There are a number of decisions when outfitting a commercial kitchen. There are some that have the opinion that new is not always better. We disagree entirely with one exception, if you already own equipment and know the history of it, feel free to reuse certain pieces.
Used equipment is much less expensive and can save you up front costs however, in our experience it can also be fraught with hidden issues that will cost you downtime.
Don't look for the shiniest and pretty looking equipment, go for durability. Your purchases should be based on how the equipment will work to ease the pressure on staff and give you the best return on investment.
There is a good reason why the key components of your kitchen like ovens, grills, and especially refrigeration units should be carefully researched and purchased with the upmost care and planning.
Leasing equipment is another great option that can preserve your capital for other items and often allows you to purchase the right piece of equipment vs. just the what you can afford today. Save money as you get ready to open a new restaurant. Most equipment from coffee machines to combi-ovens qualify for leasing programs as tangible assets.
A commercial kitchen requires careful planning in order to maximize space and promote efficiency. Segmenting your kitchen into stations where each area is intended for preparation of a certain type of food is prepared can be a great asset. In smaller kitchens one area may actually serve as several "stations" based on the time of day.
An integral part of any commercial kitchen is the refrigeration systems. Refrigeration ranges from small under-counter or prep fridges to walk-in refrigerators and freezers, and everything in between. Review your menu and plan carefully for what you will need.
Don't forget your smallwares as part of your budget, these can add up to a significant amount of money and need to be planned for both from a cost and storage perspective.
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