If you’re looking to create a commercial kitchen that has been built to last even the longest, busiest service, then it’s important to make sure that you’re purchasing commercial catering equipment that suits your needs. It can be very tempting when you’re first starting out to just get any equipment that you can get your hands on, or get cheap equipment just to fill out your kitchen. But bad catering equipment leads to bad food, and that is not the first impression you want to be giving as an up and coming restaurant, bakery, or anywhere serving food for the first time!
So what do you need to think about when looking for commercial catering equipment and catering equipment suppliers?
Commercial Catering Equipment
Here are some top tips and some essential pieces of catering equipment that you need to consider when looking to build an efficient, practical and hardworking kitchen.
- Invest in energy efficient equipment
It may seem like a big expense at the very beginning, however in the long run you’ll be saving money through the low energy usage and saving money on your long term energy bills. Thanks to modern technology, you’re now able to purchase energy efficient refrigeration, ovens, grills, etc. Practically your entire kitchen can be upgraded to energy efficient models. Not only will you be saving money, you’ll also be helping the environment. It’s important to never buy or rent any catering equipment without checking the energy star rating.
- Counter tops
Counter tops and work spaces don’t tend to be taken into account when planning out a commercial kitchen. The more counter top space that you can fit into the kitchen, the more room your kitchen staff will have to work on. We would always suggest using stainless steel at the primary material for your counter tops and in general for the majority of your kitchen. It is incredible easy to clean and maintain, not to mention stain resistant and won’t allow food bacteria to linger.
- Decide whether to buy outright or rent
There are two routes you can go down when looking at your catering equipment. One being buy the equipment outright or rent/lease them from catering equipment suppliers such as NWCE Foodservice Equipment. Both have pros and cons for each. For example, if you have a seasonal menu that is changes regularly, it would be worth leasing out equipment as you’re not putting a huge amount of money into equipment that you will have to sell in a few months time. Also, if you’re a new start up, you may not have the money behind you to buy brand new equipment outright, so leasing might be a way to get into the industry. Then once you know what works in your kitchen, you can go and purchase the equipment.
- Choose the right refrigeration system
There are many different parts of a refrigeration system, including large walk in fridges and freezers, under counter fridges and much more. So you need to decide what type of commercial refrigeration system would fit into your kitchen. Work out how much space you have in the kitchen, then you can work out what size units you can fit and choose according to that. If your refrigeration systems breaks, you could be forced to shut down your kitchen until you can get it fixed so it’s worth choosing a high quality piece of equipment and make sure you have breakdown or maintenance plans in place in order to keep your equipment running as smoothly as possible.
- Buy the right equipment for your menu
Not every kitchen will need every piece of commercial catering equipment. For example, if you’re an Italian restaurant you will need a pizza oven as opposed to a burger joint, you’ll need more room for fryers and hot tops. So take into account what food your kitchen will be serving and purchase your equipment according to that. If later on you find that you need to swap out equipment, or you want to add something onto the menu as a seasonal special, then you also have the option to rent a piece of equipment for a certain amount of time.
- Commercial dishwashers
If you’re a smaller establishment such as a cafe, tea shop or community centre, then maybe the catering budget might not stretch to a commercial dishwasher. Or you might be able to deal with cleaning down with staff dealing with it all. But if you’re planning on seating and serving a large group of people then you will most likely need a proper dish and ware washing unit. A commercial unit will reduce the amount of time it takes to completely clean and sanitise your plates, cutlery and glass wear. It’s one key tool in the kitchen that will help you to lower the overall work load.
- Quality over quantity
It can be easy when you’re starting out to just get whatever equipment seems to be the cheapest, but in the long run you can end up having to buy twice. When it comes to commercial catering equipment, quality should definitely prevail over quantity. Low quality equipment is a huge reason for many kitchen breakdowns and the last thing you want is to have to close down your kitchen because your ovens have stopped working. You then have to stay closed until you can either replace the unit or try and get it fixed, both which will cause you more money than if you buy a higher quality product in the beginning.
Catering equipment uk
If you’re a new kitchen, or you’re looking to upgrade your current kitchen equipment set up, then make sure you’re taking everything we’ve just talked about into account. It’s also important to make sure that your catering equipment is covered with a maintenance plan or breakdown cover in case the worse does happen during your service. NWCE Foodservice Equipment are a catering engineering company who cover the majority of the UK and their engineers are able to deal with a huge amount of catering equipment.