When deciding to start a business, it’s important to remember that there are many aspects to this endeavour. From ensuring you have enough funds and establishing your budget to filing all the necessary paperwork and finding the right people to work with, you have a lot to take into account. On top of that, seeing as how every industry is different, it’s vital to keep in mind what else your line of work requires.
That means that if you plan on opening a restaurant, your plan will have to be customized for what you want to achieve. For example, the location will be very important as you want a spot that is easily accessible and that people will notice when they pass by. You want the outside to be inviting so that they will want to come in and you want the menu to encourage your customers to keep coming back. Of course, you have to invest in marketing as well and ensure your staff is welcoming and skilled.
In addition to all of this, you will have to equip and furnish your restaurant. To assist you on your journey, we made a checklist of must-haves that you cannot overlook when setting up your modern restaurant.
Food preparation surfaces
Regardless of the size of your restaurant, you have to be aware of the fact that your kitchen will need a lot of elements. Let’s start with various surfaces where you will prepare food – fixed counters, tables that can be moved around, and cutting boards. For prep surfaces, choose stainless steel as it doesn’t absorb bacteria and various juices and is sturdy against corrosion. Plus, it can withstand harsh cleaners that are usually used in commercial kitchens. Furthermore, get plastic or wooden cutting boards. Plastic boards are much easier to sanitize but the wooden ones don’t develop grooves from cutting as easily. You should also implement a colour-coded system and use different colours for different types of food in order to prevent cross-contamination.
Sinks and dishwashers
When it comes to sinks and dishwashers, you need to check the requirements with local health and safety authorities. Commercial kitchens usually need to have a commercial dishwashing machine, a triple-sink wash station, and a dedicated handwashing sink. Sinks are essential because your staff will have to wash their hands regularly as well as the produce and the utensils they are using.
Ranges and hoods
In order to make a wide variety of dishes, you will need a kitchen range that meets your cooking needs. Commercial ranges also allow you to pick between electric and gas models so purchase those that you find easier to use. Moreover, bear in mind that your kitchen needs proper ventilation. So, install hoods above your stoves and broilers as they will use fans and get rid of grease, moisture, and heat.
While most ranges have an oven, you might need a separate oven with several decks and trays. This is usually the case with restaurants that offer plenty of baked goods and have a huge demand. Figure out if you need a convection oven with a fan and exhaust system or if a regular oven would be enough. Deep fryers, flat-top grills, industrials salamanders, and other special restaurant kitchen equipment might also be necessary depending on your menu.
Fridges and freezers
Your restaurant will also need plenty of fridge and freezer space. A fridge will keep your ingredients fresh while the freezer is crucial for staying cost-effective as then you can keep the foods you order in bulk safe as well. Industrial-grade equipment is very powerful which means that you’ll be able to cool certain ingredients in record time.
Slicers, mixers, and food processors
There are many other appliances that will come in handy. For instance, electric slicers will save you time when cutting meat and cheese. Mixers are also vital but remember to buy the models according to your needs. For the dense dough, you will need a spiral-shaped agitator that can handle up to six hundred pounds of dough. A versatile planetary mixer is good for other types of mixing. Furthermore, look into kinds of food processors and purchase them accordingly.
Cookware and cooking equipment
To prepare food that is on your menu, you will also need various cooking equipment. Get bowls of all sizes, pots, sheet pans, sauté pans, and anything else you might need to cook the dishes you offer. Plus, get multiples of everything. Then, you also need plenty of ladles, mixing spoons, tasting spoons, whisks, spatulas of all kinds, as well as knives, cleavers, peelers, can openers, and so much more – the list goes on and on.
Storage cupboards and shelves
With so many items to prepare food, you need plenty of storage space where you will keep it all. So, decide which items need to be front and centre and kept on open shelves so that you have easy access. Everything else can be put away in a closed cupboard.
You also need to get storage containers for the ingredients and the food you make. Whether it’s to store in the kitchen or pack for customers to take home, you need to find the best approach for keeping the food protected while also staying eco-friendly.
Finally, in terms of the kitchen, you need to think about safety equipment. First of all, you need a stocked first aid kit so that you can act quickly if there is a minor injury. Moreover, you will need to get fire extinguishers and check with the fire department whether everything is up to code. Domed safety mirrors to see whether someone is around the corner and anti-slip kitchen mats are necessary as well to ensure no one gets hurt.
Seeing as how you will be serving drinks with your food, you also need a beverage dispensing system, an ice machine, an ice bin, bottle openers, mixers, blenders, and whatever else you think is necessary for the drinks you will be offering. Of course, you can have a bar area in the restaurant where the customers can order directly or you can prepare their drinks in the kitchen alongside the food.
It doesn’t matter how good the food you make is; if the atmosphere is not pleasant, the customers will not be coming back. That is why you have to invest in the layout and décor of the space as well. Provide your visitors with plenty of seating options. You can consider booths, regular tables and chairs, high tables and barstools, or whatever else matches the style you are going for. Decide whether you will have an outdoor space as well.
You need to stock up on plates and other serving dishes, glassware, and cutlery as well. Don’t forget about other miscellaneous supplies either. For example, you want napkins and holders on every table, plenty of menus, salt and pepper shakers, and even décor such as vases. Regardless of how quickly you think you can wash these pieces, make sure you always have extras as you don’t want customers to complain about dirty plates or wait for too long while you clean them.
Cash register and POS system
You cannot forget about the cash register and implementing the best POS system for your business. You want to provide your customers with options so they should be able to pay using cash and credit cards. Moreover, taking orders by tablet or smartphone and making contactless payments is something many people appreciate.
Finally, you will need to provide your staff with uniforms. From comfy, non-slip shoes to chef’s hats, hairnets, and aprons, this is both necessary and will give your employees a more professional look. When designing the uniforms, pick a colour that matches your company’s branding.
As you can see, there are many aspects to consider when equipping and furnishing a modern restaurant. In addition to these, you cannot forget about stocking up your restrooms with various amenities as well as getting all the necessary cleaning supplies to ensure your entire space stays sparkling clean. Plan for all of these items and you can add what you see is missing later.