides convenience to the kitchen staff, with a few examples being stoves, refrigerators, freezers, ovens, dishwashers, etc. As you can tell from the few examples given, a restaurant can’t operate without this kind of equipment.
Perhaps you don’t have an idea of the kind of kitchen equipment you may need to operate a restaurant? If that’s the case, here’s a breakdown of the most basic equipment any restaurant kitchen would need.
Storage Equipment - Includes things like refrigerators, freezers, and other cold storage units, shelves, racks, etc.
Food Processing Equipment - Includes items likes stoves, ranges, ovens, microwaves, steam-jacketed kettles, knives, cutter, breading machines, broilers, fryers, frying pans, dough makers, steamers, hot plates, griddle and grills, ice cube machines, etc.
Food Preparation Equipment - This particular list includes knives, cutters, slicers, peelers, mixers, can openers, mixing bowls, measuring spoons, thermometers, etc.
Food Preparation Surfaces - These could include counters, cutting surfaces, prep tables, cutting boards, etc.
Cookware - These will depend on the type of cuisine you intend to serve, but the list will generally call for things like baking pans, pots, pans, tongs, spatulas, ladles, whisks, etc.
Linens - To clean kitchen surfaces and hold hot equipment, you will need an assortment of towels and rags.
Washing Spaces - Could include sinks, hand washing stations, dishwashers, etc.
Tableware - These include items like glassware, flatware, silverware, dinnerware, etc.
Cutlery - This list includes items like knives, forks, spoons, etc.
Safety Equipment - Includes items such as fire extinguishers, oven mitts, goggles, wet floor signs, etc.
Shelves and Racks
Of course, you may not need every item listed above, or you may even need other equipment not mentioned, but the list should be able to give you a rough idea of what a restaurant kitchen needs to remain operational. Plus with little research here and there, you should be able to identify everything you may need depending on the type of restaurant you intend to set up.
Also, remember that the kitchen is the heart of any restaurant, so, if you are to operate a successful restaurant, I suggest you arm your kitchen with the best tools out there. These tools may include inventory management software, like Zip Inventory and Zip Ordering, to help you gain control over your food costs. Another tool you may consider is Zip Clock, which you can use to automatically track your kitchen employees’ hours while they can use this tool to clock in and out of work.
So, approximately how much can you expect your kitchen equipment to cost?
To give you a rough idea on how much you may need to set aside according to a restaurant owner survey, the start-up cost for kitchen and bar equipment put together is roughly $95,000. Another estimation, this time for a full-scale kitchen, is around $500,000. Of course, costs can be lower or even higher depending on your specific needs. It is not unheard of for a restaurant that was started on a shoestring budget to thrive beyond expectation.
This one is easy; all you need to do is look at your menu. What kind of cuisine or fare do you intend to offer? If, for example, you plan to serve wood-fired pizza, you’ll need to invest in more specialized equipment, such as a wood-fired oven. In the same way, if you are going to be serving cakes and cookies, your kitchen will require a commercial oven.
The best thing here is to list down your menu items if you haven’t done so already.
After that, ask yourself this question, “What equipment do I need to be able to efficiently deliver this item to my customers?” Alternatively, you may consider hiring a restaurant coach or consultant to take you through the process of identifying the equipment need. If you know someone who operates a restaurant or operated one before, they may also be in a position to offer guidance.
Once you have identified what you need for your kitchen, you can now visit a local supplier of restaurant equipment to get an idea of how much each item is going to cost. You may also visit the websites of various online vendors to get as many quotes as possible. In case you decide to buy your equipment online, remember to factor in the shipping costs.
In case you are wondering if there are low budget alternatives, yes there are. Here are some options.
Leasing - Some companies specialize in leasing restaurant equipment; however, most of these companies won’t lease out equipment worth less than $3,000 or thereabouts. So, this option is better left for refrigerators and other big-ticket items. The difference between leasing and renting is that leasing calls for a long-term commitment (usually 36 months) while renting calls for a short-term commitment. A leasing agreement is usually renewable.
Buying Secondhand - Items such as mixers, ovens, and dishwashers can be bought secondhand. To give you an idea of how much you can save buying secondhand, a new 6-burner range is likely to cost around $1,500, whereas, a secondhand one can go for $800 to $900.
Renting - As mentioned above, renting is a short-time solution. Therefore, you may consider this option for equipment that you need for only a few days.
As we conclude, it is a good idea to check with the legal department that is responsible inspecting/approving commercial kitchens in your locality to ensure that you will not be going against any law by having any of your kitchen equipment installed in your restaurant.
You need to stay up-to-date on restaurant management technology if you are to have an efficient kitchen for your restaurant. I have mentioned apps like Zip Inventory, Zip Ordering, and Zip Clock, but there are other tools out that have been invented to improve efficiency. Some of the tools I’d recommend include Smarter Kitchen, Zip Forecast, and Zip Schedules.
Since managing information from all of the previous apps can be difficult, here at Hubworks we also have a Zip Shift Book software solution, which consolidates all notes in one, easy-to-read location. For more information on the Hubworks Zip Shift Book solution, check out our article on the “10 Ways Task Management Software Will Transform Your Business,” which is also on the Hubworks Blog.