List of Essential Restaurant Equipment Every Kitchen Needs

If it’s time to open a new restaurant, you need a restaurant kitchen equipment list to ensure you purchase the right commercial kitchen products. Opening a new restaurant is difficult enough – don’t place extra stress on yourself and your management team by not ordering the right products.

Here are the 15 equipment essentials for restaurant kitchens

1. Commercial Grill(s)

If you’re running a busy restaurant, you need much more than a traditional kitchen grill. No matter what type of restaurant you own, there’s a high chance you’ll need to purchase a commercial grill. Fortunately, there are hundreds of different industrial grill designs that are built specifically to withstand the pressures and demands of busy restaurants.

2. Professional Chef Knives

One of the first items on your restaurant kitchen equipment list should be professional chef knives. The importance of professional knives for any restaurant cannot be overstated. Purchasing and maintaining professional kitchen knives can help you increase efficiency and improve food quality. Don’t believe us? Ask your chef!

3. Griddles

Griddles aren’t as essential as some of the other items on our list, but they’re still a useful kitchen tool for certain menu items. If you run a lunch spot that serves toasted sandwiches or burgers, griddles will be an enormous help. Best of all, they’re incredibly affordable and come in a range of shapes and sizes.

A portable griddle may be suitable for specific types of restaurants. In some cases, a griddle can replace a grill or other kitchen equipment if you only have a small space to work with — food trucks often make use of this item!

4. POS System with Kitchen Display System (Or Printer)

Gone are the days that waiters and servers wrote orders on tickets and sent them to the kitchen. If you want to run an efficient restaurant, it’s essential to have a link between your restaurant point of sale and the kitchen. Many modern point-of-sale providers now automatically send orders to your chefs and kitchen staff.

Restaurant owners can choose between restaurant systems that print order tickets or more advanced POS systems that use kitchen display systems. Either way, it improves order efficiency in your restaurant and reduces errors!

5. Grease Traps

If you work with greasy food, a grease trap is essential — it can prevent major plumbing issues in your restaurant. By trapping grease before it enters your wastewater system, a grease trap is able to keep your drainage clean and reduce the chances of costly problems.

6. Salamander Broilers

A salamander broiler sounds like a niche kitchen equipment item, but it’s actually a very common appliance found in many restaurant kitchens. If you need to melt cheese, broil meat, or perform any other related task, this is a cost-effective piece of equipment for your restaurant.

Fortunately, most commercial salamander broilers are standalone products. They can rest on top of a tabletop or bench — they’re much more flexible than some of the other items on this list!

7. Commercial Fryer

Commercial fryers are an essential accessory for most restaurants. If you’re planning on frying onion rings, fries, or any other type of food, a commercial fryer is the only solution to get the job done right. Not only do commercial fryers allow you to fry large quantities at the same time, but they also produce much better food than home fryers.

While commercial fryers were once a luxury for many restaurant owners, there are now several affordable options on the market. If you’re planning on serving fried food, this item on our restaurant kitchen equipment list is certainly worth the investment!

8. Refrigeration Equipment

If you work in the food industry, you already know how critical it is to have proper refrigeration equipment. Without a robust refrigeration system, you’ll be unable to store food in a safe environment. In order to comply with health and safety regulations, restaurants must store certain perishable goods within a proper refrigerator. A great resource to find affordable refrigeration equipment is the WebstaurantStore.

Restaurants require commercial or industrial refrigerators that make it easy to store, organize, and access multiple products. Make sure to assess your restaurant’s needs before you invest money into a refrigeration system — they can get expensive.

9. Squeeze Bottles

It might seem simple, but squeeze bottles can do wonders for your restaurant. While most people associate squeeze bottles with ketchup and mustard, they can house a range of sauces, dressings, and other condiments. They’re the perfect accessory for chefs who need to manage multiple liquids.

Best of all, it’s easy to clean and refill them. This can help you purchase condiments in bulk and reduce waste at the same time.

10. Commercial Shelving

All restaurants require robust storage capabilities. Commercial shelving provides sturdy support that can help you organize your kitchen and prevent the loss of valuable stock. Using flimsy storage shelves can prove disastrous in a busy restaurant.

Depending on the conditions present in your kitchen or refrigerator, it might be worth researching rust-resistant shelving. If there’s moisture in the air, certain designs are much better equipped to deal with the conditions.

11. High-Quality, Non-Stick Pans

If you’re managing a restaurant, it’s essential to use the best pans in the business. Customers dine at restaurants because they expect a better meal than they’ll find at home. If you don’t have a commercial non-stick pan, you won’t be able to cook to the standard that most diners expect.

Fortunately, when you consider the benefit that high-quality pans can bring to your restaurant, their cost is relatively low. This is another kitchen item that your chef will thank you for!

12. Ice Machines

Manually making ice can take ages — it’s not an option for restaurants or bars. If you’re planning on serving drinks at your establishment, a commercial ice machine is a must-have. The right type of ice machine can produce thousands of pieces of ice per hour.

In addition to creating large amounts of ice, ice machines can also store ice when it’s not needed. Many of the top machine designs automatically stop producing ice when they’re full. This means that you can leave your machine on overnight and have it stocked with ice by the time you open for business the next day.

13. Kitchen Signs

In the interest of efficiency and safety, it’s critical to organize your kitchen in a manner that is intuitive and accessible. In addition to ensuring the kitchen is designed with cleanliness and safety in mind, it’s also essential to incorporate signs and labels that help keep staff members aware of the kitchen’s layout and potential hazards.

Purchasing professional signs that are correctly labeled can help you reduce your exposure to risk in the kitchen. Never overlook the small things!

14. Kitchen Canopy

A kitchen canopy can help you reduce heat and fumes within your restaurant’s kitchen. Commercial canopies are essentially large fans and vacuums that suck hot air out of your kitchen. This is a major necessity if you run a restaurant with a large grill or oven system.

If you do decide to purchase a kitchen canopy, you will need to ensure that you can integrate it into your kitchen’s design. The canopy needs to be able to direct hot air to vents or other exit points.

15. Restaurant Fire Suppression System

A restaurant’s kitchen can be a dangerous place. With large ovens, open flames, grease, and a range of other high-risk elements, it’s impossible to eliminate the potential for a fire. Unfortunately, a large kitchen fire can pose a fatal safety hazard.

Due to the large risks associated with commercial kitchen fires, there are entire suppression systems designed to combat fires stemming from grills, pans, fryers, and other kitchen elements. In some cases, suppression systems are designed to detect fires and begin extinguishing them automatically.

Don’t Get Caught Without the Right Equipment!

If you’re running a busy restaurant, you understand how critical it is for your kitchen to operate as efficiently as possible. A slow kitchen results in unhappy customers and stressed staff members. It’s always important to ensure you stick to the correct restaurant kitchen equipment list!

You can always hire a restaurant consultant to help you purchase the items you need and get the best price; however, you can purchase almost everything you need online easily. Where is the best place online to buy restaurant equipment? Check out our related article with a list of the top 5 online stores for restaurants here.


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