The hospitality industry is fierce and you should be equipped with the best equipment to be able to deliver food quickly and to the highest standard. Choosing products that can simplify tasks and increase efficiency is key to ensuring you put your best foot forward come opening day.
Before heading out to buy appliances and equipment, there are a few things you should take into consideration first:
Study your menu
It’s a good idea to run through each item on your menu before opening and determine what tools and equipment you will need to execute each one with ease from prep to cooking, to serving and cleaning up. Once you have done this, compile a list of the items you need.
You need to measure your kitchen before buying anything to make sure you have enough room for it all and can use it safely. From your measurements, you can work out how to utilise the space best to make your kitchen as functional as possible.
Think outside the kitchen
If your kitchen space is limited and you’re not sure all your equipment will fit, think of other areas you can store items. For example, store supplies such as glassware, napkins, and cutlery in another area of the restaurant that your wait staff can easily access. Additionally, when in the market for equipment, purchase items that are compact yet able to cater to your requirements.
Select quality supplies
While it may be tempting to purchase cheap equipment and supplies to save money, you could end up spending more by having to replace them regularly and if they break during service, this can be a massive inconvenience. Investigate the different brands and check their reputation and reviews online. It pays to do a bit of research, after all, commercial equipment and hospitality supplies don’t come cheap so you want to be sure you are investing your money into products that can withstand prolonged use. See what kind of warranty the products come with to ensure you are covered if there are any malfunctions down the track.
Aside from big-ticket items such as freezers, ovens, dishwashers etc, you will need many hospitality supplies to be able to streamline cooking and service. Here are some essentials you should be stocking your commercial kitchen with:
Your serving ware makes up a big part of your hospitality supplies and they are the most predominant items that your customers will see from your kitchen. They can leave a lasting impression on your customers. There is a huge selection of dining ware options available and come in different sizes, colours, textures, materials, shapes, and designs. When deciding on your serving ware, you should consider these factors:
- Are they designed for commercial use? Using non-commercial items that require fragile handling may see your items being broken regularly which can be costly.
- Are their dishwashers safe? This is important as you do not want to be wasting time or money hand washing dishes.
- Do you want to have traditional white or unique textures or colours? Which suits the theme of your business best?
- Does your tableware reflect your business message? For example, if you promote and run your business based on green and eco-friendly principals, your serving ware should match that.
Cooking and preparing equipment
Without cooking and preparing equipment you don’t have much of a kitchen. The type of establishment you have will greatly influence the sort of equipment you will need. For instance, if you have a burger shop you probably won’t need an array of pans and pots, however, there are many basics that most premises will need to function to their full potential such as knives, chopping boards and scissors etc. Customise your equipment to your specific needs rather than buying unnecessary items that you will not use. Here are some common ones found in most kitchens:
- Food processors
- Coffee machine/kettles
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Chopping boards
- Mixing bowls
- Milkshake maker
- Pizza cutter
- Pots and pans
- Baking trays
Regardless of how big or small your kitchen is you will need to have adequate containers for food and supplies. There are hundreds of different types of containers ranging from coloured coded varieties to draining boxes. Ensure that all containers containing food are labelled with the date to alert everyone in the kitchen of the expiry dates for each product. This can drastically reduce the risk of cross-contamination. When deciding on your containers, make sure they are:
- Able to withstand commercial dishwashers, the last thing you want is to spend hundreds – potentially thousands of dollars on containers only to find out they melt or distort from the heat.
- Freezer safe. Sometimes you will need to freeze items in your containers so they need to withstand been frozen without the risk of them cracking or splitting.
- Air-tight to prevent contaminants or air from spoiling the food.
- BPA free. BPA found in some plastic containers is proven to be a health hazard.
Remember, you can always add additional equipment that you feel will benefit the kitchen later. If you are looking for the highest quality commercial hospitality supplies for your kitchen, Lepack can assist! We have an extensive selection of kitchenware available and would love to help fit out your kitchen.