A lot of prep work goes into opening a restaurant. First you have to find a good location – one that includes the type of demographic you intend to cater to. Whether you’re opening a 5-star facility in Beverly Hills or a greasy-spoon diner along a trucking route, selecting an appropriate locale is essential to success. From there you’ll have to procure the proper permits for whatever you intend to serve (food, liquor, etc.), not to mention necessary building permits. You’ll need to create a menu, secure deliveries from vendors, renovate your space, and hire and train employees to fill a range of positions within your establishment. And then there’s advertising to consider. In short, opening a restaurant is a lot of work. But one area where you’ll definitely have to focus on the details is the kitchen, since that’s where the delicate task of preparing the food takes place, and where everything can go wrong if you fail to include the right equipment and supplies.
There are several things you’ll need to address when it comes to building out your restaurant kitchen. First and foremost, you need to create an environment conducive to safe food handling, and this requires special considerations. If you’ve been in restaurant kitchens before, you may have noticed a lot of tile and stainless steel. This is largely for easy cleaning and sanitizing, which will happen frequently if you want to keep the health department off your back. Don’t forget to build a drainage system into the floor for easier cleaning, and cover flooring surfaces with non-slip mats for employee safety, preferably of the perforated rubber variety for easy cleaning. Ample lighting is also important.
Now that you’ve got the groundwork laid, it’s time to start filling your space with essential equipment, and this will include high-end commercial appliances. You’ll need cooking surfaces, potentially including ovens, stovetops, griddles, and such. Don’t forget about range hoods designed to suck up steam and grease. You’ll also need adequate cold storage, generally in the form of a walk-in fridge and/or freezer – most restaurants require both. In addition to these appliances you’ll need plenty of counter space for food preparation, as well as multiple sinks for washing and sanitizing dishes, not to mention washing food, washing employee hands, and so on. Ideally, these tasks should occur at separate washing stations.
Next you’ll need to equip your kitchen with professional cookware and cooking utensils, as well as dishes and utensils for plating the food that goes out to your guests. Your kitchen will need safety items like thermometers for the fridge and freezer, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, and solvents for cleaning and sanitizing every surface. And of course, you’ll need some food, as well as a system of stickers or labels that allows you to write expiration dates so you can make sure that the food you send out is safe and within acceptable guidelines for health department standards.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many startup costs for restaurants and the details you’ll have to attend to, whether you’re looking at range hood accessories on HoodFilters.com or you’re haggling with vendors for plates, glasses, and utensils. But when you have a checklist of items you should be able to get it all done in time for your grand opening. And most items you’ll only have to pay for once.