Whether you’re planning to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant or a mobile food service business, two of the most important things you’ll have to do are designing your kitchen and stocking it with the essentials.
Most commercial kitchens are exclusive to a restaurant, while others are shared spaces. Many food trucks and other mobile food businesses maintain dedicated commissaries, but some kitchens are available for rent to anyone who needs temporary access to a professional kitchen. In places where rents are high and regulations are restrictive, a commissary kitchen helps foodservice businesses remain afloat.
The kitchen is where the magic happens, and you want to make sure you’ve equipped the right tools and equipment for success. A missing piece is all it takes to derail a perfect service. If you’re thinking of opening a food business, here are a few kitchen essentials that people often overlook:
Plastic measuring cups
Many kitchens don’t have enough measuring cups to go around, forcing people to share and slowing down service. While measuring cups are made in a variety of materials, one of the best is plastic. Plastic cups are cheaper than glass and metal and are easily replaceable. They can also handle the day-to-day stress of service. Always have enough plastic measuring cups in storage.
Depending on where you live, commercial kitchens are required to have safety equipment on site. This is especially important when you realize how much flammable material and sharp things the place holds.
First aid kits can help you deal with minor injuries such as cuts. You’ll also need fire extinguishers at strategic points and dome safety mirrors placed on high-traffic corners. Rubber mats throughout the kitchen can also prevent slips and falls. Check your local laws for required safety equipment.
Organized storage system
The operative word here is organized. Many kitchens keep their food and equipment in rooms that are unfit for storage. Pest infestations, fluctuating temperatures, and poorly constructed racks and shelves make kitchens more dangerous than they already are.
Some kitchen storage systems also lack organization and planning. An organized system will help make your operation smoother and more efficient. For instance, keep the most-used tools and appliances at arm level, and then place the rest on the top or bottom shelves.
Steam tables aren’t just for buffets. They can also be used to keep prepared ingredients, stocks, and sauces warm throughout service, freeing valuable stove and countertop space for other things. You can also keep dishes warm, especially for popular menu items that take a long time to cook.
Many kitchens are located in areas where ventilation is poor such as basements. Every stove and oven should have its dedicated ventilation equipment. Range hoods remove heat, grease, and moisture out of the kitchen. A kitchen with poor ventilation is hazardous, and if inspected, could shut down your entire operation.
Finally, if you run a business that uses a lot of cheese and sliced meats, you’re going to need a slicer. Slicers allow you to save a lot of time and labor, preparing cheeses and meats. For regular slicing needs, a manual food slicer does the job well. But if you make a lot of sandwiches, an electric slicer can shave seconds off the prep time.
Overall, if you want to make food preparation easier, you need to have the right tools for the job. Just be sure to get them from reliable suppliers so that you don’t have regrets in the future.