Opening a new restaurant is exciting, but it's also a complex and daunting process. Once you've purchased or leased the space for your kitchen, your next big expense is going to be furnishing the kitchen with equipment and supplies. If you've never stocked a commercial kitchen before, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the choices and different things that you need to consider. Take a look at some tips that can help you make smart decisions when you're choosing the equipment and supplies for your new restaurant kitchen.
Know Your Color Codes
If you want to run a successful restaurant, your first priority is to make sure that the food you're serving is safe. Understandably, no one wants to eat at a restaurant where the customers come down with food poisoning or one where the kitchen can't avoid cross contamination for customers with food allergies.
In order to prevent cross contamination, most kitchens use some type of system to separate the cutting boards and prep utensils used to prepare the food. A color coding system is a common choice. For example, items used to prepare red meat will have red handles, and items used to prepare chicken could have yellow handles. You'll find that, when you hire a kitchen staff, many of the experienced staff members will be familiar with this system and will adjust to it easily.
Did you know that 62% of adults prefer to eat at a restaurant that uses green practices in their kitchen? Going green in your kitchen is good for the environment, it's good for your community, and it can also save you money on your energy bills. However, it's also just good business. You'll have appeal for more eco-conscious customers if you can honestly say that you keep the good of the environment in mind.
You can start by choosing Energy Star rated appliances for your kitchen. This is a very simple way to know that you're buying some of the most energy-efficient products on the market. Look for features that help your appliances run more efficiently – for example, a dishwasher with a pre-rinse unit installed removes food particles before washing, which helps the dishwasher work more efficiently and saves energy. Making sure the pre-rinse unit has a low-flow nozzle saves water.
You can also go green by buying recycled supplies like paper napkins and to-go cups, and using reusable supplies instead of disposable ones wherever possible. Purchase labeled recycling containers for different types of waste, like paper, metal, and plastic, and enforce a policy of recycling.
Use Caution When Buying Used Equipment
You don't necessarily have to buy all new equipment for your restaurant. Buying used items sometimes makes sense. But exercise caution when buying used. Items bought used usually don't come with warranties, so make sure that you have a local repair service that carries parts for your used appliances and has technicians who can service and maintain them before investing in a used piece of equipment.
You should also find out what you can about the previous owner of the equipment. A stove that was previously owned by a church and used mainly for once-a-month pancake breakfasts will have less wear and tear on it than a stove that was previously owned and used daily by a quick-service restaurant. Ask to see the appliance in operation before you buy it, or pay to have a service technician evaluate it first. Check into the efficiency ratings for the appliance as well – if the appliance is going to use far more energy or water than a newer appliance, it could end up costing you more in the long run than a new appliance would. Also, keep in mind that, if you have an open kitchen, you'll need to consider the aesthetics of the appliances and supplies too. New equipment may be more pleasing to your customers' eyes.
Taking these factors into consideration when buying restaurant equipment and supplies will help you put together a safe, eco-friendly, and cost-efficient kitchen. To get started, contact a company like Louis Wohl & Sons Inc.