Are you planning to launch a ghost kitchen?
In recent years, an increasing number of successful restaurants have made this precise business decision. By running a cost-benefit analysis, they determined that splitting up where in-house and to-go orders are received, cooked, and fulfilled could help streamline operations, resulting in happier patrons and more sales.
But naturally, if you opt for this route, there are some strategic investments you’ll need to make to ensure that your ghost kitchen is a success.
To help with that, CloudKitchens has prepared a must-have restaurant equipment list.
Restaurant kitchen equipment list
Before we dive in, it’s vital to note that the specific type of equipment you require and select will depend on the various factors related to your restaurant. To determine what commercial kitchen equipment you need, ask yourself questions like:
- What is the culinary style? – Different foods require different preparation and cooking equipment. For instance, an Italian restaurant may need a pizza oven, whereas a Mediterranean restaurant will likely need a high-capacity food processor and spice grinder.
- What is your projected demand? – Do you already have a loyal customer base? Are you servicing hundreds of orders a night? Your customer demand will help determine the type of equipment and how much equipment you require.
- What is your budget? – There are some kinds of commercial restaurant equipment that are must-haves and others that are simply nice to have. Ideally, your spending decisions will align with your available capital. Along those lines, as you weigh your options, remember that there may be items that come with high upfront costs but will create efficiencies that save time and money over the long term.
- What are the local regulations? – In some cities, local government states that certain types of food preparation equipment shouldn’t be allowed.
These are just some of the issues you’ll have to weigh as you follow the steps on how to start a ghost kitchen and prepare to purchase the following restaurant supplies.
As the primary tool in your culinary arsenal, ovens are essential for practically any restaurant and will likely be one of your largest input costs. Naturally, a commercial oven is quite different from a home oven since they’re designed to handle greater capacities, produce higher power outputs, and run around the clock.
Depending on your specifications, these may range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. What you select and how much you pay will depend on the ovens’:
- Primary culinary purpose
- Total size
- Quality and features
Sometimes also referred to as a stove, a range can be used as both an oven and a stovetop. This enables cooks to bake, broil, and roast food inside the range, and boil, fry, sear, and saute on top of it. When determining what your kitchen requires, you’ll likely choose between one of two range options:
- Gas range – These provide superior temperature control, letting a cook immediately bring a pan to their desired temperature. Naturally, these types of ranges are more difficult to clean and increase the risk of a gas leak or fire hazard.
- Electric range – These provide greater energy efficiency and are easier to clean. However, it’s much more difficult for cooks to prepare food; not to mention, some types of cooking styles are practically impossible with this technology.
Restaurant kitchens can get hot and smoky in an instant. Creating proper airflow is a matter of both comfort and safety. Here, a ventilation system can help manage the airflow and temperature control throughout the ghost kitchen. As you look for the optimal ventilation system for your kitchen, consider the following factors:
- The kitchen size – Your kitchen’s square footage and local fire code safety requirements will help determine where and what type of ventilation system you install.
- Air volume flow rate – The force with which air circulates through the ducts. What air volume flow you require depends on the type of cooking you’ll be doing. For instance, grilling or cooking over an open flame will necessitate more airflow than baking.
- Noise – The larger and more powerful the fan, the louder it’ll likely be. Kitchens are already loud as is, so it’s important to pick a fan that doesn’t overdo it.
Fridges and Freezers
As a restauranteur, you know the value of fresh ingredients—and the power of fridges and freezers to keep those ingredients fresh.
According to the hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) food safety management system, food should be kept between 32° and 41° at all times to minimize bacterial growth and food spoilage. For that, you’ll need a commercial grade fridge and freezer.
As you research your options, consider the following factors:
- Your size and capacity needs
- Features you want, such as a walk-in or reach-in fridge
- The condenser you want (bottom-mounted or top-mounted)
Will you be frying food? Making pizza? If you don’t already have a menu drawn up, you should at least have a strong idea of what type of meals you’ll be cooking. This can help you plan and budget accordingly, particularly for kitchen supplies that are explicitly required for making a certain type of food, such as:
- Sous vide machines
- Pizza ovens
- Meat skewers/vertical broilers
Cooking equipmentIn addition to the blockbuster items, there are dozens of smaller items that you’ll require. And here, you need enough extras to get through a shift without constantly washing each tool. Types of cooking and food preparation equipment include:
- Chef’s knives
- Pots and pans (of all sizes)
- Pot and pan lids
- Baking sheets and roasting pans
- Tasting spoons
- Measuring spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Plastic inserts for coolers
- Steam table
Additionally, you’re going to need a place to store essential equipment and dry food ingredients. Here, having plenty of shelving and storage space is a must. Types of materials you could use include:
- Stainless steel
- Chrome wire
The health and safety of your kitchen staff should be of the utmost priority. To pass local health and food safety protocols, you’ll need to demonstrate that the kitchen is both compliant with ordinances and stocked with all of the essential safety items, including:
- A fire suppression system
- Fire extinguishers
- Rubber floor mats
- Wet floor signs
- First aid kits
- Security cameras
- Aprons, goggles, hairnets, gloves, and oven mitts
Commercial mixers can accelerate preparation processes that would take a significant amount of time to do by hand or even with a residential-grade mixer.
Which ones are right for you?
Typically, you’ll have one of three primary options:
- Countertop mixer – Meant for restaurants that only need to mix ingredients on an occasional basis.
- Floor mixer – Ideal for restaurants that require dough, batters, or sauces on a daily basis, such as a pizzeria or bakery. These can mix large batches of dough in a single go.
- Hand mixers – You may need one or more of these in addition to a larger mixer. These are best for incorporating, blending, and emulsifying.
If you want to avoid food waste, you’ll need to have plenty of food storage containers. And remember, different types of foods may require a different type of container. Common items you’ll require include:
- Doug boxes
- Food storage containers
- Kitchen canisters
- Veggie crispers
- Ingredient bins
Stocking your ghost kitchen with CloudKitchens
The list above contains just some of the major pieces of essential equipment you’ll likely need to invest in if you plan to follow a ghost kitchen business model. But what about everything else—the sinks, point of sale (POS) systems, WiFi, etc.?
At CloudKitchens, we help modern-day chefs get set up in a fully operational and permitted kitchen in as little as 4 weeks. And each one can be specified to one of four types of cooking operations:
- Mexican/Latin food
And what comes in a CloudKitchen?
- The 200 ft2 space you require to run a functional kitchen, including:
- Private kitchen
- Driver pickup area
- Staff locker area
- Mop wash
- Cold & freezer storage (optional)
- Dry storage (optional)
- The services you need for delivery
- Order pickup & processing
- Courier handoff
- Cleaning & maintenance
- Safety & health inspections
- Delivery logistics
- Extraction & ventilation
- On-site support staff
- Delivery software
- Basic kitchen equipment
- 3 compartment sink
- Prep sink
- Hand sink
- Commercial hood
- Grease-trap/interceptor (optional)
- Utilities and maintenance
- Gas points
- Power outlets
- High power lighting
- Cold & hot water lines
- Gas/fire safety system
- Trash / recycle
- Ethernet connections
- Grease/trap cleaning
- Hood/flu cleaning
- Pest control
Furnishing a pre-set kitchen can help you get your restaurant delivery up and running, saving you substantial time and money. Simply, purchase the larger culinary equipment you specifically need, and then let us handle the rest.
Want to take a tour? Contact us today!
FDA. Retail & Food Service HACCP. https://www.fda.gov/food/hazard-analysis-critical-control-point-haccp/retail-food-service-haccp
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