The Official Kitchen Equipment Checklist For Starting A Restaurant

There are many things you need to plan for when starting a new restaurant. The equipment that you will put in your kitchen should be one of the top priorities. The kitchen is the center of any restaurant business. It is where your product is made. So it is important to make sure you have all of the equipment necessary to prepare the meals you plan to serve. Not every kitchen will have the exact same equipment needs. We are going to list the basic things that are needed to have a quality restaurant kitchen.

Cold Storage

It’s important to have a place to store your ingredients and keep food from spoiling. Your cold storage needs will vary depending on what type of operation you are running. Luckily there are many different sizes and shapes, so you’ll be able to find one that suits you.


Whatever type of restaurant you run you will need a refrigerator, whether it is a walk in cooler, reach in refrigerator, or a prep-fridge.


There are many types of freezers as well, and you’ll definitely need one. Commercial freezers will keep your food fresh and give your cooks storage. Of course, these are much more expensive, but they have a greater capacity for restaurants that have volume.

Ice machine

Drinks will go along with the food you will be serving, and most people will want a cold drink. That makes an ice machine a great piece of equipment to have in your kitchen.

Cooking Equipment

A lot of cleaning and prep goes into the routine of a restaurant but the cooking equipment is where the magic happens. You should consider your restaurants particular needs. Choose the equipment that will meet the scope of what your kitchen calls for, and save space by selecting a smaller piece of equipment if you will use it less often


There are different types of ovens, regular ovens, brick ovens, conveyor ovens, and deck ovens, and convection ovens. Many ranges are an oven/range combination. Which oven you will need depends on the size and scope of your restaurant. When selecting an oven, make sure it is going to do the job you need.

Deep Fryer

Many delicious dishes are made with a deep fryer including french fries, chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, donuts and churros just to name a few. You will find a deep fryer in almost every restaurant in the fast food industry. This is the source of some of the tastiest foods that come from restaurants and is definitely a necessity.


There are gas and electric ranges and both work very well. Gas provides a more visually responsive cooking process as well as being easier to gauge the temperature and a quicker change in temperature. Alternatively electric provides an elegant smooth easy to clean surface. Choose the one that suits your restaurant’s needs.


Grills are very versatile pieces of equipment, you can cook many different types of foods on them. A restaurant isn’t much of a restaurant without a grill. They come in all shapes and sizes so finding one that will fit your restaurant will be simple.

Food Prep Equipment

Before the food is cooked, there is a lot of prep that goes into each meal. A lot of time can be swallowed up in this stage of the process. There are a few pieces of equipment you should have in your kitchen to be as efficient as possible.

Food Processors

These can be used in creating many different food products and can save a huge amount of time. You can use them to for things like combining ingredients, chopping or slicing veggies, making sauces, slices cheese, among other things. Investing in a food processor is a very good idea.


Blenders are very commonplace in any kitchen and a restaurant kitchen should be no different. You can use them to make drinks, smoothies, sauces and much more. Choose a heavy duty commercial blender because it is going to be used a lot.


These are a necessity in bakeries and pizzarias, but they are useful in just about every other kitchen too. There are many different sizes of mixers, from 5qt counter size to 300qt floor size models. Choose the one that fits what your restaurant is providing.

Cleaning Equipment

Having a clean kitchen should be a point of pride for any restaurant. As well as having all the necessary equipment you should also have a kitchen cleaning checklist to ensure everything is being cleaned properly on a routine basis. Many of the supplies you will need for cleaning is very commonplace so here we will list some of the extra equipment you will need to properly run a commercial kitchen.

Automatic Dishwasher

Many food service operations are required to have either a commercial kitchen dishwasher or an automatic 3 compartment sink. This will help rinse, wash, and sanitize all of your restaurant equipment and kitchenware. Although you may only need to have one or the other it is recommended that you have both in case your automatic dishwasher breaks down or is backed up.

Grease Trap

Leftovers and grease can cause a lot of problems when they get into your plumbing, and the repairs can be very expensive. The best way to prevent this is to have a grease trap. Grease traps are connected between your draining equipment and your plumbing and stop grease and food particles from draining into your plumbing.

Proper Cleansers

Make sure you select the right cleansers and chemicals for your equipment. Check your local health department and follow the guidelines they provide. When it comes to chemicals and food preparation you never want to take chances, so do your due diligence.


This isn’t a piece of equipment, but it is something any restaurant owner should have on their checklist. Having regularly scheduled maintenance from a company like Touchstone Commercial Services will extend the working life of your very valuable equipment, as well as keeping it operating at full capacity. The benefits far outweigh the costs of having expensive repair further down the road.

Safety Equipment

Always be sure to check your local fire department and acquire all the required safety equipment to avoid liability, and to keep your restaurant safe for your customers and employees.

Starting a new restaurant is a massive undertaking and not one to be taken lightly. With this equipment list you can plan your well outfitted kitchen. It will be a huge investment, but it is also a necessity for success in the restaurant business. Hopefully this information has made the process of starting your restaurant seem a little less daunting. Good Luck!

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